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Men's cross country a strong fifth at NESCAC Championship









CLINTON, N.Y. -- The Bates College men's cross country team held one of its top runners, rookie phenom Noah Graboys, out of the race, but the rest of the team picked up the slack to finish close to the top and in fifth place out of 11 teams at the NESCAC Cross Country Championship, held on an exceedingly wet and muddy 8-kilometer course at the Hamilton College Golf Course. It is Bates' highest finish at NESCACs since placing third in 2004.

"It was tough on everybody to go without Noah, but the rest of the team stepped up phenomenally," said Bates head coach Al Fereshetian.

Bates scored 114 points, just one point behind fourth-place Wesleyan (113) and close behind third-place Tufts (103) and second-place Williams (94). Middlebury won the title with 78. The Bobcats, ranked No. 32 in Division III, outperformed sixth-place Bowdoin, ranked No. 15 nationally, by 22 points to avenge their narrow loss to the Polar Bears in the state championship two weeks ago.

Bates senior Devin Dilts (Roscoe, Ill.) ran amongst the race leaders throughout and wound up in sixth place in a time of 26:31.4. Dilts will claim his first NESCAC First Team All-Conference honors, after winning Second Team honors last year by placing 11th.

First-year Tully Hannan (West Hartford, Conn.) moved up from about 20th place near the end to finish 10th in 26:38.9, and will earn Second Team All-NESCAC honors. "Tully ran a strong, strong race today, his best of the season so far. He was exceptional," said Fereshetian.

Bates placed an impressive eight runners among the top 50 in the race. Junior Sean Colligan (Goffstown, N.H.) finished 28th in 27:05.0. Sophomore Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) returned from injury and placed 33rd in 27:10.8. Sophomore Eric Kimball (Manchester, Mass.) came in 37th, while senior Tom Esponnette (Auburn, Maine) was 40th, sophomore Graham Pearsall (Guilford, Maine) was 44th and sophomore Ken Whitney (West Hartford, Conn.) was 48th.

Bates will run at the ECAC Division III Championships next Saturday, Nov. 6, at Colt State Park in Bristol, R.I. (12 p.m.).

NESCAC Men's Championship Results