The women’s cross country team had an impressive second-place finish this weekend at the Maine State Meet.

Bowdoin was beat out by the favored Bates, currently ranked 23rd in the nation by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Polar Bears prevailed over Colby, who fought closely as a second place-contender.

The top three Bowdoin women had sub-nineteen minute performances for the 5k race. Between the top five runners of Madelena Rizzo ’14, Olivia Mackenzie ’13, Brianna Malanga ’16, Lucy Skinner ’16, and Gina Stalica ’16, there was only a 59-second spread. According to Coach Peter Slovenski, tightening the spread between the first and fifth runners is a major goal for the team.

Rizzo and Mackenzie took fourth and fifth place respectively, qualifying for the All-Maine team. Their times were both 5k personal bests.

“I think Lucy, Gina, and Maggy worked very well together, but I think they’ll have faster races in the next two championships,” said Coach Slovenski, looking ahead to the upcoming NESCAC championship. “We haven’t really peaked our training and when we do I think they’ll be able to have some great improvement.” 

Attending the NESCAC championship will be womens’ teams from Williams, Middlebury, Tufts, Amherst, and Bates, all ranked in the top 25 nationally. The Polar Bears look forward to competing against some stiff competition.

The Bowdoin men lost by only one point to Bates in the same meet. 

With only one mile to go, the Polar Bears were down 25-34. To close the gap in the final mile, Sam Seekins ’14, Coby Horowitz ’14, Nick Saba ’14, and James Boeding ’14 each passed one runner on their way to the finish line to drop the score four points to 29-30.

Seekins and Horowitz took the first and second places, respectively, in the race. Last season, Horowitz was the champion of this tournament. 

Number three runner Saba had an all-time personal best. 

“Nick’s a very talented runner and as long as he stays healthy he’ll be ready for some great races in the championships. He’s got a lot of speed and intelligence that help him in clutch situations,” said Coach Peter Slovenski, referencing Saba’s late season illnesses in the previous two years.

According to Slovenski, Greg Talpey also had a strong race. Although he finished in 11th place, he was as high as eighth place for several sections of the race.

The Polar Bears are looking forward to the upcoming NESCAC championship. Last year, Bowdoin tied with Bates for second place.