MEDFORD, Mass. -- Bates women's track and field's distance medley relay team became Bates' second-fastest DMR squad in program history on Saturday at the Tufts Last Chance Meet, though the Bobcats likely came short by one place in becoming one of the 10 distance medley relay teams who will compete at the NCAA Division III Indoor Championships next week.
First-year Izzi Unger (Charlotte, Vt.), senior captain Ansley Flanagan (Roxbury, Conn.), junior Kallie Nixon (Medfield, Mass.) and senior Elizabeth Arens (Weymouth, Mass.) came in fourth in a very competitive field in a time of 11:56.03, trailing Geneseo State (11:40.49), Johns Hopkins (11:45.36) and Muhlenberg (11:55.74). The time raised Bates' national ranking in the DMR to 11th place; unfortunately, 10 teams will be invited. Muhlenberg's 11:55.74 appears to represent the 10th-fastest time this season.
Elsewhere at the meet, sophomore Sarah Fusco (Cheshire, Conn.) ran a 2:17.74 in the 800 meters, sixth-fastest among 14 athletes, but did not improve her national standing in the event, while first-year Melanie Ehrenberg (Rumson, N.J.) placed sixth in the pole vault at 10-0.5
Only last season's All-America quartet of Nixon, Tina Tobin, Fusco and Arens have run faster: that team's Bates-record 11:49.57 was good for seventh place at the 2012 NCAAs.
It appears that Arens will be Bates' lone representative at the NCAA Championships next week at North Central College in Naperville, Ill. Arens is high enough in the national rankings to compete in either or both of the 800 and the mile -- she's ranked 11th in the country in the 800 meters and 18th in the mile. She will likely compete solely in the 800.