Five Bobcats headed to NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships






INDIANAPOLIS -- This indoor track and field season began under rare circumstances for the Bates men's and women's teams: no one on either roster had competed at an NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships before.

But both teams have taken care of that detail pretty well in the past couple of weeks. The fields were announced today for the 2011 NCAA Indoor Championships, and three members of the men's team will be joined by two members of the Bates women's team at the meet, taking place this Friday and Saturday at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

Bates is sending three throwers from the men's team: senior Chris Murtagh (Rowley, Mass.) in the 35-pound weight throw and two shot putters: sophomore David Pless (Atlanta, Ga.) and senior Ethan Waldman (Playa del Rey, Calif.).

Joining the Bates men at the meet are the women's team's two senior captains: Sara Ellen Godek (Gilford, N.H.) in the 20-pound weight throw and Dana Lindauer (Needham, Mass.) in the 400-meter dash.

Murtagh, whose past accolades include five NESCAC All-Conference awards and two conference titles in the javelin in outdoor track and field, as well as NESCAC Rookie of the Year honors in 2008, surpassed the automatic qualification standard for NCAAs in the weight on Saturday at the ECAC Division III Indoor Championships in New York City, winning the ECAC title with a career-best effort of 63 feet and 9 inches. Murtagh enters NCAAs as the third seed in the 14-man field.

Pless also passed the NCAA auto mark, and also broke the team record, in the shot put with his heave of 55-02.75, recorded on Feb. 18 at the New England Division III Championships. Pless broke the record set by Waldman just two weeks earlier at the Maine State Championships, at 54-08.25, surpassing a then seven-year-old team record in the event. Pless is seeded sixth in the 13-man field, while Waldman, the top non-auto qualifier in the field, is seeded 10th.

Like Murtagh, Godek made the NCAA cut at last week's ECAC Championships in the women's weight throw at the New York Armory, where she unleashed a career-best throw of 17.00 meters, or 55-09.25. She will be the 14th seed among 17 athletes in the event.

Lindauer is the 11th seed in the 16-woman field in the 400, based on her 57.01-second performance at Open New Englands at Boston University on Feb. 25. (Since her time was recorded on a banked track, it is converted to 57.41 seconds on the qualifiers' list, for comparison purposes.) Lindauer is Bates' fastest indoor 400 runner ever, after school-record holder Renata Cosby, who ran a 56.7-second race in 1980. Lindauer was voted to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District women's track & field/cross country team in 2010.

Men's Field:

Women's Field: