Bobcats of the week of Nov. 28, 2011
Tully Hannan ’14 (men’s cross country) and Nessrine Ariffin ’15 (women’s squash)
Bates sophomore Tully Hannan (West Hartford, Conn.) led the men’s cross country team to its best national finish in over 30 years on Nov. 19, earning individual All-America honors as the Bobcats took seventh place among 32 teams at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship.
Hannan ran perhaps his best race to date, taking 27th overall among 279 runners to earn All-America status as one of the top 35 finishers. He became Bates’ first men’s cross country All-American since Dan Johnson ’06 in 2005, and the 13th in the team’s history. Hannan finished the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s 8-kilometer course at Lake Breeze Golf Club in 24:39.12, only a fraction of a second behind 26th place Michael Schmidt of Middlebury, the NESCAC and New England Regional champion. His performance was a brilliant response to the tough go he had at NCAA Regionals a week beforehand at Bowdoin, when he was the Bobcats’ seventh finisher.
Above all, it was a brilliant team performance. Bates junior Andrew Wortham (Newton, Mass.) came in 49th in 24:57.16. Sophomore Mike Martin (Slatersville, R.I.) and senior Ben Chebot (Newton, Mass.) both had likely the best races of their careers, placing 67th and 81st, respectively, in 25:12.32 and 25:20.64. Senior Devin Dilts (Roscoe, Ill.) was fifth for the Bobcast, 87th overall in 25:24.64. Junior Ken Whitney (West Hartford, Conn.) was 94th in 25:27.84 and sophomore Noah Graboys (Glencoe, Ill.) was Bates’ seventh in 157th (25:59.89). It was the Bobcats’ top national finish since taking sixth place in 1977.
Which is the higher honor: Bobcat of the Week or National Player of the Week? Bates first-year student Nessrine Ariffin has yet to find out, since she now has one of each award following her debut week of action with the Bobcat women’s squash team. Ariffin was named Harrow Sports Women’s College Squash Player of the Week on Monday, for the week ending Nov. 20.
Assuming the No. 1 position in the 10th-ranked Bobcats’ lineup, Ariffin (Penang, Malaysia) went 4-0 as an individual while leading Bates to important victories over then-No. 10 Brown (7-2) and NESCAC rivals Wesleyan (7-2) and Connecticut College (9-0). She capped the week on Sunday, Nov. 20 with a stunning 3-2 win over Trinity College’s No. 1 player, Catalina Pelaez, a First Team All-American and the NESCAC Player of the Year in 2011. Down 0-2 to Pelaez, Ariffin battled back to capture the match in five games (8-11, 5-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7).
Bates (4-1) returns to action this Saturday, Dec. 3, with a 3pm match at Franklin & Marshall College.