Julianne Rose embraces transition to Bowdoin
For some, relocating to Maine and immediately immersing oneself into the heart of a small college while also starting a new career might be daunting. For Julianne Rose, it was yet another exciting shift in a life full of them.
Rose, who is married to President Clayton Rose, has quickly become enamored with her new home.
“It’s been fabulous. This is such a warm and welcoming community,” said Rose in an interview with the Orient. “Everyone here—the students, the staff, the faculty—has made the two of us feel so welcome. So the transition has been remarkably easy. Moving to an entirely new place and starting a whole new life here has been really pretty seamless. I attribute that to the community and the way everyone’s made us feel.”
It was exactly what the Roses expected at Bowdoin College, a place about which they had heard many great things.
“When Clayton was offered that job, we had talked to a lot of people about Bowdoin and knew a lot of people [in Maine], and the decision was just so easy,” said Rose.
“The day Clayton’s appointment was announced publicly, we came up here and there was an assembly at Smith Union to announce it,” she said. “I just thought it was wonderful to meet everybody. But the number of people who were coming up to me, I was really overwhelmed with how wonderful that was. I thought ‘This is going to be great.’”
When President Rose took office at the College on July 1 of last year, it marked a big day for the Rose family in more ways than one; it was also the opening of Julianne’s women’s accessory store, J.Rose, in Wells, Maine.
“About two years ago, I seriously started to think about it,” Rose said of opening her own store. “My business is women’s accessories. I thought combining the aesthetic part of it, which I enjoy, with the business part, which is my background, could be really cool. I thought, ‘If not now, when?’ So I just decided to take the plunge.”
For Rose, setting up the store—which is open seven days a week in the summer and two in the offseason—was both thrilling and arduous.
“I went through doing my business plan, setting up my LLC and all that kind of stuff, doing the buying, figuring out inventory levels, and it was so much fun. A lot of work but so much fun."
While developing a retail space was a new experience for Rose, working in business was not. She received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago (where she met Clayton) and worked on Wall Street for several years thereafter.
It was not always her plan to go into business, however. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston College in 1977 with an undergraduate degree in biology, and her first job out of college was as a lab technician.
"I was fortunate enough to get a job with the University of Pennsylvania at the medical school there working with a doctor who was doing research on leukemia, and I worked there for two years,” she said. "I loved working there for the reason that I found out what I didn’t want to do, which was work in a lab.”
Not entirely satisfied with the work she was doing, Rose began taking business classes at Penn’s Wharton School. It didn’t take long from there for her to realize that business school ought to be her next step.
"I had a strong math background,” she said. "It was the appeal of the quantitative side of it, and the University of Chicago is known for being a more quantitative school, so that was a natural fit for me. Transitioning into that was kind of a no-brainer.”
In 1981, both she and Clayton moved to New York to work as bankers on Wall Street. Julianne used both her biology and business educations, working in healthcare finance at Chemical Bank and Citibank. In 1985, they uprooted to London when Clayton took a position there with J.P. Morgan. They lived there for three years, and both of their sons, Garett and Jordan, were born there.
When they returned to the States, they settled in Essex Falls, N.J., where Julianne began a 12-year career in public service. She spent six years on the town’s school board and six more on its town council.
"They’re dealing with how to provide the best education to the children using limited financial resources,” she said of her work on the school board. "I hate to cut it down to that, but that’s so much of what you’re trying to do. You’re working with all sorts of constituents, with teachers and parents.”
When the Roses moved to Brookline, Mass. in 2008 and Clayton began teaching at Harvard Business School, Julianne was recruited for her experience in education to be on the town’s education foundation. Her skills will be similarly welcomed on campus at Bowdoin once she’s decided how she’d best like to use them.
"I certainly have gotten to know Bowdoin better, but as far as what my role will be? I don’t know yet. I really want to give that a little more time,” she said.
Swords ’15 adapts to Spanish style of basketball, way of life
While John Swords ’15 and his seven-foot frame have been conspicuously absent from campus since his graduation last spring, his formidable presence has surely raised an eyebrow or two in his new home of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Swords moved to Spain in January to sign with CI Rosalia de Castro, a basketball team in the country’s fourth division. Two games into his international career, he’s averaging seven and a half points and seven rebounds per game. The Orient caught up with Swords over Skype to hear about his adventures in playing Spanish-style basketball, exploring the local environment and trying to become a published writer.
The Bowdoin Orient: What’s it like playing on a team where you’re the only American?
John Swords: It’s really fun, and it has a lot to do with not taking anything too seriously. I mean, I’m working hard. But on a day-to-day basis I’m asked to play a sport and have people yell around me in a different language. It’s pretty ridiculous.
I took Spanish 101 and 102 at Bowdoin. They’ve served me well, but not as well as if I’d taken more classes—I spent all of high school studying French, which, in retrospect, is not that helpful.
To have an abroad experience where I have teammates is great. It’s why I’ve been playing sports my whole life, because being on a team is great. To be out here in what the Romans considered literally the end of the world—Northwest Spain—but to not feel like I’m totally alone because everyday I get to go hang out with other guys. While I’m the only American, that’s probably for the better. I like that I have to scramble to figure out what’s going on.
BO: What’s the style of basketball like, and how does your play fit in?
JS: The basketball here is so unbelievably scrambled and hectic and run-and-gun compared to what I’m used to. I’ve got a bit of a skewed perspective: Because I’m such a big big man, any team I’ve been on has been all about slowing down and playing settled team offense. But everything here is just run-and-gun. You just bury your head and sprint and hope that you’ll wind up at the basket. People take a lot of what I think are bad shots or make some screwy passes that look like they’d look good on an NBA highlight tape, except they go 15 feet away from the guy they’re supposed to go to.In a lot of ways it reminds me of NESCAC play when it gets scrambled. But these guys definitely know what they’re doing, so even if it feels more scrambled, it’s just a faster game. It’s a 24-second shot clock. You have to move faster and guys take a lot of shots. There’s not the same appreciation for help defense here—or at least I haven’t found it yet. And the biggest adjustment for me is I’m not a foot-and-a-half taller than everyone I’m playing against now. I’m not used to getting pushed off the block but I am here sometimes, so that’s an interesting thing to try to adjust to.
BO: Are there any skills you’re looking to add to your game?
JS: Yeah, they want me to shoot more. I’ve never had a coach that said “Hey, you got the ball? Shoot it!” My whole career, especially at Bowdoin, we had guys who would shoot for me. So my job was to lock down low, wrestle the other guy and work in the paint. I’m still supposed to do that here, but I need to have that plus an ability to shoot from mid-range because some of these guys put up a lot more of a fight inside.
BO: Do you have a lot of free time? If so, how do you spend it?
JS: I have a lot free time, which was kind of the plan when I came over here. I decided at the end of last year that I had such a good time playing at Bowdoin that it would be really fun to see if I could do it again over here, but that was only one of several reasons for wanting to come. Probably the strongest one is just wanting to be abroad because I didn’t go abroad when I was at Bowdoin. Another reason is I wanted to try my luck at being a writer before I try my hand at whatever comes next. I have the time, I have an interesting setting and I have a few stories. They eat a lot of octopus here, and I’m going to go and try to find the guys who hunt it. Apparently they put on snorkel gear, go into underwater caves and hunt octopuses with long poles. I feel like that would be a good story to write about.
On top of that, I spent a lot of time at Bowdoin with the Outing Club, so I just try to get on top of things around here. I go out into the city and look for a peak off in the distance and start walking to it until I get on top.
BO: Are there any standout anecdotes from your time in Spain?
JS: I cannot express enough how confused I am about how late the Spanish stay up. They don’t really start their day until 11:00 and they definitely don’t stop their day until at least 11:30. When it’s a night to go out on the town, these university kids party until 8:00 in the morning. I tagged along with my teammates once and I looked at my watch like “What are we doing, guys? It’s 5:30 a.m.” I stayed up late while I was in college doing work or socializing, but never that late. I think 1:00 is a very respectable hour to call it quits on the weekend. Here, they’re like “You’re going to bed at 5:00? Why are you being a spoilsport?”
This interview has been edited for brevity.
Horowitz ’14 breaks 4:00 mile
In his senior year at Bowdoin, Coby Horowitz ’14 broke a 17-year-old national D-III record with an indoor mile time of 4:00.41. Weeks later, Horowitz won the national title in the mile with a 4:08.40, finishing on one of the most impressive individual seasons in the history of Bowdoin Athletics.
“At Bowdoin, he was a real rare athlete who inspired a lot of his teammates to be better athletes and to train harder,” Head Coach Peter Slovenski said.
On Saturday, January 30, Horowitz broke the four-minute milestone, posting a time of 3:59.55 to bring the crowd to its feet at Boston University’s Thomas Terrier Classic. Video of the meet shows an exciting race in which Horowitz went from fifth place after 1000 meters before taking and holding the lead for the final lap.
“When I was a sophomore in high school and still an 800-meter runner, the mother of one of my friends said she thought I could run a sub-4:00 one day,” Horowitz told Runner’s World in 2014.
“To run a sub four minute mile you have to bring together such high levels of talent, training, courage and desire that it’s one of the best accomplishments in all of sports,” Slovenski said.
Field hockey outlasts Middlebury for title
With two trips to the national championship game and a national title under their belts, the seniors of the field hockey team had one trophy they were yet to win in their illustrious careers at Bowdoin: that of the NESCAC title.
They finally brought it home last Sunday, taking down rival Middlebury 2-1 on Howard F. Ryan Field to give the program its first conference championship since 2011. The Polar Bears will take on Keene State at home tomorrow at 11 a.m. in NCAA tournament second-round play. If they win, they’ll advance to Sunday’s 1 p.m. regional final against the winner of Wellesley v. the University of New England.
Middlebury had captured the previous three NESCAC titles with two one-goal wins and a penalty shootout victory over Bowdoin. For this year’s Polar Bear squad, finally overcoming the hurdle of beating Middlebury on the conference championship stage brought both relief and confidence for games to come.
“I can still envision the [Middlebury] girls taking pictures on our field last year with the NESCAC plaque, and that’s something I’ll never get out of my head,” said Rachel Kennedy ’16, who scored a goal on Wednesday and was named the NESCAC Player of the Year for the second straight season. So it was a great win to have our senior year on our turf.”
“It just gives us so much confidence,” said Kim Kahnweiler ’16, who was earned the honor of NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year. “Out of any game, that was the roadblock we needed to get by. That was the game that, mentally, we told ourselves our job would never be finished until we did it.”
The day before, Bowdoin took down Amherst in the semifinal round by a 4-0 score. Kennedy spearheaded the offensive flurry with a hat trick in the game’s first 45 minutes.
“Coming off the game on Saturday, the team felt confident,” said Head Coach Nicky Pearson, who won her ninth NESCAC Coach of the Year award this season. “We had played well defensively and limited the opportunities that Amherst had, and we had converted our chances. So we took a lot of positives from that game and carried it forward to Sunday."
“All week in practice, you could see that they had only one goal in mind,” Pearson added. “I think the younger players really picked up on how determined particularly the senior class was to win a NESCAC championship before they graduate. That determination and focus in practice was really contagious and made the younger players realize this was a really big deal for them, and I think they responded well.”
Kennedy led off the scoring on Sunday with a goal only 12 minutes into the game.
“Liz was going for a fast break on the right side, and then she sent a pass over to Kimmy Ganong [’17] who was stroke level—mid-circle—and she sent a hard shot,” she said. “The goalie saved it, but there was a rebound and I was in the perfect place to get it. As I got it, I was pushed and I dove and found the corner. That was a very important way to set the tone for the game.”
