Against the best small school athletic programs in New England, the women's indoor track team finished fifth at the Division III New England Championships. The Polar Bears were led by several strong individual performances, including three school records and three provisional qualifiers for the NCAA Division III National Championships.

Leading off for the women's team was Annie Huyler '12 in the indoor pentathlons, a combined event that includes the 55-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and the 800-meter run. Her third-place performance provisionally qualifies her for the NCAA Division III National Championships.

"Annie's amazing performance in the pentathlon sparked the women's team," said sophomore Laura Peterson. "The team collectively was inspired to reach individual goals."

Peterson was certainly among those inspired, as she had one of her strongest performances of her career.

Her long jump of 18 feet, 3 inches provisionally qualified her for Nationals and set a new school record.

In addition, Peterson's triple jump of 37 feet, 7.25 inches also provisionally qualified her for Nationals.

Head Coach Peter Slovenski noted Peterson's ability to perform under pressure.

"Laura's a fantastic clutch performer," said Slovenski. "She was behind going into the final jump, and showed a lot of poise to hit a school record and first-place jump on her last attempt."

The Polar Bears had another strong individual performance in the 55-meter hurdles, where Michele Kaufman '13 broke a 14-year-old school record with a time of 8.44 seconds.

The race provisionally qualified her for Nationals.

In the 55-meter dash, Emily Barr '12 tied the school record with a time of 7.35 seconds.

All put together, the strong individual performances of the Bowdoin women were enough to put the Polar Bears into fifth in New England.

Slovenski applauded the team's overall performance.

"It's a very competitive meet that 30 teams are peaking for," he said. "So it was great to see how Bowdoin athletes stepped up and competed for a top five team finish."

Captain Sarah Lord '10 said that the top-five finish was "a huge accomplishment that came about from months of training, a competitive spirit, and taking advantage of the opportunity the day presented."

Lord believes that last weekends performance will provide "great momentum for Open New England and ECAC as well as the upcoming spring season."

Several Bowdoin athletes will compete Saturday at the Open New England Championships at Boston University, where they will face Division I competition.

As for now, the Bowdoin women are proud of their accomplishments.

"We worked hard for every point," said Peterson. "It was incredible to be among the top five teams in New England."