The men's track and field team put on a show at the New England D-III Championship at Springfield College, placing fifth out of 24 teams last weekend. The Polar Bears won four of the 19 events, the highest total of any school.

"In my four years, I don't think I have seen the team train and race with such dedication and seriousness," said Alex Williams '12, a member of the distance relay team that took first in a facility record time of 10:18.80.

"Our cross country team had a stellar season, and I think they brought that winning attitude onto the track this winter," he added. "I've been impressed by all the sprinters, jumpers, and throwers—the whole team has really come together."

Although Bowdoin finished fifth for the second consecutive year, its total of 71.5 points marked an improvement on last season's 50.

"Bowdoin was aiming for a top-three finish, but the team had a great day and had to settle for fifth," said Head Coach Peter Slovenski.

Leading the way was Coby Horowitz '14 in the mile (4:13.05), who set a new facility record in the process. Captain Matt Hillard '12 was part of the 4x800-meter relay team that won the event in another track record time of 7:50.59, and he also finished second in the 1000 meters with a time of 2:29.11.

However, both he and Williams showed some angst with the team's final place.

"We just missed beating Williams by three points," said Williams. "That was heartbreaking, but overall we did really well."

"We were slightly disappointed by finishing fifth, but a lot of runners had great performances and all three relays placed very high so there were some good things to come out of the meet," said Hillard. "I am satisfied with some aspects, but I thought we had the potential to place higher."

James Boeding '14, who also ran a leg on the 4x800 squad, expressed similar frustration.

"We defeated the New England D-III champion, Bates, in the Maine State meet a couple of weeks before, and I think we could have placed higher at the championships," he said.

The breakout performance of the meet belonged to high jumper Chris Genco '15. Seeded 10th going into the competition, Genco won the event with a 6-4 1/4 jump. After a jump-off with Andrew Johnson of Worcester State, Genco made a clutch jump to seal the deal.

"I was very excited about my win," said Genco. "I was a bit disappointed after coming in second at the state meet in a jump-off, so it was a good feeling to win this time."

Genco, along with a selection of the runners, will skip the Open New England championship meet this weekend at Boston University in order to prepare for the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship at NYU next Friday.

As for the rest of the team, Williams said, "We are doing pretty standard workouts, working on sharpening our speed."

For Williams and others, the Open New England meet will test their capabilities as runners.

"Open New England's is a very large meet, with a lot of really fast D-I and post-collegiate competitors," Williams said. "It's a good opportunity to see what you are really capable of. When you're around these really fast people, it tends to rub off on you."

Asked about the team's expectations, Hillard had only two words: "Run fast."