“It always feels good when it starts so far back the line because it makes you feel like everyone was involved in the goal,” said Kahnweiler.
Only seven minutes later, Middlebury tied it up with a goal off a deflection. While Bowdoin entered halftime feeling as if they were controlling play, the winning goal didn’t come until a 55th-minute shot from Emily McColgan ’17.
“It was off of a corner. Kimmy sent it out to me, I stopped it, and Kelsey [Mullaney ’16] had the hard hit in,” said Kahnweiler. “It actually bounced off of one of the defenders’ feet and then hit the goalie pads. It popped out and Emily McColgan collected it and lifted it over the goalie.”
Bowdoin bore down defensively for the game’s last stretch, including a tense final two minutes that saw Middlebury pull its goalie to bring on an extra attacker.
There were 40 seconds left and they were right about to enter our circle and I was just praying that they weren’t going to get a corner,” said Kennedy. “There was actually a play in the circle where Kim was playing hot potato with her feet because if the ball touches your feet they get a corner.”
“I didn’t know during the game that they had pulled their goalie,” said Kahnweiler. “I don’t normally mark during the game, but all of a sudden I hear our goalie yelling ‘There’s another player,’ and that just added into the whole confusion. I didn’t know that time had actually run out when it ran out.”
The Polar Bear faithful stormed the field at the sound of the final horn.
“All of our parents and friends were on the field. We had professors coming up and hugging us, which is just really special, to have all that support,” said Kennedy.
The team now turns its attention to the NCAA tournament. Undefeated and the unanimous No. 1 team in D-III as ranked by the National Field Hockey Coach’s Association poll, Bowdoin earned a first-round bye and will serve as one of four host sites nationwide four second and third round play.
Keene State advanced to the second round with a 1-0 home victory over Husson on Wednesday. The Owls are 17-7 on the season, and went 9-2 in the Little East. They beat Eastern Connecticut State in the conference’s championship game last Saturday to earn an automatic NCAA tournament bid. They’re led by Little East Offensive Player of the Year Sami Smith, who was first in the conference in points and goals scored.
As the team prepares to face foes from across the country, Coach Pearson believes NESCAC competition has exposed them to many types of teams.
“When you look across all the field hockey programs in the NESCAC, many of them have different systems, different styles, different strengths, different weaknesses,” she said.
Kennedy and Kahnweiler, however, took note of several foreign styles of play they’ve seen in past NCAA tournaments.
“In the NESCAC, there’s definitely a style of quick passes, two-touch hockey,” said Kennedy. “Once you get out of the conference, especially against teams like [The College of New Jersey] last year, there are a lot more aerials, which we hadn’t really seen.”
“There’s a lot more fancy play. While we focus a lot on stick skills, it’s not really part of our game to try and dribble through five people,” said Kahnweiler. “When we face teams that do that, it takes us by surprise.”
Despite its unbeaten record and No. 1 ranking, the team claims to feel no extra pressure heading into the national tournament.
“Our goal was to finish first in the league and we achieved that, then we closed that chapter,” said Pearson. Then our focus was on the NESCAC tournament and winning that, and we’ve achieved that. So we’ve closed that chapter, and now we’re on a new mission. I don’t think we look at it cumulatively, really, we look at it as separate chapters.”
Meagher to step down after 33rd season
Head Coach of Men’s Ice Hockey Terry Meagher will step down from his position after the 2015-2016 season, the College announced Tuesday. The upcoming campaign will be Meagher’s 33rd at the helm of one of Bowdoin’s most storied athletic programs.
Meagher first broke the news to the team in a meeting early Tuesday morning.
“You could tell that he had been thinking about it for a while,” said Chris Fenwick ’16. “He mentioned that he hasn’t had a lot of sleep lately. He threw it right at us—he cuts right to the chase.”
“He had some really powerful things to say, reflecting on the first team he coached at Bowdoin and then the group of young men in the room yesterday,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan.
“When I was offered the program and took over, I looked at the quality of individuals, the skillset level, the commitment and enthusiasm. More importantly, just as citizens and people, I could see why Bowdoin Hockey had success,” Meagher said in an interview with the Orient.
“Fast-forward 33 years and the group in that room was no different. It’s wonderful that my last year coaching at Bowdoin will be with a group like them.”
For Meagher, the decision to step down after this season was the result of a careful thought process that had been ongoing for several seasons.
“You start to take a comprehensive view of where the program is—where the skillset is, where your life’s at at that point, a lot of different things—and ultimately it just felt right,” he said. “A goal is to turn the program over in as good of shape as you can leave it.”
“As with anyone in the later stages of their career, you start to have some conversations about when may be the right time to move on,” said Ryan. “Terry and I have had those conversations off and on for a number of years, and it just seemed like the time was right for him to step down and to be able to take advantage of some of the other things going on in his life, such as spending time with his family. Certainly he has done his part to put our program in a great position moving forward.”
While whoever succeeds Meagher as head coach will have large shoes to fill, he himself replaced a legend, taking over for his mentor Sidney Watson in 1983 after Watson’s 24-year tenure. Refusing to be overshadowed, Meagher carved out one of the greatest coaching resumes in all of college hockey. His 529 career wins rank him sixth all-time in the D-III ranks. He has two NESCAC titles to his name as well as two championships in the ECAC—the conference that hosted the Polar Bears prior to the inception of the NESCAC. His teams have made six NCAA Tournament appearances and he won the American Hockey Coaches Association National Coach of the Year honor in both 1986 and 1989.
“He’s a very rare hockey mind. He sees the game very well—he was a very successful player,” said team captain Matt Rubinoff ’16, alluding to Meagher’s illustrious playing career at Boston University. “He brings out the most in his players and he expects the most. He runs a very competitive team, and he builds it on character and grit. Whether or not he really has the talent to do so, he builds a successful team.”
When asked about his success as coach, Meagher was quick to give credit to those he’s worked with over the years.
“All the assistant coaches over the years have been incredibly talented, recently in particular Coach [Jamie] Dumont,” said Meagher. “Both on the ice and in recruiting, he’s played a significant role in getting the program to where we feel ready to turn it over.”
“The sports medicine staff goes under the radar, especially with the number of students we have… Student managers and faculty liaisons were always very important in developing teams and ensuring that students have a really good experience. And then there’s the athletic services, which is equipment and support. They’ve been wonderful,” he added.
Looking back on his over-three decade tenure as head coach, Meagher commented on some of the things that he believes make D-III hockey special.
“The great things about (D-III) having that strong educational component is I think coaches are more willing to try different concepts and ideas,” he said. “The coaching and teaching techniques are really diverse at our level. We were on the cutting edge of that, and now you see it at Division I and in the NHL. The game used to be so linear, now it has an advanced geometry.”
He also reflected on changes in collegiate athletics at-large, including the proliferation of women’s sports.
“It’s been incredibly rewarding in athletics to see the growth of women’s sports,” he added. “It was frustrating in the early going, because we wanted to be where we are currently a long time ago, but it’s great to be where we are now.”
After the season, the athletic department will form a committee to launch a national search for Meagher’s replacement. The committee will likely consist of Ryan, head coaches of other sports teams, members of the hockey team and other members of campus. According to Ryan, he hopes to name the team’s next coach before Commencement.
“We’ll want to identify a candidate who understands and values the approach to athletics in Division III within the NESCAC, which places a great emphasis on the academic experience of students and also the role athletics can play in developing important life skills, such as communication, leadership and problem-solving,” said Ryan. “Then there are the technical aspects, as well—identifying a candidate who has the technical knowledge and leadership abilities to lead a group of 30 young men throughout the course of their experience here on campus.”
“Personally I think it should be someone who knows the school well—or at least knows the history of it—and knows the NESCAC,” said Rubinoff.
While cautious of giving advice to a yet-to-be-named future Bowdoin coach, Meagher did have one lighthearted suggestion for his successor.
“If I had one piece of advice for the next coach, it would be buy some waterfront property that appreciates, because if history repeats itself you’ll be here for a while,” he said.
With a young core, this year’s squad hopes to establish team chemistry in Meagher’s last year that it will be able to carry forward.
“As seniors, it doesn’t affect us as much because we’ll have him for our final year,” said Fenwick. “It’s going to be a big adjustment for the underclassmen. Coach Meagher has been very supportive of players and always built strong programs that have done really well.”
Nonetheless, the upperclassmen will play an important role in facilitating the team’s transition to a new era.
“It does change how we as seniors are approaching the season,” said Rubinoff. “Near the end and into the spring, our job will be to ease the guys into whatever’s next. We’ll support them going forward. Knowing the history of the program, it will be in fine hands.”
When the team begins their practices on Sunday, their focus will have shifted to exclusively on-ice matters.
“Come November 1, talk about Coach’s last year is going to be put on hold,” said Fenwick. “We’re going to carry on our business, and there will be time to celebrate when the season’s over.”
“Our league’s always very competitive,” he added. “Coach always tells us that our first goal is to finish the season with a spot in the conference tournament, and anything can happen from there. That goal hasn’t changed.”
On May 7, the College will hold a ceremony to honor Meagher and his countless contributions to the institution, both on the ice and off.
“If there’s a legacy I’m most proud of, it’s that I was able to follow Coach Watson, who had been here for 24 years, and I was allowed to have the majority of my career at Bowdoin,” said Meagher. “I don’t know if that’s a legacy, but that should receive a little bit of attention. For that to happen at Bowdoin speaks volumes of the institution. It means it’s a great place to live, to raise a family, to coach and teach. It means that the support is there and the tradition is there.”
“I think Terry’s legacy will be that of a coach who excelled at both attracting and supporting high-achieving students to campus while also being incredibly competitive in our conference and on a national level,” said Ryan. “When you can put those two things together, it leads to a special experience for those students in the program and also for those in our campus community.”
Bowdoin joins coalition of 80 schools that plans to develop a more accessible college application
Bowdoin was among the more than 80 colleges and universities on Monday that announced the formation of the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success, a group of schools that will work in hopes of making the college application process easier for disadvantaged high school students.
The Coalition—which includes all eight Ivy League schools, 10 of the 11 NESCAC schools and many prominent state universities—requires that its members meet full financial need for accepted students and boast a six-year graduation rate of at least 70 percent.
Perhaps most notable in the Coalition’s press release were plans to develop a new college application that applicants will be able to work on throughout their high school careers. In accordance with its stated goal of increasing access to college education, the Coalition will aim to make the application particularly helpful to high school students who are forced to be more independent in their college searches.
“Access, to me, is the key word,” said Dean of Admissions and Student Aid Scott Meiklejohn. “I was traveling last week. I went into four different high schools where there was no counselor and I was met by parent volunteers. There are 500 students in a graduating class—how exactly are the smart students in that school being advised about college?
“If they are in an environment where there isn’t a strong college counseling function, for instance, and they don’t have a way to have that conversation at home, then something like this could give them a way to start working on it and thinking about it.”
If all goes according to plan, members of the Coalition will be able to tailor this new application to their preferences.
“One of the attractions for individual colleges is that the application will be individually suited to each college or university’s review process,” said Meiklejohn. “As the Common App has gotten bigger and bigger it’s grown from a group of fairly like-minded colleges to 600 places. The homogeneity of the app is something that constricts in ways that not all of us always value. So there’s potentially an application here that could be more individualized.”
Meiklejohn does not, however, believe that the new application will dethrone the Common App as most institutions’ go-to form, nor as one that the majority of applicants to Coalition schools will favor.
“I can imagine applicants from a lot of different backgrounds using it, but I think, initially, the vast majority of our applicants would still use the Common App,” he said. “Particularly from schools where the counseling ratio is strong and their students have been using the Common App. I have no way of forecasting what percent of our applicants would use this, but I’d think it would be small—certainly at the start.”
