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Women’s track aims to keep momentum going after first outdoor win

April 7, 2023

Courtesy of Jerry Levasseur
NEED FOR SPEED: The women’s track and field team opened its outdoor season and took first place overall at the Bates Quad Meet last weekend.

Last weekend, the women’s track and field team kicked off its outdoor season by taking first place at the Bates Quad Meet in Lewiston. Bowdoin finished with 76 points, followed by the University of Southern Maine (66.5 points), Bates College (58.5 points) and Colby College (1 point). The team is coming off of a successful indoor season that ended with a sixth place finish at the New England Championships and is hoping to build off the momentum from its first outdoor win.

“It’s a big confidence booster for the team in general. It shows the work that we’ve been putting in and sets us up really nicely to have a very successful season this year,” distance runner Kelsey Crawford ’25 said. Crawford won the steeplechase, a 3k race involving four barriers and a water jump, by over 12 seconds with a time of 11:68:06. She hopes to achieve a personal record (PR) in the event later this year.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of work, so I’m hoping that will lead to some good [races],” she said.

Captain and distance runner Leila Trummel ’23 took first place in the 800m with a time of 2:19.19. The only other competitors in the five-person event were Bowdoin’s Lex Davis ’26, Emma Noel ’23, Charlotte Tagupa ’26 and Angela McKenzie ’23.

“We were excited to run for each other and with each other. It was very uplifting that the first outdoor race of my senior year was all of us in Bowdoin uniforms just sweeping the race,” Trummel said.

The Polar Bears had several first place finishes. Sprinter Kianne Benjamin ’24, who was selected as this week’s NESCAC Track Athlete of the Week, came away with wins in the 200m and 400m races and vaulter Charlotte Hodge ’25 won the pole vault at 3.55m. Throwers Jada Scotland ’23 and Emma Hargreaves ’23 took first in their events with a discus throw of 35.09m and a hammer throw of 47.41m, respectively.

Despite the rainy weather on Saturday, the Polar Bears brought their energy, cheering each other on and bringing strong performances to the track.

“Sometimes those adverse circumstances, like a really cold, rainy day, bring out that awesome Bowdoin energy that I feel so lucky to be a part of,” Trummel said. “My teammates picked me up and picked each other up and just decided, okay, the weather is not the greatest, but we’re all going to stand outside and scream in the pouring rain for [each other].”

Trummel added that there seems to be a camaraderie between teams from Maine, including rivals Bates and Colby.

“We all suffer through the cold running together, the winter running, the rain. We’re all so used to it,” she said. “We’ve raced each other so many weekends out of the year.”

As the team looks towards the rest of the outdoor season, they hope to take advantage of the change in setting and continue the progress it made during the indoor season.

“The weather’s getting nicer, you can run outside more, you’re not competing in an indoor space, which [can be] very monotonous,” Crawford said.

Trummel emphasized the importance of maintaining the team’s usual drive and energy throughout the outdoor season.

“We really try to look at indoor and outdoor as one big season,” she said. “It’s not like we’re starting back at square one. We’re keeping that momentum from indoor, and that’s really exciting.”

Bowdoin will travel to Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., this weekend to compete in the Jonathan Tymann Invitational.


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