Banded together: recruited athletes with sub-average academics can receive preference in admissions
A path to campus: looking at the weight of recruitment visits and "early reads"
After the acceptance: walk-ons and GPAs
Former Athletic Director went beyond coaching for 14 years
72% of 2010 grads working, 4% searching, survey shows
Athletic department going green with recycled apparel from Atayne
Thanks to the efforts of women’s lacrosse player Dana White ’15, the athletic department now provides “green” recycled practice apparel to teams for the first time.
Local company Atayne produces the apparel. Founder Jeremy Litchfield ’99, a native of Brunswick, said he read a book while at Bowdoin by the founders of Ben & Jerry’s about how to use businesses to solve real-world problems. He had “realized I wanted to start a company eventually that would create good in the world, environmentally and socially,” but for some time he did not know quite what to do.
The idea for Atayne came to Litchfield in 2007 when he was living in Washington, D.C., working at a marketing agency and running 70 miles a week. After completing a run in a new red athletic shirt one day, he realized he was covered in red dye. He wondered what other chemicals were being absorbed into his body, and started researching how the clothing was made.
“I realized it was way out of line with some pretty strong values I have about human rights and the environment,” he said. “I then decided I would start a running apparel company that would do things differently—I didn’t know how, but I knew I would do it differently. I quit my job and started going from there.”
So with an idea and a goal, he got his company started, adapting the name Atayne from the idea that didn’t want to compromise values while still “attain”-ing everything he wanted to.
Atayne makes sports apparel—mainly running shirts—using polyester that is made in the USA entirely from used water bottles.
“Just like other plastics, all polyester is derived from petroleum, which has the same chemical property as a water bottle,” Litchfield said. “You’re further down the chain of chemical reactions, so you save energy and you prevent materials from going into landfills. We recycle maybe 30 percent of plastic bottles in the U.S., so there are billions of them buried in landfills every year.”
Atayne is a Certified B Corporation, and receives third-party certifications on its fabrics to ensure they contain no harmful chemical dyes or treatments that are known to be carcinogenic or hormone disruptive.
“We expose ourselves to so many chemicals in just the clothes we wear, and my goal is to limit that as much as possible,” he said.
In addition to using sustainable materials, Atayne’s production model is environmentally conscious. By using bottles from U.S. municipal recycling centers and waste management companies, and creating the yarns in North Carolina, Atayne is entirely domestically based and produces on demand. Other companies, including ones that make recycled products, mass-produce their merchandise in other countries before it’s been ordered and later ship it back to the U.S. Atayne’s just-in-time philosophy guarantees that everything being produced is for a specific order that will not clog up landfills or sit on store shelves.
“We like to call it progressive performance apparel—it’s not only progressive environmentally and socially, but also performance-wise,” said Litchfield.
The College has sold Atayne clothing in the Bowdoin Bookstore for a number of years and Atayne offers other options for teams wishing to independently purchase attire, but the company only became an official vendor for the athletic department in recent months.
Talks to partner with Atayne started a few years ago and were catalyzed last spring by White, who brought the idea to the department this spring after returning from a semester abroad.
White has an interest in sustainability as a member of Bowdoin Green Athletes and as the eco-rep of her College House last year. She was also a member of the now-defunct Green Global Initiative, a Bowdoin club that brought to campus local alumni speakers in the sustainability field, and went to a talk by Litchfield as a first year.
“Learning about what he did really sparked my interest,” White said.
She then started talking to other people on campus about Atayne and realized she already had one of the company’s shirts in her closet.
“With our push as a college toward becoming more sustainable and carbon neutral by 2020, I thought it would be great if we could bring Atayne to be a more everyday part of athletics,” she said. “It also seemed like it aligned with a lot of things I’m already interested in.”
White began discussing the possibility of bringing Atayne apparel to athletics with Litchfield and Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan. She soon discovered the College’s contract with Nike only applied to competition clothing, and that they can use any apparel provider for athletic department-provided practice clothing. Ryan was receptive to the idea and decided to implement the new practice gear one team at a time.
“It’s a nice relationship to have because they’re here in Brunswick and it’s obviously an issue that’s important to students,” said Ryan.
The switch from Nike to Atayne practice gear has had little financial impact, allowing the athletic department to “maintain the pricing parameters that we have for practice apparel,” said Ryan.
“Money was one of my main concerns, but it wasn’t that big of a difference,” said White.
“[Litchfield] sees this as a pretty cool opportunity for him and based on the way they produce clothing, they try to keep the prices down as much as possible.”
After continuing more serious conversations last spring, White talked with her coach and this spring the change was officially made for athletics-issued practice T-shirts.
“Now we can take pride in what we’re wearing,” she said. “I think it’s really been positive for our team.”
And because Atayne’s shirts are ultimately made from the same material as traditional counterparts, they perform the same way.
“There’s not a noticeable difference in how they wear and wash in comparison to the Nike Dri-FIT jerseys that we usually have. They’re just as great and comfortable,” she said.
“In fact, our fabrics are actually a much higher quality, made with super premium fabrics rather than inexpensive fabrics that come with bulk orders,” said Litchfield.
White spearheaded the process independent of any of the environmental groups she is involved in.
“I was pretty impressed by how easy it was to get the process moving,” she said. “As long as you’re asking the right questions and coming into meetings prepared, I think that people here really want students to take initiative. They’re more than willing to help make it happen.”
The athletic department currently only supplies Atayne gear to the women’s lacrosse team, but both parties have said they have an interest in furthering the relationship. White and Litchfield have talked about having Atayne develop cold-weather leggings for teams to wear under their uniforms, and the tennis teams have discussed the possibility of using Atayne spandex. Atayne is planning to have a sample sale on campus this fall.
This relationship entirely depends on demand for Atayne’s athletic attire.
“A lot of what we’re doing is driven by the students,” said Litchfield. “If enough teams come together and say they really want to do it, developing something like that is very easy.”“It can’t just be me,” said White. “We have to get the word out there.”
After the acceptance: walk-ons and GPAs
A look at the academic experience of athletes at Bowdoin, 27 years after the publication of the Barker Report.
The Admissions and Athletics Report (or Barker Report, as it is more commonly known) was written in 1987 by a committee chaired by mathematics professor William Barker and featuring nine other members including then Director of Admissions William Mason, then Assistant Director of Athletics John Cullen and student Gerald Chertavian ’87. It was conducted in part because of the College’s Pierce Commission Report, which, in 1975, requested that the performance of students admitted into Bowdoin primarily because of athletic ability be monitored periodically.
While a great deal has changed regarding athlete admissions and academics since 1987, some of the report’s basic tenets remain true.
The Barker report states, “Heavy recruitment and emphasis on finding athletic talent in the applicant pool can [make] teams become less accessible to students who have little or no previous training in the sport.” It goes on to say that “such ‘walk-ons’ are thus, to a large degree, excluded from intercollegiate sports because the teams are becoming filled with so many ‘rated athletes.’”
Though it is not abundantly common, some students each year try out for teams having had no prior contact with coaches.