The Coalition’s origins date back to 2013, when a core group of admissions deans at elite institutions began discussing issues ranging from college affordability to the efficacy of the application process.
“I think that it goes back a couple of years to when the Common App had its technology meltdowns, among other things,” said Meiklejohn. “That year was something that got a group of people talking about whether all of us having what some people have called ‘a single point of failure’ was a wise thing. There have always been alternative applications, but none of them have been subscribed to by very many schools.”
Bowdoin was asked to join the Coalition this past spring when Richard Shaw, dean of admissions and financial aid at Stanford, contacted Meiklejohn. Select admissions officers in Bowdoin’s office discussed and ultimately accepted the invitation. Representatives of the College have since been active in shaping the Coalition, including Director of Admissions Whitney Soule, who is on a subcommittee tasked with developing the new application.
Meiklejohn says more work needs to be done before the Coalition is ready to deliver on its mission.
“The press release and a lot of the announcements—for better or worse—make it appear to be more of a completed project than it is,” he said. “They were trying to get as much news as possible, and they were probably successful at that. But there’s a lot of this that’s still in development.”
The Coalition will release its platform in January 2016, and the application will open in July 2016, according to the Coalition’s website.
Ultimately, Meiklejohn has high expectations for the Coalition and its goals.
“I hope it turns out to be really useful for students who are not getting access to great college advising,” said Meiklejohn. “I hope it turns out to be a fabulous and fail-proof way of applying to college. And I think those are good expectations, for starters.”
Field Hockey voted preseason No. 1
Seeks fifth title in nine years
Last year, the field hockey team went 9-1 in the NESCAC, 19-3 overall, and were one win away from repeating as national champions. The squad featured four All-NESCAC players, the NESCAC Player of the Year and two National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFCHA) All-Americans.
It should say something about the strength of Head Coach Nicky Pearson's program, then, that expectations are even higher for this season.
Despite losing several starters, including Third Team All-American Colleen Finnerty and two-year starting goalkeeper Hannah Gartner, the Polar Bears entered the 2015 campaign ranked No. 1 in the NFCHA Division III preseason poll.
The ranking likely surprised no one. The squad returns 56 of its 76 goals scored from last season (74 percent), a remarkable 32 of which of which belonged to First-Team All American and NESCAC Player of the Year Rachel Kennedy '16. She'll co-captain the team with fellow First Team All-Conference selection Kim Kahnweiler '16, who will anchor the defense. Also returning are forward Kimmy Ganong '17, whose 11 goals were second-most on the team, and Second Team All-Conference midfielder Mettler Growney '17. All told, the team returns seven of 11 starters from last year's squad.
In addition to captains Kennedy and Kahnweiler, the team will look to defenders Kelsey Mullaney and Alexa Baumgartner and forward Liz Znamierowski for senior leadership.“That’s one thing Nicky likes to emphasize, having the senior class lead and everyone looking up to them," said Kennedy. "Each of us have different strengths, and different players will go to us for different things."
“We have a senior class where everyone wants to be a leader. In terms of creating a good team dynamic, when you have a class that all gets along, everyone can be looked up to," said Kahnweiler.
Znamierowski will be asked to step up, as she'll replace the graduated Adrienne O'Donnell on Bowdoin's high-powered front line. On the other end of the field, Clara Belitz '17 appears to be the frontrunner to replace Gartner in goal, while Liz Rill '17 and talented first year Grace Linnan will compete for playing time in the same role.
The team spent the preseason working hard on fundamentals to ensure that strong team chemistry carries over to action on the field.
“It’s different coming back when you have spots to fill, so getting players in those positions and feeling comfortable and building team chemistry across the field," said Kennedy. "That’s one of our goals this season, to work with each other and off each other.
“One thing [Coach Pearson] says at the beginning of every season is ‘This is your only chance to play with this team,’" said Kahnweiler. "So we spend a lot of time building chemistry and working on basic skills—we do a lot of passing, stick skills, and make sure to mix up who we’re working with in practice."
Mastery of such fundamentals is essential to Bowdoin's success, as Pearson's teams are known to dissect opposing defenses with quick movement and precise passing.
“We’re known for speed, we’re known for moving the ball," said Kahnweiler. "We call it one-touch hockey, get it and give it. We try to not take people one on one.
“We like to play a high-paced style. We focus a lot on our spacing and supporting the ball carrier, and we try to master and execute basic skills," said Pearson.
The Polar Bears will indeed need to be sharp every week if they want to successfully navigate the minefield that is a NESCAC regular season schedule. Perpetual rival Middlebury—who defeated the Bears in last year's NESCAC Championship Game—return 10 of their 11 top goal scorers and were ranked No. 3 in the NFHCA preseason poll. Perennial 'CAC contenders Tufts, Amherst and Trinity also placed in the poll, ranking ninth, 11th and 15th, respectively. Bowdoin will also face No. 10 Wellesley in a midseason out-of-conference matchup.Predictably, the team has adopted a "one game at a time" mentality.
“Our biggest rivals are usually Middlebury and Tufts, but we do a pretty good job of staying focused on the next game ahead," said Kennedy. "You can’t look too far into the future."“We would love to go undefeated. We’d love to have a perfect season," said Kahnweiler. "And it’s great to have that common goal, but that goes back into one game at a time. In order to meet that goal, you have to win today’s game."
The team got off to a good start on Wednesday night, dismantling the University of New England on the road in its season opener. Znamierowski scored the Polar Bears' first goal of the season, and Kennedy and Baumgartner each added one of their own for a 3-1 Bowdoin win. Belitz started in goal and made two saves.
Pearson's Bowdoin teams have won four of the last eight D-III National Championships, and veterans on this year's team have experienced both winning and losing in national title games. If the team has any flaws, inexperience is not one of them.
“Having experience playing in that game—whether we’ve won it or lost it—the players then are aware of what it takes to get there. There are going be a lot of things on that journey that will be in your favor, and sometimes you have bad luck," said Pearson.
"I think that experience is valuable, but we never talk about it, to be honest with you. I start a new job every August, and this is a group that will be better than last year’s team in some areas, and in others we may not be as good. I don’t like to compare teams—this is what we have this year. We’re going to play to the strengths of this group and enjoy and embrace the process."“We all know at this point how much it takes to get there. It wasn’t by chance, it was because we worked hard," said Kahnweiler. "Some people might assume we’ll get there again, but there isn’t that assumption on the team. We all know it takes a lot.”
Rose plans to listen and learn in early days of presidency
Clayton Rose certainly looked the part on Wednesday, July 1, his first day as the College’s 15th president, sporting a pink, polar bear-dotted tie and a black “B”-emblazoned wallet. His first act as president, too, was that of a seasoned campus leader: He brought in Frosty’s donuts for everyone in his office.
With those Bowdoin bona fides established, President Rose began his term with an explicit newcomer’s approach.
“The broad theme for a while is going to be listening and meeting as many people as I can. I sent a note out to the faculty this morning saying that I’d very much like to meet with each one of them individually over the course of the coming months...to learn about their aspirations for the College and their thoughts on the challenges ahead,” he said in a sit-down interview with the Orient late Wednesday morning. “I’m going to do the same with students, staff and alumni as well.”
It’s a continuation of the work Rose began after being named Barry Mills’ successor in late January, when he began splitting time between Brunswick and his role as professor at Harvard Business School.
“The benefit is that I’m physically here now,” he said. “I’m not contending with a job somewhere else where I have responsibilities, and trying to balance those two.”
Rose and his wife of 32 years, Julianne, are currently living in a southern Maine home they’ve owned for several years. They will move to the former Mills residence of 79 Federal Street in Brunswick later this month after minor renovations are finished.
Rose said his and his wife’s enthusiasm for their move to Maine was matched by their two sons, Garett and Jordan, who live in Washington, D.C. and New York City, respectively.
“They were incredibly excited and pumped up about it,” he said.Campus issues
In an April interview with the Orient, Rose declined to offer his positions on campus issues, saying he would wait until he was in office before going on the record. He delivered on that promise Wednesday, calling human-induced climate change “one of the greatest issues we face as a world” before echoing the Board of Trustees’ (and Barry Mills’) position that the College ought not to divest from fossil fuels.
“I’ve done a lot of reading about where we come from and what our policies are as well as what other schools have done, and I have read or heard nothing to change my view that we should not divest,” he said. “So, we will continue that policy going forward. I’m happy to talk to anybody that wants to talk about this, and we’ll always strive to keep an open mind."
Rose also commented on the issue of political correctness, which came to the forefront at Bowdoin in April when a survey conducted by Associate Professor of Government Michael Franz indicated that 68% of respondents believed political correctness was a problem at Bowdoin.
“A liberal arts college has a particular responsibility among all institutions in America to create an open, honest, thoughtful, respectful dialogue across all kinds of points of view,” he said.
“Every member of the community…needs to encourage that kind of discussion and be willing to have their own ideas and thoughts—even those that are deeply held—challenged in a thoughtful and respectful way. This can be to reinforce and strengthen them, but perhaps occasionally to see there might be another way of thinking about that issue. And also to understand how other thoughtful people can have a different point of view and understand why that might be, so that we get away from the phenomenon in American society of talking heads, where everyone is polarized and no one is listening to everyone else. This is part of creating graduates who are able to engage in a serious way in civil society.”The Liberal Arts, academia and beyond
Reflecting on an eclectic career that has included several senior management positions at J.P. Morgan as well as teaching undergraduates at Penn and graduate students at Harvard, Rose spoke at length of his solidarity with Bowdoin’s values.
“One of the reason I was so excited about the possibility of assuming this position when the search was announced and I was thinking about putting my name in the ring was that it matches up with things I hold very deeply in several dimensions,” he said. “The first is—and this is kind of a hackneyed phrase, but I really mean it—I’m a true believer in the value of the liberal arts.”
Rose said that his appreciation for a liberal arts education began when he was an undergraduate himself.
“It is certainly true that I didn’t attend a small liberal arts college, but I had a profoundly important liberal arts education at the University of Chicago,” he said. “Unlike many research universities, the college there was a small piece of the larger research university, where there was dedication on the part of senior faculty to delivering a real liberal arts experience in many of the ways that we see here at Bowdoin, although Bowdoin is distinct and has it’s own way of doing things. But that experience changed my life.”
After 20 years at J.P. Morgan, Rose began contemplating a career change when the bank merged with Chase in 2000.
“I very much enjoyed the work in finance. I wasn’t disaffected by it at all. I was able to do some really interesting remarkable things. The firm, at the time, was a place that fit with my values: collegiality, intellectual honesty and respect,” he said. “That’s not really the world of finance we see today, but that was the firm in those days. When we sold the firm, things changed. The culture and the values were sufficiently different that I decided to leave. It was just time for me to move on. It was a place that, at its core, wasn’t the right fit for me."
Rose said a great reverence for academics and scholars played a large role in his decision to pursue joining their ranks, and he enrolled in a doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania in 2003.
“For me, it was about a challenge in a world that I had deep respect for and was deeply curious about. I wanted to see whether I had the intellectual capability to operate in that world, which is very different from the world I’d operated in before,” he said.
Upon receiving his Ph.D. in 2007, Rose received a position on the faculty at Harvard Business School.
“One thing that’s interesting about Harvard Business School is that there is a premium placed on teaching that is unlike most other graduate programs,” he said. “Senior faculty take their teaching responsibilities very seriously. That was very appealing to me, because I love teaching and I value what great teaching can do."
