‘NARPs’ and athletes: examining campus divisions
At Bowdoin, there are two kinds of people: varsity athletes, and everyone else. Colloquially, this second group is commonly referred to as “NARPs:” Non-Athletic Regular Persons.
True or not, the idea that a student’s sport (or lack thereof) defines his or her life on campus is so pervasive that even last year’s National Association of Scholars’ (NAS) report on the College discussed the notion of two distinct spheres on campus: the athletes and the non-athletes. This conclusion was largely based on information gleaned from decade-old Orient articles and the College Prowler book “Bowdoin College 2012: Off the Record.”
But contrary to the NAS report’s conclusions, this divide—if it exists—is not an academic one; the differences in athlete and non-athlete GPAs is negligible, according to an April 2013 Orient article.
Interest spikes in computer science as number of majors more than triples in four years
The Department of Computer Science is struggling to adapt to a dramatic increase in student interest. The number of computer science majors has jumped from seven in the Class of 2012 to 25 in the Class of 2015, and this trend is expected to continue for the Class of 2016.
The department currently has a high student-to-faculty ratio: there are four professors for the 179 students in the eight classes offered this semester—a ratio of 45:1. The average Bowdoin professor teaches 36 students per semester.
Caroline Pierce ’16, who has completed Computer Science 101 and is currently taking Data Structures, was not surprised by the low faculty-to-student ratio.
Class of 2017 breaks records
When the 497 members of the class of 2017 filied into Pickard Theater for the 2013 convocation, it marked the first time in history that a pluarality of the incoming first years were not from Maine or Massachusetts.
New York matriculated the most students, with 73, beating out Massachusetts by three students. “We work hard to introduce Bowdoin to students in many parts of New York state,” wrote Dean of Admissions Scott Meiklejohn in an email to the Orient.
States with ten or more students represented in the Class of 2017 include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas. Sixty-five percent of the class is from outside New England and seven percent are international students. “I am proud that the class reflects the College’s continuing success in attracting talented students from all around the world and particularly in bigger numbers from outside New England,” wrote Meiklejohn.
Non-varsity funding leads to unique challenges for teams
Unlike varsity sports, which receive funding from the Department of Athletics, club teams are funded through Student Activities Funding Committee (SAFC), which must divide funds among over 100 student organizations.Men’s rugby and rowing are the only exceptions to this rule and are funded partially by the athletic department, the SAFC, and through other means.
The SAFC has $680,000 to divide each between the 110 College student organizations, including non-varsity sports such as the ultimate frisbee, volleyball, cycling, alpine skiing, men’s rugby, rowing, and equestrian teams. The SAFC meets every Monday, and is comprised of the treasurers of all four classes, two at-large members, and is chaired by the treasurer of the BSG.
While the hybrid teams like men’s rugby and rowing must submit budgets to the SAFC like other club teams, they have a coach hired by the College and have other expenses taken care of by the athletic department.
Bowdoin Green Athletes hope to expand campus sustainability
Coming into its first full year as a club at the College, Bowdoin Green Athletes (BGA) looks to continue its campaign to ingrain sustainability into the athletic culture at Bowdoin, through a team-by-team strategy and a “Rerun Shoes” initiative.
“We’ve made great progress in how we communicate with teams, get recycle bins out at games,” said Alex Tougas ’14, one of the clubs founders. “And, our effort with the shoe recycling has been huge.”
Last year, BGA met with Bowdoin alumnus Jeremy Litchfield of Atayne, a Brunswick store that sells athletic clothing recycled from water bottles, to brainstorm sustainability ideas that could be applied to athletics.
College hires new conditioning coach
Earlier this semester, Bowdoin hired Neil Willey as its new head coach of strength and conditioning coach. A student of the College’s most recent coach, Jim St. Pierre while at the University of Maine, he comes from the University of Arizona to replace his former mentor.
“It’s been kind of a whirl-wind,” Willey said. “My whole career was in one spot, Arizona. I started a family and we had our house and everything. Right now there are a lot of things I’m just trying to wrap my head around and trying to get the teams going and prepared.”
