Out of 243 runners at the University of Southern Maine Invitational, only two women finished ahead of Bates College sophomore Hannah Zeltner.

Among NESCAC competitors scattered throughout the northeast that day, Zeltner stood alone. She has been named the league’s performer of the week.

Zeltner, of Bedford, N.H., led three Bates runners in the top 20 with a 5-kilometer time of 18:19.87 on the course at Narragansett School in Gorham. She was only nine second off the winner’s pace.

Seniors Kallie Nixon (14th, 18:39.85) and Mira Carey-Hatch (19th, 18:43.52) strengthened the Bobcats’ grip on third place behind MIT and Tufts at the meet, which included a total of 19 Division III teams. Nineteenth is also where Bates ranks nationally this week.

Another senior, Fort Kent’s Gabrielle Naranja, finished 22th in the race. Naranja was the last previous Bates runner to earn NESCAC’s top weekly prize in October 2012.

The Bates men were up to the challenege at Southern Maine, as well. The No. 7 Bobcats edged their rival, fifth-ranked Bowdoin, for team runner-up recognition at the meet behind MIT.

Senior co-captains Mike Martin and Tully Hannan finished second and eighth, respectively, to help Bates (85 points) beat Bowdoin (86). Martin’s time was 25:12.58 over the 5-mile distance.

Bates’ cross country team will split up to compete at two big meets this weekend. Selected runners will travel to the University of Minnesota for the 50th anniversary running of the Roy Griak Invitational, while others will make the short journey to Brunswick for the Bowdoin Invitational.

Linking up for rare honor

For the first time in five years, the Bates golf team had two competitors earn all-state plaudits in the state championship meet.

Senior Garrett Johnson and first-year player Brad Rutkin earned that status by finishing in the top 10 out of 55 players in the annual event, held the weekend of Sept. 14 at Bangor Municipal Golf Club.

Bates placed fifth overall.

Johnson carded four birdies over the two-day event, shooting rounds of 79 and 76 for a total of 155 and sole possession of ninth place. Rutkin registered matching 78s for 156 and a tie for 10th.

The Bobcats’ most recent all-state tandem was Mike Kelen and Lee Smith in 2008.

Late equalizer

Sophomore Lily Peterson scored late in regulation to lift the women’s soccer team into a 1-1 tie with Wesleyan.

Goaltender Anabel Schmelz, a senior, made two of her eight saves in the two overtime periods to preserve the verdict. Schmelz also turned away eight shots in a 2-0 loss to Bowdoin.

For the Bates men, sophomore keeper Joe Maffly-Kipp excelled in his first start of the season. Maffly-Kipp made seven stops in a 1-0 loss to Wesleyan. The Cardinals are undefeated in NESCAC.

The soccer teams will host a pair of weekend doubleheaders. Trinity visits Saturday, with games at 11 a.m for the women and 2 p.m. for the men. Start times against Amherst on Sunday are noon and 3 p.m.

‘Cat tracks

• The men’s tennis doubles tandem of Ben Bogard and Peter Yanofsky reached the ‘A’ flight semifinals at the Middlebury Invitational. Bates won a total of seven matches in the tournament. Next up is a return trip to Vermont for the ITA Regionals at Middlebury this weekend.

• Play opens at 4 p.m. Friday in the Bobcat Classic squash invitational, held at the Bates Squash Center on Alfred Plourde Parkway in Lewiston. There will be a qualifying match, followed by the quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Play continues Saturday with semifinals at noon and the championship round, a third-place match and the title tilt, beginning at 6 p.m.

• Bates volleyball slipped to the .500 mark on the season with losses to Amherst and Endicott at the Amherst Tri-Meet. Chandler McGrath had a season-high 20 kills for the Bobcats against Endicott. Tess Walther’s 44 assists against the Gulls also were her best total of the campaign and just one short of her career single-game best.

• Wednesday’s contest against No. 8 Bowdoin was the second straight home game for the Bates field hockey team against an opponent ranked in the top 10 nationally.

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