Area roundup: Bates' Jillian Richardson heading to NCAA D3 indoor track nationals

Mar. 6—Bates senior and Auburn native Jillian Richardson will be representing the Bobcats at this weekend's NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Bobcats captain will be competing in the women's 3,000-meter run, scheduled for 5:50 p.m. eastern time on Saturday. Richardson qualified for nationals with her winning time of 9:44.68 in the event at the New England Division III Indoor Championships.

Richardson is seeded 12th out of 20 competitors who qualified for nationals. Her seed time is the third-fastest mark in Bates program history, behind All-Americans Jessica Wilson (9:43.31 in 2017) and Katherine Cook (9:44.32 in 2018).

A top-eight finish at nationals would earn All-American status for Richardson, who could become just the third Bates woman to be named All-American in both cross country and track and field. She is a two-time All-American in cross country — the only Bobcat in program history to accomplish that feat.

A day after winning its sixth-consecutive Yankee Conference tournament title, the Central Maine Community College women's basketball team on Monday was selected as the No. 1 overall seed in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Division II national tournament, which begins Monday, March 13 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

The Mustangs earned a bye through the opening round of the 10-team tournament, and will face the winner of No. 8 Penn State University-Beaver and No. 9 Christendom College in the second round on Tuesday, March 14 at 12 p.m.

Central Maine, which enters the national tournament with a 26-2 record after going 14-0 in YSCC play, is the defending national champion and in search of its fourth title overall.

The Central Maine Community College men's basketball team saw its season come to end Saturday in the YSCC tournament semifinals. The Mustangs were the No. 1 seed after finishing the regular season with a conference-best 11-3 record in league play.

Despite the early exit from the conference tournament, the Mustangs still had a resume worthy of USCAA Division II national tournament consideration, with a 17-6 overall record. However, Central Maine made the decision to end the season after the YSCC semifinal loss.

Athletic Director and men's basketball coach Dave Gonyea explained the decision on the CM Athletics Facebook page Monday.

"Each college has its own policy regarding traveling to championships. We think winning a regional championship is an indication our teams can compete at the national level. Anything short of that is questionable," the post stated. "At times, if one of our teams gets to the final game of the region and loses something really close, our school may make an exception. As a coach, this is tough. As the college athletics director who has to manage budgets, I fully appreciate this policy and support it 100%. Each trip can cost up to $25-30 thousand dollars of college funds. We want to make sure we can compete and represent our college with a team who is the complete package."