Willey comes to Bowdoin after working at Arizona for 15 years. He most recently served as the Director of Olympic Sports Strength and Conditioning, training five teams: baseball, softball, swimming, diving and gymnastics.
Women's basketball falls in NESCAC semifinals to eventual champion Amherst
The women’s basketball team’s playoff run came to an end last Saturday as the Polar Bears fell 60-45 to the No. 2-seeded Amherst in the NESCAC semifinals. The team did not receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament which means that Bowdoin finished its season with an overall record of 14-11.
“It’s a tough feeling to deal with, especially coming off the big win against Tufts,” said Megan Phelps ’15. “We came into this game with the best hopes and to come out and have it taken away from you is tough. There was definitely a lot of emotion in the locker room.”
The loss marked the final game for the team’s lone senior, captain Kaitlin Donahoe ’13. She was named to the First Team All-NESCAC for the first time in her career last weekend.
Women's basketball tops NESCAC-best Tufts in historic upset
In a dramatic performance on Saturday, the NESCAC’s eighth-seeded Polar Bears defeated first-seeded Tufts 60-54 in the first round of the NESCAC tournament, improving their record to 14-10 and handing Tufts (23-2) their second loss of the season.It was a historic upset, the first time in NESCAC women’s basketball history that the bottom seed has toppled the top seed. The Polar Bears have a history of excellence in the NESCAC championships. Never ranked lower than fifth in tournament history, Bowdoin won the first seven NESCAC titles and has made it to the final round nine times in 12 years.Forced to rebuild after the graduation of a large senior class last spring, the young Polar Bears snuck into the tournament by beating Connecticut College in the final game of the season.“No one expected us to make it a close game, let alone win it,” said Captain Kaitlin Donahoe ’13. “All season our coaches have been telling us ‘just get into the playoffs and anything can happen,’ and we made it by the skin of our teeth.”For the first time in program history, the Polar Bears are the underdogs in the NESCAC tournament.“I think the whole school has embraced it,” Donahoe said. “I’ve had more people, who I didn’t even know followed us, come up to me this week and say congratulations. Everyone loves an underdog. It was easy to look at it as a negative thing at first, seeing that we weren’t in the top four where we would have usually been, but now it’s empowering knowing that no one gave us any chance to beat Tufts. It’s bringing us together closer as a team.”After clinching their playoff berth, the team had a week of rest before facing Tufts, the seventh-ranked team in the nation. “We needed to put everything that had happened, good and bad behind us and just consider it a fresh start,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. “If we played to our potential, we had a good chance to win.”“The week going into Tufts, we focused on the belief that we could do it and play execution,” said Donahoe.Though being the eighth seed took some of the pressure off of the Polar Bears, each match from now on feels like a matter of life or death. “We know if we lose, we’re done,” said Donahoe. “Amherst and Tufts are going to go on to the NCAAs, win or lose. It’s win or go home. It’s fueled us even more to not take a play off, to bring intensity and to talk to every play, to do all the little things that we talk about day in and day out.”Earlier in the season, the Polar Bears were hammered by Tufts 62-44. The Polar Bears lost their composure against the Jumbo’s intense defense, giving up 20 turnovers. “Tufts is one of the best defensive teams in the nation,” said Shibles. “The first time we played them they got a lot of steals and forced turnovers from doubling us or collapsing on us in the paint.”On Saturday, Shibles said she felt that her team gave up too many turnovers in the first half but was able to tighten up ball control after halftime. “Their defensive pressure didn’t rattle us this time,” said Shibles. “We talked about being strong with the ball: ‘They’re going to be all over us trying to get their hands on the ball.’”