The men's and women's track teams followed up record winter seasons with impressive showings in their first scoring meet of the spring, the Panther Invitational, last weekend at Middlebury. The men beat Middlebury and Springfield to finish first (157.5-137.33-117.16), while the women came in second behind Middlebury and well ahead of Springfield (147-138-109).

The women's team was missing two of its captains: Elsa Millett '12 and Emily Barr '12. Millet was out because one of her eyes had mysteriously swollen shut overnight, while Barr was suffering from a knee injury, according to captain Laura Peterson '12.

"If we had Elsa and Emily, we might have a better chance at getting first," Peterson added.

In the absence of Millett and Barr, a number of other women stepped up to help the team win nine events.

Anna Ackerman '12 placed first in the 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 11:20.88, breaking the school mark.

"Anna spends a lot of time practicing her barrier hurdle form and her water jump technique," said Head Coach Peter Slovenski. "The steeplechase is very demanding, but she has a great mind for all the challenges it presents for practice, pacing, obstacles, and danger. She seems to thrive on the danger of the event."

Peterson won both the long jump and triple jump. After jumping 5.2 meters on her first long jump attempt, she finished with a jump of 5.4 meters.

Peterson is recovering from an ankle injury, and said that in order to keep up her success she will need to "keep up on rehab and continue to work hard on training."

Other event winners included Katherine Harmon '14 in the hammer throw and discus throw, Randi London '15 in the shot put, Erin Silva '15 in the pole vault, Emily Clark '15 in the 400-meter hurdles, and Olivia MacKenzie '13 in the 5000 meters.

The men's team also came away with nine victories at Middlebury. The team's best event was the pole vault, in which Bowdoin collected 19 of 22 possible points. Simon Ward '13 reached a new personal best of 4.30 meters to win the vault, and was named NESCAC Performer of the Week as a result.

"He's been having really good practices," said Slovenski. "I think he will jump 15 feet this season."

Other winners included James Boeding '14 in the 3000-meter steeplechase, Colin Fong '12 in the 800 meters, David Black '15 in the long jump, Chris Martin '12 in the triple jump, Eliot Bass '14 in the decathlon, and Sam Chick '13 in the 400-meter hurdles. Chick's time of 54.82 currently ranks him among the top 15 in the event for D-III.

Additionally, All-American Coby Horowitz '14 won the 1500-meters after pulling ahead early in the race and staying at least 10 meters ahead of his competitors from that point on.

"Coby made a great move in the second lap and led the race for the next two laps while an All-American from Middlebury was on his heels," said Slovenski. "Coby had a great kick in the last 150 to pull away for the win."

Anthony Todesco '15 earned his first college win this weekend in the discus throw, prompting Slovenski to call his work ethic "very impressive. He's showing a great aptitude for the complexities of the throwing events."

The track team's goal is to finish in the top two at the NESCAC championship on April 28, according to Peterson.

"It is still pretty early in the outdoor season; we haven't starting tapering our training yet," she said. "It can be tough to keep motivations for such a long season. You reach a point when you finally get your personal best and you need to take that next step, try to improve from that."

The Polars Bears will compete at the University of New Hampshire Wildcat Invitational tomorrow, where, Slovenski said, many of the competitors will be from D-I teams.