Men's cross country ties for 2nd at NESCAC Championship


A rare photo op: Bates and Bowdoin pose together with their shared award. (Photo by Tom Leonard '78)









AMHERST, Mass. -- The No. 9 nationally ranked Bates men's cross country team tied with Bowdoin for second place out of 11 teams on Saturday at the NESCAC Cross Country Championships, toughing out terrible course conditions to record the team's best conference finish since also placing second in 1994.
Williams won the team championship with 49 points, followed by Bates and Bowdoin with 79 apiece. Seventh-ranked Middlebury, the pre-race favorite, finished fourth with 94 points, and Tufts rounded out the top five with 109.

Three Bates runners lost their shoes in the muck during the race: senior Devin Dilts (Roscoe, Ill.) lost one of his shoes about a mile in, and ran the remaining four miles with one shoe. Senior Ben Chebot (Newton, Mass.) lost his shoe around mile 2 and stopped to put it back on, and junior Eric Kimball (Manchester, Mass.) also lost a shoe. Other obstacles included sophomore Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.) getting knocked down around the 3-mile mark, and first-year John Stansel (Newburyport, Mass.) also falling and having his hand stepped on, resulting in a deep cut and a visit to the hospital.

"All in all, it was a pretty remarkable performance for us," said head coach Al Fereshetian. "We learned that we can handle adversity and that anybody on the team can step up."

Sophomore Tully Hannan (West Hartford, Conn.) finished fifth overall to lead the Bobcats in an impressive time of 26:20, the best time by a Bates runner ever on Amherst's 5-mile course, 12 seconds faster than Dan Johnson '05's former team mark. Hannan will earn First Team All-Conference honors for finishing among the top seven. Junior Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) will earn Second Team All-NESCAC honors for his 13th-place showing, with a time of 26:32.

Graboys and Dilts recovered to finish 18th and 19th, respectively, at 26:45 and 26:46. Junior Ken Whitney (West Hartford, Conn.) came in 24th at 26:50, and Chebot checked in at 38th, at 27:07. Sophomore Mike Martin (Slatersville, R.I.) was Bates' seventh runner in, in 45th overall (27:13).

Bates will run a contingent of competitors at next Saturday's ECAC Championship, hosted by Williams at Mt. Greylock High School in Williamstown, Mass.