The Polar Bears rounded out their season with a strong performance in at the University of Southern Maine in the New England Division III Championships last Saturday. Strategy helped push the women through the rainy weather and secure a solid finish on the Twin Brook Recreation Center course.

The Bears were paced by Lindsay Hodge '10 who grabbed 42nd overall with a 23:04, followed by Christina Argueta '11 in 54th with 23:16 and Anna Ackerman '12 in 56th with a 23:20. Shortly behind were the scorers Olivia MacKenzie '13 in 58th with a 23:20 and Yasmine White '11 in 68th with a 23:51.

Within the first mile Bowdoin held great position in tenth place, and forced its way into ninth shortly after. The final mile brought a furious charge by the Bowdoin runners securing the ninth place finish.

"The race was tough because it was our peaking-point of the season. Every workout we had was geared to get the team in top shape for regionals. There was a lot of personal and mental pressure," said Ackerman.

The 3.7-mile course tested the runners' legs with a variety of hills and tough stretches. The team responded with its strongest strategic performance of the season with the top five Bowdoin finishers completing the course within a minute of each other.

"Our team went out fast which takes a lot of courage in a strong race," said Head Coach Peter Slovenski. "Lindsay and Christina were especially tough in the opening mile and Anna ran especially well in the final mile."

Entering the race ranked ninth out of 47 teams, the Bears challenged the field with a 278, finishing just one point behind eighth place Keene State with a 277, and not far behind seventh place Colby. Pacing the field was MIT in first, Middlebury in second and Williams in third.

An outpouring of support, among a crowd of thousands, pushed the women to their quick finish. Bowdoin yielded the biggest cheering section at USM with a number of students, alumni and parents that turned out to push the Bowdoin runners.

The team finished a strong season with an exclamation point, pushing the field in Cumberland Saturday, as it had been known to do throughout the entirety of the season.

With consistent, unyielding, individual performances the Bears strong finish sets them up for another successful season next year. The Bears have high hopes to improve during the off-season and prepare to be even faster and stronger next season.