The men’s track and field team competed at the NESCAC Championships last Saturday, April 28 at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. The Bobcats placed fifth out of 11 teams, with the field athletes earning all but a few of Bates’ total points.
Bates earned 78 points total, losing only to Middlebury (172), Williams (140), Tufts (137) and Bowdoin (110). Out of the 78 total points scored by Bates, 72 were scored in field events. In total, Bates left the meet with eight All-NESCAC honors, earned by placing in the top three of each event, and two NESCAC champions.
Adedire Fakorede ‘18 earned 24 points for the team with three top-three finishes in the throws. Fakorede won the discus throw for the second year in a row with a throw of 160-7 (ft), placed second in the hammer throw with a mark of 173-4 and third in the shot put with a throw of 49-3.75.
In one of the most remarkable outcomes from this meet, Bates took first and second in the pole vault with not one, but two Bobcats vaulting the winning mark of 15’5”. Garrett Anderson ‘18 earned the conference title and David Dick ‘18 took second place, earning a solid 18 points for Bates.
“My mind is just blown,” Anderson says. “It was the first outdoor meet where the weather was good for us this year, which can be really important in the vault, but I didn’t expect to jump quite so well. For me to meet my PR from last year and David to come out and have a ridiculous one foot PR jump to tie me was just not something that I could believe would happen. All of the Bates vaulters had a really great day, and I think we capitalized on that energy well.”
Head Coach Al Fereshetian “Fresh” agreed: “The vaulters were amazing. I knew they could do well, but I never imagined a 1-2 sweep at 15’5”. David and Rett have established themselves as the best vault duo in Bates history.”
In the high jump, Beaufils Kimpolo-Pene ‘20 placed second with a season-best mark of 6’6”, only two inches lower than first and four inches higher than third.
Two first-years from Bates, John Rex ‘21 and Zack Smith ‘21 earned All-NESCAC honors in the hammer throw and javelin throw respectively. Rex threw a personal record of 171-7, earning him third place in the event. Smith similarly hit a personal record in the javelin with a mark of 168-1, also earning him third place.
Other scorers in the field include Tom Endean ‘18 who placed fourth in the discus throw (140-2), Tyler Harrington ‘19 placing fifth in the javelin (167-7) and Caleb Stotz ‘18 placing eighth in the triple jump (42-2.25).
“I do think that having the head coach directly involved in the throws and vault specifically is a big factor [in the success of Bates’s field events], and it shows,” Anderson says. That being said, we have a really great coaching staff on all sides.”
On the track, Bates’s 4x800m team comprised of Ian Wax ‘19, Jonathan Sheehan ‘19, Ryan Nealis ‘21 and Jack Kiely ‘18, placed sixth with a time of 8:04.86. The 4x400m team, run by Ryan Corley ‘19, Michael Somma ‘19, Mark Fusco ‘19 and Rob Flynn ‘18, earned seventh place with a time of 3:25.46, and the 4x100m team of Michael Bennett ‘18, Corley, Kimpolo-Pene and Frank Fusco ‘19, placed eighth in 43.94. Each of these relay teams received points which contributed to Bates’ total score.
However, even with Bates’ solid fifth place at NESCACs, Coach Fresh says that Bates was holding back.
“I think it was a great meet for our entire team and it should set us up very nicely to be even more competitive as a team this weekend at the New England Championships,” Coach Fresh says. “We had a great meet two weeks ago at States, but it’s hard to put strong efforts together three weeks in a row so we rested some guys and let others run in other races for developmental reasons this past weekend knowing that we had a sizable point base to start with, but not likely enough to contend for the title.”
For many athletes, the NESCAC Championship will be the end of their outdoor track and field season. However, others will continue on to compete this week, May 3-5, at the New England Division III Championships hosted by MIT in Cambridge, Mass.