Bobcat Beat: New Gloucester's Woods 25th at Nordic nationals

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New Gloucester’s Kaelyn Woods, a sophomore at Bates College, finished 25th out of 40 skiers in the women’s classical technique race at the NCAA National Collegiate Ski Championships on Thursday in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Woods completed the 5-kilometer course in 16 minutes, 45.9 seconds. Her showing is Bates’ highest at the national championships in three years — Hallie Grossman placed 24th in 2015.

Woods will also compete Saturday in the 15K freestyle race.

Bates alpine skier Griffin Mueller, also a sophomore, will compete in the women’s slalom Friday morning. Mueller placed 30th Wednesday in the giant slalom. Slalom is Mueller’s better discipline.

Through one Nordic and one Alpine race, Bates is in 19th place out of 23 schools at the NCAA championships.

Pelletier dealing

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The Bates softball team is off to its best start since 1995, and it all started with Messalonskee High School graduate Kirsten Pelletier tossing a no-hitter in the Bobcats’ season-opening 6-0 win over North Central University in Clermont, Florida, on Tuesday.

Halfway through its 12-game opening-week stretch in Florida, Bates is 5-1.

Pelletier, of Sydney, struck out a career-high 11 Rams in Tuesday’s no-hitter. Only two batters reached base.

Pelletier is the first Bobcat to throw a seven-inning no-hitter this century, and the first to throw a no-hitter since Caroline Gattuso’s five-inning gem against Fisher College in 2013.

Pelletier continued to dominate from the circle the next two days. She struck out eight and held Penn State Brandywine to two hits in a 1-0 complete-game shutout Wednesday. On Thursday, she threw a complete-game three-hitter in a 3-1 win over Bridgewater State.

After losing Tuesday’s nightcap, the Bobcats won their next four games Wednesday and Thursday. They play two games each day through Sunday.

All-state Bobcats

Two Bates women’s basketball players were honored by the Maine Women’s Basketball Coaches Association in its year-end awards Thursday.

Freeport’s Nina Davenport, a senior, was named to the All-State second team, and freshman Julia Middlebrook in on the All-Rookie team.

Davenport led the NESCAC in scoring at 16.3 points per game, and was first on the Bobcats in rebounding (6.5 per game, eighth in NESCAC) and steals (2.1, fifth in NESCAC).

This is Davenport’s third MWBCA honor, having earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2015 and first-team All-State in 2016.

She finishes her career with 1,273 points (fifth in school history) and 882 rebounds (25th in school history). She led the Bobcats in scoring average in each of her four seasons.

Middlebrook scored 7.6 points per game (9.5 in NESCAC play) while also grabbing 3.0 rebounds, dishing 2.4 assists and making 1.8 steals during her freshman season. In 10 conference games, she shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range.

Bowdoin’s Kate Kerrigan was named the MWBCA Player of the Year. Kristen Curley, of the University of Southern Maine, was named Rookie of the Year, and St. Joseph’s College’s Mike McDevitt is the Coach of the Year.

Track championships

Bates is sending five athletes to the NCAA Division III indoor track and field championships this weekend.

Katherine Cook, Salley Ceesay and Ayden Eickhoff will represent the women’s team, while Adedire Fakorede and Jack Kiely will compete for the men.

Cook is the top seed in the 5,000-meter run thanks to her 16:39.07 time at Boston University’s Terrier Classic on Jan. 26. She is the eighth seed in the 3,000.

Ceesay is seeded second in the triple jump, and Eickhoff is ninth in the 800.

Fakorede, making his fifth appearance at the national meet, is sixth in the 35-pound weight throw, and Kiely is eighth in the mile run.

The indoor track championships are Friday and Saturday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Swimming nationals

The Bates swimming and diving team is sending six women and a program-best five men to the NCAA Division III championships March 21-24 in Indianapolis.

Representing the women’s team are seniors Hope Logan and Logan McGill, junior Lucy Faust, sophomores Janika Ho and Monica Sears and freshman Caroline Apathy.

For the men, it’s seniors Jonathan DePew, Riley Ewing and Teddy Pender; junior Alex Bedard and sophomore Tanner Fuller.

McGill and Ewing are making their fourth appearances at the NCAA championships.

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