The men's and women's cross country teams performed well against stiff D-I competition at the Open New England Championship last weekend.

The men finished 18th out of 43 teams—fifth among the D-III teams present—while the women took 23rd in a 39-team field, eighth among D-III schools. The University of Connecticut won the men's race, while the women from Boston College took home the gold.

Nick Saba '14 took 66th place in the men's 8K race with a time of 26:05, Bowdoin's fastest, while captain Matt Hillard '12 (26:16), and sophomores James Boeding (26:42), Sam Seekins (26:56) and Coby Horowitz (27:12) also scored.

The women were led by junior Olivia MacKenzie's 19:03 finish, which placed her 62nd overall for the 5K course. Other women scoring for Bowdoin were Madelena Rizzo '14 (19:44), captain Anna Ackerman '12 (20:06), Chantal Croteau '12 (20:11), and Molly Porcher '13 (20:18).

A week earlier, both the men and women overcame nasty weather for successful showings at the Bowdoin Invitational. Despite the conditions, Coach Peter Slovenski said he considered it a good day to run.

"The course drains well, but the race splashed through three particularly swampy areas in the woods," he said. "It was a great day for cross-country with the rain, the puddles, and the mud, and while some of the runners were affected by the conditions, the tough runners love them."

Though the course was muddy, the men had a clean sweep of the top six spots to score a 15-point perfect finish, while the women took second behind MIT (69-67) after having two runners finish in the top five.

Hillard won the men's 8K race in 25:57, Nick Saba '14 finished less than a second behind, and Bowdoin's next four runners followed within 12 seconds. Boeding ran a 26:05, captain Colin Ogilvie '12 ran 26:08, and Horowitz and Seekins ran times of 26:09 and 26:09, respectively.

Ogilvie said he was impressed with the performance despite the torrential downpour. The Polar Bears faced strong teams from Fitchburg State and MIT, but Bowdoin controlled the race and dominated the front pack of runners.

"There were a couple of good guys from the other teams that gave a good race in the middle, but we made it out really well, as is reflective in our sweep of one through six," said Ogilvie. "It was a good confidence builder, and we're looking forward to great races in the future."

"The race went well," Hillard agreed. "We were able to pack up and work together as a team to sweep the meet, which is always an awesome feeling."

Slovenski was also pleased with Bowdoin's performance, praising the way the team approached the race with a group mentality.

"The men's team does better when they work together," he said. "The size of the race and the competition allowed us to bring that collective power into the last three miles of the race."

Slovenski was quick to single out Boeding for praise.

"James looked particularly fluid and fast," he said. "He is going to be an important runner for us in the championship races."

The first year class has also continued to improve and impress.

"There were great races by everybody, but I think that John Izzo and Kevin Hoose ran really well, placing ninth and 10th respectively," said Ogilvie.

In the women's 6K race, MacKenzie quickly established herself in the front pack, running hard and finishing third overall with a time of 22:57.

The other Bowdoin scorers were Rizzo in fifth place, Porcher in 15th, Natalie Smid '15 in 22nd, Melissa DellaTorre'14 in 24th, and Michelle Lawson '12 in 27th.

Slovenski said, "Olivia and Madelena have developed into terrific front-runners, but we need to improve our depth in the four-five-six range. We have a lot of good candidates for those positions, but we haven't put it all together yet."

Slovenski praised Lawson for having an impressive race, calling it the "race of the day—she is one of our best for intelligent racing and hard work in practice," he said.

Tomorrow's Maine State Championship should provide a win or two for Bowdoin. The men have won the meet for the past six years, while the women look to regain the title they last won in 2007 after finishing second for the past three years.