Ginger Arnold ’27 is starting off their first collegiate season on the track and field team strong. Arnold has won the shot-put twice now—at the Bates Invitational and the New England Small College Invite hosted by Middlebury College. They reflected on the improvement they have made since the beginning of the season.
“I focus a lot more on the actual marks,” Arnold said. “Usually, my first few throws are my better ones, but the past few meets, my better ones have been at the end. So I’ll be second or third, and then on my last throw it’s usually a better one.”
While Arnold came to Bowdoin intending to compete for the track and field team, they also became interested in playing rugby during the fall offseason. They walked onto the team and competed in the NIRA championship game against Adrian College in November, which Bowdoin won for the fourth year in a row.
“It was a great experience. I’ve been doing track since I was ten, so I haven’t really felt the nerves and excitement that I got in rugby, just because it’s so new and I’ve never played rugby before this year,” Arnold said.
The rugby team wrapped up its season in November. This meant that in January, Arnold had to hit the ground running—exchanging rugby for the start of the track season.
“It’s hard to switch between sports because I get super excited and super into one sport and then I have to switch that off and go into a completely different mode,” Arnold said. “Track is a lot different from most sports. It’s much more individual…. You’re competing for yourself.”
Arnold was inspired to start competing in track and field at a young age and started throwing at age ten.
“My dad did track in high school, so he got me and my siblings started pretty early,” Arnold said.
In their first year playing collegiate sports at Bowdoin, Arnold has found support both within the rugby team and among their fellow throwers.
“Everyone on the rugby team—they’re all crazy supportive, and that was a great team to be on. A lot of the throwers are older … and they’ve been great helping me and the other [first-years],” Arnold said.
Arnold has also been finding success in the weight room, with their strength training translating to their throws.
“Sometimes you build up a lot of strength and it doesn’t equate to further throws, but I think this season the lifts have been really helpful…. I’ve definitely been able to utilize the strength built up in the weight room a lot more,” they said.
While the shot-put is Arnold’s preferred event for the indoor track season, they are excited to transition to the javelin throw in the outdoor season.
“I think a lot of the throwers especially feel an affinity for the spring season. I’m really looking forward to getting outside and throwing, and throwing jav,” Arnold said.
With so many different track and field events to compete in, Arnold has grown especially close with the other throwers. They view throwing as an important outlet and a much-needed break from academics, a sentiment shared by their teammates.
“All the throwers … talk about it quite a bit—all the lifting and the practices and just the structure of track is really just a good outlet,” Arnold said. “I like having a physical sport you can really put some effort into.”