ST. PAUL, Minn. -- In a 29-team field that included six nationally ranked teams and 12 regionally ranked squads, the Bates women's cross country team made a big, loud statement on Saturday, taking second place in the 50th running of the venerable Roy Griak Invitational, hosted by the University of Minnesota at Les Bolstad Golf Course.
The Bobcats, who entered the meet ranked 24th nationally, scored 103 points, trailing only No. 2 Wartburg (63 points) for first place. Bates outraced No. 12 Carleton (3rd place, 118 points), No. 14 Wisconsin-La Crosse (4th place, 132), St. Scholastica (T-5th place, 158), No. 16 St. Olaf (T-5th place, 158), No. 20 Wisconsin-Stevens Point (7th place, 177), with UW-Eau Claire (272), UW-River Falls (324) and Macalester (324) rounding out the top 10 teams.
Sophomore Hannah Zeltner, the NESCAC Women's Cross Country Performer of the Week this week, again led Bates, covering the 6-kilometer course in 23.17.2 for ninth place among 412 racers.
Senior Kallie Nixon (Medfield, Mass.) bolstered Bates' cause with another outstanding race at 15th overall in 23:39.2, followed by senior Gabrielle Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine) in 22nd at 24:00.8, junior Elena Jay (West Hartford, Conn.) in 23rd at 24:01.3 and sophomore Isabelle Unger (Charlotte, Vt.) in 34th at 24:19.5 to complete the team's scoring.
Out of the scoring, but in outstanding position as displacers, were junior Sarah Fusco (Cheshire, Conn.), who was 37th in 24:21.4, and senior Mira Carey-Hatch (Laconia, N.H.), who was 39th in 24:22.9.
Bates also had a contingent competing at the Bowdoin Invitational on Saturday, where the Bobcats placed third out of eight teams. Senior Devin Tatro (Haverhill, Mass.) took 20th place among 124 runners, completing Bowdoin's 6K course in 24:26.27. Sophomore Julia Fisher (Philadelphia, Pa.) was 26th in 24:45.58, followed by senior Merrill Brady (Concord, Mass.) in 37th at 25:09.05, first-year Jessica Wilson (Cumberland, Maine) in 38th at 25:17.93 and first-year Molly Chisholm (Wayland, Mass.) in 40th at 25:21.29.
Bates next competes at the all-divisions Open New Englands at Franklin Park in Boston on Oct. 12, starting at noon.