At last weekend's NESCAC Championship, junior Olivia MacKenzie's ninth-place finish helped the women's cross country team take sixth overall. She finished the 6K race in 23:07, only a minute behind winner Chiara Del Piccolo of Williams, and was named to the All-NESCAC Second Team.

Captain Anna Ackerman '12 and Madelena Rizzo '14 finished 18th and 24th, respectively, while Chantal Croteau '12 and Camille Wasinger '15 finished 52nd and 73rd to bring the team to 148 total points. Bowdoin finished 14 points behind fifth-place Colby, recently ranked the No. 21 team in the nation.

MacKenzie was seeded 20th heading into the race, but ran strongly from the gun and found herself among the top 12 runners during the first mile. Her gamble paid off, as she moved into the top 10 within the last half-mile.

Head Coach Peter Slovenski said he thinks that her performance on Saturday has made her a competitive runner on the national level.

"Olivia was looking forward to breaking into the all-star level of college runners," he said. "This was a great race to go for it because it's a fast race with a lot of talented runners to help you along. She was very good about going with the race and working with other runners."

Ackerman was thrilled with the Polar Bears' close finish.

"We were 14 points behind Colby on Saturday, which is very close considering where we started at the beginning of the season," she said. "We are focused on D-IIIs right now, and Colby is on our radar."

The team's attention now shifts to the upcoming NCAA regional race, held at home next Saturday.

"If we can push past [Colby] with a stronger pack, NCAAs could be an option," said Ackerman. "But our main goal is to succeed at D-IIIs and think about the option of nationals when we've all crossed the finish line."

-Compiled by Andrés Botero.