Devin Dilts, Bates College
The Bates men's cross country and track and field teams meant so
much to Devin Dilts that he restructured his
college education so he could keep on running for the Bobcats.
What was originally going to be his final season of running cross country, in the fall of 2010, ended on a bit of a sour note for Dilts and his teammates, when they were eligible but passed over for selection to the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships that year. Only Dilts, a four-time All-Maine performer in cross country, made the cut to represent Bates as an individual at nationals.
But Dilts, who had transferred to Bates after his freshman year at Vanderbilt University, gave his teammates an enormous jolt of excitement when, at the season-ending team dinner, he quietly told them that he planned on continuing his studies the following fall, and thereby use his final year of NCAA eligibility to help the team reach its goal of competing at NCAAs as a team.
With a big assist from Dilts, the squad indeed enjoyed an outstanding 2011 cross country season, including a tie for second place at the NESCAC Championships, the bid to the NCAA Championships that the team had striven for, and finally a seventh-place showing at those championships, Bates' best showing at nationals since 1976.
All of Dilts' athletic achievements could potentially obscure his equal prowess in the classroom. A history and Spanish double major from Roscoe, Illinois, Devin was recognized with the Athletic department’s Milt L. Lindholm Scholar Athlete Award as the male student-athlete graduating with the highest cumulative grade point average. Dilts' final year at Bates culminated in a pair of thesis projects: in Spanish, his thesis was titled "La Virgen de Guadalupe y su posición como el símbolo mexicano," and his thesis in history is titled "The Power of the Individual Relative to the Athenian Assembly during the Peloponnesian War."