Most athletes, however, have had some level of communication with coaches before college to express interest in playing on their team, whether they were supported in the admissions process or not.
“It’s not generally known by the students which of our team members are recruited and which are walk-ons,” said track’s head coach Peter Slovenski. “We don’t care if they were recruited or not. I’ve seen a few un-recruited athletes earn All-American honors in college, and we’ve also had some highly recruited students who were disappointing.”
“Whether you’re actively recruited by a coach or you arrive the first day of practice, you’re going to be given the same opportunity to participate in that program,” added Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan.
Each sport has a slightly different policy toward walking on. Women’s soccer has an open tryout every year to which head coach Brianne Weaver invites both recruited and walk-on athletes. But, she said, “We are committed to those who we recruit. We don’t want to go out to someone we recruited and say, ‘Sorry, you’re actually not good enough.’”
Football Head Coach Dave Caputi said that while some students may walk on to the team, these individuals have typically had a relationship with the coaches during their application process and are “on our radar.”
Similarly, Men’s Hockey Head Hoach Terry Meagher said that “there’s not many true walk-ons who just show up and you don’t know who they are. Through correspondence, watching them play or whatever, we usually have a pretty good idea” about the people who come out for the team. “The ones who basically walk on have reached out to us after they’ve made a decision to come to Bowdoin, so we know who they are before they show up.”
However, Meagher said that “if someone just walked into my door on September 1 when they arrived here and they wanted to try out for the team, we would allow that.”
Women’s Rugby Head Coach MaryBeth Mathews said that because of the nature of her sport, she fields her roster almost entirely from walk-on athletes who come to the team after seeing posters, going to information sessions, and talking to current players.
“Even that gal who’s never played a sport before, there’s a spot for her on the team,” Mathews said. “Walk-ons? Have at it, bring ’em, I need ’em.”
Sailing head coach Frank Pizzo said he also relies on walk-ons for a large part of his roster.“They don’t need to have any experience, and it’s almost better if they have none rather than having a little because we want to team them the right way. We don’t have a set tryout and we don’t have cuts, but if kids miss the first few days of practice, it won’t work out,” he said.
A team’s best athletes are not necessarily the students who gained admissions support for that sport.
“We do have a number of recruited athletes who were then cut and joined rugby, who were burned out and joined, or [who are] two-sport athletes,” said Mathews.
Women’s swim captain Helen Newton ’14 came to Bowdoin intending to play lacrosse, and applied regular decision after a less active recruiting program than many of her peers.
“I had zero intention of swimming [in college]...and I had all the intentions of playing lacrosse for four years,” she said, saying that she only started attending captains’ practices for swimming after a coach suggested it. She joined the team as a walk-on and quit lacrosse after her sophomore year, completing her swimming career as the holder of multiple school records.Students first, athletes second
There is an expectation that student-athletes will not participate in their sport at the exclusion of other campus activities: “This is a college admission process with an athletic component, not an athletic recruiting process that comes with the opportunity to attend college,” states the NESCAC guidelines.
Students are attracted to Bowdoin for its academics, and at times spurn D-I possibilities to bring higher-level athletic talent to the school than it would otherwise have.
“I realized that in D-I, the academics that I wanted weren’t there,” said softball pitcher Julia Geaumont ’16. “I started [talking to D-I schools that said] it would be very unlikely that I would be able to complete a major that would be able to get me pre-med or pre-dental, like I want...Then I decided mid-junior year that I wanted to use softball as something that complimented my years in college, rather than having softball basically be my entire experience.”Academic support for athletes
Once admitted student-athletes arrive at Bowdoin, they are given easy access to academic support resources that ensure they can hold their own.
“All of our coaches work with the members of their team to make sure they’re getting the support they need, whether that’s connecting a student with the [Center for Learning and Teaching] or with a faculty liaison to have a conversation about time management, course selection or study away decisions,” said Ryan. The faculty liaison system is common throughout the NESCAC and much of the country, connecting one faculty member with each varsity team to be a point person for matters like athletes’ academic concerns and exam scheduling when teams are on the road.
While academic expectations have been raised throughout the NESCAC since the initial regulations were introduced, and the number of C-band recruits has been lowered, this is arguably most evident at Bowdoin. The College had the most All-Academic athletes of the entire NESCAC this past fall, with 97 student-athletes completing the season with cumulative GPAs of at least 3.35.
“I know our coach takes a lot of pride in everyone having high GPAs on the team,” said Geaumont. “That was one of the first selling points for me two years ago—we, for D-III softball, had the tenth-highest GPA in the country, which was huge. Now, if your GPA starts to slip, the coaches make sure everyone comes to help you.”From Barker to now
The 1987 Barker Report included a thorough discussion of the academic performance of athletes, showing that, on average, these athletes did worse overall at Bowdoin than their non-athlete peers in the 1980s. It found an “overemphasis on athletic ability in the admissions process [that] seems at times to work counter to the goal of bringing in the most diverse and academically able group of students that the College can attract.”
“I came here in the mid-’70s, and during that time there was a lot of grumbling from faculty about the quality of the athletes,” Barker said. “Back then there was really a feeling that something was wrong, something was out of balance.
Barker contends that much of the explanation for athletes’ lower grades was due to the optional SAT policy in place at the time.
The Report found that a much larger percentage of athletes—what are now considered B- and C-band recruits—withheld their SAT scores than non-athletes. “The Verbal SAT scores of the withholding male athletes were very low in comparison to the rest of the students...Bowdoin’s optional SAT policy no doubt allows the acceptance of some students who would not be as desirable to other highly selective colleges.”
Some coaches used the SAT-optional policy to recruit athletes whose lower test scores would hinder their chances of being admitted elsewhere.
“It wasn’t like we were making claims [in the report] about these people of being slackers—no, they just in some cases didn’t have the academic background to perform at Bowdoin. Invariably if someone is really strong in one area, you’ll bend a little bit on others,” he added. “Nobody was doing anything wrong—nothing illegal about what they did, or even unethical—but nonetheless the rules were written in such a way that one could do this procedure and it’s not clear that that was for the good of the College at the time.”
Overall, the Barker Report stated that “on average, the students we admit for athletic reasons have lower academic credentials than many applicants who are denied admission, and subsequently do not perform as well academically as their non-athlete classmates.”
Barker Report by bowdoinorient
Barker said that even though statistical tests weren’t explicitly run, the wide variety of measurements pointed in the same direction, reinforcing their significance. He said that as far as he could remember, the numbers were never challenged.
The report found a noticeable effect in the classroom. It stated that athletes who withheld SAT scores were at the bottom of the student body distribution for GPA and percentages of High Honors grades, while non-athletes who submitted their SATs were at the top of the charts for GPA and High Honors grades. It concluded, “The lower end of the academic spectrum of the Bowdoin student body is heavily weighted with athletes.”
Nearly three decades after the Barker Report, Bowdoin still has an optional SAT policy, but the recruiting standards and practices have changed significantly. While the issue of relatively weaker academic performance by athletes used to be a hot topic at the College—and was in large part the impetus for the Barker Report—it is not felt as strongly today by members of the faculty.
