Bowdoin’s athletic department held a mandatory discussion on race for all athletic teams last Wednesday. While it was a first step to getting everyone involved with Bowdoin athletics on the same page about race and the language surrounding race, many students felt as though it didn’t address key problems in the athletic department—most prominently, that of privilege.
“The wait is finally over. The world’s most captivating sport returns for another year of drama, intrigue, beauty and suspense. Football is back,” said Martin Tyler, English “football” commentator and a bloody legend. As Tyler so eloquently put it, the beautiful game—specifically, the Premier League—has returned to television.
Facing many challenges this semester, the Bowdoin women’s rugby team hopes to focus on fostering community with their first years and strengthening their team both physically and mentally. Without training and competitions, one of the team’s top priorities is addressing the issue of race and equity in athletics.
INTRAMURALS With zero active COVID-19 cases at Bowdoin and the College in “yellow” status, the intramural season is going to kick off this weekend! New intramurals like cornhole, croquet, frisbee golf and power walk rugby are open to all students on campus.
“This is a time to come together”: sailing conference changes rules to formalize mandatory discussions on race
Channeling the momentum for racial justice activism sparked by the killing of George Floyd this May in Minneapolis, Preston Anderson ’22, a member of the Bowdoin sailing team, led the charge to change his conference’s bylaws and to implement mandatory race relations training in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association (NEISA).
In a statement released on July 10, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) presidents announced the unanimous cancellation of conference championships and competition until January 1, 2021. To provide students with continued athletic opportunities, however, conventional NESCAC rules will be altered to allow coaches to engage with athletes in training outside of the traditional season.
Kickoff The National Football League (NFL) started its season this week with a game last night between the reigning champion, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Houston Texans. With an approach more similar to Major League Baseball (MLB) than the National Basketball Association (NBA), the NFL will likely navigate the same uncertainties that the MLB has dealt with: coronavirus outbreaks, players breaking rules and possibly rescheduling games.
On Sunday, the Athletes of Color Coalition (AoCC) released a list of demands for diversity reform in the athletic department. These include mandated race education for teams and an athletics-specific bias reporting process. The AoCC began circulating a petition, which invites community members to express support for these demands.
With all varsity and most club sports cancelled this semester due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and strict on-campus health and safety guidelines, chances to make friends, decompress and get some exercise—typically provided by sports teams—are both rare and valuable.
This fall is a far cry from the traditional competition season, but Bowdoin’s cross country teams are making the most of the situation and trying to stay fit and connected. With no meets on the horizon, the women’s and men’s teams are taking a gradual approach to starting up training as everyone gets settled in to the school year.
This fall, the first-year athlete experience will look a little different than it typically does. Instead of splitting their first couple of weeks on campus between practices with their new team and in-person orientation programming, first-year athletes will, along with most of their classmates, adjust to a life on campus that includes regular COVID-19 testing and social distancing.
Due to the COVID-19—and Bowdoin’s first ever semester with entirely remote learning for most students—the College’s athletics department has adapted its recruitment procedures. This year, prospective recruits and high school student-athletes can visit the Bowdoin athletics department’s “virtual visit” webpage, where they will find a virtual tour of the College’s athletic and academic facilities, testimonials from Bowdoin coaches and athletes and a virtual information session featuring members of the Office of Admissions and the athletics department.
For many athletes, the community they find in their team is one of the most rewarding aspects of their Bowdoin experience. For some athletes of color, though, their teams have not been a supportive community. Instead, bias incidents have continued to arise, and discussions about race have fallen by the wayside.
NESCAC RULES CHANGE On July 10, the NESCAC revised its rules to allow for coaches to train athletes year-round, or until the COVID-19 pandemic no longer affects conference play. The move had to be unanimously approved by the presidents of NESCAC member schools.
In his message to the campus community about the College’s fall plans last Monday, President Clayton Rose announced that fall and winter sports will be cancelled through January 1. However, first years, who will be on campus, will still be allowed to train with coaches and fellow teammates in small group settings.
“I play field hockey because my dad plays. At first I hated playing. But I was really scared of my dad,” said field hockey player Manveer Sandhu ’22 with a laugh, “So I kept playing, even though I didn’t want to.” Everything changed when her father began a club team during Sandhu’s first year in high school.
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.
