Thursday’s college recaps: Naomi Bates wrangles another national title for Amherst College

Last modified: Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Amherst College’s Naomi Bates is going out as a national champion.

The Jeffs senior won the long jump at the NCAA Division III national championships at Ohio Wesleyan University. Bates won the event comfortably as her leap of 6.02 meters was over 8 inches better than Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Lexis Sonderoth’s second place jump of 5.81.

Bates surpassed her own personal best, program record and top D-III distance mark of 5.99, set at the New England championship earlier this month.

Bates’ title is the second title for Amherst in as many days as the men’s tennis team beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for the D-III title on Wednesday.

She is also the top seed in the 200 meter dash, finishing in 24.29 seconds in Thursday’s preliminary to qualify for Saturday’s final.

Bates teamed up with Katen Blake, Kiana Herold and Taylor Summers in the preliminary of the 4x100, where they finished 10th in 47.71, missing the cut (top eight finishers) by 3/10 a second.

Bates and Blake are also set to run in the 100. Prelims are Friday and, if either qualifies, the final will be Saturday.

The men’s team is represented by Matt Melton, the lone qualifier, who will compete in Friday’s the 400 prelim looking to qualify for Saturday’s final.

Former UMass standout tabbed by Western New England

Judy Strong, a two-time Olympian and former UMass field hockey standout, was been named head coach at Western New England on Wednesday.

Strong spent the last seven years as an NCAA women’s lacrosse and field hockey official, but the appointment will not be her first at the reins of an athletic program. She is the all-time winningest coach in both sports at Smith College, where she amassed 171 field hockey and 98 lacrosse victories during her tenure from 1987 to 2006.

As a collegiate athlete, Strong led UMass to the 1981 NCAA national championship game, where the Minutewomen fell to UConn, 4-1. She scored 27 goals and accumulating 58 points as a senior. She is UMass’ all-time leading scorer with 202 points.

On the international level, Strong was a member of the U.S. National field hockey team from 1978-84, which spanned two Olympics and the field hockey World Cup in 1983.


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