“In the older days, people regularly did complain about certain courses having a large percentage of athletes who were not doing well and it was affecting the course in a bad way,” said Barker. “I just don’t tend to hear that as much. As far as I can tell, the balance is better now. I found it of concern back then. I don’t tend to find it that way now.”
Information available today indicates that the academic achievement of Bowdoin’s athletes is statistically equal to that of the general student body.
With nearly 35 percent of the student body participating in varsity athletics—638 individuals out of 1830 total students in the 2012-2013 academic year, according to U.S. Department of Education data—the current model has resulted in more academically competitive student-athletes. The College’s 2006 reaccreditation self-survey stated that the GPA of all intercollegiate and club team student-athletes increased from 3.07 in 1999 to 3.22 in 2005, and the overall difference in GPA between the entire student body and student-athletes decreased from 0.12 to 0.01 points over those five years.
Since the fall 2005 semester, Bowdoin administrative policy has prohibited public discussion about these statistics.
More recent comments made to the Orient by President Barry Mills, Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster, and former athletic director Jeff Ward have confirmed, however, that there is still no significant difference in the GPA of athletes and non-athletes at Bowdoin.
The Barker Report recommended that its tables and numbers be updated yearly, so that clear comparisons could be made with institutional data routinely collected the same way.
“There was the understanding that each year the administration would review the numbers—which were easy to continue to update—to see if things improved in the areas we had concern in. And things would be released publicly,” Barker said.
“It would seem useful to measure them again, the same way, so that you’re comparing apples to apples,” he added.
It is unclear if the administration will update numbers in the future.
“I suspect some of that updating may have been pushed aside, especially because it hasn’t been the same hot-button issue it was with faculty back then,” said Barker.
A path to campus: looking at the weight of recruitment visits and "early reads"
Second in a three-part series about athletic recruitment at Bowdoin and across the NESCAC.
The recruiting process starts either when high school coaches contact their college counterparts to alert them of talented players or when high school students express an interest to college coaches. Typically in their junior year of high school, prospective student-athletes fill out an online form for the recruiting databases of each school in which they are interested. The information required on these forms varies by sport, but typically includes at least the students’ GPAs and standardized test scores, information about their athletic accomplishments, and their basic demographics.
Coaches use third-party sources to access information about potential recruits, more efficiently scout the top players in the country, and look at video footage and academic information.
“I knew as an athlete applying that a lot of my grades and my transcript were available to any coach who was looking at me,” said Julia Geaumont ’16, a pitcher on the softball team.
Recruiting is a highly regulated process for all NCAA institutions, and for D-III schools specifically.
One of the major elements of recruiting is contact between coaches and recruits. Coaches can only make off campus, in-person contact with recruits after their junior year of high school, but may attend clinics, camps or high school all-star games without officially contacting students at any point after they begin ninth grade. Unlike D-I, there are no specific and differentiated contact, evaluation, recruiting, quiet or dead periods of recruiting activities.
“There are a few more restrictions related to recruiting in the NESCAC as compared to D-I and other D-III institutions,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan. The biggest differentiator is that “coaches are limited in the amount of contact they can have with prospective students off campus.”
Similarly, Amherst’s Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Thomas Parker said that coaches are “allowed to watch students play, but there are pretty strict rules about how and when they can contact them. They can attend camps in the summer conducted by any of the areas’ [schools], but have very limited funds to travel away from campus to watch and talk to athletes."
NESCAC coaches stress prospective athletes’ feeling of belonging to the campus community to a greater degree than some of their peer schools, ensuring that both admissions officers and recruits understand the importance of the overall fit of the student with the college, and not just a team.
“The focus of the NESCAC is on promoting and prioritizing the on-campus visit, and therefore stressing the importance of fit with students,” Ryan said.
“[When] we let admissions know of our interest in a person, [we’re] letting them know that we think they would be a good all-around fit at Bowdoin,” said women’s soccer head coach Brianne Weaver.
This idea is not lost on the students, who realize that, if they have to leave a team because of injury or other reasons, it’s important to feel comfortable with the rest of the Bowdoin community.
Former volleyball player Luisa LaSalle ’14 said that when she was a prospective student, the Bowdoin coach “was very open that the school needs to be right for you, and if Bowdoin wasn’t the right fit but someone was an amazing volleyball player, she didn’t want them to come. I felt like I was going to Bowdoin and I was going to play volleyball. I wasn’t going to Bowdoin to play volleyball.”Recruiting visit
Another important aspect of the recruitment timeline is the campus visit, during which prospective athletes tour the school and have the chance to spend time with members of the team, coaches and athletic department staff. According to the NCAA D-III manual, these may be official visits, “financed in whole or in part by the member institution,” or unofficial visits, “made at the prospective student-athlete’s own expense.”
While the families of many students who visit Bowdoin—for athletics or otherwise—finance their trips on their own, those who demonstrate need may receive financial support from the College to help cover travel costs.
“We provide travel support for many low-income students who have not visited and might not otherwise have a chance to come to Maine,” said Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Scott Meiklejohn. “To the extent that someone who is of interest to a Bowdoin coach meets our usual requirements, a small number of them may get the same sort of travel support that other students receive.”
The D-III manual says that “an institution may not provide transportation to a prospective student-athlete other than on the official visit.” Because of this, these supported cases would have to be considered official visits. Recruits are only allowed one official visit, not to exceed 48 hours in length, during their senior year of high school. They may have an unlimited number of unofficial visits, which can be before or during their senior year and have no time limit.
The opportunity is easily arranged, and is generally found to be valuable for the students.
“It was really nice to have a team member show me around Bowdoin and make me feel wanted, whereas maybe a walk-on would not already have that ‘in’ with the team,” said LaSalle. “Hanging out with some of the teammates and being able to envision myself as part of the team was definitely helpful.”
According to men’s swim captain Linc Rhodes ’14, the recruiting trip’s value lies in “the intimate experience of being able to hang out with a team with the focus all being on you. With [regular campus visits] it’s more with students milling around, and nobody’s really focused on you specifically. With the recruit trips, its all about you.”Early Reads
Starting on July 1, NESCAC coaches may send materials from rising seniors to admissions officers for what is known as an early read. According to Parker, the NESCAC-regulated early read includes an evaluation of the student, a transcript, a hard copy of test scores, and a profile of the high school qualifications.
Ryan said that Bowdoin also asks for a resume of activities from each prospective student, “because you’re not going to come here and just be an athlete.”
But not every prospective athlete applicant gets this privilege.
“The first thing we look at is [if they are] in the ballpark academically,” said Ryan.
“Our coaches are able to do a preliminary analysis to understand whether someone has a remote possibility of being a strong candidate for Bowdoin. That also correlates on the athletics side as well—is this someone we could foresee playing a role on one of our teams? If the answer is yes to both of those questions then we’re likely to submit an early read to the admissions office,” said Ryan.
The athletics department pays careful attention to manage the amount of early reads it sends to admissions, “but we don’t necessarily have a quota that we may max out at during the early read process,” Ryan said, noting that coaches are cognizant of admissions officers’ time and resources.
