Team effort vaults men's XC from 8th seed to 4th place at NESCACs

Bates junior James Jones finished eighth to capture his second career All-NESCAC honor at the NESCAC Championships on Oct. 27, 2018 in Boston. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

BOSTON -- The Bates men's cross country team produced its finest effort of the season Saturday at the NESCAC Championships, defying their No. 8 seeding to finish fourth out of 11 teams.

"It was a great day for us, beating three nationally ranked teams and [finishing] not terriby behind three top 15 teams," said head coach Al Fereshetian. "Overall an excellent team performance."

Bates scored 111 points, trailing only Amherst (60), Williams (86) and Middlebury (88). Bates and Connecticut College (148) rounded out the top five, followed by Bowdoin (156), Tufts (159), Colby (185), Trinity (241), Wesleyan (276) and Hamilton (285).

Junior James Jones (Colorado Springs, Colo.) captured Second Team All-NESCAC honors with his eighth-place finish among 150 runners overall. Jones, the 2016 NESCAC Rookie of the Year (he finished fourth that year), covered the 8-kilometer course at Franklin Park in 25:56.6.

Senior Henry Colt (Whatley, Mass.) placed 17th (26:12.8), followed by junior Justin Levine (Boca Raton, Fla.) in 19th (26:13.6), senior Nico Johnson (Frederick, Md.) in 32nd (26:36.5), and senior Mark Fusco (Cheshire, Conn.) in 35th (26:41.2) as the Bobcats' fifth and final scorer. Sophomore Tucker Barber (wilton, Maine) placed 41st (26:47.3) and first-year Henry Raff (Hailey, Idaho) came in 43rd (26:51.2) as the team's displacers.

"James looked great and competed at the front of the field all day," said Fereshetian. "Henry Colt and Justin Levine did a great job of workin together the whole way. Nico Johnson moved up nicely and Mark Fusco ran the race of his life. He PR'd on the worst day of the year. The team is very excited heading into (NCAA) Regionals in two weeks."

The Division III New England Regional Championships take place at Bowdoin on Nov. 10, with the men's race beginning at 12:15pm.