Rose believes the perspective he gained from his experience teaching in higher education will be invaluable in his role as president at Bowdoin.
“Being on a faculty in the job I had, understanding how faculty view their responsibility to the whole institution, to their students, to their scholarship, will help me immensely,” he said. “Faculty are the heart of any educational institution. Having been of a faculty and understanding how a faculty thinks of the world, while the issues are going to be different here than they were at Harvard, I am hopeful [my experience] will allow me to work with my colleagues on the faculty on an effective way."
His business experience may also work to his benefit. While Rose announced in February that he would be stepping down from the Board of Directors at Bank of America, he remains a director at XL Group, a global insurance company, and at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a non-profit research organization that is the nation’s largest private funder of biomedical research. Rose believes his HHMI role will be especially valuable to his work at Bowdoin.
“I don’t get involved in decisions about where money gets allocated, so there isn’t a specific conflict of interest there,” he said. “But what I’m able to do is understand—at a high altitude and layperson’s level—issues of where science may be going, where challenges may be in raising money, where opportunities may exist for particular scientific endeavors, and also to talk to scientists who are working on the bench about their work and what challenges they face intellectually, organizationally and financially in getting done what they need to get done."
As summer goes on and the more hectic days of the academic year approach, Rose said he and his wife plan to enjoy the Maine outdoors by biking, hiking, kayaking and, his favorite, fly fishing.
“I’m mindful of the hard work ahead, but excited by it,” he said. ““I am really excited to be here. I’ve had a lot of interesting jobs in a career that I’ve been lucky to have. This is the best job that I will ever have.”
Joulia Likhanskaia first Polar Bear to reach championship singles match
Joulia Likhanskaia '17 made Bowdoin tennis history last weekend, becoming the first Polar Bear to advance to the finals match in singles at the NCAA Championships, hosted this year in Mason, Ohio. Additionally, Likhanskaia joined teammate Tiffany Cheng '16 as the first Bowdoin women's doubles team to win a match in the NCAA Tournament by advancing to the competition's quarterfinals.
Singles players and doubles teams are selected for the championships each year based on a number of factors, including win-loss records and strength of schedule. After the 32 individuals and 16 pairs are chosen, the NCAA Division III Women's Tennis Committee seeds the tournaments.
Though Likhanskaia was not awarded one of the tournament's top eight seeds (the only seeds indicated in the bracket), she was by no means considered an underdog going in.
“Seeds don’t mean a lot," said Hobie Holbach, Head Coach of Bowdoin Women's Tennis. "I don’t put a lot of stock in them because our region is by far the strongest and usually they just balance it out. The girl who was seeded No. 2, [Joulia] has two wins over. I didn’t care [about seeds] and neither did she."
Likhanskaia won each of her first three matches in two sets, including a 6-4, 6-2 quarterfinal victory over Amherst's Sue Ghosh on Friday. However, these early-round matches presented a mental challenge that later-round competition did not, according to Likhanskaia.
“The first match is definitely one of the hardest because you have to get past being nervous. I thought I did a good job of doing that," she said. "From then on, I gained more confidence throughout the tournament."
She faced trouble in the semifinals on Friday afternoon, however, against Juli Raventos of Williams. After winning the first set 6-3, she dropped the second 6-1 before falling into a 3-0 hole to start the decisive third set.
“I had to stay mentally tough, and [Coach Holbach] was saying ‘Play your game. Be aggressive,’" said Likhanskaia. "I didn’t want to fade in the third set, and I kept thinking that I had put in so much work to get that far, so I didn’t want to let it all go."
Likhanskaia managed to claw back within 5-4 before taking the final three games of the set to win the match and advance to the championship match the next day against Eudice Chong of Wesleyan.
Chong, the tournament's No. 1 seed, had not lost a match all season. In fact, she had only dropped a single set—a 6-4 defeat to Likhanskaia in Claremont, Calif. in early March.
“I was one of the only people to play a really close match with her," said Likhanskaia. "I had nothing to lose."
The final was a nail-biter. After Likhanskaia and Chong each took a set 6-4, Likhanskaia opened a 5-4 lead in the third set before the Wesleyan first year won three straight games to take home the national title.
Holbach credited Likhanskaia's multifaceted game in aiding her tournament run.
“She can do just about anything with the ball," he said. "She doesn’t have one style. She’s very adaptable to different types of players. She can play very aggressively or she can play steady. She can hit powerfully and she can play finesse. She’s a whole-court player."
"To go five matches, you need a little luck and some breaks and you gotta play well, so those things came together."
As a doubles team, Likhanskaia and Cheng entered the tournament knowing they had a chance to be the first to leave a Polar Bear-sized paw print on the championship bracket.
“We really just wanted to get through the first round, because Coach told us that no one in team history had ever won a round at Nationals. So that was our goal going in," said Cheng. "But once we got there and saw the competition, we were pretty confident in ourselves that we could get further, especially with how Joulia was playing in singles. That confidence carried over to doubles."
The pair got the landmark win on Thursday, beating Ariana Iranpour and Megan Tang of the University of Chicago 6-3, 6-1. According to Holbach, Likhanskaia and Cheng leveraged their individual strengths to play well as a team.
“Joulia’s the one at the net who picks off a lot of balls, and Tiffany sets her up. Tiffany’s sort of the point guard of the team," he said.
The duo looked poised to advance even further in Friday's quarterfinal match, as they took the first set and held a 5-2 lead in the second against Patricia Kirkland and Sonja Meighan of Washington & Lee. Their opponents had other ideas, however, storming back to win the set 7-5 before winning the final set 6-4 to advance.
"Our confidence carried over from the first match, the strategy was there, we had the game plan, but I think the nerves just started to kick in," said Cheng. “Altogether we played a great match."
Likhanskaia and Cheng believe their successes are just the start for the entire Bowdoin women's tennis team, which saw its season end in a close defeat to Middlebury at a regional final hosted in Brunswick.
“It shows that we have to keep going. We’re right there every year," said Cheng. "Teams that we’ve beaten in the regular season made it to Nationals."
"Our program keeps improving every year, so hopefully we’ll go even farther next year, including with the whole team," said Likhanskaia.
Men’s Summit prompts conversation about masculinity at Bowdoin and beyond
Last Friday, 75 Bowdoin men sat down to discuss their feelings.
The meeting was the third-ever Bowdoin College Men’s Summit, an event designed to bring men together to discuss issues of masculinity, including its role on campus. Invitations to the event were not limited to students.
“We included faculty and staff who identify as men, and students got to pick those,” said Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of the David Saul Smith Union Allen Delong, who helped organize the event. “So at every table at the men’s summit, it wasn’t just young men but also an older man to be part of the conversation.”
The event was led by keynote speaker Dr. Frank Harris, an associate professor at San Diego State University who has written extensively on the subject of masculinity. Much of his talk was about a concept of “good guys,” a term he uses to describe men who use leadership roles on college campuses to change their communities for the better.
“I think it went great,” said Delong. “One of the reasons is because Frank’s work is a little different than some other people writing in the field in that he doesn’t focus on boys behaving badly. There are a number of people writing that. That’s not his research. He talks about culture changers and the simple things that you can do to be a good guy. I love that he is positive and makes it simple.”
After Harris’ talk, the room broke into small groups to discuss the issues that had been presented.
The first Bowdoin Men’s Summit took place in Spring 2012, when Sarah Levin ’13 arranged for Michael Kimmel, professor at Stony Brook University and author of “Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men,” to visit campus.
“Women wanted to be part of this conversation, and men wanted a more private conversation. We tried to cover that territory while Kimmel was here,” said Delong. “On the Thursday night he did a speech in a packed Kresge, and that was for anyone who wanted to come. Then he keynoted the men’s summit. That provided a sort of structure that we used for the subsequent two men’s summits.”
Last year, Sam King ’14 led the effort to organize a second Men’s Summit. Mark Tappan, a professor at Colby and co-author of Packaging Boyhood: Saving our Sons from Superheroes, Slackers, and Other Media Stereotypes, led the discussion.
The event was brought back for a second consecutive year thanks to what Delong called a “groundswell” of student support.
“From an administrative perspective, we were thinking we’d do it every two years. Some students said ‘We want to do it more often than that, and we want to do it this year.’”
A student committee consisting of Jarred Kennedy-Loving ’15, Oliver Klingenstein ’15, Jared Feldman ’16, Noah Salzman ’17, Tim Long ’17 and Greg Koziol ’17 organized the event.
For Klingenstein and Feldman, the Summit continued a conversation that they’ve been having since the beginning of the school year. Along with a fluid group of approximately ten other male students, they have met on a weekly basis to discuss issues of masculinity under the simple name of Bowdoin Men’s Group.
The group originated in a discussion group hosted by Brunswick resident Reverend Frank Strasburger, who came to campus in September to give a talk on the themes in his book “Growing Up: Limiting Adolescence in a World Desperate for Adults.”
“The talk was to be followed up by six Thursday night discussion groups on topics in the book,” said Strasburger, whose children graduated from Bowdoin in 2007 and 2008. “The first discussion group, an extraordinary thing happened: Only guys showed up. That absolutely never happens. At the end of it, I said that we should recruit some women for next time. But that weekend, I emailed everyone and said ‘Maybe we shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. There aren’t that many men’s groups—maybe we should make a men’s group.’ The following week they agreed.”
Strasburger has had a long and varied career in education and ministry, notably spending 11 years as Episcopal Chaplain at Princeton University and founding Princeton in Africa in 1999.Both Feldman and Klingenstein were acquainted with Strasburger before the fall. He presided over the marriage of Klingenstein’s parents, while Feldman met and bonded with him in a VIP Tires waiting room last spring.
“He came to one of our rugby games and was talking with my brother. My brother mentioned he went to the Harvey School [in Katonah, New York], and Frank was like, ‘Oh yeah, I was head of the upper school at Harvey.’ He’s that kind of guy.”
With Strasburger as facilitator, the Men’s Group spends Thursday nights discussing any and all facets of masculinity and being a man at Bowdoin.
“It’s not like we have anything planned for these conversations,” said Klingenstein. “Maybe an idea, and sometimes an idea carries through the whole time, or sometimes someone expresses something off of that that everyone really wants to be talking about, and, boom, we go in a whole different direction.”
“We had an interesting debate about what we thought men on this campus were versus how men were expected to be outside this campus,” said Feldman. “That question has been the foundation for a lot of our conversations.”
The group has a solid foundation of dedicated members, and Feldman said he believes the weekly and intimate nature of the discussions is to thank for that.
“It’s genuinely fun. It’s a fun conversation,” said Klingenstein. “It’s fun and light-hearted when we want it to be, and it’s intense and vulnerable when we want it to be.”
“We understand how hard it is to get people to come out at 7 p.m. on a Thursday night, and we want to foster a conversation that’s enjoyable and doesn’t feel like a classroom setting,” said Feldman. “No one wants to be in a class on a Thursday night.”
Starting this week, Strasburger is moving from his role of facilitator to one of an advisor.
“One of the things that I am concerned about and have expressed a number of times is whether my presence inhibits conversation,” he said. “On the one hand, I see my job as to keep everybody honest, to push them past the nice things they think they ought to say to the things they really feel. But at the same time, I’m 50 years older than anybody in the room and my place might formalize things a bit, while what we’re going for is an informal student conversation.”
“While we’re surprisingly open with [Strasburger] there, when we’re talking about issues of masculinity particularly on this campus, students can sometimes open up more effectively without Frank there,” said Feldman.
“He has a wealth of knowledge that we can rely on,” Feldman added. “Our plan is to have a planning meeting with him once a week where the student leaders chat with him to discuss potential topics.”
