Women runners take fourth place in NYU Invitational
Last Friday, the Bowdoin Cross Country women boarded a bus destined for
New York, New York. They were headed for the 2001 season's first competition:
the NYU Invitational. The Lady Polar Bears demonstrated their strength
and depth at the race, finishing in fourth place of 40 colleges and universities
from all over the country.
Moravian University, the College of New Jersey, and Geneseo College,
the three teams to finish above Bowdoin in the race's standings, were
all nationally ranked. The Bears finished only 17 seconds behind the third
place team, and just over 40 seconds behind winner Moravian.
First-year Audra Caler was the top Bowdoin finisher, performing in her
very first cross country race ever. She came across the finish line with
a time of 19:24:53, good for ninth place in the 285-woman field. "That
was fun!" she said.
The team's depth is indicated by the other Bears' finishes--six Bowdoin
women placed in the top 50. First-year Kaye Landry finished 19th, with
a time of 19:38:45. Junior Libby Barney finished only eight seconds behind
Landry, coming in 24th place, and sophomore Kala Hardacker was a few steps
behind Barney, finishing 33rd.
Mary Beth Sexton '05, Bre McKenna'03 and Ellen Beth '05 finished 38th,
39th, and 44th, respectively. Less than a minute separated these top-finishing
Polar Bears, giving Bowdoin an average team time of 19:52:92.
The fun never ends with Bowdoin Cross Country, for the bus ride home
proved to be nearly as exciting as the race. Coach Slovenski broke out
his guitar and led the team in song. Hardacker said that "Brown-Eyed
Girl," "American Pie," and "Build Me Up Buttercup"
were among the team's favorites.
Captain Kate Waller '02 reflected on the team's performance over weekend.
"The very talented first-year varsity runners have blended well with
our upper-class women," she said. "The team is a strong, cohesive
force that will challenge any team in New England."
The Lady Polar Bears will compete against Wesleyan in their first NESCAC
meet of the season this weekend, on their home trail at 10:30 A.M..
Hardacker said that the women have been preparing for the meet with "hard
workouts on Monday and Wednesday, but focusing on more technique than
intensity, since it takes a few days to recover from the first race."
After facing some tough competition in the NYU Invitational, the varsity
women will view tomorrow's race as a workout of sorts, and as a chance
to try new strategies, Hardacker said. She went on to express her confidence
in the team: "There is no doubt that Bowdoin Cross will improve,
and will contend for top places continually throughout the season,"