LINCOLN, Neb. - Bowdoin College senior Coby Horowitz became the first individual NCAA Division III Champion in Polar Bear men's indoor track and field history by claiming the mile run at the national championship meet in Nebraska on Saturday.
In addition to Horowitz's winning performance (4:08.40), sophomore Jacob Ellis earned All-American honors by placing fifth in the 800 meter race Saturday .
Horowitz becomes the first Bowdoin NCAA champion since the 2012 Distance Medley Relay, also including Horowitz, took first in the indoor championship. Prior to that Darcy Storin won the 5000 at the outdoor nationals in 1996. Horowitz is the first individual NCAA indoor track champion for men or women since the formation of division III in the 1970's. Alex Schulten was Bowdoin's last indoor national champion in the weight throw at the Collegiate Championship (non-NCAA) in 1965.
Horowitz immediately opened up a two-second lead on the first lap. Extended his lead to an astounding five seconds in the middle laps of the race, and then came in two seconds ahead of second place finisher Ryan Widzgowski from Keene State. New England runners took first and second in the mile, and three of the top 6 places.
After running with D-I runners in posting his record times over the last three weeks, Horowitz had to lead from the start to ensure a fast pace, and he took it out in 2:02 through 800 meters.
"Coby set a fast pace to make sure it didn't become a kicker's race," said head coach Peter Slovenski. "He built a big lead through 1000 meters, and protected the lead during the final three laps."
Ellis finished another outstanding season as he earned his second All-American certificate. Ellis finished fifth at the outdoor nationals, and matched that with another fifth in the indoor nationals. Ellis won his trial on Friday.
"Jacob made some great moves in his trial race, and the race broke very well for him," said Slovenski. "He made some more great moves in the final race that put him in a high finishing position."
Bowdoin finished 12th overall in the team competition.
"Jacob and Coby are great teammates," commented Slovenski. "They help each other at this high level of competition by having fun and keeping each other loose. It's amazing what they accomplished in NCAA competition."