Last weekend, the men’s and women’s cross country teams kicked off their seasons with the Colby, Bates and Bowdoin (CBB) Wave Races at Pineland Farms. The meet, against rivals Bates and Colby, was the runners’ first chance to compete after intense preseason training and served as a motivator for their upcoming home invitational.
“This weekend was a good opportunity for people to put the uniform on and show off the work they’ve done over the summer,” Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. “It was pretty low stakes, but intentionally so, with the juniors and seniors separated from the [first years] and sophomores and the race distance being shorter. But all of those things made it a good opener that served its purpose.”
In the women’s junior senior race, which was a 4.5k, Leila Trummel ’23 came in first with a time of 17:42. Abby Mueller ’24 took second place with an 18:03. Claire Wyman ’25 and Lauren Traum ’24 also finished in the top five. Lex Davis ’26 covered the course in 18:23 to win the underclassmen race.
In the men’s 6.1k, Sam Angevine ’24 came in third with a time of 19:40, followed by Brooks Peters ’23 in fourth. Will Goddard ’25 placed second in the underclassmen race.
“There was a lot of excitement that morning,” Trummel said. “I kind of love the first meet day because it’s always like ‘what can we do, what are we capable of, how is this year shaping up.’”
Since it was a low-stakes competition, Bates rested most of its runners because of their training program. Angevine noted that at times it felt like a Bowdoin-Colby dual meet. Raphelson reminded the team that this should not affect how Bowdoin’s runners perform.
“The meet was a good chance to get first race jitters out, especially for underclassmen or [first years] who haven’t had a cross country race,” Angevine said. “I really missed the feeling of getting on the starting line and having the pre-race jitters after so long of just solo grinding over the summer. Racing really lights a particular fire in you that’s just impossible to replicate on your own.”
Raphelson believes that, after having a relatively normal season last year, returning athletes have developed a good sense of how to prepare for the upcoming races.
“The key thing is to have patience with running,” Trummel said. “We weren’t training over the summer for the wave race. We’re training for November. We’re training for championship season, and a lot of that takes patience.”
Trummel has found success by concentrating on the process, not the outcome. Her motto during races is to “relax and go faster, relax and go faster.”
The team is also hoping to work together more often this season.
“The other thing that has helped me, and I am looking forward to doing more of this, is running with my teammates and getting to run next to someone else who is wearing a Bowdoin jersey,” Trummel said. “It kind of throws people off when you talk in a race. That camaraderie is really special.”
While the Polar Bears are focusing on the official start of competition, they also know they have a long, exciting road ahead of them.
“The way the cross country season works, it really comes down to how you do in the final meet of the year,” Raphelson said. “I’m fortunate that it is a very highly-motivated group. I remain really excited about how supportive our group is and the success that is going to lead us to.”
The teams’ next meet, the Bowdoin Invitational, will be at home on September 24.