The men's cross-country team drove home from its last race in high spirits, and, to celebrate the events of the day, first years on the team sang solo performances over the bus microphone.

The most appropriate song choice was, by far, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," which captured not only the jovial mood of the runners but the challenges they faced during the event.

The race that had the runners singing with joy was the Wesleyan Invitational, which the Polar Bears won with a total of 24 points, edging out Wesleyan, who finished with 34 points, as well as four other schools.

Bowdoin had five men in the top nine finishers, with first year Coby Horowitz taking first place, and Stan Berkow '11 as runner-up only two seconds behind him. Matt Hillard '12 took fifth, and Colin Ogilvie '12 and Sam Seekins '14 took seventh and ninth, respectively.

The five-mile course posed a number of difficulties to the team, including a 40-meter hill that runners encountered twice during the race.

The humid, 80-degree weather was another challenge to the athletes, who nevertheless managed to have four first years in the College's top eight runners.

"That's the steepest hill I've ever seen on a college cross-country course," said coach Peter Slovenski. "Our guys did a great job of handling the hill and the heat in the final mile."

Sophomore Marcus Schneider agreed that the course was a challenge, adding that the runners' hard work and dedication helped them to come out ahead.

"The Wesleyan invitational was a tough course on a hot day," he said. "But I think our training prior to the meet was very helpful. The hill workouts and practice negative splitting correlated very well to a good performance on such a course."

The team's next race is the Open New England Championship on October 9.

The Polar Bears will be counting on both their impressive first years and the solid foundation that their more experienced runners provide.

"Matt Hillard ['12] and Colin Ogilvie ['12] had great races for us in the No. 3 and 4 positions," Slovenski said. "They have prepared well for the season, and they are smart runners. They give us a lot of depth and speed up front."

Schneider shared a similar vision of the team's strengths as it set their sights toward Boston.

"I think a big part of the team success now and in the future is the great team bonding and competition," he said. "Having so much depth really helps everyone work harder."