The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will almost certainly extend years into the future as colleges and the NCAA restructure their budgets. More immediately, the cancellation of spring athletic activities is dramatically changing the recruiting process for nearly all Bowdoin teams, forcing coaches to adapt and find new methods to attract potential student-athletes.
In an unprecedented move, Maine Governor Janet Mills announced on March 20 that all inland waters would be opened early for recreational fishing and that anglers would not need to purchase a license to fish during the remainder of April.
Due to the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA spring athletic season, the Division III Administrative Committee will allow spring athletes another season of eligibility. This gives Bowdoin athletes the option to either stay on campus for another year or enroll at another Division III school after graduation in order to make use of that extra season of eligibility.
In the past weeks, the threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in the cancellation of many NCAA winter championship events as well as nearly the entire spring athletic season. However, the virus may have far greater effects on NCAA operations than just bringing an untimely end to the athletic year.
The Nordic skiing team concluded its season at the NCAA championships in Bozeman, Mont., on March 12. Five Bowdoin athletes—Christian Gostout ’20, Gabby Vandendries ’21, Elliot Ketchel ’21, Renae Anderson ’21 and Peter Moore ’23—qualified for this year’s event, the most skiers in program history.
On March 19, Maddie Hasson ’20 was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NCAA Division III Player of the Year, the most prestigious individual honor in DIII women’s basketball. Hasson is only the third Bowdoin athlete to win the award, following in the footsteps of Eileen Flaherty ’07 and Kate Kerrigan ’18.
On Thursday, the NCAA announced that it would cancel all remaining championship events for the winter and spring athletic seasons due to the threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This decision will immediately impact the Bowdoin women’s basketball team, whose playoff run was cut short and whose season ended with the decision.
Due to the developing threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the College today announced its decision to hold the three women’s basketball NCAA sectional games that will be hosted at Bowdoin this weekend without allowing any spectators into the arena.
Winter athletics data allows a visualization of team performances across the season. The following graphics display data from point-based varsity team sports. League position by week Note: the women’s and men’s basketball teams’ NESCAC seasons did not begin until six weeks after the hockey teams’.
SMALL BUT MIGHTY The women’s basketball team defeated Hamilton 77-63 in its NESCAC quarterfinal matchup last Saturday, but at halftime, a different group of competitors took the court. The back-to-back NCAA Division III finalist Polar Bears are a tough act to follow, but the third-and-fourth-grade travel teams from the Ararat Youth Basketball League entertained fans with a thrilling exhibition game during the break.
For years, Nordic skiing options around campus have been slim. Students looking for groomed trails could either drive half an hour to Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, where Bowdoin’s varsity team practices, or try their luck at a few groomed snowmobile trails slightly closer to campus.
SEED SEED SEED SEED SEED After an eighth-place finish at NESCAC championships two weeks ago, the women’s squash team is seeded fifth in the the Walker Cup Division for the upcoming College Squash Association National Tournament, which begins tonight in New Haven, Conn..
After a weekend of racing in near subzero temperatures at Lake Placid, N.Y., the Bowdoin Nordic ski team returned home with its third consecutive top-three finish. Led by two podium finishes, from Gabby Vandendries ’21 and the men’s skate relay, the Polar Bears continued this season’s unprecedented success and put themselves in an even better position heading into the final stretch of the short season.
ICE, ICE, BABY The women’s hockey team climbed one game closer to .500 with a 2-0 away victory over the University of New England (UNE) on Tuesday night. After dropping both games last weekend in a home series against Amherst, the Polar Bears snapped a four-game UNE win streak to return to their winning ways.
CONTROL THE T, WIN BY 3 In the lone high note in the women’s squash team’s 8-1 loss to Franklin & Marshall last Sunday, Clio Bersani ’22 swept her match 3-0 as number 2 in the ladder and was awarded NESCAC Performer of the Week honors for her efforts.
Last Friday, the women’s basketball team hit the first road bump in an otherwise spectacular season that has become the norm for the Polar Bears in recent years. In front of a crowd of 1,400 in Morrell Gym, the venue’s max capacity, the Jumbos pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 97-88 win after both teams traded the lead for most of the game.
