OBERLIN, Ohio -- The Bates women's cross country team once again made excellent use of a major inter-regional meet on Saturday, outracing three nationally ranked teams and finishing second only to No. 10 Oberlin out of 32 teams at the Oberlin Inter-Regional Rumble.
The Bobcats, ranked No. 7 in New England but unranked nationally, outraced nine other regionally ranked teams in addition to the three nationally ranked opponents.
Led by senior captain Olivia LaMarche (Lynnfield, Mass.) in 10th place and first-year Jillian Richardson (Auburn, Maine) in 14th place, the balanced Bobcats finished with the second-smallest spread between its first and fifth runners, at 38.3 seconds.
Tenth-ranked host Oberlin led all teams with 104 points, but was only eight points ahead of the runner-up Bobcats (112). No. 21 John Carroll (142), Washington & Lee (145) and No. 19 Baldwin Wallace rounded out the top five teams, with No. 23 Case Western Reserve (229) taking seventh place behind sixth-place Otterbein (208).
LaMarche finished 10th out of 283 runners, completing the 6-kilometer course in 21:57.0. Richardson did not lead the Bobcats for the first time this season, but was a mere 5.1 seconds and four places behind LaMarche, in 14th (22:02.9).
Junior Abby Hamilton (Yarmouth, Maine) took 24th place (22:17.4), followed by sophomore Tara Ellard (Brewster, Mass.) in 28th (22:21.8) and junior Vanessa Paolella (Dingmans Ferry, Pa.) in 36th place (22:35.4) to round out the team scoring. First-years Jordan Wilson (Medfield, Mass.) and Lily Harding (Kenfield, Calif.) finished 51st (22:53.8) and 72nd (23:04.9) places, respectively, as Bates' displacers.
"We were more aggressive than we have been on the start, as we wanted to use this as a springboard for the championship season," said head coach Jay Hartshorn. "The women did a great job of moving up or maintaining throughout the race. We were hoping for a top-five finish, so to come all the way out here and beat a bunch of nationally ranked teams is great."
The Bobcats will next compete in the NESCAC Championships, hosted by Williams College Nov. 2 at Mt. Greylock High School in Williamstown, Mass., with race start at 1pm.