As the group goes forward, the Men’s Group looks to balance the personal nature of its meetings with outreach efforts. Among other ideas, Feldman mentioned a panel on masculinity featuring Bowdoin men that will be open to all students later this month.
“Future steps are still kind of up in the air, but for the remainder of this semester, we’re looking to solidify a dedicated group of people who are committed to coming to Men’s Group,” he said. “In the back of my mind, I definitely have thought about what we’re going to do if we grow beyond 15, 20 people. That would be a great problem to have.”
“The group isn’t to necessarily change the school, it’s to facilitate a conversation and not much beyond that,” said Klingenstein. “That’s proven to be amazing in and of itself.”
Men’s tennis improves doubles play as it coasts to seventh win
The men’s tennis team (2-0 NESCAC, 7-1 overall) opened up its post-Spring Break play with a dominating 8-1 win over Wesleyan (0-2 NESCAC, 2-5 overall) on Saturday.
The No. 8 Polar Bears’ only loss on the season came at the hands of No. 4 Pomona-Pitzer during the team’s Spring Break trip to California.
Against Wesleyan, the Bears jumped out to an early lead, winning all three doubles matches. Luke Trinka ’16 and Luke Tercek ’18 dominated first doubles, winning 8-2, and second and third doubles pairs Kyle Wolstencroft ’15 Gil Roddy ’18 and Kyle Wolfe ’18 Chase Savage ’16 held their own, winning 8-3 and 8-4, respectively.
The doubles wins were a revelation for a Bowdoin squad that, despite their near-impeccable record, was swept in doubles play three times in California. To mix things up, Roddy and Wolfe switched spots on the No. 2 and No. 3 teams against Wesleyan.
Bowdoin’s only loss on the day came in first singles, as Trinka lost 6-4, 7-5.
“I think everyone was very happy to have such a strong result against a very talented team,” said captain Kyle Wolstencroft ’15. “That being said, we’re still in the early parts of our season and, while it was a great result that we enjoyed in the moment, we’re putting our heads down and looking forward to the matches we have this weekend against Brandeis and after that, a long road trip to Hamilton and Amherst.”
Tomorrow’s matchup with Brandeis goes down at 11 a.m. in Farley Field House.
Women's swimming finishes program-best fifth in NESCAC
Buoyed by a wave of record-setting performances, the women’s swim team earned a fifth-place finish at the NESCAC Championship last weekend, the best in program history. In addition, Head Coach Brad Burnham was named the conference’s Coach of the Year.
Star first year Mariah Rawding led the Polar Bears, setting school records in every event she swam. She finished third in the 200m breaststroke (2:20.52) and took home fourth-place finishes in the 50m breast (29.90) and the 100m breast (1:04.59).
Reading also swam on two fourth-place, school record-setting relays: the 200m free with Bridget Killian ’16, captain Patty Boyer ’15 and Sophia Walker ’17 (1:36.85) ,and the 400 medley with Walker, captain Teri Faller ’15 and Katie Kronick ’17 (3:54.18).
“Certainly Mariah Rawding was a great addition to relays and her individual events were very strong—school records in three individual events and as part of a bunch of relays, as well,” said Burnham.
Rawding also led off the highest-placing Bowdoin relay, the second-place 400m free team that also featured Killian, Lela Garner ’16 and Walker with a school-record time of 3:28.64.
Faller and Caroline Watt ’18 also set Bowdoin individual records in fourth-place finishes. Faller swam 26.92 in the 50m backstroke and Watt turned in an impressive 17:18.20 in the 1,650 free.
Sitting in fifth place after day one of the three-day meet, the Polar Bears knew they had a shot at taking the program to new heights in the conference standings.
“After the first day—after everyone swam out of their minds—we knew top five could be a possibility,” said Isabel Schwartz ’17. “We kept saying ‘one hand,’ meaning we wanted to finish in the top five. So that was a theme throughout the meet that we bonded over.”
“When you have a great first relay and everyone swims well, it makes the sprinters go well,” said Burnham. “And then we had some great swims in the 500, so I think the team felt good after that. You take a sigh of relief and just keep going.”
After the fast start from some of their best events, the women knew they would have to fight to hold onto their spot.
“We knew that fifth would be our best-ever score,” said Boyer. “We knew very early on that we could be fifth, but our hardest thing would be maintaining that.”
“Friday was our strongest day. And the fact that you’re moving through the meet and getting more tired—keeping up the momentum from that first day is really important,” added Faller.
Once it became clear on Sunday that the Polar Bears had successfully held their spot, the meet became a jubilant affair for the swimmers.
“It was such a fun place to be,” said Faller. “You’d wait for someone to walk back after their swim and everyone would just rush them and hug them. So it was definitely emotional.”
Thanks to their exceptional times, several members of the team appear poised to qualify for the D III Championship in Houston during the weekend of March 20-22. Watt (1,650 free) and Rawding (200 breast), along with all members of the 200-and 400-freestyle relays, will make the trip to Texas if they remain in top-16 slots nationally in their events after more D-III schools compete in conference championships this weekend.
“The women have a long break [until Nationals]. It’s a good four weeks,” said Burnham. “So the rest of this week will be moderate and we’ll just slowly bring things back in, the same training that we were doing for the last five or six weeks of the season.”
Burnham’s NESCAC Coach of the Year honor was a cherry on top of the team’s triumphant weekend.
“Everyone was so excited. People were crying because they were so happy,” said Schwartz. “We swarmed him afterwards and gave him a big hug. He deserved it and everyone knew it.”
“It’s voted on by the other coaches, so I would assume they recognized that our women swam better as a team,” said Burnham. “It truly is the swimmers that do all the work, not me. They swam lights out, and I get a nice title for a year.”
“Brad has a really unique way to approach swimming,” said Faller. “A lot of people on our team come from teams where it’s a lot of drilling, a lot of yelling—motivation by fear, quite honestly. And Brad’s definitely not like that. He’s very much, ‘Do what you need to do. Focus on your technique.’ He genuinely invests in you.”
Dreams of an even better finish are fueling the Polar Bear’s off season training.
“We realized that we’re getting better as a team, and it will push us to train harder this spring and over the summer through the fall to prepare for next year,” said Schwartz. “We want to get the incoming freshmen excited to be part of the team.”
JB Wells of Endicott College named head coach of Bowdoin football team
Bowdoin announced JB Wells as its 29th head football coach Wednesday morning. Wells joins the Polar Bears by way of Endicott College, where he was the first coach in program history and accrued a 75-48 record over his 12 seasons with the Gulls.
The announcement came directly after a 7 a.m. meeting in Kresge Auditorium where Wells introduced himself to the entire team.
Wells knows the NESCAC well, as he graduated from Trinity College in 1991 and started for three years as an offensive lineman for the Bantams. He also held assistant coaching positions at both Trinity and Bates during the ’90’s.
“This was really less of a football decision and more of a career decision,” said Wells. “I played in the conference, and the NESCAC means a lot to me. I’ve always seen myself as returning to the NESCAC in one of the positions, I just didn’t know where it was gonna be.”
For Wells, the decision to leave the Endicott program, which he built from the ground up, was not an easy one.
“I can’t thank Endicott enough for the opportunity I was given as a 31 year-old, unproven head coach,” he said. “They handed me a blank canvas and all the art supplies I needed to paint a picture and put my vision on that canvas. To see it come to life and see it succeed in the way that it did was remarkable. It was hard to leave.”
After Dave Caputi stepped down this fall after 15 years as head coach, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan sat down with the team and established a set of desired characteristics for its next coach. He then narrowed the applicants down to those which he presented to the selection committee.
The selection committee was headed up by Ryan. Also on the committee were team captains Parker Mundt ’16, Brendan Lawler ’16 and Dan Barone ’16, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Jim Caton, Assistant Dean of Admissions Zakaree Harris, Assistant Director of Employment and Staffing Meredith Haralson, Associate Head Athletic Trainer Megan Thompson, Head Coach of Field Hockey Nicky Pearson, Head Coach of Baseball Mike Connelly and Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History Brian Purnell, who is the faculty liaison to the football team.
“Before we could even look at it, Tim Ryan sifted through upwards of 100 applicants,” said Mundt. “It came down to the final 12 or 15 guys who he thought were appropriate.”
Mundt said it was not difficult to decide on the top four candidates.
“In their cover letters, it was really quite obvious,” he continued. “Even just the language some of the guys were using, it was pretty clear that they were not fitting our standards. It was a really quick process.”
After narrowing it down to four, the committee closely evaluated the remaining candidates. Lawler, Barone and Mundt conducted phone interviews.
“A couple of the other phone interviews I had were 20 minutes long, very meat and potatoes, question and answer,” said Mundt. "And that’s not what I was looking for at all."
“My interview with [Coach Wells] was different, and I knew it was different,” said Mundt. “We had a conversation for an hour and a half, which was exactly what I wanted. I got a really good feel for what he’s about, and he got a feel for what we’re about here.”
But while Wells is still yet to move any of his possessions from his Beverley office to his Brunswick one, he has already turned his thoughts toward his new roster. He plans to leave Bowdoin’s base 4-2-5 defense relatively intact, including coverages and blitz schemes similar to those he employed while with the Gulls.
The offense, though, will have a new look next year. Tyler Grant ‘17 is the attack’s best returning weapon, having led the NESCAC with 893 rushing yards last season. He also had over 75 more carries than any other back in the league despite standing only 5’10” and weighing just 158 pounds.
“I’ve always been in favor of having a two-headed monster, two guys that can shoulder the load,” Wells said. “It makes them both better. So the scheme on running the football will be different. They ran a zone scheme and I’m more of a gap scheme kind of a guy. I love the traditional power play. I’m an offensive line guy, and it kind of speaks to my soul as a football player.”
“I’ve also had a lot of success in my career throwing the football. I look at guys like Seamus Power [‘16] and Danny Barone that stood out to me on film. I’d like to see us be a little more vertical in our passing game. We have to throw for more than one passing touchdown in the season.”
Wells takes over a Polar Bear squad that finished 2-6 last year and has an all-time record of 392-502-44. And while he plans to bring cultural changes to the program, a full overhaul is not to be expected.
“I heard one of the players allude to us making a turnaround,” he said. “Well, a turnaround says that you’re going in the wrong direction. I don’t think that Bowdoin’s going in the wrong direction, I think that we just need to get a little more in line, a little bit more focused and get everybody—everybody—headed in the right direction.”
According to Wells, heading in the right direction means an intense focus on oneself.
“One of my idiosyncrasies is that I will never mention an opponent by name,” he said. “They’re just ‘that team over there in Lewiston,’ or whatever. I don’t talk about those guys, because the focus should always be on us. Your opponents are just a sounding board for how good you can be.”
As the football team moves into this new era, all involved are focused on the future.
“There’s no magic wand you can wave as a college football coach coming into a program that’s historically been a 3-5, 2-6 team,” said Mundt. “We’re expecting to win this year, but it’s something where you’ll want to come back and see success later. I know they’re going to be winning five, six, seven or eight games a year. If you can set your guys up for success and in five years come and watch them win games, that’s awesome.”
“At the end of the day, it was ‘Can you be successful?’” said Wells. “And I wouldn’t be sitting in this seat if I didn’t think that we could. I left the program that I built from scratch and I was only going to do that if I could be at a special place.”
Not just for laughs: comic Hari Kondabolu ’04 on career highs
Hari Kondabolu ’04 nearly incited a race riot in Jack Magee’s Pub during his senior spring at Bowdoin.
At least, that is what the Orient wrote at the time, according to the comedian.
