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No. 15 women's cross country wins 17-team Saratoga Invitational

Olivia LaMarche (left) and Katherine Cook (center) finished third and second, respectively, leading Bates women's cross country to first place out of 17 teams at the Saratoga Invitational on Sept. 30, 2017. (File photo by Theophil Syslo/Bates College)

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- The No. 15 nationally ranked Bates women's cross country team had its top four runners place among the top six finishers out of 221 overall, and the Bobcats cruised past No. 16 RPI and 15 other teams Saturday in the Saratoga Invitational.

Bates, ranked fourth in the New England Region, scored 36 points to easily outpace RPI (69), ranked second in the Atlantic Region. Two other top-10 Atlantic teams took third and fourth places in SUNY Plattsburgh (106) and Vassar (124), respectively; a third, Hamilton (156), placed sixth behind SUNY New Paltz (140).

Senior captain Katherine Cook (South Burlington, Vt.), sophomore Olivia LaMarche (Lynnfield, Mass.), junior Ayden Eickhoff (Corvallis, Mont.) and first-year Abby Hamilton (Yarmouth, Maine) finished second, third, fifth and sixth, respectively -- all of them ahead of runner-up RPI's leading runner, who was ninth.

Junior Sarah Rothmann (Andover, Mass.) rounded out Bates' scoring in 20th place, covering the 3-mile course at Saratoga Spa State Park in a time of 18:32.7. Senior captains Mary Szatkowski (Buxton, Maine) and Callie Reynolds (west Hartford, Conn.) were displacers for the Bobcats, finishing 39th (18:51.8) and 55th (19:08.7), respectively. Junior Hannah Austin (North Yarmouth, Maine) was next in 58th (19:10.9).

Cook finished the course in 17:25.7, second only behind Coast Guard's Kaitlyn Mooney (17:07.5). LaMarche was third at 17:45.4. Eickhoff was fifth in 17:54.2, just ahead of sixth-place Hamilton (17:55.8).

Bates will next race in the Maine State Championships, taking place at Bowdoin with a 3:30 start for the women's race.