Normally, warmer spring weather means road race season in towns and cities across the country, but with the dangers of COVID-19, many of these fundraising racing events have been shut down. Despite the cancellation of road races, the current crisis has inspired more and more people to donate money to relief funds and to give back to their communities.
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.
With gyms around the country closed, weightlifters, athletes and anyone looking to get stronger during quarantine are dealing with new problems of access. The solution? Trees, and sometimes decks. Members of Bowdoin’s strength and conditioning communities are inventing creative ways of building muscle and staying active.
Even in these times of disarray—or perhaps because of them—new routines and patterns have begun to emerge. From President Clayton Rose’s bi-weekly email updates to various Zoom classes and Microsoft Teams meetings, one thing’s for sure: these routines mean more time looking at screens and less time venturing outdoors.
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.
Upon first arrival at Bowdoin, finding a group can be tough, especially when you’re just getting to know yourself. However, first-year athletes are tied to a group the second they set foot on campus: their team.
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.
In a decision that shocked collegiate athletes across the country, the NCAA cancelled all remaining winter championships as well as the entire spring athletics season March 12 due to concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19). It took only a few minutes for the news to reach the five members of the women’s track and field team who had already made the trip to Winston-Salem, N.C., for the Division III Indoor Track and Field Championships.
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.
The Bowdoin women’s basketball team today won its first NESCAC championship since 2009, toppling undefeated No. 1 seed Tufts, 70-60. The victory gave Bowdoin its ninth NESCAC crown, setting a conference record. Bowdoin started out hot, opening the road game on a 13-2 run, and held an eight-point lead at halftime.
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’.
Despite dropping the last four games of their season, the Bowdoin women’s hockey team is heading to the NESCAC playoffs. Going into its quarterfinal matchup against Colby on Saturday, the team is hoping to rebuild some momentum to cap off a season of growth following last winter, when the team went 3-19-2 and missed out on a NESCAC playoff spot for the first time since 2001.
After missing out on the NESCAC playoffs for the last two years, the men’s hockey team has bucked the recent trend and earned a qualifying spot for this year’s tournament. The third-seeded Polar Bears will be traveling to upstate New York on Saturday, where they will take the ice against sixth-seeded Hamilton.
Saturday’s World Boxing Council Heavyweight title match was nothing short of spectacular. You expect that to be the case when two guys named Wilder and Fury meet at the most iconic venue in boxing to compete for a title that might as well read “The Biggest and Baddest MF on Earth.” The fight itself was a spectacle, especially for the bloodthirsty fans who pay to see nothing more than two overgrown men beat each other until they break.
With open minds and honest language, student athletes confronted the effects of race on their teams and the inclusiveness—or lack thereof—of Bowdoin’s athletic culture Wednesday night at the Athletes of Color Coalition’s (AOCC) fourth iteration of “Intersections of Race in Athletics.” After a one-year hiatus, the event returned this year to create a forum for student athletes of color to express frustrations, concerns and fears about being part of majority-white teams, sharing testimonies targeted at the heart of racial issues presented on Bowdoin 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..
The men’s squash team closed out its home schedule on a high note last weekend, claiming its best finish at the NESCAC Championships since 2010. The Polar Bears finished fifth out of 11 teams. After beginning the tournament with a decisive 8-1 victory over Hamilton, Bowdoin suffered a tough 1-8 loss to Williams in the quarterfinal matchup.
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.
“Growing up, I was never the kid who could dunk in basketball, but when I tried out high jump, it felt like I could fly,” says first year and self-proclaimed ‘tracklete’ Carl Williams. Even so, Williams wasn’t sure that he would run track in college.
The women’s swimming and diving team came off of a strong first day performance to finish fifth at NESCAC Championships last weekend at Middlebury College. The meet was punctuated with outstanding performances from the Polar Bears, as both individuals and relay teams set new records and made the NCAA B cut times.
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.
A few weeks before he passed away last January, Henry Zietlow ’22 rowed a marathon all by himself. An ergathon, or erg marathon, entails completing a marathon distance (26.2 miles or 42,000 meters) on an indoor rowing machine called an erg.
Last weekend, the men’s and women’s track and field teams both found themselves in limbo. For the first time in program history, both teams finished in first-place ties at the Maine State Championship meets on Saturday night,.
