Four Bobcats set for NCAA Track & Field Championships
OSHKOSH, Wis. — Four members of the Bates College track and field teams — two men and two women — have arrived at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, ready to compete for All-America honors and perhaps even an NCAA championship, at the 2008 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which run from Thursday through Saturday.
Senior Noah Gauthier (Amherst, N.H.) is the second seed in the men’s hammer throw, with a top mark of 191 feet and 3 inches this season. The 2007 NCAA indoor weight throw champion and a three-time All-American, Gauthier has the advantage of having been to the top. The only athlete ranked ahead of Gauthier this season is Defiance College senior Trevor Matuszak, whom Gauthier topped in the weight throw at indoor nationals.
Never to be overlooked, sophomore Rich McNeil (Lawrence, Mass.) is the No. 5 seed in the hammer, thanks to his 184-1 first-place throw at last weekend’s ECAC Championships. McNeil has already made the trip to outdoor nationals, having competed in the discus throw in 2007 (also at Oshkosh) and finishing 14th.
The trials and finals of the men’s hammer throw are scheduled to start Friday at 6 p.m. Central Time.
On the women’s side, Bates sophomore Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan (Topsham, Maine) earned the distinction of qualifying for two events. Duncan is the No. 4 seed in the 19-woman field in the shot put, with a top put this season of 46-07.25. She will also compete in the hammer throw, where her top throw of 165-7 is 14th best in the nation this season. The women ‘s hammer throw trials and finals are scheduled to begin Friday at 3 p.m. Central Time, and the women’s shot put is slated for Saturday at 12 p.m.
Meanwhile, junior captain Izzy Alexander (Harvard, Mass.) makes her fourth trip to an NCAA Championship. Alexander will compete in the 400-meter hurdles, and will be the sixth seed in the field, with a top time of 62.46 seconds. A two-time All-American, Alexander finished ninth in the 400 hurdles a year ago, missing out on All-America honors by one spot. The women’s 400-meter hurdles trial heats start Thursday at 5 p.m. Central Time, with the finals slated for Saturday at 3:15 p.m.