Men's X-Country ready for Hemingway-esque
Amidst an epic struggle with the magnificent fish he considers a brother,
Santiago, the timeworn fisherman in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and
the Sea, calmly remarks, "Fish, I love you and respect you very much.
But I will kill you dead before this day ends."
Like Santiago's leathery hands, the Bowdoin Men's Cross-Country Team
is very strong this season, and could prove to be one of the best Bowdoin
has ever fielded.
Williams, the "fish" that the Polar Bears have long sought
to defeat, is respected by Bowdoin, but the men unequivocally hold no
feelings of love for the Ephs. They are clearly out to "kill dead"
that despised team from Williamstown.
Looking to improve upon last season's second-place NESCAC Championship
finish (behind Williams), and its seventh-place finish at the New England
Division III Championship, the men are aiming at a first-place NESCAC
finish and a top-five finish at New England DIIIs (which would earn the
team a trip to the NCAA DIII nationals).
Their season begins on September 22, with the New York University Invitational
at Van Cortland Park, New York City. The next two weeks bring home races;
first, a dual meet against Wesleyan, and then the Maine State Meet, where
Bowdoin looks to defend last year's title.
Head Coach Peter Slovenski indicated that the squad has plenty of depth
and experience-the team did not lose a single senior last year. "We've
had a young team for the past two years, but now we have a strong corps
of veterans," he said.
This season's co-captains are Steve Allison '01, Rich Sherman '02, and
Todd Forsgren '03. Allison, a cross-country All-American, finished 16th
at nationals last year, while Forsgren finished 37th.
"We're very excited for the upcoming season," Sherman said.
"We've waited for a long time to put everything together and succeed,
both regionally and nationally."
Other returning runners include Jeff Rubens '03 (NESCAC track 5000m runner-up)
and Pat Vardaro '03 (seventh in the NCAA III track 5000m last winter).
The junior class has particular depth, with Dan Gulotta, Conor O'Brien,
Scott Barbuto, and Alex Moore all feeling strong and healthy.
Sophomore Scott Herick, coming off a very strong freshman season, is
joined by Taylor Washburn '04 and Jason Colombino '02.
The first-years on the team-Ben Peisch, Jeremy Huckins, Peter Durning,
Pat Hughes and Dan Hall-all look ready to do their part as well.
Coach Slovenski made note of the team's summer training and unwavering
work ethic, citing their dedication to being strong for the fall. Indeed,
the top 15 runners on the team were logging 60-90 miles of running per
week throughout the summer.
Allison described why such efforts were made, saying the men "have
to be patient and loose for everything to come together."
On October 12, the Bowdoin men travel to Boston's Franklin Park for Open
New Englands (as the name suggests, the race is open to any college in
Bowdoin hosts the NESCAC Championships on October 28 and will be looking
to knock off perennial powerhouse Williams.
The following weekend, the Polar Bears run at Westfield State in the
New England Division III Championship. NCAA Division III Cross-Country
Championships follow New Englands, and if the men earn a spot in NE's
top five, they will travel to Illinois for the November 17 nationals.
The home course is an excellent one for cross-country fans, looping around the Pickard athletic fields and giving spectators many opportunities to see the runners. Make sure to get out and see the Bears run with some of the best teams in the country this fall!