In what is shaping up to be a record-shattering season for the Bowdoin nordic ski team, the Polar Bears raced to a third-place overall finish at the Colby Carnival last Saturday. Coming off of a best-ever second-place finish for the men’s team two weeks ago, this third place aggregate result is the highest ever overall team finish for any Bowdoin ski team in its history—and the team expects that there is more to come.
Bowdoin alpine skiing posted strong results at the Sunday River Grand Slalom event last weekend, with two Polar Bears placing first in their respective divisions. Cooper Dart ’21 took home gold on the men’s side and Elizabeth Scott ’23 topped the podium in her first season of collegiate racing.
NUMBER FIVE, LOOK ALIVE The women’s squash team clawed its way back to a winning record with a close 5-4 win over Colby on Wednesday, bringing the team’s overall record to 7-6 on the season. The middle of the Bowdoin ladder carried the Polar Bears to victory, with the team claiming 3-0 wins at spots three, four and six.
With six Olympians, 22 NCAA championships, and 66 NESCAC titles to its name, Bowdoin’s athletics department certainly has a well-stocked trophy cabinet. However, many at the college don’t know that some of the most decorated athletes on campus aren’t even Bowdoin students.
The Bowdoin men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams raced to historic finishes last weekend at the Harvard Carnival in Craftsbury, Vt. Elliot Ketchel ’21 finished in sixth place in the 20k classic mass start race on Saturday and led the way for the men’s team, which finished second overall amongst collegiate programs, the highest finish for the Bowdoin men in program history.
This season was one of highs and lows for Bowdoin volleyball. Coming hot off the heels of a run to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and a NESCAC Championship in 2018, the Polar Bears started the season slowly, sinking to a 4-6 record near the end of September.
Bowdoin volleyball’s postseason run ended on Thursday night after suffering a 3-0 loss to Carthage College in the NCAA Division III Volleyball Championship tournament quarterfinal in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The loss ended the Polar Bears’ dramatic season, which saw them overcome a shaky start in conference play to advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament for the second time in program history and the first time since 2015.
The following interactive visuals represent data from the Bowdoin fall athletics season. Data was compiled from the NESCAC and Bowdoin Athletics. The varsity teams represented below in the “record” categories are men’s and women’s soccer, football, volleyball, field hockey and women’s rugby.
NIRA, FAR, WHEREVER YOU ARE The women’s rugby team will host Norwich University in the NIRA semifinal on Saturday at 11 a.m.. After starting off the league campaign with a 38-8 loss to first-place Colby Sawyer, the Polar Bears bounced back with two key wins to secure the second playoff seed.
After limited interest and budgeting worries that forced the Bowdoin club equestrian team to restructure dramatically last year, a rejuvenated leadership team and greater participation this past fall has ushered in a renaissance for the team, which recently competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) for the first time in three years.
A PACHYDERMAGICAL MOMENT The field hockey team secured the number two NESCAC playoff seed in dramatic fashion with a 2-1 overtime victory away at Tufts on Wednesday. After an early Jumbos goal, Peyton Jackson ’21 equalized in the third quarter to send the game into overtime.
The Bowdoin crew team stroked their way to the top at this past weekend’s Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, with the men’s first varsity boat placing fourth out of 41 boats in the men’s collegiate 4+ event and the women’s first varsity boat coming in 13th in the women’s college 4+ out of a field of 36 crews.
On Monday, September 30, California governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act, or Senate Bill 206 (SB 206), which allows college athletes in the state, beginning January 1, 2023, to profit off of their names, images and likenesses (NIL) through sponsorships and endorsement deals.
GIVING THEIR OPPONENTS A HELSINKING FEELING Men’s lacrosse alumnus Brett Kujala ’18 made history last week at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, leading Finland to an all-time best sixth place finish. Kujala put up impressive offensive numbers all tournament, averaging 9.0 points per game during the group stages and 5.3 points per game in the playoffs.