However, Ryan added that “the NESCAC has a set of guidelines in place that we’re currently operating under whereby institutional personnel are required to keep information related to the admissions support system confidential and internal, and we’re supportive of that.” As a result, he could not disclose specifics about the number of early reads or who in admissions looks at them.
Additionally, Meiklejohn and Director of Admissions Whitney Soule declined to comment on the subject.
Following an early read, an admissions liaison for the athletic department then suggests one of a few options: the coach no longer pursue the applicant because his/her qualifications aren’t viable, that the coach continue to monitor the applicant’s senior grades or test scores as a possible admit, or that the coach consider the student a clear A-band academically and suggest it is likely—but not guaranteed—that they will get in.
“I like to use the metaphor of green light, yellow light, red light,” said Parker.
“An early read is something all coaches are able to get for athletes,” said MaryBeth Mathews, head coach of women’s rugby.
This feedback is then diluted and passed along to the students, without, said Ryan, “going into the details of the level of support that a student may need in order to move forward in the process.”
He said that these conversations either encourage promising student-athletes to apply to Bowdoin, or advise students who do not meet Bowdoin’s admissions standards to look elsewhere.
For those students for whom the admissions office has given the green light, Ryan said “the feedback that we would then give would be that we’d love to have them come to Bowdoin and we would encourage them to apply, and we would be willing to offer our support to them in the admissions process.”
Students are not explicitly told to improve their grades in a certain subject or their scores on a specific SAT subtest, and are not privy to information about which band they fall into.
Once a coach has expressed interest to a prospective student-athlete, that individual must still apply like everyone else. NESCAC rules state that no coach can “offer, promise or otherwise guarantee” a student-athlete’s spot, and that any communication about admission “should be considered preliminary, unofficial and subject to change.”
“It’s a strong statement for a coach to say, ‘I support this person’s application,’ so admissions is certainly going to look very hard at their application,” said Weaver. “But it’s no golden ticket at all.”
The recruited students being supported by athletics in admissions will typically apply Early Decision I (ED I) to their first-choice college.
“They don’t necessarily apply early decision, but a lot of students who plan on playing a sport in college traditionally have been on a faster timeline in terms of making their decision about what college it is they want to attend,” said Ryan. “It’s fair to say that we do have many athletes who apply during the ED I timeframe. But we have members of all of our teams who have gone through the application process through regular decision, ED II and ED I.”
According to Parker, the majority apply ED “partly as a consequence of a school having to control their number [of athletic recruits]. Going over your allotment entails a penalty—you lose the number over from your number the following year.” As a result, “most schools play it safe and come in slightly under their limit.”Misconceptions
Although being supported by the athletics department in admissions does not guarantee admittance, some existing misconceptions imply otherwise.
“Just because they’ve had a conversation with a coach doesn’t mean [recruits] will automatically get in,” said Meiklejohn. “Notwithstanding that, I think some students hear it that way.
“Outside of our league I think there are a lot of students who are being told their spot is set—the NESCAC doesn’t do it that way,” he added. The D-III manual states that “an institution shall not use any form of a letter of intent or similar form of commitment in the recruitment of a prospective student-athlete.”
“The admissions office makes admissions decisions, the coaches make recruiting decisions. [There’s a] big, clear boundary between those two things,” said Meiklejohn.
Furthermore, misconceptions exist that recruited athletes apply ED because they are more likely to be accepted from the ED applicant pool.
“I definitely think there is a kind of a stigma toward athletes getting in ED and kind of securing that position,” said Geaumont. “I knew coming from my standpoint as an athlete that once you find where you want to go it shows you’re committed and want to come play, and I think applying ED shows the college that you want to do that.”
Understanding the regulations behind these recruiting protocols is often the most helpful way to ensure that people don’t spread false information, according to Parker.
“I really believe in candor when it comes to this process, because there are a lot of places where they’ll say, ‘We want our teams to win but we don’t want to discuss it publicly,’” said Parker. “If you can’t talk candidly about your admissions process—and I don’t just mean athletics but also with alumni children, etc.—you’re probably doing your students a disservice. People’s imaginations are inevitably much worse than the reality.”
“We’re all such small communities that gossip can really hurt,” he added.
But even so, the process is not always well understood by people looking at it from the outside.In a 2005 New York Times article, Washington and Lee University’s athletic director Mike Walsh said, “What I hear back from our coaches is that our system is less automatic than the system used by the NESCACs. There’s a feeling that if you’re on top of one of their coach’s lists and there’s no smoking gun in your application, you’ll be accepted. That’s my impression and the impression of other non-NESCAC schools.”
However, Parker says, “That’s nonsense. We have a floor—the lowest level of the C band range—and we cannot go beneath that floor. I think some of that kind of feeling is because I don’t think there’s another conference that regulates it and is as candid about what they do as the NESCAC is. To be honest, before the NESCAC was putting everything on the table, that existed within it.”
Athletics staff ultimately emphasize that all potential applicants to Bowdoin are going through the same basic process.
“What we always stress is that the application process needs to be treated with the respect it deserves,” said Ryan. “Regardless of the support they’re getting from us, if a student doesn’t treat the application process with respect, then they’ve dealt their own hand. Just like any other student, that’s not going to fly.”
Part Three: examining the academic performance of athletes once they get to Bowdoin and the experience of living as a student-athlete at the College.
Banded together: recruited athletes with sub-average academics can receive preference in admissions
First in a three-part series about athletic recruitment at Bowdoin and across the NESCAC.
A set number of students are endorsed by Bowdoin coaches each year even though their high school grades and test scores do not necessarily meet the standards of the average accepted Bowdoin students. Admissions gives many of these students’ application materials early reads to alert coaches to the likelihood that the student-athlete will be accepted.
This system is not confined to Brunswick, and for the last decade, the entire NESCAC has used a process to ensure that its sports events are perenially competitive, enabling uniformity in the 11 member institutions and establishing a mutual understanding of how rosters are filled.
“NESCAC institutions recognize the important role that athletics play on our campuses,” said Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan. “With that, a system has been put in place to help ensure that institutions are able to develop athletic programs that are competitive within the conference.”
Discussion of the role of student-athletes in liberal arts academia is a common conversation topic, but this admissions process is widely unknown.
Though a set system has been in place since 2002 and admissions and athletic administrators are generally open to talking vaguely about it, access to the specific information remains guarded and there are few means through which laypeople can find explanations. Multiple Bowdoin coaches declined to comment to the Orient on the specifics of the process, and according to Ryan, school policy dictates that numbers not be distributed publicly.
The NESCAC’s highly regulated recruitment system was first widely revealed in a December 2005 New York Times article featuring Amherst’s dean of admissions and financial aid, Thomas Parker.
“The real danger was in not acknowledging that we give preferential treatment to athletes,” said Parker in the article. “It engendered a corrosive cynicism. When it was on the table exactly what we do, it wasn’t as bad as some faculty thought.”History of new guidelines
Parker was integral in formulating the current NESCAC-wide system in the early 2000s. When he arrived at Amherst in 1999 from Williams—where he had held the same position—the conference’s recruiting was very different from what it is now.
