In an interview almost two-and-a-half months ago with the Orient, senior Kyle Hebert of the Bowdoin men's track team said that his main goal for this year's season was to qualify for nationals. Flash forward to the present, and he has accomplished just that—at least provisionally.

In last week's New England D-III Championships, Hebert was one of two Polar Bears to take the crown in the 400-meter dash, posting an impressive time of 48:37.

"Kyle had a breakthrough last weekend," said Head Coach Peter Slovenski about Hebert's first place finish. "Most runners need to pace themselves, but in the long sprints you have to learn to generate speed even when you're exhausted. Kyle was mentally strong enough to do just that."

With this performance, Hebert has now qualified provisionally for Nationals and is one of the few stellar members of the men's and women's track team that are still competing this spring.

"It feels really great to be finishing up the season like this, I just hope that I can keep it going," said Herbert after the meet.

Kyle also had success in the 200-meter dash in last weeks meet, finishing fourth with a personal best time of 22.10.

He is certainly peaking at the right time of the season and has been an invaluable asset to the team in the past few weeks.

Two weeks ago in the NESCAC championships, Hebert totaled a third of the entire team's points with a first place finish in the 200-meter, third place in the 400-meter, and a third place in the distance medley relay.

Hebert also secured a fifth place finish for the team with a valiant effort in the 4x400 relay.

The anchor in the race, Hebert received the baton for the final leg with his team currently sitting in third place.

With a strong push in the last 20 meters of the race, Kyle was able to overtake an Amherst runner at the wire, giving Bowdoin a second place finish and, more importantly, an additional eight points that would push them up to fifth place overall.

"Its great to see him doing so well," said senior captain Colin Hay. "He's definitely a guy people look up to on the team."

Even though Hebert has really come into his own only recently, with two strong performances in the past two meets, he has been a strong competitor for the team all season.

As Slovenski recounted fondly, "One of the most impressive races Kyle had all year was in Miami. He was on the track with guys from the University of Texas, Virginia Tech, and the University of Miami. Kyle followed the pace and ran with several of the top runners to finish fourth."

It bodes well for Kyle that he has had success against such tough competition.

In the weeks ahead, only the best runners remain. And with the fast times that are expected in the coming meets, Hebert will look to beat the school record in the 400-meter.

His winning time last weekend left him a mere hundredth of a second off the mark.

But in a perfect world for Kyle, what he really wants is to, "get the school record, qualify for nationals, and still be able to make it to my sister's college graduation on Saturday."

Kyle will take to the track this Saturday in Open New Englands, 10 a.m. at Northeastern University.

Runners up: Brendan Garner '11 (baseball), Thompson Ogilvie '10 (track).