The men’s and women’s track and field teams hosted the Lynn Ruddy Invitational last weekend at Farley Field House. While the meet was non-scoring, many Polar Bears earned personal records (PRs) and obtained qualifying times for the upcoming NCAA DIII Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Ala. The teams hope to carry the momentum through their next two meets and into Nationals.
On the men’s side, William Warlick ’24 and Kane Demers ’26 went 1–2 on the 60m hurdles, with Warlick earning a season-best and Demers moving up to seventh place on Bowdoin’s all-time list. Nick Sibiryakov ’25 won first place in the pole vault with a personal best height of 4.60 meters, and Cheng Xing ’23 won the long jump with a distance of 6.66 meters.
The teams entered the meet feeling confident but were still proud of their results.
“I wasn’t really expecting anything. I knew I’d been jumping well in practice,” Sibiryakov said. “I knew I had this bar under my belt. I just needed to perform.”
Sibiryakov attributed both teams’ success to their positivity and energy. Though this meet only had seven schools competing and was non-scoring, the energy was still palpable.
“I was just having a good time seeing my teammates and enjoying the moment. I think if I had not been really enjoying what was going on around me, I wouldn’t have vaulted really well,” Sibiryakov said.
For the women’s team, Emma Hargreaves ’23 and Jada Scotland ’23 finished 1–2 in the weight throw. Hargreaves also won the shot put. Jenna Albanese ’24 took first in the long jump with a New England DIII qualifying distance of 5.24 meters. Jane Hirschman ’24 and Anna Leitner ’23 took first and second, respectively, in the 5k, and Angela McKenzie ’23 won the 1000 meter.
Hargreaves echoed how much the teams’ support helped Bowdoin, especially at the last home event of the winter season. All 21 Bowdoin seniors were celebrated before the meet began.
“The energy is always really high, especially with our underclassmen,” Hargreaves said. “They are so excited to be here, and they bring so much talent and potential with that excitement.”
Hargreaves shared how full-circle it felt competing in Farley Field House for the last time.
“Because of Covid, it feels like just yesterday I was walking into Farley Field House realizing ‘Oh my gosh, this is my gym, this is my place,’” Hargreaves said.
Albanese emphasized that while track and field consists of individual races, it is still a team effort. She referenced the “boost” that competing in Farley can give athletes, knowing that their teammates and friends are in the crowd.
“I think what gets me through is when I’ll be getting ready to go, and I’ll hear a familiar voice that I know,” Albanese said. “It just gives me that extra boost, and the energy was definitely there.”
Head Coach LJ Que is hoping that, at the New England Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend, Bowdoin will achieve similar results to last year, when the men’s team placed fourth out of 25 teams and the women’s team placed fourth out of 26 teams.
Que has been impressed by the consistency of the teams.
“Something that I’m really proud of is our returners, and even our first-years, have been really consistent with their training,” she said. “They’ve also been very communicative with their needs for their body, whether they need to rest or talk to athletic trainers, and so on.”
Que added that the teams manage to feel tight-knit despite carrying almost 100 members.
“The effort that everyone puts in every day to get to know people across events, grades and genders is something that I’m very proud of,” she said. “I’d like to call it one crazy dysfunctional family, because there’s so many of us, but it’s been really beautiful to see the harmony we create.”
The Polar Bears will compete at the New England Indoor Track and Field Championships this weekend. The teams are also looking ahead to the NCAA DIII Championships on March 10.