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No. 27 Bates wins first state title since 1990, convincingly

GORHAM, Maine -- The No. 27 nationally ranked Bates women's cross country team won its first State of Maine Cross Country Championship meet since 1990, and did so in convincing fashion on Saturday, outpacing runner-up Bowdoin by a margin of 38 to 61.

Bates' top seven all finished among the top 15 runners out of 154 overall. Junior Gabby Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine) led the way with a blazing second-place performance, finishing the 5-kilometer course at Narragansett School in 18:19, just three seconds behind repeat winner Molly Carl of Southern Maine, and three seconds ahead of last year's runner-up, Colby senior Berol Dewdney.

First-year Hannah Zeltner (Bedford, N.H.) finished sixth in 18:27, joining Naranja as an All-State honoree, which goes to the top seven individuals. Senior captain Alicia Fannon (Haverhill, Mass.) finished ninth in 18:36, starting a run of four straight Bobcats, as junior Mira Carey-Hatch (Laconia, N.H.) was 10th (18:49), junior captain Amanda Solch (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) was 11th (18:49) and senior captain Lindsay Cullen (Newburyport, Mass.) was 12th (18:53). Sophomore Elena Jay (West Hartford, Conn.) placed 15th in 19:02.

The Bobcats are ranked sixth in New England this week, while Bowdoin is rated eighth and Colby 10th.

Bates' win came after the Bates men's team also outran Bowdoin for the men's state title, the Bobcats' second in a row.

Bates' next meet is the NESCAC Championship, taking place Oct. 27 at Bowdoin.