“I think there was a shitty Orient article on the event that implicates me,” said Kondabolu, who is currently touring behind his debut standup album, “Waiting for 2042.” “I did a set that night where I decided to be more abrasive and a lot harsher about race than I ever had been.”
The event in question was a Black History Month gathering on a Thursday night in Jack Magee’s Pub and Grill. Slam poets, singers and other artists performed in honor of African American heritage. Late in the evening, a group of students with a weekly tradition of bowling and later drinking at the Pub arrived to find the Black History Month even taking place.
“Instead of joining the Black History Month open mic that was happening, they were pissed off that they couldn’t just drink and listen to shitty music,” said Kondabolu in a phone interview with the Orient. “They disputed the thing and the n-word was said at some point. It was this huge thing.”
The Black History Month event organizers put up posters the next day with images of black slaves covered in whip marks. Administrators took the posters down, and the campus dealt with the incident by hosting a series of open forums at which students could discuss their feelings.
“[The posters were] the organizers saying ‘You took our history from us and now we bring it to you,’” Kondabolu said. “I loved it.”
“Sometimes there’s unpleasantness,” he added. “Sometimes you do something abrasive and unpleasant to jolt the campus into thinking. And instead of doing that we just ended up having a bunch of forums...They were aggressive and trying to do something important, and instead we did just the same old fucking thing we always do.”
That incident and its aftermath, along with many other experiences at Bowdoin, shaped Kondabolu’s worldview and directly influence his comedy to this day, he said.
"I was a middle-class kid from Queens, New York, and I went to college in Brunswick, Maine with a lot of kids who had money that I never knew existed and used the word ‘summer’ as a verb," he said. "It was a bit of a shock."
“There are Bowdoin marks on [the album]. When I mention lacrosse, for example. Bowdoin will know ‘Okay, that was clearly from whatever bitterness he had 10 years ago,'" Kondabolu said, laughing. "All that stuff, in different ways, shows up in my act. I’m old enough now that it’s not something that I carry every single day, but it’s shaped how I see justice and unfairness and inequality."
After graduating from Bowdoin in 2004, Kondabolu moved to Seattle to work as an immigrant rights organizer. At night, Kondabolu would work his standup at local open mics and showcases, but comedy was strictly a hobby for him.
The HBO Comedy Festival had other ideas, however. While scouting for talent in Seattle in 2007, the festival organizers approached Kondabolu and asked him to participate. Little did he know that the opportunity would lead to him appearing on late-night television much sooner in his career than anyone could have expected.
"They wanted to promote the festival and the [Jimmy Kimmel Live] people saw my tape and said, ‘Let’s put this kid on,'" he recalled. "I never even imagined myself on TV. I never thought of that as a possibility. So all of a sudden, I have to be on TV, and the next play I get on a plane, fly back to Seattle and go to work. I was scared to death and I was doing material that I wasn’t doing regularly at the time in Seattle.”
A year later, Kondabolu received a Masters in Human Rights at the London School of Economics. It was then that he decided to pursue comedy full-time in Seattle. After making a name for himself by touring colleges and clubs and appearing on Comedy Central a handful of times, he found himself on a late-night show once again, this time with Conan O'Brien in 2012.
“The Conan set I felt like I was ready for, unfortunately I got sick the week of," he says. "If you see the tape, I’m giving it the best I got. I’m performing my heart out but I was clearly congested and my voice wasn’t as strong as it needed to be. But it was fine for what it was.”
The same year, Kondabolu moved to New York—a rite of passage for comedians ready to take on bigger stages. He took a writing job for the FX show “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” a late-night comedy show with a stand up-heavy focus. The now-cancelled “Totally Biased,” like much of Kondabolu's own comedy, framed discussions of race and class in terms not recognized by a wider audience. SFGate wrote that the show "makes 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' look like something your dad watches."
On July 16 of last year, Kondabolu recorded “Waiting for 2042” in Oakland. The album's title is a reference to the year that demographers predict will be the first in which white people will no longer be the majority in America. True to form, Kondabolu riffs on race, feminism and health care while also setting his sights on Matthew McConaughey and "American liberal cowards" who threaten to flee to Canada every time a Republican wins and election.
For Kondabolu, the decision to craft a stand up set for an album format instead of doing a TV special was a deliberate one.
“I had wanted to make a record for a while, but my confidence would waver," he said. "It was weird because I knew I wanted to make it—it was a dream. But this pressure when you decide to put something in an album format, you’re saying this represents an era, and that was a hard thing."
“With my own album, I could tell my jokes the way I wanted to tell them. That brought life into the idea of making something with old material. I wanted it to have a through line--pieces that connected with callbacks. I wanted it to make internal sense, not just be a group of mp3s in a folder.”
Since the album’s release on March 11, Kondabolu has been touring, stopping in places like San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and St. Louis. Last week, he made his first-ever stand up performance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”
“The Letterman set was good," he said. "I felt like I was in control, I knew what I was doing and I was confident. I do what I do. I’m at a certain point now where of course I want people to laugh, but I also know that everyone’s not going to laugh at everything I say."
After the set aired, Kondabolu tweeted, "I might be the 1st comic to say 'race is a social construct' on late night TV," referring to the joke with which he closed the set.
"When I submitted that [bit] I considered it a long-shot," he said. "I thought ‘Oh, they’re not gonna let me do that. I can already rule it out.’ But they let me do it, and that bit to me is the most important bit in that set, because that bit questions things that we take for granted. I use the phrase ‘social construct,’ which is not something everyone’s going to understand, but for people who got it, it was the wink to them."
Much of Kondabolu's material similarly appeals to societally marginalized groups. In a “Totally Biased” segment in which he discussed the growing number of Indian-Americans with public platforms, he joked "There's, like, 14 of us now." Being in a position of representing others has made him reconsider his approach at times.
“Who wants to be the representative of a thing? Who wants to speak for a ton of people? I don’t want to do that. I speak for myself," he said. "But I’ve been in the position of ‘The only voice we have is Apu?’ or ‘I love Chris Rock because he’s speaking the truth. Nobody else is saying this.’ I know what it’s like to really love a performer because they’re doing something that means a lot to me."
Kondabolu said the academic experiences he had at Bowdoin shape his humor as much as the social ones.
“Just the format of how I talk, you can tell that we have the same education," he said, laughing. "My jokes are often little essays, right? I have a thesis and supporting information. I enumerate!"
Kondabolu felt lucky to have plenty of opportunities to form and sharpen his style while at Bowdoin.
“When I got to Seattle at 23, I was more polished than a lot of people in the scene because I had been doing long sets in college—and had an audience—for four years," he said. "Those were really important, formative years and obviously contributed to me being who I am.”
The incident at the Pub was an extreme example of the complex and often displeasing racial and social dynamics at Bowdoin that affected Kondabolu. However, his college experience was quite positive, overall.
“I got to do 45 minutes as a senior in front of 300 people," he said. “I would do open mics and 100 people would show up just to see me work new material, even though they knew it would be terrible. When I went to Wesleyan [for his junior year abroad], Bowdoin paid for me to come back twice, once each semester, to do standup on campus.
“So as much as I say that I was frustrated by certain parts of my experience, which ultimately has shaped me in a positive way, I was nurtured and loved on that campus. It was a really close community.”
#SPROTS: Hot takes and paragraph breaks: mocking the worst of sports writing
LeBron James is everything that’s wrong with basketball. Derek Jeter is everything that’s right with baseball. Athletes who hold out for bigger contracts are selfish crybabies, and billionaire sports franchise owners aren’t. The most valuable players are gutsy and gritty, not naturally-talented and flashy.
Any given sports fan has spent hours of their life sifting through opinions like these. There’s something that drives certain sport writers to offer moralizing, sanctimonious takes at every possible opportunity. “Good” athletes are tough guys who make the most of their talent. They’re leaders and they never stop hustling. “Bad” athletes are showboating malcontents. When things start to go south for the team, these guys only look out for themselves.
None of this is wrong, in and of itself, it’s just that these attributes are assigned quite arbitrarily. That’s the fallacy of it all: For whatever reason, short, overachieving white guys are often more celebrated than their superstar teammates that win games.
Fortunately, there have long-existed people who call out these “hot takes,” as they’re now known.
In 2005, a group of baseball-obsessed friends started FireJoeMorgan.com, a blog with the tagline “Where Bad Sports Journalists Come to Die.” Using pseudonyms, the writers of FJM hilariously skewered sports media members who put forth obnoxious arguments without facts to back them up. The site was so influential that bloggers today still partake in “FJMing”—that is, destroying bad columns in FJM’s signature style. The site went dark in 2008.
Fear not, though. Today’s internet is better than ever at calling out bad sports writing of all kinds. @PFTCommenter, a Twitter personality and writer at NFL humor website KissingSuzyKolber.com, is an elaborate satire of the toughness-obsessed, lib-hating goons that wage war in internet comment sections.
A @PFTCommenter tweet from March 4 regarding 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s contract negotiations should give you an idea of his shtick: “only thing more backwords then Crapernicks contract demands is his hat folks,” he wrote. While @PFTCommenter’s signature misspellings and race baiting are often laugh-out-loud funny, his outlandish diatribes are scarily similar to those of many NFL superfans.
On the other end of the hot take spectrum is Gregg Easterbrook, a well-credentialed writer who writes a weekly ESPN column during the NFL season. Easterbrook is something of a snob, and he’s quick to proclaim his intellectual and moral superiority over, well, anyone who isn’t him.
Deadspin’s Drew Magary pokes fun at Easterbrook in his weekly NFL feature in a segment called “Gregg Easterbrook is a Haughty Dipshit.” Easterbrook is an easy target—his writing begs to be mocked and he’s not exactly strapped for cash—but I asked Magary if he ever felt bad for the relentless teasing, anyway.
“Oh sure, sometimes,” Magary told me in an email. “I try my best to balance the karma by ripping myself and leaving myself open for goofing. I’ve gone too far in the past and I do my best now to rein it in so I don’t become utterly repellent. People tend to have good moral radars and will let you know if you’ve overstepped your bounds.”
Today’s most prominent purveyor of tongue-in-cheek hot takes is Grantland’s Andrew Sharp, whose parodic #HotSportsTakes column reads like a hacky sports writer’s greatest hits. He first wrote the column—then called Troll Tuesdays—for SB Nation in 2012.
“We saw a lot of columns that were clearly just thrown out there to get people all pissed off,” Sharp told me in an email. “So one day my editor, Spencer Hall, came up with the idea that we’d start writing stuff that was openly trolling readers, just to see what happens. He asked me to write the first one, and for some reason I decided to write it in the voice of a ’70s sports writer, so then that became part of the series, too. And it just sort of took off from there.”
Sharp’s Troll Tuesday columns celebrated Notre Dame football and Lance Armstrong, and derided March Madness Cinderellas and even Santa Claus. Since he moved to Grantland last year, Sharp’s #HotSportsTakes have questioned whether Richard Sherman should’ve been allowed to play in the Super Bowl and suggested that the Broncos dump Peyton Manning.
One particularly smoldering take that praised Duke University’s much slobbered-over head coach Mike Krzyzewski was so convincing that it got posted to Coach K’s official Facebook page. Oops.
I asked Sharp for a sure-fire formula that would produce only the hottest of takes.
“Some feigned concern for the future of America and sports fans, that would be number one,” he wrote. “Horrible puns and jokes are key. Some completely tone deaf celebration of scrappy athletes as icons, and most importantly, some dehumanizing commentary on star athletes who screw up.
“Like if guys make a mistake or lose a big game or do anything controversial, the hot take move is to question the entire character or soul, and then tie it to some generational decline and get all paternalistic, lecturing grown men about values.”
