Cook leads women's cross country to fourth place in NESCAC Championship

Katherine Cook placed fourth overall, leading Bates to fourth place at the NESCAC Championships, hosted by the Bobcats at Pineland Farms on Oct. 28, 2017. (Brewster Burns for Bates College)

NEW GLOUCESTER, Maine -- The No. 14 nationally ranked Bates women's cross country team had a big day as host of the NESCAC Championships Saturday at Pineland Farms, placing fourth out of 11 teams on the strength of three all-conference performances.

Senior Katherine Cook (South Burlington, Vt.) led the Bobcats with a fourth-place finish, covering the 6-kilometer course in 22:05.0.

Sophomore Olivia LaMarche (Lynnfield, Mass.) and junior Ayden Eickhoff (Corvallis, Mont.) placed eighth and 14th, respectively, with times of 22:25.4 and 22:49.8. LaMarche and Eickhoff will join Cook on the all-conference teams for placing among the top 14 individuals, the Bobcats' most All-NESCAC performances ever in one year.

Abby Hamilton (Yarmouth, Maine) placed 21st to lead all first-year runners in the race, with a time of 23:12.1. Junior Katie Barker (Burlington, Vt.) placed 45th (23:45.3) to round out Bates' scoring. The Bobcats' displacers were junior Sarah Rothmann (Andover, Mass.) in 53rd place (23:57.5) and senior captain Mary Szatkowski (Buxton, Maine) in 61st (24:08.2).

With 90 points, Bates notched a significantly better score at the meet than in its third-place finish at the 2016 championships (109). The Bobcats have placed among the top four teams four times in six years.

Bates trailed first-place Williams (62) by 28 points, second-place Middlebury (77) by 13 points and third-place Tufts (82) by eight. Amherst (133) rounded out the top five teams, 43 points behind the Bobcats. Williams won the team title for the third straight year and the 15th time overall since the meet became an official conference championship in 1983.

Bowdoin (188) took sixth place, followed in succession by Wesleyan (194) in seventh, Colby (196) in eighth, Hamilton (233) in ninth, Trinity (241) in 10th and Connecticut College (313) in 11th place.

Amherst's Nicky Roberts ran away with the individual title, and is the Mammoths' sixth different individual champion since 2007. She finished in 21:19.9, 34 seconds ahead of runner-up Victoria Kingham of Williams (21:53.9).

Bates next competes at the NCAA New England Regionals, taking place Nov. 11 at Gorham (Maine) Country Club and hosted by the University of Southern Maine.