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Women's track and cross country places sixth in DIII Program of the Year rankings

From left to right, Jessica Wilson, Sally Ceesay and Allison Hill all had a hand in Bates women's cross country and track & field placing sixth in the USTFCCCA Division III Program of the Year end-of-year standings, announced May 30, 2017. (d3photography.com)

NEW ORLEANS -- The Bates women's cross country and track and field teams collectively placed sixth in the Division III Program of the Year standings, announced Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Bates is one of 16 Division III programs that qualified for inclusion in the Deb Vercauteren Division III Women's Program of the Year Standings, for scoring points at the NCAA Championships in all three seasons: cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. Scoring is based on the team's finish at each NCAA Championship in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field (i.e. 1st = 1 point, 2nd = 2 points, 31st = 31 points) with the lowest total score for all three championships combined determining the award recipient. 

Bates placed 19th in the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championships, tied for 11th place at the 2017 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, and placed 11th at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. It is the first year Bates has scored at all three national meets in the same academic year.

Along the way, 12th-year head coach Jennifer "Jay" Hartshorn was named 2016 NESCAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year, after Bates finished second at the NESCAC Championship meet. Hartshorn and her assistant coaches were then named NESCAC Women's Track & Field Coaching Staff of the Year after the Bobcats placed second at the 2017 NESCAC Track & Field Championships on April 29.

Washington University in St. Louis won first place in the standings for the second year in a row with four points, followed by Williams (11.5), Ithaca (15), SUNY Geneseo (16.5), MIT (32), Bates (42), Nebraska Wesleyan (54), SUNY Oneonta (80), Johns Hopkins (81.5), Whitworth (97), Wisconsin-La Crosse (103.5), Emory (108.5), Tufts (109), St. Lawrence (125), Middlebury (126) and the University of Chicago (130).

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III Program of the Year Final Standings

UW-La Crosse Men, WashU Women Capture NCAA DIII Program of the Year Awards

USTFCCCA Program of the Year