GORHAM, Maine -- The No. 19 nationally ranked Bates women's cross country team looked strong in its first big meet of the 2013 season on Saturday, placing solidly in third among 19 teams at the USM Invitational.
Bates scored 86 points, trailing only No. 3 MIT (52) and No. 29 Tufts (54) and well ahead of such New England rivals as Colby (137), Connecticut College (165), Wellesley (175), Southern Maine (212) and Bowdoin (214).
Bates sophomore Hannah Zeltner (Bedford, N.H.) took third place, pacing three Bobcats among the top 20 and its first seven within the top 32 competitors among 243 overall. Zeltner finished the 5-kilometer course at Narragansett School in 18:19.81, just nine seconds behind individual leader Hannah Zydanowicz of Roger Williams.
Senior Kallie Nixon (Medfield, Mass.) checked in at an impressive 14th place in 18:39.85, followed by senior Mira Carey-Hatch (Laconia, N.H.) in 19th at 18:43.52. Senior Gabrielle Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine) took 22nd place, and junior Elena Jay (West Hartford, Conn.) rounded out Bates' scoring in 28th place at 18:54.99. Bates also had two high displacers in sophomore Isabelle Unger (Charlotte, Vt.), in 30th at 18:59.54, and junior Sarah Fusco (Cheshire, Conn.), in 32nd at 19:01.82.
The Bobcats travel to St. Paul, Minn., next Saturday for the 50th running of the venerated Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota. Some team members will participate in the Bowdoin Invitational the same day.