“There was virtually no regulation or oversight of the relationship between admissions offices and the athletic departments,” he said in an interview with the Orient. He explained that Williams’ and Amherst’s presidents were both interested in re-evaluating the number of recruited athletes and their academic calibers.
“Amherst and Williams lined our athletes up and said, ‘We’re virtually identical schools academically, so our athletes should be identical,’” said Parker.
Implementing these new regulations conference-wide, however, was an arduous process. First, Amherst and Williams brought in Wesleyan, the third member school of the NESCAC’s so-called “Little Three.” Then the topic of these schools’ recruiting caps came up at a meeting of NESCAC presidents, who asked for admissions representatives from the whole conference to collaborate on reformulating the system. By 2002, a group of admissions deans had successfully modified the nascent system of the Little Three to be uniform across the league.
As explained in Bowdoin’s 2006 reaccreditation self-survey, the NESCAC’s target-based athletic admissions model aimed to “reduce the number of recruited athletes admitted…and raise the academic profile of athletes.” The overall volume and competition of D-III sports had increased significantly in the past few decades, which at Bowdoin brought about “legitimate questions about the opportunity costs of admitting athletes to fill 31 teams at the expense of other highly qualified applicants in the Bowdoin pool.”The plan in action
According to Parker, each NESCAC institution is allowed a maximum of 14 recruits for having a football team, with an additional two per remaining varsity sport. He said that every NESCAC school currently subscribes to the process. For Amherst, that number is 66 recruits, or athletic factors (AFs).
“In those 66 cases, the athletic input controls the decision,” said Parker. “You have to say that in that group of 66 students, preference was given to them in the process, no question about it.”
Parker said that for teams that do not compete at the D-III level, an extra AF recruit spot is added every other year in order to attract higher caliber athletes. For instance, Bowdoin’s 31 varsity teams factor into an allotted total, but he noted that a sport like nordic skiing, which competes outside of the NESCAC at the D-I level, is awarded further support. Other examples include Trinity’s squash and Colby’s alpine skiing teams.
Following Parker’s formula, the number of allotted recruits at Bowdoin would be around 75, or about 15 percent of the incoming class. An Orient article last spring cited this number at 77, based on a speech by President Barry Mills at a faculty meeting, but further investigation has not been able to confirm this number.
Those recruiting caps of supported athletes are then subdivided into “bands”—sometimes referred to as slots—which separate recruits academically based on how they compare to the averaged statistics of accepted students. Students in the B band have scores slightly below the averages, while C-band recruits are lower. Parker said that schools cannot consider prospective student-athletes whose numbers would make them fall below the C band’s lower boundary. Students whose scores place them well within the averages fall into the A band, but these individuals are not factored into the athletic support numbers.
AFs are considered those prospective student-athletes in the B and C bands, though Parker noted “there’s only a very limited number of C bands that each school can take.”
At Bowdoin, an agreement dictates that the admissions and athletic departments “don’t talk about numbers or qualifications related to those bands externally,” according to Ryan.
As a point of comparison, Parker said in the 2005 New York Times article that the mean SAT score for that year’s freshman class was a 1442. The lowest band was for “students with strong high school records in challenging courses and with scores of 1250 to 1310 on the two-part College Board exam. The next-highest band required a very strong record and course load and SAT scores from 1320 to 1430.”
“At Amherst,” the article continued, “the mean SAT score for athletes filling slots was 60 to 75 points below the mean for the current freshman class.”
Once the admissions deans fully understood the differentiation between the bands based on academic achievement, “we had to line up the other schools, which turned out to be a pretty big task,” Parker said.
Implementing the numbering system wasn’t inherently difficult; the challenge came in identifying where cut-offs for B and C bands occur across various institutions.
Some member institutions required no testing, some required subject tests, and there were significant gaps in average scores. After a few years, the deans standardized a system with modified test score and GPA averages depending on the means of each college’s student body.
This breakdown of banding isn’t set in stone. In 2005 Amherst admitted 19 C-band recruits, but Parker said that number is now down to 12. Additionally, the academic qualifications for the lower band recruits has been raised due to heightened academic competitiveness in admissions.
“But we’ve done that league-wide,” he added. “We’re not going to do anything unilaterally.”
“Since we’ve become a playing conference, recruiting and schools trying to identify and attract and have people enroll at their schools is as intense as I’ve seen it since I started here 30 years ago,” said men’s hockey head coach Terry Meagher. “It’s always been a part of what we do—for this program we’ve always recruited very extensively and we’ve had a thorough model—but across the board it’s as competitive as I’ve ever seen it.”
It would be impossible to field nearly any team using just two recruits per year, which is why the rest of the rosters are composed of A-band students no different academically from the other admitted students, who, said Parker, “would have made it under any conditions.”
“We hope that a few others are going to be able to get in on their own because we have to do it that way, but I think in general it works out,” said women’s soccer head coach Brianne Weaver.
“We have a limited number of people who we can talk to the admissions office about,” said football head coach Dave Caputi. “Some kids require a little more political capital than others—you have to pick and choose your battles. That’s constant across all sports. In a given year coaches may lobby a little higher for a really good player who’s in a position of high need.”Dividing the support
Just because each NESCAC institution may use a certain number of spots each year on athletic recruits with somewhat lower academic pedigrees, the way in which schools do this varies.
Though the overall allotment is based off an equal number of admittees per sport, each team does not use exactly two spots per season. Some coaches will sacrifice a spot one year for an extra recruit the next year. And depending on specific NESCAC schools’ preferences and traditions, some teams will consistently support more athletes in admissions than others.
“You want to adjust it according to the priorities [of each school],” said Parker. “There are probably some NESCAC schools that emphasize one sport over another for reasons of tradition or something else.”
Sailing coach Frank Pizzo said he understands that his program doesn’t hold as much gravitas as a sport like football or hockey, but recruits accordingly.
“We’re a sports team that doesn’t have a whole lot of recruiting pull,” he said. “I rely on a lot of kids to whom I’m like, ‘Hey, if you can get in through admissions, we’d love to have you.’”
Women’s rugby coach MaryBeth Mathews acknowledged a similar reliance on athletes admitted without a coach’s endorsement.
“I have a very limited amount of support,” she said. “One because it’s a participation sport that offers the non-recruited athletes a chance to play, but until other NESCAC women’s programs are varsity, the College doesn’t see the need.”
But students involved in less-supported athletic programs do understand the system’s engendering of inequitable support is “probably fair,” according to men’s swim captain Linc Rhodes ’14. Some teams, he said, “probably have a little more pull of people they can get in, but they’re also a way bigger influence on campus and they’re a bigger draw to people and alumni so they’re granted that.”
Softball pitcher Julia Geaumont ’16, who was named Gatorade Player of the Year—the top high school player—in Maine as a senior at nearby Saco’s Thornton Academy, still thinks it’s less than ideal.
“It’s kind of hard, looking at how some team gets a few more spots so maybe they can be a little bit better,” she said. “But, I mean, I think you’re going to find that any place.”Beyond academic distinctions
For those prospective students who fall above the B band—whose scores are indistinguishable from the average student at a given college—a coach can still be supportive in admissions.
