When the men's track team toes the line on Saturday, the state title will be at stake. The Bowdoin men have captured first or second place in this meet for the past 17 years, but it will not be an easy feat to keep that streak alive.

Even as the defending state champs, the team is seeded third after four weeks of the indoor track season because of the fierce competition from Bates, Colby and USM.

The men will need some great performances and personal records for a victory or even a second-place finish. And the team has been steadily improving throughout the season, coming off a strong meet last weekend.

Behind MIT and Springfield, Bowdoin finished third, ahead of Tufts and Colby. As always, the team rallied around key individual records, including ten personal records.

Kyle Hebert '10 created a buzz around the entire stadium with his 400-meter victory in 50.84 seconds. In the last straightaway he put on an extra surge, accelerating past the three runners ahead of him.

Colman Hatton '10 had a similar finish in the 3000-meter, where on the final curve, fueled by the cheering crowd, he came within 0.3 seconds of first place, finishing second in 8:39.85.

Sam Chick '13, Brett Stein '12, and Riker Wikoff '12 took third, fourth, fifth, respectively, in the 600-meter, all of whom also doubled and scored in triple jump, 4x800-meters, and the 55-meter hurdles, respectively. Another standout in the 600-meter was Ryan Larochelle '13, who again improved his best to a 1:26.59. According to Coach Peter Slovenski, Ryan "has made impressive improvement this season."

Finally, Tim Fuderich '10 quickly asserted himself as an impact athlete on the team in his first meet since recovering from a back injury with personal bests in the 55-meter dash and the long jump. He placed seventh and third, respectively.

"When Tim Fuderich has a great day, the whole team performs better," Slovenski said. "Tim was on fire last weekend."

This time, Tim fired up the team not just with the "Go U Bears" chant, but on the track and in the pit, as well.

The team hopes to carry on these good performances and add to them on Saturday, turning 10 personal records into 20.

"The power that is generated by individual excellence then starts to coalesce into high standards of competition and impressive results for the team effort," Slovenski said.

Behind those 20 personal records, or as he put it, "transcendent performances," the team could hold its state title for another year.

Whether it be freshmen or seniors, new leaders or old ones, people will have to step up, and the rest of the team will have to follow to secure a victory on Saturday.