I’d add that hot takes usually include a few scorching, single-sentence paragraphs.
Such takedowns of bad writing are now so ubiquitous that some are wondering if they’re becoming more common than the pieces they mock.
“I think that most sports writers are so primed now for the backlash to their HOT SPROTS TAKES that they don’t even bother to write the hot take to begin with,” Magary wrote on Deadspin a few weeks back. “We’re basically writing Richard Sherman columns in response to a backlash that never actually arrives.... The strong take well is drying up.”
“Drew and I actually talked about that a few months ago,” Sharp told me. “I definitely think we’ve seen a drop-off, at least at the national level. At this point, I’m parodying columns that don’t totally exist anymore, but it’s too fun to come up with awful puns, so I’ll keep it going a little longer.”
Now that Twitter and blogs have been in the mainstream public consciousness for years, it’s certainly possible that writers are listening to internet criticism. Pardon the usage of a quintessential hot take phrase, but it begs the question: Have the internet crusades against bad sports writing successfully eliminated their target?
“To a certain extent it probably has helped shitty sports writers be more aware of their shittiness. I dunno that it stops them,” said Magary. “It’s really more for personal entertainment. I can’t justify it as a civil service, honestly.”
“Whether it’s improved sports writing by shaming people? I don’t think so, but it’s been fun to screw around,” said Sharp. “The only reason I have kept doing it is because it’s fun.
“I will say it’s improved my sports writing, because I’m more conscious of not being a lazy hack with things. Regardless, sports writing in 2014 is great or horrible depending on who you read, and I’m pretty sure that’s always been true.”
Coby Horowitz '14 breaks 17-year old D-III mile record at BU
On Saturday at the New England Open Meet held at Boston University, senior Coby Horowitz broke the NCAA D-III Indoor Track and Field mile record, which stood for 17 years. Horowitz ran the event at 4:00.41, 54 hundredths of a second faster than Haverford’s Karl Paranya achieved at the Commonwealth Invitational in 1997. Later that year Paranya became the first D-III runner to break the 4-minute mark, albeit on Haverford’s outdoor track and while being paced by Olympic gold-medalist Marcus O’Sullivan.
According to Horowitz, he knew ahead of time the potential this race had for him.
“I went in knowing this would be one of the meets where I’d try and go as close to 4:00 as possible,” said Horowitz. “Some of the other guys out there were willing to try as well, which was really nice; I didn’t have to lead the whole thing. [Wesley Gallagher] from Northeastern said that he would take out the first 400, which made my life easier.”
Pacing for part of the race is a practice common amongst teammates, but having an opponent agree to pace for another team is unusual. Gallagher, a sophomore, finished the race in third place with his own personal record of 4:02.57.
“Five minutes before the race—I had raced [Gallagher] this summer, so we knew each other—he came over and was like ‘What are you doing today?’” said Horowitz. “And I was like ‘Tryna see how fast I can go.’ He said he was doing the same, so he offered to take out the first 400.”
On February 10, Horowitz was named the D-III National Athlete of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for breaking the school record and running the fastest D-III mile in a decade with a time of 4:02.12. His time was the fourth fastest indoor time ever recorded in D-III.
A 10-time All American, Horowitz has been named the Orient’s Athlete of the Season twice and Athlete of the Week four times, and has also shattered seven school records for indoor and outdoor track over the past four years. In addition to a mile record that could stand for a long, long time, Horowitz has school marks in the two mile, 1000-meter, 1000 flat-track, distance medley, 1500-meter and 5000-meter. With so many records under his belt, Horowitz said he was fully aware of where he needed to be to secure one in the mile.
“I knew the national record and the NESCAC record and the New England record,” he said. “[My goal was] to get as close to 4:01 as possible. I knew if I was in that range I’d be able to get underneath [the record].”
Horowitz has three official meets left in his indoor collegiate career before the outdoor season begins in early April. His mile time from three weeks ago qualified him to run at the D-III Nationals in Lincoln, Nebraska on March 14. According to Horowitz, it’s harder to run as fast a time at a highly-competitive tournament like Nationals, because the racers are running to win--not to secure the best times.
“This was one of the meets where, at least for us, it wasn’t about scoring points, but on getting a fast time,” he said. “There’s a different mindset that makes this a different type of race.”
Less than half a second shy of breaking the coveted four-minute mark, Horowitz said it’s still his goal to improve his time.
“Everyone’s dream is to go sub-four,” Horowitz said. “So once you can tell that you’re gonna be close, you try to put it all out there. I came up a little bit short today, but hopefully I’ll get another chance or two.”
#SPROTS: Tourney time is February’s Maine event
Bowdoin students from out of state like to talk about Maine in romantic, if sometimes condescending, terms. Maine is eccentric, idiosyncratic, and off the beaten path. Maine is quaint, Maine has its own little traditions.
They’re not wrong, of course. My hometown of Orono has an annual tradition of using a lottery system to select a single citizen to be stoned in the town square. Great fun is had by each and every unaffected family.
That’s just us, though. Maine’s best traditions are those that bring folks together from all corners of the state. My personals favorites are the boys’ and girls’ high school basketball tournaments, which are now starting in Bangor, Augusta and Portland.
#SPROTS: Richard Sherman is an absolute delight
If you’ve made even a minimal attempt to follow football over the past couple of weeks, you’re probably sick of hearing about Richard Sherman. In fact, the noise about Sherman has been so deafening that this may not be the first piece you’ve read beginning with that sentence.
In case you’ve tuned out, here’s the SparkNotes version: Sherman is one of the best defensive players in the NFL, and he’ll be the first to tell you so. A couple weeks ago, Sherman clinched a Super Bowl berth for his Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game by breaking up a last-minute pass intended for one of his many rivals, San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Sherman taunted Crabtree after the play, which was pretty standard behavior for perhaps the league’s biggest loudmouth.
But the real dram’ came after the final whistle. In a live postgame interview with FOX’s Erin Andrews, Sherman looked directly into the souls of viewers at home and shouted that Crabtree was a “sorry receiver.” He also yelled, “Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’ma shut it for you real quick,” which, of course, is a dope thing to yell on live television.
Video: Film Studies: Coach Dave Caputi
Polar Bears run their first 26.2 at Maine Marathon
On October 6, several Bowdoin students ran in the 22nd annual Maine Marathon. Approximately 1,000 runners participated in Maine’s premier marathon, and about 2,000 more ran in the accompanying half marathon.
“I picked out this particular marathon in the spring and have been training since May,” said Ben Pallant ’16, who was competing in his first marathon.
Like others from Bowdoin, Pallant didn’t stick to a particularly strict training routine preparing for the race, but put in many hours over the summer.
Trinka ’16 finishes sixth at Nationals in Fla.
Last month, Luke Trinka ’16 earned a trip to the International Tennis Association (ITA) Small College Championships in Fort Myers, Florida by winning the ITA Northeast Regional Championship as an unseeded player. This past weekend, Trinka finished sixth at nationals. We caught up with him to ask about his time in Florida.
Were you happy with how it went?LT: I was happy with how it went. That’s not to say that I wasn’t a little bit disappointed, though. I had played so well at the ITA at Middlebury, and last weekend I kind of came down from that very high level of play. But overall I was very happy to be there, especially being the first player in the draw.
What was the level of competition like compared to that of the New England Regional?It was a difficult draw. Instead of having to play the top players in the quarterfinals, semifinals or finals, you’re playing them in the first round. It’s very visceral. You need to raise your level of play right away or you might get caught up and not move through the draw as you would like to.
Athletics' partnership with NSN will invigorate webcasts
Thanks to a new agreement between the athletic department and Northeast Sports Network (NSN), Polar Bear parents, students, and alumni will have access to professional-quality live webcasts of home sporting events throughout the entire academic year.
This summer, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan ‘98 and Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Jim Caton negotiated a three-year deal with NSN to provide live feeds of sporting events for at least 16 of Bowdoin’s 31 varsity teams. Over 100 total contests will be broadcast over the course of the year.
“For the last two or three years we could kind of see the writing on the wall for webcasting,” said Caton. “There was a demand out there that was growing exponentially that I could anticipate not being able to fill at a point in time.”
Vague hazing policy under review after student discontent
Following two high-profile hazing incidents this academic year and two similar cases last year, the deans have begun to review and revise the College's current hazing rules, due to student disagreement with the enforcement of the policies. In the fall, the men’s rugby team was forced to forfeit two games after four students were transported due to overconsumption of alcohol on the night of the team’s annual Epicuria party. The team was effectively disqualified from postseason play as a result of the forfeitures. This spring, the men’s tennis team, ranked No. 5 nationally in D-III at the time, forefeited four matches and postseason play after the deans determined that a team event involved hazing.
Many students said that the punishments were disproportionate to the teams’ transgressions.
"Some of the teams that have gotten in trouble for hazing have said that they took a lot of precautions to not haze," said a female junior athlete who asked to remain anonymous.
Athletics affect course selections, not GPA
March 28, 2014 5:12 p.m.: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that the average GPA of all students in 2005 was 3.25. The correct statistic is 3.23.
President Barry Mills delivered a report on athletics at a faculty meeting on February 4, providing a rare look at the College’s efforts to recruit athletes and opening a discussion about their collective performance in the classroom.
According to Professor of Latin and Greek Barbara Boyd, at one of the fall faculty meetings earlier in the year, Professor of Religion Jorunn Buckley voiced her concern with “a number of students that she said were underprepared for the academic work at Bowdoin, and noticed that some of them were athletes.”
Several members of the faculty began actively discussing the issue during the meeting, and Mills returned at the February 4 meeting with information to answer some of their concerns, citing the difference in cumulative grade point average between athletes and non-athletes at Bowdoin as the “smallest or next to smallest of any school in the NESCAC.”
The collective GPA of female athletes is slightly higher than that of the general female population, while male athletes are just a shade below the male average. According to a Bowdoin Academic Affairs web page, at the end of the fall 2005 semester the cumulative GPA of student athletes, including members of club teams, was 3.22, almost indentical to the all-student cumulative GPA of 3.23. The College has not updated these statistics since 2005.
“It’s absolutely a point of pride within our campus community and the athletic department,” said Tim Ryan, althetic director, about the negligible GPA difference between athletes and the student body at large. “It’s a testament to the work our coaches do to bring highly talented students to campus who are dedicated to their academic interests.
Multiple professors on campus pointed out that they were not concerned with athletes in general, but rather a select few who seemed to be underperforming academically.
“Basically [Mills’] message was that, on average, the GPA of athletes is on par with the rest of the College. Averages can be misleading,” said biology and biochemistry professor Bruce Kohorn. “It would be better to look at the individual GPAs of individual athletes and perhaps those of specific teams.”
Each admissions cycle, Bowdoin is limited, like all other NESCAC schools, to 77 athletic recruits—students who gain admission aided by the fact they play sports. Bowdoin has a self-imposed, flexible cap of admitting around 120 student athletes in each first-year class. This means a total of 43 athletes are admitted solely on the basis of their academic achievements. No other NESCAC school has a similar limitation.
President Mills instituted the cap of 120 when he came to Bowdoin in 2001.
“I believed that we could have competitive and excellent teams, and at the same time, given our small size, it would leave enough space to admit people with other interests,” he said.
Ryan echoed Mills’ interest in bringing a diverse student body to Bowdoin each year.
“One of our goals at Bowdoin is to have a community that’s comprised of people with many different interests,” said Ryan. “We work with the parameters that are in place for us regarding athletes and we’re pleased with the success that we’ve been able to have both in the classroom and on the playing field.”
After Mills’ February faculty meeting remarks, faculty members launched into a larger discussion about the relationship between college athletics and academics.