The 100th season of the National Football League (NFL) will be fondly remembered as the year of the black quarterback, particularly by those fans who know the history of that position. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it took 50 years since the start of the league for the first starting black quarterback, Marlin Briscoe, to be drafted.
It’s a little past 5 p.m. on a Tuesday in Farley Field House, and all around, student athletes are running. Scattered about on the sidelines are three men, holding stopwatches. One of them, Jerry LeVasseur, shouts out lap times as two runners go by.
After a turbulent season, the Bowdoin men’s basketball team’s comeback win against Hamilton last Saturday placed the team in a prime position to qualify for the NESCAC playoffs. The team now has a chance to claim the seventh NESCAC playoff seed with a win against Wesleyan at home on Sunday afternoon.
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.
Throughout the recruiting process, athletes are advised to test their commitment to a school with a crude hypothetical: if you broke your leg, would you stay here? Or worse, what would happen if one day, you hated your sport?
Just one week removed from the excitement and disappointment of the Bowdoin-Colby game last weekend, the 4-1 loss seems like a distant memory for the Bowdoin men’s hockey team. It is driven to finish off the season on a high note and secure a home first-round playoff game for the first time in four years.
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.
“It was definitely humbling,” said Catherine Adams ’22, reflecting on her first time stepping foot on a squash court last fall. Now a sophomore, Adams was one of six women who walked onto the women’s varsity squash team her first year.
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.
Your death and the death of your daughter have brought a rush of conflicting emotions that have plagued me for the past two days. As a female athlete who grew up watching you play, I am grateful for the opportunities that you have given to my generation of male and female athletes alike.
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.
Ah, the Bowdoin-Colby Hockey Game, the enduring symbol of everything that is great about our fine institution: Polar Bear spirit, old-timey sportsmanship, a creative excuse to get drunk before dinner. The liberal arts at their finest.
After starting the season by winning three of its first five games, the Bowdoin men’s basketball team has proceeded to struggle. Entering the crucial final stretch of the season, where the Polar Bears will play their five remaining NESCAC games in just over two weeks, they are currently sitting at 6-11 overall and 1-4 in the conference, good for ninth place in the league.
For Thea Kelsey ’20, Henry Isaacson ’22 and Wren Sablich ’22, diving off a three-meter springboard headfirst into a pool is not a foreign concept. All three athletes have been participating in the sport since they were first introduced to it at a young age.
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.
After a 2019 season in which the men’s and women’s track and field teams finished sixth and third, respectively, at NESCAC Championships, both teams have started the 2020 season with a bang. The women’s team jumped out to a fantastic start, coasting to two emphatic first-place finishes under the guidance of new head coach Lara-Jane Que.
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.
After finishing with the program’s worst-ever record of 3-19-2 (2-13-1 NESCAC), making them the only team to miss out on the NESCAC tournament last winter, the Bowdoin women’s varsity ice hockey team has made strides to correct last year’s faults and return to the NESCAC playoffs.
With its record standing at a perfect 17-0 after two resounding wins against rivals Middlebury and Williams last weekend, the Bowdoin women’s basketball team is on the verge of entering the most challenging stretch of its schedule, where it will face six NESCAC opponents starting Saturday.
After a 72-58 non-conference loss to Bates on Thursday, the men’s basketball team stands at 3-4 heading into its final game of the fall semester on Sunday at UMaine Farmington. Ahead of the beginning of conference play after winter break, the challenge for the team will be gaining momentum to start strong once it returns.
The men’s and women’s swim and dive teams opened their respective seasons with a joint meet against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) (Women 6-5, Men 3-6) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Women 4-1, Men 4-1) on November 23.
For the past two years, the women’s basketball team made it to the NCAA Division III championship game. The fact that both appearances resulted in losses should not overshadow the magnitude of what the team has accomplished: to be one of two teams standing after 424 others have fallen is itself a historic achievement.
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.
On June 24, 1995, what is likely the most iconic image in rugby history was captured in Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. Then-President of South Africa Nelson Mandela stood proudly on the podium congratulating then-Springboks captain Francois Pienaar, an Afrikaaner man, before handing him the Webb Ellis Rugby World Cup trophy.
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.
Reflecting on the kick-off of the squash season this past weekend, captain Drew Clark ’20 said, “It’s a great time to be a squash player.” Both the women’s and men’s squash teams hosted two successful home matches versus Bates (1-1) and Vassar (4-5).
