Nixon to represent women's cross country at NCAA Championships

Kallie Nixon '14 will run in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on Nov. 23, 2013. File photo by Mike Bradley/Bates College.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Bates women's cross country team will be represented by senior Kallie Nixon at Saturday's NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, but did not receive the second straight team bid it had hoped for.

A day after placing sixth among 53 teams at New England Regionals, Bates was the top New England team left out of the national championship meet. Bates also had the first individual runner left out of an individual bid to NCAAs, in junior Elena Jay (West Hartford, Conn.). Jay finished 28th overall and was the eighth-fastest among individuals not on teams who received NCAA team bids. Unfortunately, only the first seven are invited.

Nixon (Medfield, Mass.) finished 11th among 371 individuals, covering the 6-kilometer course at Narragansett School in Gorham, Maine, in 21:39.26, nipping Tufts senior Abby Barker by 0.12 seconds for Bates' best individual performance at the meet in the past decade.

The Bobcats, ranked No. 21 in the country, were missing their top runner this season, sophomore Hannah Zeltner (Bedford, N.H.), to injury, but ran well enough to qualify for an invitation. Jay (West Hartford, Conn.) earned All-New England honors for the second straight year, placing 28th in 22:07.18. Senior Mira Carey-Hatch (Laconia, N.H.) crossed the finish line 46th overall in 22:29.57. Senior Gabrielle Naranja (Fort Kent, Maine), an all-region performer last year, and sophomore Isabelle Unger (Charlotte, Vt.) rounded out Bates' scoring in 53rd and 59th, respectively, timing in at 22:37.18 and 22:47.10. Unger was the fifth-fastest No. 5 runner in the field.