A track and field meet is quite a hectic scene for any newcomer to the sport like me. Athletes of all different sizes and skill sets are constantly competing in a myriad of events. Long and skinny runners run the 5k, broad shouldered men and women compete in the hammer throw, and explosive sprinters run the 60 meter dash, just to name a few. This spectacle is certainly overwhelming at first, but quickly becomes an incredible display of camaraderie, competition, and breathtaking athleticism.
Head coach of the men’s track and field team Al Fereshetian echoed this sentiment. “It’s basically a three ring circus out there.,” the 22 year Bates veteran said in a phone call on Monday morning. “Track is unique, because there is so much diversity and variety in the sport. You have everything from the long distance runners to the throwers and vaulters. I enjoy every element of it, the hard part is trying to be present at all events!”
This past week’s spectacle took place here on campus in the Merrill Gymnasium, as the Bates men’s and women’s track and field teams competed in the Bates Invitational over the weekend. The meet included Division III teams, Keene State, St. Joseph’s, UMF, and Southern Maine, as well as two Division I teams, University of Maine and Bryant University. All athletes competed against each other, but scoring was broken up according to division.
In both men’s and women’s competition, Bates easily won the team scoring for Division III. The women’s team scored 252 points, effectively distancing themselves from runner up Husson, who tallied 119. On the men’s side, the Bobcats scored 264 points, while Keene State came in second place with just 74 points.
A testament to the talent of Bates’ athletes and the NESCAC as a whole, many Bobcats finished near the top of their respective events even while facing Division I foes.
Allison Hill ‘17 was a particularly impressive performer. She left the competition in her dust in the 60 meter hurdles with a season best time of 8.90 and a first place finish. It wasn’t even close. She also ran a career best time of 8.08 seconds in the 60 meter dash, which is third all time in Bates history, according to the Sports and Information Office.
Sally Ceesay ‘18 placed first in the triple jump, and was 0.01 seconds behind Allison Hill in the 60 meter dash, which puts her 4th all time in the event in Bates history, marking Saturday as an historic meet for Bates’ female sprinters.
In addition, Jessica Wilson ‘17 won the 1,000 meter run, Olivia LaMarche ‘20 won the 5,000 meter run, Claire Markonic ‘17 won the 400-meter dash, and Katie Barker ‘19 won the mile.
For the men, Adedire “Dire” Fakorede ‘18 dominated the weight throw, beating out the runner-up by six feet. Although this was one of the best throws in the country so far this season, Coach Fereshetian believes Dire is just getting started. “He’s still got a lot more in him as he works out his timing. This was a great way to start, but his ultimate goal is to be the best in the country,” the Bates coach said proudly.
Fereshetian was also very happy with the milers. Joe Doyle ‘17 won the event with a time of 4:24.84. Meanwhile, Olin Carty ‘17 battled from fourth place to second in the last lap and finished in 4:25.31.
In other events, Michael Somma ‘19 won the 400-meter dash, and Frank Fusco ‘19 won the 600 meter run.
This was the lone home meet of the season for the Bobcats as they hit the road for the remainder of the season. Next week, the team will be split between a meet at Boston University and a meet at USM in Gorham, Maine.