Even though the University of Southern Maine's men's cross-country team was ranked No. 1 in New England and the overwhelming favorite to claim the Maine state meet this year, Bowdoin was still determined to make things difficult for USM and the rest of the field. The Polar Bears did just that and more last Saturday at Colby.

Bowdoin pulled off the upset and won the state title for the fifth-straight year and the eighth time in the past 10 years with a close victory over USM.

By finishing in five of the first 10 places, the Polar Bears finished with a score of 29, narrowly beating USM, who finished with 34.

"We were really happy to keep the streak alive," said senior co-captain Thompson Ogilvie. "We knew we were up against a fierce competitor in USM, based on how strong they were, but we did not let stats pull us down. We figured that upsets can happen and if we run our best we can pick them off."

"This was a great upset," Head Coach Peter Slovenski said. "Southern Maine beat us easily in Boston the week before, so this was a great comeback by our team."

Colman Hatton '10 led the charge by becoming the first Bowdoin runner to win the individual state title since 2001 by running a time of 26:29.90 over the five-mile course. Ogilivie placed a close second with a finish of 26:35.30, while Stan Berkow '11, Charlie Berdahl '11 and Colin Ogilvie '12 finished seventh, ninth, and tenth, respectively, capping the Polar Bears' spectacular performance.

"It's a really great feeling to win the state title again," said Hatton. "This year was definitely our toughest challenge at the state meet, but it was great to go out on top. It was also a great team effort since everyone did what they had to do in order to run fast."

"We're running very well throughout the lineup," said Slovenski. "Berdahl and Matt Hillard '12 have improved tremendously from last year. They have given us the speed and depth we need to be contenders in championship races."

Perhaps more importantly, according to Ogilvie, another state title is not only a "big confidence booster," but it also shows that Bowdoin is "one of the strongest teams in New England right now."

In two weeks, the Polar Bears will get the chance to run against all of New England when they compete at the NESCAC Championships at Trinity on November 1.

Though they successfully defended yet another state title, Bowdoin still believes there is still some work that can be done.

"Our plan for the next two weeks is to do a lot more speed work," said Hatton. "We've done the hill work and the strength work and now it's all about running fast so we can stay with the best teams."