However, this support will not be as strong, and in the words of Parker, “Would be no more helpful than the symphony director or the head of the studio art department. There’s a point at all the NESCAC schools when you can’t make any more academic distinctions because everybody is so good.”
Parker said that these students are referred to as non-athletic factors (NAFs). Just like students applying to Bowdoin with an interest in intercollegiate athletics, many students apply here with plans to participate in other extracurricular activities.
“You’re not going to come here and just be an athlete, you’re going to be involved in the theater or the arts or the newspaper,” said Ryan. “And that’s as important, if not more important, than your athletic ability.”
When choosing between so many highly-qualified A-band applicants, each student’s non-academic strengths are carefully considered to figure out how they could best fit at the school. At this point, some students will be recognized in admissions by their coaches for a vote of confidence, and others may be identified by musical directors or other extracurricular leaders.
But not having a conference-wide system in place for evaluating these activities makes it less clear as to how different schools support these types of students. Parker said that athletics is the most uniform because any NESCAC school knows or can easily find out what the ten other schools are doing, thanks to the structured process already in place for recruiting athletes.
Part two: an investigation of the recruiting timeline, including a look at “early reads” in admissions and the benefits of the athletic recruiting visit. In two weeks: examining the academic performance of athletes once they get to Bowdoin and being a student-athlete at the College.
Men's and women's basketball teams both earn at-large D-III national tournament bids
The women will play at home against Castleton State, while the men will travel to Pennsylvania to play Richard Stockton College
Even though both its basketball teams lost their single-elimination NESCAC playoff games in the past ten days, Bowdoin’s seasons aren’t over just yet. Both the men’s and women’s teams earned at-large bids today to play NCAA D-III Tournament games this Friday for the chance to eventually compete in the national championship. This will mark the men’s fourth trip to the D-III Championship after also having qualified in 1996, 1999 and 2008, and marks the women’s 14th year moving on, one year after missing the tournament for the first time in 13 seasons. The women’s berth was not altogether unexpected, but the prospects for the men’s bid had not been as strong.
The Bowdoin women will play Castleton State College at home on Friday, with the winner moving on to play Saturday against the winner of the Roger Williams-Plattsburgh State game. Bowdoin is the top seed of these four teams and is ranked No. 23 in the nation.
“Last year they showed great growth given that they were such a young team, but it just means the world to be back in the tournament,” said Head Coach Adrienne Shibles. “We’re all beyond thrilled to have another chance, and even more excited that it’s at home.”
The men will play Richard Stockton College in a first round game in Pennsylvania on Friday, with the winner advancing to the round of 32 the following day to take on the victor of the Cabrini College-Bridgewater State game. Cabrini, the regional host, was fourth in the country with an average of 90.4 points per game.
Neither Bowdoin team has played its tournament opponent this year, so the coming days will involve not only intensive practices but video analysis to better understand their styles of play.Women
Bowdoin women’s program is no stranger to the national tournament, though only six members of the current team have played in it. The Polar Bears have made it to the Sweet Sixteen ten times, advancing to the Elite Eight in half of those years and to the title game in 2004.
The Castleton State Spartans (25-3) will be making their second D-III tournament appearance in three years. They have won 15 of their past 16 games, and are fresh off a North Atlantic Conference Championship victory this weekend. Statistically, the team has been led by guard Alyssa Leonard (13.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 3.4 apg), guard Jade Desroches (12.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.3 spg), and forward Meghan O’Sullivan (11.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg).
The Polar Bears made it to the NESCAC semifinals this past weekend, only to suffer a heartbreaking 45-42 loss to Amherst two days ago thanks to a blocked 3-pointer.
“I still think we have some things to work on with transition defense, boxing out and closing out on defense, but I was pretty happy with our defensive effort [against Amherst],” Shibles said. “Offensively, we were just showing a lack of composure on the offensive end—I felt like we were rushing it a lot. We’ll be working a lot this week on offensive execution and shooting and finishing.”
This season, Bowdoin was led by Shannon Brady ’16 (13.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Sara Binkhorst ’15 (13.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.5 assists per game), with Megan Phelps ’15 (9.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Kirsten Prue ’14 (6.4 ppg, 5.3 apg, 4.3 rpg) also contributing significantly to the offense.Men
After finishing fourth in the NESCAC standings this season, Bowdoin (19-5) played Trinity in a quarterfinal matchup at home on February 22. The game was a hard-fought, triple-overtime battle—the longest game in NESCAC tournament history—that ultimately slipped away from Bowdoin in the final minute.
Bowdoin center John Swords ’15 has averaged nearly a double-double this year (14.1 ppg, 9.5 rpg), and guard Andrew Madlinger ’14 and forward Keegan Pieri ’15 are both averaging at least 11 points and 4 rebounds. The offense has been otherwise balanced with ten players averaging more than ten minutes a game. The Polar Bears have been bolstered in recent weeks by the return of guard Bryan Hurley ’15, who ruptured his ACL before the start of the season and had been the focal point of the offense earlier in his Bowdoin career.
The No. 25 Stockton Ospreys (23-4), coming off of eight straight wins and having just won the New Jersey Athletic Conference championship, will be playing in their 14th overall D-III tournament but first since 2010. Stockton this season has been led by forward Josh Blamon (16.9 points per game), forward Nnamdi Usuwa (11.1 ppg, 7.3 rebounds per game), and guard Rameel Johnson (9.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.96 steals per game).
For the upcoming matchup, the two head coaches have nearly 60 years of experience between them. Stockton’s Gerry Matthews is in his 28th year at the helm and Bowdoin’s Tim Gilbride is in his 29th. Gilbride was not available for comment by press time.
Information about game times, tickets and live coverage will be announced tomorrow. Full D-III Championship Tournament brackets are available online for the men and women.
Glee Club alumni remember Frederic Tillotson 50 years later
Former Professor of Music and creator of the Glee Club Frederic E.T. Tillotson—“Tilly” to students and friends—was remembered 50 years after his death last Saturday during Homecoming. Over two dozen past Tillotson singers and Glee Club alumni—ranging from the Class of 1951 to the Class of 1964—participated in an open sing in his memory.
Tillotson, a pianist and conductor, joined the faculty in 1936 as the College’s first-ever chair of the music department, although never attaining a bachelor’s degree himself. To that point, the music program at Bowdoin had been very informal and mostly student-organized, so Tillotson’s arrival marked the beginning of the formalized department.
President K.C. Sills empowered Tillotson with the task of transforming Bowdoin into a “singing college,” which he did by working with more than five generations of Bowdoin students. He taught for more than 25 years, and was the director of the Glee Club until the year before he died in 1963.
BPD does not intervene during Ivies Weekend for first time in 8 years
Rampant public urination, minor vandalism, and one flooded College House were the only major problems at this year’s Ivies Weekend. No police issues arose for the first time in at least eight years.
“I think Ivies generally went very well. I have three rather stark criteria on Ivies: no arrests, no serious injuries and no deaths. From that standpoint we did very, very well,” said Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols.
