Since the majority of upper-class skiers are dispersed across the world and distanced from Bowdoin’s campus, first-year skiers have filled the void this semester with unexpected leadership roles. “[The first years] have had a lot of ownership and autonomy in planning what the team does,” Head Coach Nathan Alsobrook said.
Disrupting ideas of activism and allyship, the Athletes of Color Coalition’s (AoCC) “The Art of Activism” interactive virtual event created a space for meaningful conversations and communicated the challenges faced by all BIPOC students, not just athletes, this past year.
Throughout the semester, athletes and coaches on all varsity teams, along with rowing and men’s rugby, have designed action plans to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The plans, which are works in progress, show commitments to educating their teammates, but some athletes feel that more concrete steps are needed to fully address issues of DEI within their teams.
Bowdoin’s spring athletic teams will likely not compete during the spring semester, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan announced in an email to all student athletes on Thursday. Fall and winter teams will also not compete during the spring semester, with the possible exception of Nordic Skiing, given that it involves exclusively outdoor competition.
SMART COOKIES This fall, 78 members of the Bowdoin athletic community have been recognized as Academic All-NESCAC. Even though there was no formal athletic competition this fall, the conference acknowledged athletes’ academic achievements as they do every year.
Editor’s Note 11/16/20 at 7:27 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect the correct names of Dayton Arena and Garry Merrill, as well as the amount of time that Ed Langbein ’57 spent as manager of Bowdoin’s football team.
Intramural badminton has adapted to the College’s health guidelines without losing its spirit of competition or its fun atmosphere. “I thought [badminton] was a good way to get out of my room, especially because it’s different with COVID this year,” Ben Heinrich ’23 said in a FaceTime interview with the Orient.
FOR THE COMMON GOOD Women’s soccer has taken advantage of their virtual season this fall to raise over $40,000 for different organizations around New England. Beginning with a virtual 5K for Maine Inside Out, an organization that reaches out to those who have been incarcerated and experienced structural racism, the team raised almost $3,000 in partnership with the volleyball team.
From fun socks to the social-fitness app Strava, Bowdoin’s running club is finding ways to engage their members when running together in person is not possible. “I really think our biggest limitation [this year] is just not being able to run together,” co-club leader Reed Warburton ’23 said in a Zoom interview with the Orient.
Once bustling with life from eager riders and half a dozen horses, an unfamiliar silence overtook Underwood Farm, the local, family-owned equestrian facility that the club uses. For a team once racing toward the finish line at a breakneck pace, the Bowdoin Equestrian Club found itself grinding to a halt as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Taking substantive action as outlined by their team’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) action plan, men’s lacrosse will be running a 5K tomorrow to raise money for Harlem Lacrosse, an organization that empowers youth at risk of school dropout and academic decline through lacrosse and academic support.
Men’s rugby regards itself as one of the most close-knit teams on campus and takes pride in the hard work that its players put in throughout each season. In this unusual year, the rugby team is trying to replicate this success, both on and off the pitch.
After graduating from Bowdoin in 2012, Barrett Takesian ’12 founded Portland Community Squash (PCS) an academic, social and athletic program committed to mentoring children and teenagers in the Portland area—opportunities that are typically hard to find.
AN EXTRA YEAR Yesterday, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Presidents announced that all Division III athletes can compete in athletic competitions and practices this academic year without losing a season of eligibility. This is a one-time waiver, and the Presidents hope that it will allow student athletes to have more flexibility in deciding their academic plans for the spring 2021 semester.
Historically, voter turnout among college students and young adults has been lower than for most other age brackets. To combat this trend, the College is working to increase engagement across the community through the new initiative NESCAC Votes.
Finding new ways to hit the links, members of the women’s golf team are still playing the sport they love while trying to maintain a connection as a team. “We’re really fortunate that golf is a relatively socially distant sport,” said captain Haley Baldwin ’22 in a phone interview with the Orient.
The Department of Athletics released its Building and Supporting an Inclusive and Diverse Athletic Community Action Plan on October 15 in an aim to address bias reported within the department. The action plan is broken up into three sections—Access to Information, Ongoing Evaluation, and Education and Action.
Graduating in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic meant many changes to post-grad plans for the Class of 2020. However, for former women’s basketball team captain and Division III (DIII) standout Maddie Hasson ’20, basketball has managed to stay a constant in her transition to life after Bowdoin.
