Bobcats prey on Polar Bears
After helping to cheer the Bowdoin women's track team to a State Meet Championship on Friday night, the men's track team braved the icy conditions to travel out to Lewiston, Maine, to compete in its own state meet against Bates, Colby, and the University of Southern Maine.
Despite having a four-year winning streak in the meet, the Bears were defeated soundly by the Bates Bobcats, but the men placed second as a team.
The men came into the meet as the heavy underdogs but were optimistic about their chances to narrow the gap by exceeding their seeded times and places.
Unfortunately, the men were unable to overcome the dominance of the Bobcats in several key events, which led to a lopsided final score of 214.75 to 160.25. The men in black are not daunted, however, and in response, they have attacked their training to better prepare themselves for the rest of the championship meets.
The men failed to win the State Meet on February 7, but they threw themselves into the competition with the intention of exceeding expectations. Andrew Combs '06, the team's leading point scorer this season, won the Jim Wescott Most Outstanding Track Athlete award in winning the mile (4:19.65) and the 1000-meter (2:35.78) in convincing fashion.
"I wasn't really working for winning the award," said Combs, "but I've been working hard all season so I guess it paid off."
Other event winners for the Bears were senior captain James Wilkins in the high jump (6'7.5"), senior captain Brian Laurits in the 400-meter (50.41), and Greydon Foil '05 in the 600-meter (1:25.11).
The 4x400-meter relay team won easily thanks to first-years James Knuckles and Owen McKenna, both of whom stepped into the place of injured relay stalwarts and best friends Phil Webster '04 and Greg Bangser '04. Foil and Laurits also both ran excellent legs of the relay to capture the victory and keep the relay's record untarnished in 2004.
Once again, Bowdoin had a multitude of athletes in the middle of the pack that epitomized the great depth of the team. Greg Kelsey '05 ran a textbook race in the 600-meter that was capped with a blistering kick to nab sixth place and a personal record.
Michael Vitousik '07 scored in three events (fourth in the long jump, 20'4"; third in the triple jump, 41'6"; and fourth in the high jump, 5'11"), as did McKenna (fourth in the mile, 4:22.29; third in the 800-meter, 1:59.68; and the first place 4x400 team). Joseph Adu '07 placed second in the 55 hurdles (8.13) and fifth in the 200-meter dash (23.62).
While the throwers had to deal with Bates's incredible throwing/weight corps, they put up a great fight. Patrick Lyons '06 threw a one foot PR in the shot (46'6") to place third in the shot put and senior captain Chris Wagner placed fourth in the shot put with a throw of 46'2".
Additionally, Wagner threw a PR in the weight throw (48'91/2") to place fifth, the only scoring athlete in the event that was not from Bates.
Unfortunately, in the end, no individual win was enough to defeat Bates. The Bears know, however, that when they reach their peak, they are capable of competing with anyone in New England.
The men and women will take on Coast Guard and Bates at Bowdoin's Farley Field House tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.
Spectators are welcomed and, for extra incentive, all eligible female spectators are guaranteed a steamy kiss (after the meet, of course) from THE Brian Laurits if they attend. So ladies, make this Valentine's Day one you will never forget!
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