“One of the issues that came up was students missing classes on Fridays due to away games,” said Boyd. The administration “talked about how that had all been worked out and there wasn’t supposed to be any missing of classes. But then some faculty members said ‘Actually, no,’” there had been incidents of it.
While unanimously agreeing that there is value in participating in athletics, some professors said they felt that athletes at Bowdoin are pressured to dedicate an inordinate amount of time to their sports.
“There are some very bright people who don’t have the time or energy to reach their potential in the classroom,” said Kohorn.
“If teammates are saying ‘Oh, don’t take that class because of practice,’ then that’s really detrimental to the academic program of the institution,” said Boyd.
Student-athletes, too, acknowledged the strain that practices, games and other team functions can put on their studies.
“Every single time between classes in-season, even if it’s just 45 minutes, I have to be doing something,” said Kelsey Mullaney ’16, a member of the field hockey team, in an interview with the Orient. “If I don’t, then I’m going to be up late. Procrastination isn’t an option.”
“Two hours a day at practice translates to a 2-hour practice, a half-hour dinner with the team, minimum, and a half-hour of cleaning up and getting ready to do work,” said Ezra Duplissie-Cyr ’15, a member of the men’s club rugby team. “Before you know it, it’s eight o’clock and half of your day is gone.”
Duplissie-Cyr opted not to play a varsity sport at Bowdoin because of the additional time commitment.
“I’ve heard [varsity athletes] complain about getting back from a game at 11 o’clock on a Tuesday night,” he said.
Despite this, many athletes reported athletics having a positive effect on their academics.
“It creates a schedule for me,” said Spencer Vespole ’13, who plays water polo in the fall and coaches the women’s water polo team in the spring. “Outside of the season I don’t really know what to do between 4:30 and 6:30. I’ll fall asleep.”
“As a junior, I’ve gotten used to the fact that I’m pretty much always in season,” said Griffin Cardew ’14, a member of both the football and lacrosse teams. “I feel like I work best when I’m in season because I tend to procrastinate [otherwise]. It forces me to be organized and have a schedule. When I have an hour or 45 minutes to get work done, that’s when I have to do it.”
According to Mullaney, being a member of a sports team has improved her academic experience as a first year in multiple ways. Because field hockey is a fall sport, she said she developed her study habits during her busiest time of the year.
“It would be much harder starting with lots of free time and then going into a sport,” she said.
However, several athletes confirmed the concern that Boyd had—that student athletes often choose classes around their sports commitments, as a way to more prudently manage their future schedules.
“There were classes in the afternoon that I couldn’t take [because of practice], which sucks because they aren’t offered in the spring,” added Mullaney. “That’s really frustrating.”
“There have been a couple of night classes in the past that I would’ve been interested in taking, but I didn’t just because I would’ve missed practice,” said Cardew. “So to a certain extent it’s affected it, but I wouldn’t make any complaints about it.”
According to Professor of Economics Jonathan Goldstein, athletes at Bowdoin have little incentive to dedicate time to schoolwork at the expense of their athletic careers.
“At Bowdoin, 85 percent of grades are As and Bs,” he said. “What that says is that the opportunity cost of shirking academic responsibilities to pursue extracurricular activities is very small.”
However, not all professors on campus said they agree that student-athletes should always have to be students first.
“The people who disparage spending a lot of time on athletics are thinking from a perspective that it’s a wasted endeavor,” said Assistant Professor of Economics Erik Nelson. “Presumably, you would think you’re a better person for devoting more time to your mind than your body, but I don’t necessarily agree with that. People who are worried about athletes and the amount of time they spend with the sport think that there’s some kind of wrongful imbalance. I don’t know why, necessarily.”
“Students are adults by the time they’re in college,” added Nelson. “It’s up to them to decide how they want to allocate their time and the risk they run by dedicating a lot of time to a particular activity.”
Even though the College’s student athletes have limited time to spare for schoolwork, academics are a major concern for the Athletic Department.
“When we go through the hiring process of coaches, we talk about the importance of the academic performance of our students,” said Ryan. “We hope to attract people who are philosophically aligned with the idea that students are here to be students first.”
Whether they like it or not, coaches at Bowdoin must look to recruit players who will meet the approval of the Office of Admissions.
“Regardless of how good a player someone is, the school’s not going to accept them if they don’t think they’re qualified,” said Tim Gilbride, the head coach of men’s basketball.
As for non-recruits, the definition of “qualified” at Bowdoin is fluid when compared to other peer institutions.
“There’s nothing formulaic [for us],” said Head Football Coach Dave Caputi. “Ivy League schools have something called the Academic Index. The highest score you can get is 240 points. Good essay, bad essay, glowing teacher recommendations, lukewarm teacher recommendations: none of that factors into it in the Ivy League formula. Bowdoin’s is not a quantitative evaluation; it’s a qualitative evaluation.”
“Standards have changed over time as the school looks for different things, students from different areas, or whatever the case may be,” said Gilbride. “Every year someone from admissions will talk to Tim Ryan and say ‘Here are the parameters.’ Sometimes they’ll actually sit down with us coaches as a group and say, ‘Here are cases of kids who’ve been admitted or not admitted, and here’s why.’”
Once given a clear picture of what to look for in recruits’ academic profiles, coaches work hard to project which of their target players stand a good chance of admittance.
As a result of the non-formulaic approach in admissions, Bowdoin coaches must pay particular attention to their athletes’ non-athletic performance. Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Scott Mieklejohn, declined to comment for this story.
“We save all the information of kids we’ve admitted in the past and say to ourselves ‘How did Admissions read this kid?’ So we’ll do some pretty lengthy analysis for future reference,” said Caputi.
“Some guys are borderline, academically,” said Gilbride. “Your initial information might be testing scores and GPA in a recruiting sheet. Then we’ll ask for more information: What’s he taking for courses? Is he taking AP classes? What courses are on the schedule next year? If that stuff’s very strong, then we can think that it might work out.”
Like all Bowdoin students, athletes have the opportunity to utilize many academic resources. Coaches make sure to let their players know what is available on campus.
“I talk to my players pretty regularly, especially the first years,” said Gilbride. “Sometimes people aren’t aware of the resources available to them. Occasionally, if they come in and struggle academically they’ll be embarrassed, because they’ve always been so successful as a student [prior to college]. I tell them to meet with the professor or join a study group. It’s advice I’d give to any first-year students.”
Coaches are also concerned about keeping close tabs on their players’ grades.
“All freshmen and anyone who got below a 3.0 in the previous semester go to a study hall once a week for an hour,” Cardew said of the lacrosse team.
Most recruits succeed in the classroom once at Bowdoin, and many excel. Eighty-four Polar Bears were named to the NESCAC All-Academic Team this past fall, and 77 were named for the winter season.
“I think that’s a measure of the job the admissions office does,” said Coach Caputi. “It’s a measure of the standards we have and us trying to find kids who are a good match.”
Men's basketball ends promising season with loss to Tufts
The men’s basketball season ended last Saturday as the team fell to Tufts in a NESCAC Championship quarterfinal, 82-71.
Despite early concerns about the team’s ability to be competitive after losing a talented crop of seniors, the Polar Bears made it just as far in the playoffs as they did last year, and were within three wins of the same record. The team will return four of its five starters and is in good shape for the next season.
Sharpshooter Andrew Madlinger ’14 led the No. 5 Polar Bears with 22 points on only 14 shots, including 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point land. Keegan Pieri ’15 put up 14 points and nine rebounds. Bryan Hurley ’15 played his usual role of floor general, scoring 11 points while handing out nine assists.
Men's basketball seals playoff berth with wins over Wesleyan and Conn.
The men’s basketball team clinched a spot in the NESCAC tournament this weekend, defeating conference foes Wesleyan and Connecticut College. Although the Polar Bears were slated to play Connecticut College on Saturday, the blizzard Nemo resulted in a change to a Saturday night matchup with Wesleyan. Led by a career-high 23 points from their center captain, Max Staiger ’13, the men disposed of Wesleyan by a final score of 75-68. “We passed well, shot well, and played one of our most complete games of the season,” said Head Coach Tim Gilbride.
Men's basketball plays close against nationally ranked Midd and Williams
The men’s basketball team is in the midst of a 3-game slide as it prepares for its final two regular season games this weekend. Last Friday the Polar Bears fell to No. 6 Middlebury by a score of 72-61. The Panthers controlled the game throughout, building a 43-30 lead at halftime. Bowdoin narrowed the lead to just seven with 13 minutes left, but a shrewd timeout by Middlebury Head Coach Jeff Brown halted the Polar Bears’ momentum. Panther sophomore forward Hunter Merryman sank a critical 3-pointer on Middlebury’s subsequent possession and the lead never shrank below 10 thereafter. While the Polar Bears played with Middlebury neck-and-neck throughout the second half, Head Coach Tim Gilbride said he knows that the Polar Bears need a complete 40 minutes of good basketball to best a team of that caliber.
Men’s basketball preps for NESCAC’s finest
In December, it took a 10-1 scoring run in the final four minutes for the men’s basketball team to beat Colby. In last weekend’s rematch, the Polar Bears wasted no time in whipping the Mules in a solid 63-49 victory. Led by 18 points and 10 rebounds from the resurgent Andrew Madlinger ’14, the Bowdoin men never trailed in their triumph in Waterville last Saturday. Sizzling shooting guard Matt Mathias ’14 chipped in 13 points while point guard Bryan Hurley ’15 added 12 points and eight assists. Colby’s match-up zone, a hybrid defense designed to pressure the opposition’s ball-handler, gave Bowdoin trouble in December. But after a month of training over Winter Break, the Polar Bears were better prepared for this season’s second face-off with their rivals.
Men’s basketball above .500 with three straight wins
The men’s basketball team moved above .500 for the first time this season with a decisive 84-51 victory over Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) on Sunday and began NESCAC play with a nail-biting 74-70 overtime triumph over Bates on Thursday.
Men’s basketball falls 55-54 in first game
The men’s basketball team opened the season 1-1 at the Eastern Connecticut Tip-Off Tournament on the weekend of November 16.
Men’s basketball has new look after losing top two scorers
The men’s basketball team will open its 2012-2013 season with a matchup against Clark University on Friday in the first of two games in the Eastern Connecticut Tip-Off Tournament.
Bowdoin Green Athletes join the EPA’s Game Day Challenge
As an environmental studies major, swimmer Alex Tougas ’14 spends a great deal of time thinking about sustainability. A dedicated swimmer, he works hard to divide his time between his environmental and athletic passions. Since founding Bowdoin Green Athletes (BGA) last spring, Tougas is now contributing to both areas simultaneously.
Fledgling equestrian team rides to victory at UVM
Though they compete against varsity squads up to four times their size, Bowdoin’s club equestrian team has earned more than its fair share of medals this fall.
In its third show of the season at the University of Vermont on October 14, Bowdoin’s five riders all placed in their respective events, with some finishing as high as third.
“How it usually works is you do one event in the morning and one in the afternoon,” said captain Chrissy Hayes ’14. “In the morning, they do a round of jumping over fences. It’s really fun. You get on a random horse and jump eight jumps in a row in the correct order, and you’re judged on how well you do it. In the afternoon we do what’s called a flat class, where you don’t jump.”
Athlete of the Week: Katie Riley '14
In the past decade, only one field hockey player had been named the NESCAC Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks.
Athlete of the Week: Zach Donnarumma '14
After an 0-2 start against perennial NESCAC powers Middlebury and Amherst, the football team was in need of a serious spark to get their first win. Junior running back Zach Donnarumma was able to provide just that last Saturday.