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Track hopes to carry success to NESCACs

April 27, 2018

courtesy of Brian Beard/Bowdoin Athletics
Running away with the win: Sarah Kinney ’19 won the 3000M steeplechase at the Aloha Relays last weekend. The women’s team won the meet by almost 100 points, beating second-place Bates 214-120. The men’s team also had success last weekend, winning the Maine State Championship for the second year in a row. The teams are looking to carry this success to the NESCACs.

Both the men’s and women’s track teams dominated their meets last weekend, with the men’s team winning its second straight State Championship and the women’s team winning the 30th annual Aloha Relays by almost 100 points over second-place Bates.

“This weekend is the full team highlight of the outdoor track season. Our rivalries with Bates, Colby and Southern Maine track teams have a lot of energy and prestige for Maine college track. It was a fantastic weekend to win both meets,” wrote Head Coach Peter Slovenski in an email to the Orient.

Winning the Aloha Relays was a particularly meaningful victory for the women’s team this year as it celebrated senior day for team captain Sarah Kelley ’18. Kelley  was named NESCAC women’s track performer of the week after winning the 800M with a time of 2:14.63 and the 1500M with a time of 4:37.62. She currently holds the top NESCAC time in the 1500M.

“We host the meet, so we set the tone for what we expect in the coming up years,” said captain Sara Ory ’19. “We’ve won the Aloha Relays for the past several years, so it is really exciting to keep that tradition going.”

Although the team has won this meet for the past several years, this year’s margin of victory was vast.

“The women ended up winning by a lot of points, so I think it was really exciting to see how well everyone performed,” Ory said. “I guess we exceeded our expectations.’”

The men’s track team also had its share of success in the Maine State meet. Papa Sekyere ’20 won the Alan G. Hillman Memorial Most Valuable Track Athlete Award after winning the 100M and 200M and anchoring the first place 4x100M relay. Brian Greenberg ’18 won first place in the long jump with a mark of 6.95 meters and was named the NESCAC men’s field performer of the week.

Despite the numerous excellent performances from the men’s track team, the Maine State meet was a narrow victory, with the men winning by only 11 points with a score of 224.

“The men’s state meet was a super scrappy meet,” said captain John Kennealy ’18. “It was really close between us and Bates, and the conditions were not great for it. It was really windy, a little bit cold, and almost every event was really close. We were fighting for every point all day long. And, in the end, when we came out on top, it was really close.”

Next week, the women’s and men’s track teams will be competing in the NESCAC championship competition. Last year, the Bowdoin women finished 5th in NESCAC and the Bowdoin men finished 3rd. This year, the men’s track team intends to secure a spot in the top two, which has not been done since 2002.

“We’ve got a really strong team this year, so we’re hoping for an elite performance, which I think we would consider top three in NESCAC,” said Kennealy. “Tufts and Williams are currently strong programs. They have bigger teams and more resources. They’re always the top two, so if we can knock one or both of them off of their spots then that would be a really good day for us.”

The women also have competition in Tufts and Williams, two teams that were not present at the Aloha Relays this weekend. “We saw Bates and Colby this weekend, but once we get out of Maine, we start to really see those outstanding teams,” said Ory.

Coming off an exciting victory, the team expects to step up to the level of their competitors.

“We’re coming to compete. We’re coming to try to win everything we possibly can. We are peaking. We have a lot of individuals and teams who are really ready to compete with these other amazing NESCAC competitors.”

The teams will travel to Trinity College this weekend, with the 2018 NESCAC Championship kicking off at 9 a.m.

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