McNeil places fifth in hammer throw at NCAAs
|Rich McNeil ’10 becomes the 12th NCAA All-American from Bates in the men’s hammer throw. (Photo by Joe Gromelski)|
OSHKOSH, Wis. — Bates College sophomore Rich McNeil (Lawrence, Mass.) finished fifth in the men’s hammer throw Friday at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while senior teammate Noah Gauthier (Amherst, N.H.) placed 14th in the final performance of his decorated career.
McNeil was the only underclassman to qualify for the finals, with a top preliminary round throw of 173-3, which ranked seventh. In the finals, after two competitors had passed him in earlier throws, McNeil’s penultimate throw traveled 180-9, moving him into fifth place, where he stayed.
McNeil earns the first All-America honors of his young career, becoming the 26th Bates man to win All-America honors in outdoor track and field, and the 12th to do so in the hammer throw.
Gauthier, seeded No. 2 in the event and yesterday named the New England Region Men’s Field Athlete of the Year for the second straight time, mustered a top throw of 163-9, about 30 feet short of his career best. Gauthier finishes his career as a three-time All-American and the 2008 NCAA indoor champion in the 35-pound weight throw.
With McNeil’s four points, Bates finished in a seven-way tie for 59th place among 81 scoring teams at the meet, along with Ramapo, Methodist, Lehman, Frostburg State and Earlham.