Keeping up with Lindsay Hodge is no easy feat. The senior cross-country standout was ranked eighth on the team last season and has already moved her way up to first after only a few races.

Head Coach Peter Slovenski believes Hodge's personal improvements are making a notable difference for the team's results this year.

Slovenski said Lindsay has "transformed herself from someone who was on the edge of the varsity lineup into a runner who is making all-star teams."

What makes this leap especially impressive is that Hodge has been running cross-country for eight seasons now and still finds room to improve.

She played a variety of sports growing up, but did not start running until her freshman year of high school. At the time, Hodge was only looking to try something new, but she now says that "since my first cross-country season, running has become an essential part of my life."

It was actually cross-country that led Hodge to Bowdoin all the way from London, United Kingdom. Originally from Chicago, Hodge's family relocated to London in 2000 and it was there that she first learned about the College.

"I heard about Bowdoin when Professor Franco did a semester in London because his children went to my school," Hodge recalled.

After researching Bowdoin and going through the recruiting process, she decided that life as a Polar Bear would suit her and she has not been disappointed.

"At Bowdoin I learned the importance of discipline and work ethic," Hodge said, which was a welcome change from the enriching but rather undisciplined program at her high school.

She added, "I have learned how dedication to training and continually setting goals for myself has allowed me to continually improve."

Co-captains Holly Jacobson and Christina Argueta, both juniors, noted that Hodge's dedication and commitment to training this past summer have yielded incredible results this season.

At the state meet October 17, Hodge finished first out of a pack of four Bowdoin runners who all came within nine seconds of each other and placed fourth overall for women. Hodge's presence, as well as her speed, were important in such a strong finish for the Bears.

While each of the runners contribute in different ways, Slovenski said, "Lindsay has become a master of pacing, surging, running uphill and kicking to the finish."

With her fourth-place finish, Hodge made the All-Maine team, but her successes didn't end on the course. Hodge also got her license this week after driving lessons with Slovenski.

Slovenski knew she was ready the night she drove by four law enforcement agents and none of them pulled her over; a highlight which he said would not have happened on her first lesson.

A lowlight of the experience? When Hodge backed Slovenski's car over a curb.

Though an exciting milestone, it really begs the question: with speed like that, does she really need a car?