Nichols said that some intoxicated students were “to the point where they said and did things they wouldn’t normally do, so they’re being held responsible for that.”
Rowing performs well in first three regattas
Coming off a fall rowing season in which both the men and the women earned medals at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta, Bowdoin continued its success last weekend at two New England competitions.
At the Riverhawk Racing Series last Saturday in Lowell, Mass., Bowdoin won both the men’s (6:09.2) and women’s (6:57.0) 2,000-meter varsity events by what coxswain Jen Helble ’14 called “decisive open water gaps,” and finished 1-2 in both the junior varsity races with the A and B crew squads. On the novice side, the women won and the two men’s boats finished first and fourth. In all the races that Bowdoin won, the team finished at least 11 seconds ahead of the next-fastest college.
The following day, Bowdoin competed in the President’s Cup against Bates and Colby in Greene, Maine. The women’s first boat came in a close second-place behind the boat from Bates, while the men beat Colby by over 13 seconds. The eights boats came in third and fourth for the men and women, respectively, and the novice four boats came in fourth and second. Overall on the day, Bowdoin finished second with 11 points behind Bates’ 18 and Colby’s 10.
Softball wins two of three, takes Trinity series
In the softball team’s first conference series of the year—its first three games back in the Northeast after a spring training trip to Florida—Bowdoin went 2-1, outscoring Trinity 15-7 last weekend.
Bowdoin lost a 1-0 pitcher’s duel on Friday despite letting up just one hit. Melissa DellaTorre ’14 pitched a one-hitter and surrendered a single unearned run—caused by an error on Dimitria Spathakis ’16—while striking out two and walking none on the day.
On Saturday Bowdoin’s offense finally asserted itself, as the Polar Bears swept the doubleheader by scores of 6-5 and 9-1.
Ryan, Seames elevated from interims to permanent directors after nationwide searches
Two recent internal Bowdoin hires prompted a closer investigation into the College’s process for filling new positions. The week before Spring Break, Tim Ryan was named the new athletic director and Sarah Seames was appointed director of the McKeen Center for the Common Good. Both had been serving as interim directors up to that point.
The search committees for both positions were chaired by Tim Foster, dean of student affairs, and consisted of faculty, staff, students and trustees. The McKeen Center group was also co-chaired by Nancy Jennings, chair of the education department and senior faculty fellow for the Center.
Bowdoin contracted Alden & Associates, a consultancy specializing in athletic directors and had recently completed searches for Williams and Colgate, to aid in the search for a new athletic director. Members of the firm came to campus last fall to compile information about the College in order to create a profile. In early January, the firm posted an announcement of the open position.
Brunswick Representative Mattie Daughtry is Maine’s youngest female legislator
Two months into her new job as state representative, 25-year-old Mattie Daughtry has made her mark on Maine’s legislature. The youngest woman in the assembly, Daughtry has already proposed 11 bills in efforts tosupport education, action on climate change, improvement on mental health services. Daughtry went to Brunswick High School, and took a few classes at Bowdoin during her time there, which resulted in a lifelong allegiance to the College. Growing up in a political family—her parents were actively involved in the community and her godmother was a state representative—Daughtry developed an early interest in politics, and remembers campaigning on Maine Street to be president of the United States at the age of six.
Proposed State Senate bill would allow school employees to carry arms
In an effort to increase security in Maine schools, State Senator David Burns (R-Washington County) proposed a bill earlier this week that would enable teachers and school employees to carry concealed weapons on the job. The Portland Press Herald announced that Burns submitted the bill on Wednesday. “This is not a mandate for anybody,” Burns told the Press Herald. “This is an option for school systems to consider as they look at the overall responsibility and problems of protecting children and staff in school environments.
Talk of the Quad: The Sustainable Siesta
You’re probably reading this while eating lunch or watching TV. I know I would be if I were back at Bowdoin. Soon, you’ll head off to class or to work in your biology lab for the afternoon before getting ready to go out for the night.
Former Athletic Director went beyond coaching for 14 years
As the Fall athletic season builds momentum, the Bowdoin community adjusts to the departure of Jeff Ward—Bowdoin’s athletic director since 1998—who announced in early June that he would not return this fall.
Year in Review: The biggest stories of 2011-2012
The 2011-2012 academic year had its fair share of controversy, including a forfeited NESCAC championship, debate over a weeklong Thanksgiving break, and protests against changes to chem-free housing. The scandals and triumphs are recounted here in a summary of the year's most noteworthy happenings.
Weekly Roundup: Chaos Theory heading to nationals after taking region
Chaos Theory, the women's ultimate Frisbee team, is advancing to nationals for the first time ever after winning the third-ever New England D-III Women's Regionals last weekend, hosted by Williams. Over the two-day tournament, Chaos Theory went undefeated in seven games, securing one of three bids to the national tournament in Appleton, Wis., on May 19 and 20.
After switching barns, club equestrian striving to be more stable
After being unable to compete fall semester due to inadequate funding, the equestrian team has regrouped and is now galloping into its second and final show of the season at Dartmouth this weekend. According to captain Chrissy Hayes '14, the team's resurgence is thanks in part to the arrival of a new coach, Paulajean O'Neill, who has over 30 years of professional training experience. The team also changed its home farm to New Boston Barn in Gray, Maine this January.
Athlete of the Week: Mark Flibotte '12
Thanks to the strong play of captain Mark Flibotte '12, the men's lacrosse team built up a five-game winning streak before falling to Bates on Wednesday. A midfielder from Cohasset, Mass., Flibotte led the Polar Bears to victories over conference rivals Middlebury and Williams last weekend.
13.8% of regular decision applicants admitted to Class of 2016
The Office of Admissions has sent acceptance letters to 802 of 5,829 regular decision applicants, resulting in a 13.8 percent regular decision acceptance rate. Overall, 1,079 prospective students have been admitted to the Class of 2016—a 16.1 percent overall acceptance rate. The College received 6,716 applications this year, marking a 2 percent increase from last year. There was an 18 percent rise in applications from students of color compared to last year, a 13 percent increase from international students, a 29 percent increase in the number of applications from students in the Southwest, and a 22 percent raise in the South.
Winter sports season wraps up with mixed results
Spring break was no vacation for a handful of winter sports teams whose seasons continued into March. Headlining the group was women's basketball, Bowdoin's only entrant into an NCAA tournament. The team made it to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year before being ousted by George Fox, the No. 3 team in the country and eventual runner-up to the title. With a final record of 21-8, the Polar Bears reached 19 victories for the 12th consecutive season.
72% of 2010 grads working, 4% searching, survey shows
Despite worries of scant employment opportunities for recent graduates, almost three-quarters of the Class of 2010 held paying jobs one year after graduation. It's unclear how this compares to previous years, as the College only recently began thoroughly tracking post-graduate activities. The vast majority of 2010 graduates—72 percent—are currently in paid employment, according to a survey conducted one year after graduation.