Aiming to create a welcoming atmosphere for first years and further strengthen their team’s camaraderie, Bowdoin sailors are staying positive through virtual meetings and workouts despite challenges the broader athletic community faces from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Hi, Mom, Grandma Maggie, Grandma Rosie, Ben and whoever else reads my column! Today, you are in for a treat. I am talking about the one and only Zlatan Ibrahimovic. More specifically, I will discuss why millions of soccer fans, including myself, consider him to be one of the most iconic athletes of all time.
The NESCAC Presidents’ decision to cancel competition this winter disappointed Bowdoin’s winter athletic community. However, it was not unexpected and plans are well underway to create a meaningful experience for winter athletes. While there is still a small possibility that formal competition between schools with similar coronavirus protocols could occur, Ashmead White Director of Athletics Tim Ryan stresses that the department’s focus will be providing an alternative high-quality experience for winter athletes.
While many upperclassmen football team members are physically disconnected from the first years on campus, the Polar Bears have found ways to stay close-knit through Zoom calls. Training consistently and vigorously and maintaining team spirit, they hope to return, whenever that might be, stronger than before.
In recent years, there has been a higher general level of acceptance in the Bowdoin athletic community towards students who identify as LGBTQ+ and non-binary than existed previously. However, student athletes who identify with one or more of these terms still often grapple with particular challenges that vary according to their unique identity and the culture of their team.
The presidents of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) member schools announced October 8 that all regular season competition as well as championships for the 2020/2021 winter season are cancelled. In their announcement, the presidents of the NESCAC member schools pointed to limited off-campus travel, restrictions on visitors to campuses, and strict social distance protocols as reasons for cancelling the season.
Despite an unprecedented fall, the Bowdoin women’s soccer program is striving to stay connected and optimistic. In the face of adversity, this unstoppable program proves to be closer than ever, bonding and training virtually in order to stay competitive with the few NESCAC rivals who have all team members on campus.
Though life looked different at the College in 1930—all-male with fraternities on the rise—athletics were, just as they are now, a central part of the Bowdoin experience. Roughly 560 students were enrolled at the start of the 1930-31 academic year, and many played more than one sport, leaving some teams, such as football, with a lack of players for off-season training.
BIG BRAINS Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams were awarded College Team Academic Awards by the United Soccer Coaches Colleges Services Program this past week for their academic achievements during the 2019-2020 academic year. Every rostered member of both teams maintained a GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale for the entirety of the academic year.
The Bowdoin Hall of Honor, founded in 2002, biannually inducts classes of five to six outstanding members of Bowdoin’s athletic community. Candidates are usually nominated by other alumni, and the finalists are chosen by a committee of seven former Bowdoin athletes.
Instead of high-energy matches and practicing with upperclassmen teammates in Morrell Gymnasium, first-year volleyball players are met with COVID-19 testing stations. Although teammates might be miles apart, the Bowdoin women’s volleyball team is not letting the distance deter them from staying in shape and maintaining their close-knit team culture.
Welcome back to “Well in, Lad.” Actually, scratch that. Bienvenido de nuevo a “Well in, Lad.” “Why did you use Google Translate to translate a basic phrase into Spanish?” you ask. Well, it’s because I don’t know Spanish—I took Latin from sixth to twelfth grade—and I’m talking about FC Barcelona today.
In a normal year, the Bowdoin men’s soccer team would be in the midst of a busy season. They’d be practicing constantly and traveling for games almost every other day. But in a unique fall, one where the season is cancelled and practices are limited, the team is using a variety of tactics to stay in shape and bond as a team.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS Bowdoin’s athletic facilities opened this week after the College maintained a “yellow” campus level for over a week-and-a-half. However, the facilities’ hours are scaled back, and the athletic department has implemented many safety precautions.
This past weekend, women’s soccer team captains Theresa Huckaby ’22 and Ailish O’Brian ’22, alongside women’s volleyball captains Emily King ’21 and Ashley Williams ’21, raised $2,905 for the nonprofit organization Maine Inside Out (MIO) through a virtual 5k fundraiser.
Football, cross country, track, baseball, tennis and ice hockey. In 1920, almost all of these Bowdoin athletic teams were funded by a committee outside the College’s budget—the Bowdoin Athletic Association (BAA)—without direct support from the College.
Unfazed and determined despite having to watch their fellow athletes at other NESCACs returning to campus to practice and play together while they remain physically separated, the Bowdoin women’s basketball team has been training, adapting and staying connected since the summer months, hoping for a traditional season come winter.
While most of the Bowdoin men’s golf team is off campus this fall, they are still preparing for potential tournaments in the spring and welcoming their one first-year team member into the fold. During a normal year, the team practices on the golf course almost every day.
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.