LEWISTON, Maine -- The Bates women's track and field team put on a strong performance at their home facility on Friday night, finishing second among four closely matched teams at the 2012 Maine State Women's Indoor Track & Field Championships in Merrill Gymnasium.
Bowdoin won its fourth straight state title and its 14th in the meet's 34-year history. The Polar Bears scored 189 points while winning six events. Bates came next with 143 points, moving up from last year's fourth-place finish; Southern Maine edged Colby for third place with 121 points to the Mules' 119.
First-year Sarah Fusco (Cheshire, Conn.) broke the Bates indoor record in the 600 meters, and was one of only two athletes in the meet to win in multiple events. She won the 600 in 1:36.91, beating by half a second the former school record of 1:37.41 set by Izzy Alexander '09. Fusco's time was less than a second off of the meet record time of 1:36.14, recorded in 1991 by Bates head coach Jay Hartshorn while a student at Colby.
The Bobcats won five events in all, including both the 4x400 and the 4x800 relay races. The 4x400 squad of sophomore Abby Alexander (Harvard, Mass.), junior Ansley Flanagan (Roxbury, Conn.), senior Lizzie Carleton (Westborough, Mass.) and senior Tina Tobin (Lowell, Mass.) defeated runner-up Bowdoin by more than five seconds, in a time of 4:12.84. The 4x800 race was closer, with junior Amanda Solch (Mountain Lakes, N.J.), junior Lisa Reedich (Harvard, Mass.), sophomore Meg Ogilvie (Hopedale, Mass.) and Fusco (Cheshire, Conn.) beating Bowdoin by 3.51 seconds, in 10:00.14.
In Bates' two other event wins, junior Bud Arens (Weymouth, Mass.) took first place in the 800 meters for the second straight year, in 2:22.11; and sophomore Kallie Nixon (Medfield, Mass.) won the 1,000-meter race in 3:05.19.
Other notable performances by the Bobcats included:
- Arens and Nixon were second and third, respectively, in a rousing mile, at 5:10.72 and 5:10.81. The first four finishers in the race were all between 5:10.00 and 5:11.00, and all four bested last year's winning time.
- Tobin finished second in the 600 at 1:40.10, and claimed third place in the 60-meter hurdles, at 9.32 seconds. The meet featured the 60-meter dash and the 60 hurdles for the first time this year, replacing the 55-meter distance in both events from years past.
- First-year Elena Jay (West Hartford, Conn.) came in second in the 5,000, at 18:48.89.
- Junior Lindsay Cullen (Newburyport, Mass.) took third place in the 3,000, at 10:30.73.
- Senior Taylor Piers (Falmouth, Maine) placed third in the triple jump, at 35-7.25.
- Carleton broke the 27-second mark in the 200 meters for the first time in her career, finishing fourth in 26.95 seconds; she also took fourth place in the 60-meter dash at 8.31.
- Senior Juliana Kirkland (Turner, Maine) placed fourth in the weight throw with a personal-best 43-0.25.
- Reedich placed third in the 800, at 2:26.74.
Bates competes next weekend at the Valentine Classic at Boston University on Feb. 10, and at the Tufts Invitational on Feb. 11.