“We were a little fearful the first time we played them since we had never really faced a NESCAC defense,” said Donahoe. “I didn’t see that intimidation or fear from anyone this past weekend.”Bowdoin looked to draw out Tufts’ quickly shifting defense and double team traps in the paint, allowing them to move the ball to the players on the weak side.The Polar Bears shot excellently from the perimeter, sinking 11 of 19 3-pointers, often with the obstruction of a Jumbo defender’s hand. Bowdoin sunk 57.9 percent of its 3-pointers, while Tufts made just 19 percent. “They were definitely pressure shots,” said Donahoe. “In practice, we picked up the defensive intensity against each other, and I think that has translated really well into games.”Ultimately, the match was an offensive team effort with balanced scoring. Selena Lorrey ’16 led Bowdoin with 11 points off the bench.“It was clear she was really mentally ready to go,” said Shibles. “You could just tell she was really feeling it behind the arc; she has a lot of confidence in her shot.”Tufts scored the bulk of its points from up close.“Their posts are very guard-like—they’re dangerous because they can take you off the dribble and shoot,” said Shibles.At halftime, the Polar Bears led Tufts by six, but there was no celebration or break of focus in the Bowdoin locker room. “We immediately started talking about things that we could do better,” said Donahoe. “We’ve been in this situation before where we got that complacent feeling. We didn’t want that to happen again since we knew the Tufts coach was going to be in their face. As much as it stunk going through hardships in the regular season, I think we’ve learned from them and they are helping us out now.” The Polar Bears will make their 13th straight appearance in the NESCAC semifinals tomorrow, facing the NESCAC’s No. 2 and nationally sixth-ranked Amherst. The Polar Bears will travel to Amherst, Mass., where the Lady Jeffs hold a 77-game winning streak at home. Bowdoin lost to Amherst 74-58 in the regular season on January 18. The Polar Bears led by six at halftime but fell apart in the second half when the Jeffs amped up their defense. The Polar Bears are more excited to face Amherst coming off the confidence boost from the Tufts-upset, according to Lorrey. Donahoe categorized this week’s practices as “most positive and uplifting.” “We’re focusing a lot on limiting their second-chance opportunities,” said Donahoe. “They got a lot of offensive rebounds and put-backs, and we bailed them out a lot sending them to the line. After looking at film we saw there were a few sets where they continually scored on us with the exact same play six to eight times. So were focusing on what we need to do to shut down their strengths.”The last time Amherst developed a large home win streak—a 25-game run in 2009—it was the Polar Bears who snapped it. Tomorrow, they hope to do this again. “We feel if we continue to play the way we played this past weekend, we can beat anyone, and it is fun to be the spoiler,” said Shibles.
Women's basketball sneaks into playoffs while Donahoe '13 joins 1,000-point club
Women’s basketball finished its regular season with a 72-59 win against Connecticut College on Sunday evening, boosting its overall record to 13-10 (4-6 NESCAC) and earning it the last playoff spot in the NESCAC. On Saturday, captain Kaitlin Donahoe ’13 surpassed the 1,000-point mark, but the Polar Bears fell a point short to Wesleyan, 70-69. With the Polar Bears leading on Saturday, Wesleyan grabbed an offensive rebound in their last possession and took the lead by one point. The Polar Bears had one possession left but failed to score due to a travelling violation. “We had a chance to win the game and we didn’t put the ball in the hoop and they made that big play down the stretch,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. The Polar Bears faced adversity even before the game began. Notified at noon on Saturday that their scheduled game against Conn. was called off due to the blizzard, the Polar Bears received a surprising call four hours later informing them they were playing Wesleyan in a couple of hours. “It was not the team we were prepared for,” said Shibles.
Dr. Hershberger uses mental visualization training to improve Bowdoin athletes
Athletic training often conjures the image of athletes running suicides in the gym or taking swings in a batting cage. Bowdoin’s Director of the Counseling Service and Wellness Programs, Dr. Bernie Hershberger, however, likes to approach athletic training from a different perspective—focusing on the mental aspect of performance rather than the physical one. “Most athletes recognize that about 70-80 percent of game performance is mental, but most athletes spend only 10 percent of their training time thinking about their mental game,” said Hershberger. Hershberger said he believes that mind-body integration, meditation and hypnotherapy all work hand-in-hand and have drawn him into the field of sports psychology.
