After a strong showing at its Home Invitational last weekend, the men's track team is gearing up for a big meet this Saturday at Maine state meet.

The invitational was highly competitive; the Polar Bears faced Springfield College and Tufts University, who they ran against last year at the New England D-III championships.

Although Bowdoin came in behind both teams, they beat Colby College, the fourth competitor at the meet.

"Last weekend we had a lot of individual winners," said captain Tim Prior.

The men "showed a lot of strength in the middle distance races," added coach Peter Slovenski.

Coby Horowitz '14 won the mile, Colin Fong '12 won the 800-meter, Brett Stein '12 won the 600-meter and Matt Hillard '12 won the 1000-meter with a time one second off the school record, according to Slovenski.

The men also took first place in the 4x800-meter race. Throughout the relay, Springfield, Colby and Bowdoin vied for the lead, and in the last 50 meters, Hillard edged past the Springfield and Colby runners to cross the finish line first.

"The 4x800 relay was a great way to finish the meet," said Slovenski. "Our guys were all running second races. They showed a lot of intelligence and guts in the way they ran their legs."

Going into this important weekend, Prior was cautiously confident.

"We're not major underdogs, but we're slight underdogs," he said.

However, the men have run against many of the teams they will be facing on Saturday, and have a particularly fast group of first years on the team.

"Our depth in the running is pretty strong, said Prior. "But it's going to be key for especially the freshmen and seniors to step up."

The Maine State meet is the first of the championship meets and the runners will move on individually after this weekend. For most of the team, the season ends with the D-III finals.