Last weekend, the women’s cross country team took second place at its first Bowdoin Invitational. Captain Leila Trummel ’23 came in second individually, running the 6k course in 23 minutes and one second—only a second behind the winning pace. In her role as captain this season, Trummel hopes to continue finding success on the course and building a strong sense of community.
Trummel credits much of her recent success to her team and the camaraderie she has found within it.
“This year, we’ve been able to jump right into it, and our team is coming together so nicely,” she said. “I think, as a team, we had a really awesome day, and I’m just really proud to run for Bowdoin because I’m proud to run for my teammates.”
Trummel ran the race at what she called a “tempo feel.” She ran to conserve energy at first and attempted to keep a nice rhythm. Later, she ran with the goal of catching up to other runners. As Trummel ran on, her miles progressively got faster, which she viewed as an accomplishment in this race.
Her collegiate running career had an unconventional beginning. Trummel was not always a long-distance runner. In fact, she played soccer for many years before turning to running. She did not always feel fast, either.
“I did bear crawl up a hill in my first cross country race ever. I also gave up and walked in the races,” she said. “But over time, it just really started to grow on me. I really love cross country. I love being outside. I love being on the trails. It honestly gives me so much joy, and I knew that that was what I wanted to continue doing.”
Before coming to college, Trummel knew she wanted to live in a coastal community and major in environmental studies. This, combined with her desire to attend a small school and run with a dedicated team, made Bowdoin the perfect place for her.
“I just think Bowdoin is awesome,” she said.
Trummel believes Covid-19 created a divide between some of her teammates, as the team did not have much time to get to know one another before leaving campus abruptly in 2020. Despite this setback, revisiting the social aspect of the sport this year has been one of the highlights of Trummel’s season, in addition to taking on a leadership role on the team. Running as a leader on and off the trail has been a special experience for her.
“You have to be able to be at a place with your own running where you can also focus on other people’s races, what other people are doing and how other people might be feeling,” she said.
Trummel takes pride in being captain and enjoys cultivating a community atmosphere that was present in previous years but not always prioritized.
“As a captain this year, it’s been so fun to get to be the person starting the cheer, and then they all do a response to you. And we do a pre-race talk and huddle,” she said. “Everyone’s nervous before a race, but we’re all here for each other while doing this together.”
The team has a strong sense of community, uniting over a shared passion for running at Bowdoin.
“I feel like our team is really close-knit, and I’m able to contribute points. That’s a really nice thing,” Trummel said.
Trummel and the rest of the team race tomorrow at the Maine State Meet in Saxl Park.