Women's basketball smashes Midd but falls to nationally ranked Williams
The women’s basketball team topped Middlebury 60-40 last Friday but lost on Saturday to nationally-ranked Williams 50-42, dropping the Polar Bears’ record to 12-9 (3-5 NESCAC). The Polar Bear’s scoring against Middlebury was a balanced effort. Shannon Brady ’16 led the effort with 12 points while Siena Mitman ’15 scored 11 and Megan Phelps ’15 added 10. Bowdoin dominated in the post, outscoring Middlebury 42-22 in the paint.
Women’s basketball fights for playoff berth
The women’s basketball team (11-8 overall, 2-4 NESCAC) had a successful week, defeating rival Colby for the second time this season 83-71 before beating Eastern Connecticut State 61-50. The team hopes to continue gaining momentum as they face off against Middlebury and Williams back-to-back at home this weekend. Captain Kaitlin Donahoe ’13 scored a career-high 28 points against Colby. Shannon Brady ’16 contributed 16 points, and sophomores Megan Phelps and Sara Binkhorst also put up double digits. The Polar Bears’ defensive strategy focused on containing Colby’s senior leader, Diana Manduca. Manduca is the only Colby player averaging double-digit points per game this season, and was held to just 15 points. This opened up opportunities for Colby sophomore Brooke Chandor, who averages 7.9 points per game, to score 26 points on the Polar Bears.
Women’s basketball falters toward end of break
Women’s basketball looks ahead to a tough matchup tomorrow at Colby, aiming to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Polar Bears had a successful 4-0 start to kick off winter break but fell apart the second half, dropping four straight conference games.
Despite rough start, women’s basketball picks up key wins
Hungry for a win in the rivalry matchup against Colby last Saturday, the women’s basketball team built momentum from the start by jumping on an early lead against the Mules.
Women’s basketball struggles in early games
The underclassmen-heavy women’s basketball starts their season with a 1-3 record. The team fought hard in a 72-58 loss against the University of Southern Maine that was an improvement on their previous loss as they go on to face rival Colby (0-0 NESCAC, 3-1 overall) on Saturday.
Molly Burke ’13 brings You Can Play to Bowdoin
Led by Molly Burke ’13, over 50 student-athletes came together last Friday to film a video for the You Can Play Project, an organization created to spread awareness about ending discrimination in athletics based on sexual orientation. Their motto: Gay Athletes. Straight Athletes. Teaming up for respect.
Burke’s older brother Brendan Burke was a student manager for the Miami University of Ohio hockey team, and helped bring awareness to the issue of homophobia in hockey, particularly after coming out in an ESPN article in 2009. Brendan was killed in a car accident in February 2010.
“After that a lot of my family felt that it was part of our mission and an important way of remembering him to keep on doing his work and ending homophobia in sports, ” said Burke.
Athlete of the Week: Coby Horowitz '14
Four-time All-American Track and Cross Country runner Coby Horowitz ’14 finished first in last Saturday’s NESCAC championship with a time of 24:26.78. Horowitz is the first runner in 12 years to win the men’s individual title for Bowdoin.
67% of all athletes hail from New England & Mid-Atlantic
In a statistical comparison of the College’s 2011-2012 athletics rosters and student enrollment, the Orient found that a large number of Bowdoin’s sports teams are lagging in attracting out of region athletes.
Men’s ultimate debuts in its first invitational of the year
Last weekend, Stoned Clown, the men’s ultimate team, hosted their first invitational of the fall club season against college and club teams from around New England. Stoned Clown approached this tournament focusing on learning rather than winning.
Men’s golf seeks to build momentum for short season
After battling nerves and difficult weather conditions in the past two tournaments, the men’s golf team aims to improve before the NESCAC championship. Due to a scheduling conflict, the team will split up in order to compete in both the Williams Invitational and the Maine State Championship this weekend.