Bates sends three to the NCAA Track and Field Championships

Noah Gauthier '08

(photos by Tom Leonard '78)

Izzy Alexander '09

Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan '10

ADA, Ohio -- There were quite a few close calls on those who met provisional qualifications but just missed the final cut, but the Bates College track and field teams are still sending three strong candidates for national honors to the 2008 NCAA Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships, taking place March 14-15 at Ohio Northern University.

Two-time All-American Noah Gauthier (Amherst, N.H.) will vie for his first national title in the 35-pound weight throw. Gauthier, who finished eighth in the weight throw at last year's indoor NCAAs, joining his brother Dustin Gauthier '05 as Bates' first All-American brother combination, enters the competition as the fourth seed, with a top performance of 60'03.75", which he achieved at the State of Maine Championships on Feb. 9. Sophomore Rich McNeil (Lawrence, Mass.) was the first provisional qualifier on the list to miss the cut to compete. With a top throw of 56'10.00", he is just three-quarters of an inch behind the last man in, Wisconsin-Stout's Sean Larson.

On the women's side, sophomore Vantiel Elizabeth Duncan (Topsham, Maine) makes her first trip to nationals, where she will compete in the 20-pound weight throw as the second seed at 57'07.00", and in the shot put as well. The weight throw will be the first event of the meet on Friday, starting at 12:30 p.m. Remarkably, this is Duncan's first season throwing the weight, after sticking with the shot put last indoor season and only competing in outdoor track and field during high school.

Junior captain Izzy Alexander (Harvard, Mass.), meanwhile, takes her talents to NCAAs for the third time. Alexander is the 11th seed in the 800-meter run, with a top time of 2:15.19. Alexander competed in the distance medley relay for Bates at the 2007 indoor nationals, winning All-America honors along with Katie Bash '10, Jen Caban '07 and Kathryn Moore '07. Then at the 2007 outdoor nationals Alexander made the finals in the 400-meter hurdles and finished ninth.

Narrowly missing the final cut for the 2008 indoor NCAAs, after provisionally qualifying, were senior captain Cassandra Kirkland (Greene, Maine) in the weight throw; the 4x400 relay team of Alexander, first-year Dana Lindauer (Needham, Mass.), junior Jen Marino (Methuen, Mass.) and sophomore Molly Radis (Peaks Island, Maine), which at 3:58.79 was only 1.48 seconds behind the last relay team in, Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Closest of all, Marino set the Bates record in the triple jump at 36'09.75", only 1.25 inches behind the last woman in the triple jump at nationals, Messiah's Kristen Bates.

Go to for updated meet results.