On a picturesque Saturday morning last weekend, the men’s and women’s cross country teams took the course against stiff competition. Both teams each took second place out of 12 teams at the first Bowdoin Invitational. Sam Angevine ’24 paced the men’s side with a third place finish clocking in at 25:41.8 on the 8K course while Leila Trummel took second place in the women’s race, finishing 6K in 23:01.9.
The meet marked a big step-up from the competition at Bowdoin Invitationals in previous years. Last year, only five teams made the trip to Brunswick, and winning times were a minute slower on the men’s side and 20 seconds slower on the women’s side. The main reason for this change is that Bowdoin is serving as this year’s NCAA East Regional host.
“This meet was sort of a pre-regional meet with us hosting the regional championships in November,” Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. “A lot of teams wanted to race the course to preview the regional course.”
With nationally-ranked teams such as Tufts University racing the course, many Bowdoin racers recorded their personal bests.
“It was so exciting,” Will Goddard ’25 said. “It was just a great day. The team is clearly stronger than last year. It’s so nice that we were able to perform on our home course.”
Goddard, who finished in fourth with a time of 25:46.8, missed all of last season with a broken foot. He is one of many young Polar Bears who are helping to spark the current group. After racing at a shorter distance at the Colby, Bates and Bowdoin Class Wave Races two weekends before, Goddard ran with Angevine for most of Saturday’s race. Together with Raphelson, they developed a successful race plan.
“We tried to keep it comfortable and make sure we weren’t hurting through three miles before giving it all we had for the last two miles,” Angevine said. “The race plan was definitely to go out controlled … We made sure that we came through three miles with something left to give.”
Within the program, the Polar Bears have focused on consistent training, energy and effort. Given this focus and the hard work the teams put in over the offseason, they felt confident about their training the week before the invitational.
“In terms of training, there was a lot of focus on recovery,” Stephanie Chun ’24 said. “We made sure that we were doing what we needed to do outside of practice to keep our bodies healthy.”
Chun was the second female Polar Bear to cross the finish line. Her time of 23:28.8 was enough to earn a top-ten finish at ninth place. The only Bowdoin runner who defeated her in the race was Leila Trummel ’23.
After a successful first official meet, the Polar Bears have high aspirations for the rest of their season.
“I think really highly of the group that we have,” Raphelson said. “They are really engaged and working really hard, so I’m just excited for them to find out what that adds up to.”