Prior to Valentine's Day, the Polar Bears were pumping hearts at the Boston University Valentine's Invitational.

With more than 100 colleges and universities competing, it is one of the biggest meets during the indoor track season and its spacious facilities and banked track make it the prime locale for many teams to run fast times to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

On the first day, the men's distance medley relay (DMR) set a new school record of 9:58.42, erasing the old record of 10:00.53 set in 2005.

Running in the faster of the two heats, Coby Horowitz '14 ran nicely in the pack and handed off to Matt Gamache '13 in 3:04. Gamache ran an impressive 49-second 400-meter and picked up a place. Colin Fong '12 ran a 1:55 800-meter leg and picked up yet another place.

Not to be outdone by his teammates, Matt Hillard '12 ran a blistering 4:10 mile leg to catch two more teams. Although the Polar Bears finished seventh in their heat, they were relegated to eighth when Allegheny College bumped them down by winning their heat in 9:54.42.

Coach Peter Slovenski was very pleased with the relay's performance and its poise in such a fast race, one where Amherst set a D-III record in the DMR with a 9:49.11 clocking.

"Our top athletes were ready to take advantage of the fast track and high level of competition," he said. "The distance medley runners were especially good at running with the Division I runners."

The DMR's performance on the first day definitely set a serious tone for the rest of the team, as the second day saw many spectacular performances, especially from Simon Ward '13. Ward had the highest finish by a Bowdoin athlete in the pole vault.

"Si had some nice jumps at the lower heights, but then he had great jumps when he got over his personal best," Slovenski said. "He is running so well on the runway and has improved his plant a lot. He almost cleared 14-5."

Ward cleared 13-6 and then 13-11 for personal bests, and a sixth place finish. Captains Zach Winters '11 and Stan Berkow '11 posted good performances as well.

Winters ran 23.53 in the 200-meter while Berkow ran 8:37.72 in the 3000-meter. Colin Ogilvie '12 broke nine minutes in the 3K, running 8:56.47. Marcus Schneider '13 posted a quick 4:28 finish in the mile while fellow sophomore teammate Sam Chick '13 ran 1:05.84 for 500-meters.

There were also multiple impressive first year performances. Sam Seekins '14 ran a 8:31.91 in the 3000-meter while James Boeding '14 ran 1:57.34 in the 800-meter.

Gregory Talpey '14 stormed to a 4:29.63 finish in the mile as well. Eliot Bass '14 leapt to new heights in the triple jump breaking 40 feet by nine and a half inches.

The Polar Bears return to action this coming weekend at the New England D-III Championships at Springfield College.