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Men's cross country jumps to No. 9 in national rankings

Bates' top seven finishers at last Saturday's race, from left to right: James LePage, Devin Dilts, Andrew Wortham, Tully Hannan, Noah Graboys, Ken Whitney and Mike Martin. (Photo by Tom Leonard '78)

LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates men's cross country team rose from No. 22 to No. 9 in this week's USTFCCCA Division III National Cross Country Poll, released today by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Bates leapfrogged over 13 teams in the poll, including two teams from the Atlantic Region that the Bobcats outraced at Saturday's Hoffman Invitational/Pre-Regional meet at St. Lawrence. The former No. 11 St. Lawrence rose to No. 10, and No. 5 SUNY Geneseo dropped to No. 11.

Bates is the third-ranked team from the New England Region, behind No. 6 Middlebury and No. 7 MIT, having jumped over No. 13 Williams and No. 17 Tufts.

The Bates men's cross country team traveled outside its region last weekend in part to prove its worthiness at the national level. Bates scored 53 points, followed by the host Saints (75) in second, with Geneseo a close third at 76. SUNY Cortland (133) and RPI (168) rounded out the top five.

Bates senior Devin Dilts (Roscoe, Ill.) covered St. Lawrence's home 8-kilometer course, which will be the site of the NCAA Atlantic Region Championships, in 25:52.2, good for fourth place among 265 runners in the race. Sophomores Tully Hannan (West Hartford, Conn.) and Mike Martin (Slatersville, R.I.) were top-10 finishers for the second straight time along with Dilts -- Hannan came in sixt at 25:53.5 and Martin was ninth at 26:02.7.

Junior Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) had his best race of the season, taking 12th place in 26:14.3, and junior James LePage (Cumberland, Maine) rounded out Bates' scoring in 22nd place at 26:31.6. Junior Ken Whitney (West Hartford, Conn.) was right behind in 23rd at 26:32.1, and sophomore Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.) was also a displacer, taking 31st place overall in 26:43.3.

Bates will host the Maine State Championships this Saturday at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester. The women's championship race begins at 11 a.m., followed by the men's race at 12 p.m.