Although nearly 40 percent of Bowdoin students are members of varsity sports teams, athletic offerings on campus range in level of competition and commitment. A variety of intramural leagues help students find the right balance of fun and competition in multiple sports, from badminton to hockey.
Despite the facts that the tournament was the first under a new head coach and the roster featured only six players, the Bowdoin women’s tennis team started strong last weekend, with all three doubles teams placing in the top four at the Wallach Doubles Invitational at Bates.
Portland is known for its hip food scene, proximity to nature and historical port, but one of the city’s greatest hidden gems is a national-championship caliber professional sports team with an empowering story and a fan base that’s growing larger every year.
BEARS, BEATS, BOBCAT-TLESTAR GALACTICA The field hockey team held on to a 1-0 victory over Bates this past Wednesday, improving to 2-0 in NESCAC play. On a stormy afternoon, the Polar Bears dealt with poor conditions and sloshed through a rain-soaked turf field all game.
On September 7, the Bowdoin varsity women’s rugby team opened their season with an emphatic 76-0 thumping of Roger Williams University. For the team, one of the College’s most successful teams over the past few decades, these landslide victories have been somewhat commonplace.
POLAR BEARS WEATHER THE STORM The field hockey team opened its campaign with a win against the University of New England (UNE) in Biddeford this past Wednesday. Emma Stevens ’20 opened her scoring account with two goals against the Nor’easters, and Elle Brine ’20 added two assists in a convincing 4-0 victory.
The Bowdoin College Department of Athletics is beginning the fall season with a wide array of fresh faces on the coaching staff of 11 teams. In an email to the Orient, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan conveyed his excitement about what the new hires could contribute to the Department.
On Saturday, May 4, more than a hundred triathletes will gather at Farley Field House for the Polar Bear Triathlon. An annual event, the triathlon attracts both experienced athletes and newcomers to the sport. Head Swim Coach Brad Burnham helped design the race 17 years ago.
Nearing the home stretch of its regular season, the men’s lacrosse team (6-6, 2-5 NESCAC) sits at .500, but has struggled in the NESCAC, where it is currently in ninth place. All is not lost, though—the team sits just one game behind the final NESCAC playoff seed with three conference games left to play.
Without the fanfare of other athletic organizations on campus, the curling team has quietly grown into one of the College’s most successful club sports programs. On March 10, the team earned an eighth-place overall finish at the USA College Curling Championship held at Broomstones Curling Club in Wayland, Mass.
Sidney J. Watson Arena is festooned with an extensive collection of banners celebrating the accomplishments of Bowdoin hockey teams past. However, the year 2018-2019 will not be appearing on any of these decorations. For the first time in 18 years, both the Bowdoin men’s and women’s hockey teams failed to reach the NESCAC playoffs.
After its recent sixth-place performance at the NESCAC championships last weekend, the Bowdoin men’s squash team (6-8) will travel to New Haven, Connecticut for the CSA Class C National Championships hosted by Yale University. Though it’s a step up from previous competition, Head Coach Tomas Fortson says the team’s goals this season lie in the intangibles.
As Bowdoin students return to the campus tundra post winter break, many look to nearby ski slopes hoping to take advantage of the weather. Bowdoin’s coastal location offers access to three of New England’s premier ski resorts—Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Loon Mountain—are all within 120 miles.
Ever since last year’s momentous NCAA tournament run ended in a second place finish, the Bowdoin women’s basketball team has been looking towards the start of its season as the beginning of its journey to avenge its loss against Amherst in the national championship game.
Last weekend, the Bowdoin women’s field hockey team (11-5, 6-4 NESCAC) saw its season come to an early end at the hands of Williams (12-4, NESCAC 7-3), with a 3-2 loss in the NESCAC quarterfinal. This latest premature exit from the NESCAC tournament is the third consecutive year the Polar Bears have bowed out of the competition before reaching the finals.
Caroline Farber ’20, captain of the Bowdoin women’s varsity golf team and consistently a top NESCAC performer, has not garnered a shortage of individual achievements over her golf career. Farber is the first Bowdoin women’s golfer to be named All-NESCAC.