Strong January play elevates men’s hockey to No. 2 in NESCAC
One year removed from a NESCAC championship victory against Williams, the men's hockey team has nearly matched last season's breakneck pace after 17 games. After the team lost two straight games in early December, it has gone 8-1-1 and sits comfortably at second in the conference (11-4-2, 8-2-2 NESCAC).
Fall End-of-Season Awards
This fall, 16 Bowdoin athletes and two coaches received a combined 34 end-of-season awards following successful seasons.
Jared Porter '03 promoted by Red Sox, to speak at Baxter Dec. 9
The Boston Red Sox announced last week that Jared Porter '03 has been promoted to Director, Professional Scouting, in what has already amounted to be one of the team's most eventful offseasons in recent memory.
2011 squad secures spot in history
Some say volleyball has never really been an East Coast thing, and others think Bowdoin's athletics can't compete with its academics, but anyone following the team this year would be quick to disagree with both assertions. Head Coach Karen Corey's team has cemented itself as the best in school history. The list of accolades for this team seems to, quite literally, grow by the day.
Fall intramural season wraps up, winter starts
After a fall season that included 338 participants, the intramural (IM) sports leagues came to a close last weekend with the flag football championships. For the first time ever, this year's IM lineup included a badminton group. Started by Rob Byzantine '14, it boasted 35 participants. Tennis is also a new addition to the IM repertoire, as it started up only last fall.
Sailing qualifies for fall championships
In what has turned out to be its best season in recent history, the sailing team continued its streak of success last weekend when it qualified for two championship meets. At Harvard's Victorian Coffee Urn regatta, the women's squad finished sixth of 18 and qualified for the Atlantic Coast Championship (ACC), even with 17-knot winds.
Volleyball continues record-breaking season streak
Three years ago, the volleyball team's then-seniors set the foundation for a legacy still being shaped, for an edict was put into effect: Always win at home. Captains Jill Berkman and Kristin Hanczor, along with senior Gina Lonati, have abided by that rule and have yet to lose in Morrell Gymnasium in over 30 home games.
Weekly Roundup: Football wins first game in historic fashion
It's not often that D-III athletics are featured on national television, even for just one play. But on Sunday, two of the football team's highlights were featured in the third and fourth spots on ESPN's SportsCenter Top Ten.
People say that having too much of a good thing is a good problem to have.
Weekly Roundup: Men’s golf led by Kaminski in best match of young season
Last weekend at the Maine State Golf Championship, the men's golf team had its best match of the young season. The Polar Bears finished second in the 11-team field, bested only by Husson University, which has now won all three of its tournaments this year. Bowdoin had a two-day score of 636 compared to Husson's 600, and finished ahead of NESCAC rivals Bates (fifth, 652) and Colby (tied for sixth, 657).
Women’s lax season ends with loss in finals
Instead of packing up their dorm rooms in the final days of last semester, players on the women's lacrosse team were busy making program history in New York. After an 11-9 victory over The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on May 21, Bowdoin advanced to the NCAA D-III championship game against Gettysburg the following day.
Athlete of the Season: Christian Martin ’14 and Melissa DellaTorre ’14
The Orient chooses the male and female "Athlete of the Season" based on exemplary performance, leadership and commitment to their respective programs. The winners are selected by the editors of the Orient.
Athlete of the Week: Melissa DellaTorre
Although this is her first year on the Bowdoin softball team, pitcher Melissa DellaTorre '14 has shown no signs of inexperience in recent games.
Athlete of the Week: Evan Farley
Whenever he appears in games, senior pitcher Evan Farley helps his team win from the mound. Last Sunday, April 10, the left-handed Farley threw a complete game shutout against Thomas College to lead Bowdoin to a 12-0 win and give them a sweep of the two-game doubleheader.
Athlete of the Season: Katie Bergeron ’11 and Kyle Shearer-Hardy ’11
The Orient chooses the male and female "Athlete of the Season" based on exemplary performance, leadership and committment to their respective programs. The winners are selected by the editors of the Orient.
Athlete of the Week: Dominique Lozzi
Dominique Lozzi '12 does her best when she is with her best friends. And now, thanks to her, all of them are once again fighting for the NESCAC women's hockey championship.
Athlete of the Week: Katie Bergeron
The women's basketball team is back in the NESCAC semifinals, thanks in large part to senior captain Katie Bergeron. Bowdoin has now reached the semis in each of the past 11 years—every year since the women's tournament began.
Athlete of the Week: Will Hanley '12
Junior Will Hanley has become the face of Bowdoin basketball. After leading the men's team to an 11-2 record over the first 13 games of the year, he continues to lead the team statistically and recently helped the Polar Bears secure a spot in the NESCAC tournament.
Athlete of the Week: Allen Garner
In recent Bowdoin women's swim meets, one athlete has left all the competition in her wake. Allen Garner '12 is just getting into the peak of her season, and no challenge has proven too great.
Athlete of the Week: Kayte Holtz
As the Brunswick weather is getting colder, women’s ice hockey player Kayte Holtz ’13 is heating up. This Monday, for the second time in four weeks, she was named the NESCAC Women’s Ice Hockey Player of the Week.
Athlete of the Week: Annie Huyler
Annie Huyler '12 can do it all. Last Friday at the Bates Indoor Invitational Pentathlon, the third-year Bowdoin track star qualified provisionally for NCAAs with a score of 3036.
Athlete of the Week: Jill Henrikson ’12
As William Shakespeare once wrote, "some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." Yet for basketball standout Jill Henrikson '12, it was a sidelining injury that made all the difference.
Athlete of the Week: Will Hanley '12
In a land of tall pines and short days, a 6'6" basketball player is stepping up to help Bowdoin improve upon last year's 13-12 record.
Athlete of the Season: Sean Bishop ’12 and Ingrid Oelschlager ’11
Because of the nature of their position, defenders rarely rack up gaudy statistics or stand out to the casual fan. But center back Sean Bishop ’12 of the men’s soccer team has demanded the attention of spectators and opponents alike.
Ultimate teams to host final tournament of fall
Members of Stoned Clown and Chaos Theory will be able to show off their ultimate skills for the final time this fall at the annual Frozen Butter Ball (FBB) tournament.
Women’s soccer leads the way with off-the-field charities
Though the women's soccer team's season may be lost, its causes are not. Off the field, the team works together on a number of charity projects that benefit the Bowdoin and Brunswick communities, as well as those well beyond Cumberland County's limits.
McLain becomes New England champ for third straight year
When your father is an Olympic canoeist, following in his footsteps is easier said than done. When you are a decade younger than your closest competitors, this is even harder. But when you are Alex McLain '11, nothing is out of the question.
Grindon and Jacobs lead men’s tennis in strong performance at Stony Brook
For Casey Grindon, the second time's the charm. After losing in the singles final of last weekend's Stony Brook Invitational to teammate Chris Lord '14, the sophomore came back with a vengeance and won his doubles bracket alongside Alex Jacobs '12.
Stephen Sullivan ’11 leads men’s tennis with wins at ITA
Captain Stephen Sullivan '11 has had many successful performances throughout his time at Bowdoin. However, last Saturday, he came up just short.