In the first quarter of Sunday’s 27-5 victory over the University of New England (UNE) (2-6) at Mignone Field at Harvard University in Allston, Mass., the women’s rugby team did exactly what it needed to do to clinch its first Division III National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) championship game: go down by a try after the first possession.
The cold, winter weather is upon us, which means Bowdoin hockey is back. The men’s hockey team claimed an impressive 6-4 opening day victory over Middlebury on Friday, but failed to sweep the weekend, falling 5-1 to Williams the next day.
On a chilly Saturday morning last weekend, three Polar Bears earned their bid to Nationals at the New England DIII Cross Country Championships. Caroline Shipley ’20 finished the women’s 6K in seventh place with a time of 21:38.5, with Delaney Bullock ’22 close behind her in 13th.
The Bowdoin football season ended much like it began: badly. After carrying a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter against Colby, the Polar Bears allowed 27-unanswered points in the final period, falling 47-34 to cap off the team’s third winless season in four years.
Last year, the women’s ice hockey team had a disappointing season, finishing with a record of 3-19-2 (NESCAC 2-13-1) and missing out on the NESCAC playoffs for the first time since 2001. This year, however, the team is looking to turn last season’s disappointments around.
It is no coincidence that many of my earliest memories involve the game I fell in love with as a child. At three years old, I was watching my dad coach youth soccer. By the age of four, I was kicking a ball around with no other motive other than the pure, unbridled joy of it.
After winning a tight playoff game against Norwich University this past weekend, the women’s rugby team turns its attention to this weekend, when it will face the University of New England (UNE) in the National Intercollegiate Rugby Association (NIRA) Division III championship game, hosted by Harvard University.
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.
Imagine that your car won’t start, so you open the hood, take a peek around and decide that the battery is dead. You grab your jumper pack, fire it up, but still, the ignition won’t turn over.
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.
The Bowdoin men’s soccer team finished its season with two losses against Williams and Tufts, putting the Polar Bears out of the running for the NESCAC championship. The team finished the season tied for ninth place in the NESCAC, finishing only ahead of Trinity, which failed to win a single game against any NESCAC opponent.
At the culminating event of the NESCAC cross-country season last weekend, both the men’s and women’s cross-country teams posted promising results, which bode well for next weekend’s NCAA regional meet. Hosted by Williams, the 2019 NESCAC Cross-Country Championships brought together 11 different schools, 22 separate squads and several hundred runners.
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.
After a hesitant start to its season, the Bowdoin volleyball team is hitting its stride at the right time. A sweep of Bates and Colby last weekend extended the team’s winning streak to 12 games and secured the third NESCAC tournament seed.
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 men’s Rugby Team (2-3) concluded its 50th season last weekend, beating Bates (2-3) 32-17 to claim the Lindbergh Cup. The cup is named after a late Bowdoin alumnus Greg Lindbergh ’91 and is given annually to the winner of the Bowdoin-Bates game.
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.
Nate Richam-Odoi ’20 was a latecomer to football. Instead of putting on a helmet at age six, he had to wait until he turned seven. Chalk it up to the rules. In Richam-Odoi’s hometown of West Hartford, Connecticut, the local pee-wee football league mandated that players be either seven years old or in the third grade before they padded up.
After an 0-4-1 start to its season, the Bowdoin women’s soccer team has turned a corner, successfully winning six out of their last eight games. With a 2-0 victory over Bates (2-10-1, 0-8-0 NESCAC) on Sunday, the team has improved to 6-6-1 overall (2-5-1 in NESCAC) and put itself in a position to make a run for the conference playoffs.
Bowdoin football suffered its first shutout loss of the season on Saturday, falling to Tufts (3-3) 49-0 in Medford, Massachusetts. The Polar Bears drop to 0-6 with the loss and are tied with Bates (0-6) and Colby (0-6) for last place in the NESCAC.
When Head Volleyball Coach Erin Cady watched Caroline Flaharty ’20 play for the first time during the recruiting process, she knew she wanted Flaharty on the team. “I think my notes were ‘yes, yes please,’” Cady said.
With packed trailers and full hearts, the Bowdoin crew team departed Friday morning for the Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) in Boston. The regatta, one of the largest and most prestigious in the world, marks the climax of the team’s fall racing season, which has thus far been defined by early-season success at both the novice and varsity levels.