Track gets in a groove
The Bowdoin Men's Track and Field Team faced its stiffest competition of the year on Saturday, taking on perennial powerhouses Tufts University, Springfield College, and defending New England champion Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Polar Bears continued a streak of strong performances, taking second to M.I.T. with a score of 165 and defeating strong teams from Tufts (151) and Springfield (132).
The Polar Bears' strongest event of the day was the pole vault. The squad was lead by sophomore Jon Todd, who cleared 13'6" to pick up an individual victory over strong competitors from Tufts and M.I.T. He was followed by senior Tim Pasakarnis, who finished third with a vault of 13', and junior Brian Grandjean, who cleared 12'6" to finish fifth. Junior All-American James Wilkins jumped 6'6" to take third in the high jump.
One of the afternoon's most electrifying moments came when senior Jamie Salsich hurled his way to third place in the shot put with a huge personal best of 46'03" and defeated 15 of 18 competitors. Sophomore Jarrett Young also had an excellent day for the Polar Bears, picking up third in the weight throw with a toss of 49'11".
In the sprints, Bowdoin was led by junior captain Brian Laurits, who flew to second in the 400 meters with a time of 50.68. He was followed closely by sophomore Greydon Foil, who placed fourth in 51.59.
Senior Jeff Manganaro also placed well in his event, taking fourth in the 55-meter dash finals with a time of 6.70. Laurits and Foil also contributed to a big Bowdoin win in the 4x400-meter relay. The Bears defeated Tufts by more than two seconds, Springfield by three seconds, and M.I.T. by almost four seconds.
Bowdoin's best running event of the afternoon was the 600 meter. After battling with senior Byron Boots for the lead, junior Phil Webster flew through the final lap and ran away with an exciting victory in a time of 1:22.79. Webster's time was the fastest ever run in the Farley Field House, eclipsing a mark set by five-time All-American Chris Downe '00.
Boots cruised through in second with a time of 1:23.88, and senior Evan Matzen picked up fifth at 1:27.83. The Bears did well in the other middle distance events as well; juniors Steve Franklin (1:58) and Jordan Harrison (1:59) placed second and fourth respectively in the 800-meter run, while senior Jeff Rubens flew by a number of Tufts and M.I.T. runners in the final stretch to pick up third in the 1,000 meters.
Rubens was also a key player in the mile, as he and senior captain Pat Vardaro came from way back at the half-mile mark to place near the front of a tough field. Vardaro edged Rubens at the line to pick up second in a time of 4:20 and then returned for the 3,000-meter run, which he won with another trademark tough finish (8:47).
In the second race he was followed by sophomore Ben Peisch, who made a strong return with a third place finish and a time of 8:55. Senior Conor O'Brien was the Bears' top scorer in the 5,000-meter run (15:38), picking off a number of runners and accenting a strong Bowdoin showing.