Men runners 11th at nationals
The Bowdoin Men's Cross-Country Team traveled all the way to Rock Island,
Illinois two weeks ago, and ran races well worthy of the trip. The men
finished 11th in the NCAA Division III Championship's 24-team field on
The Bowdoin men, with 240 points, were the top-finishing New England
group. Regional competitors Keene State (15th place) and Williams College
(16th) followed in the rankings. A week earlier, the Bowdoin men had finished
second to Keene State at the New England DIII Championship.
The University of Wisconsin La Crosse tallied 80 points and took the
title, while second-place Calvin College totaled 140 points.
Though the Bowdoin men did not place as high as they had hoped at nationals,
the race marked one of the top finishes by a Bowdoin men's team in a NCAA
Several outstanding individual performances highlighted the Bears' 11th-place
finish. Co-captain Steve Allison '01 placed 15th with a time of 24:38,
while co-captain Todd Forsgren '03 finished 28th in 24:51. Allison and
Forsgren's finishes in the top 35 earned them All-American honors.
"The leadership of Steve and Todd made a tremendous difference in
our results," head coach Peter Slovenski said. "They know how
to run for first place in championship races.
"It was great that the rest of our team knew Steve and Todd were
up in the front of the race, battling it out with the best, for Bowdoin.
Only one other team in Division III had a better 1-2 combination."
The 75-degree temperatures made for unusual mid-November race conditions,
especially in Illinois, but the Polar Bears adapted readily to the warm
and windy conditions.
Junior standout Jeff Rubens ran a personal best of 25:34 and finished
in 75th place, while sophomore Scott Herrick took 145th place in 26:16.
Fifth-man Conor O'Brien '03 (154th) ran a personal best of 26:22. Juniors
Pat Vardaro '03 and Scott Barbuto placed 177th and 186th, respectively.
"I was happy with my race, even though I didn't feel my best,"
Rubens said. "I proved to myself that distance running is not all
about how you feel when you step to the line. Cross country is largely
dependent on how much pain you can endure. Knowing this, I managed to
run my fastest time of the year."
Two-time All-American Allison said that he enjoyed racing with the best
teams in the country, and felt that he had his best race of the season
when it counted most. "Our team didn't have its strongest day,"
he said. "You can blame it on nerves or the hot weather, but I think
our good looks did us in. God must have looked down and said, 'They're
fast, strong and beautiful. I don't want them to have EVERYTHING.'
"We ran all right, though, and it isn't useful to look back and
be regretful. We are proud of all our accomplishments this season,"
Slovenski was similarly pleased with the team's efforts from the first
race to last. "There were so many terrific contributions to the program
that we ended up with a very powerful season," he said. "The
more the students gave, the more they got back from the team."