Women's cross country wins second straight state title

Elena Jay placed fourth overall, with Kallie Nixon (left) fifth and Gabrielle Naranja (middle) sixth, to lead Bates to its second state championship in a row on Oct. 19, 2013. Photo by Tom Leonard '78.

WATERVILLE, Maine -- The No. 19 nationally ranked Bates women's cross country team won its second consecutive Maine State Championship meet on Saturday at Colby, handily outpacing the host and 30th-ranked Mules with 32 points to Colby's 52. Bowdoin placed third at 76. It is Bates' first time winning back-to-back state crowns.

Junior Elena Jay (West Hartford, Conn.) took fourth place among 121 runners overall, leading three All-State (top seven individuals) performers for the Bobcats. Jay covered the 5-kilometer course in 19:19.80.

Senior Kallie Nixon (Medfield, Mass.) and senior Gabrielle Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine) were right behind in fifth and sixth, respectively, at 19:31.60 and 19:38.30. It marks Bates' most all-state performers since 1983, when Nancy Bell, Ann Benoit, Kathy Kraemer and Karen Palermo achieved the honor.

Bates also had five of the top nine and seven of the top 12 runners. Senior Mira Carey-Hatch (Laconia, N.H.) finished eighth in 19:44.40, and junior Sarah Fusco (Cheshire, Conn.) came in ninth at 19:53.90. Senior Julia Hanlon (Cambridge, Mass.) was 11th at 20:02.20 and sophomore Addie Cullenberg (Farmington, Maine) was 12th in 20:03.10. Although sophomore standout Hannah Zeltner (Bedford, N.H.) was held out of the race, the deep Bobcats also nine in the top 20 runners, with sophomore Isabelle Unger (Charlotte, Vt.) placing 16th and first-year Jessica Wilson (Cumberland, Maine) 20th.

Next up for the Bobcats is the NESCAC Championship meet, taking place Nov. 2 at Harkness State Park in Waterford, Conn.