|Devin Dilts will cap his exceptional senior season with his first trip to the NCAA Championship this Saturday. (File photo by Tom Leonard '78)|
LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates College men's cross country team didn't get the team at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship it was eligible for and hoped for on Sunday, when the NCAA released the field for this Saturday's championship. But the team did learn officially that it will be represented by senior captain Devin Dilts (Roscoe, Ill.), the team's first competitor at NCAAs since Matt Dunlap '08 in 2007.
Bates finished in a tie for fifth place with Wesleyan for fifth place out of 49 teams at Saturday's NCAA New England Regional Championship, to become eligible to compete as a team at NCAAs. The tiebreaker, which matches up each team's first five runners head-to-head, favored Bates by a 3-2 margin, and the top five teams at each NCAA Regional are eligible for selection to the NCAA Championship.
Dilts placed ninth out of 333 runners overall, covering the 8-kilometer course at Mt. Greylock High School in 26:06.6. He'll be Bates' first competitor at NCAAs in cross country since Matt Dunlap '08 in 2007.
Wartburg College will host the championships, November 20, at Max Championship Cross Country Course in Waverly, Iowa. The men’s race will begin at 11 a.m. Central.
Dilts was the first of four Bobcats to earn All-New England honors, which go to the top 35 finishers -- the first time since 2004 that Bates has had four on the list. First-year Noah Graboys (Wilmette, Ill.) was 18th (26:15.7), followed by sophomore Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) in 21st (26:20.1) and first-year Tully Hannan (West Hartford, Conn.) in 31st (26:31.4). Rounding out Bates' top seven were sophomore Eric Kimball (Manchester, Mass.) in 71st, senior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine) in 74th and junior Sean Colligan (Goffstown, N.H.) in 79th.
View the news release announcing the entire field for the NCAA Championship here.