New Orleans, LA. – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps cross country is off to a promising start this season as both the men's and women's team were listed in the top 10 of the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coaches' Poll. The men's team was ranked eighth in week 1with 220 total points, 58 points behind first place North Central (Ill.). The women's team on the other hand were placed ninth with 213 points behind leaders Williams (280 points), SUNY Geneseo (269 points), and Johns Hopkins (266 points).
Coming off a seventh place finish last season, the Stags began the season ranked eighth in the preseason poll and remained put after the week 1 rankings. However, the team has shown potential of improving from last season. The team took first place at the Biola Invitational, with senior Joshua Sealand (HMC) finishing in fourth place and two other seniors, Kyle Lund (HMC) and Nico Banks (CMC), taking sixth and eighth, respectively. Sealand is also coming off a strong track and field season, having competed at the nationals this past spring. The team will also rely on senior returnees Garrett Ryan (CMC) and Jesse Joseph (HMC), and juniors Kevin Huang (HMC) and Hunter Olson (CMC) to propel CMS up the rankings this year.
The Athenas have moved up from their preseason poll, originally placing 11th, thanks to a fourth place finish at the Biola Invitational. Junior Bryn McKillop (SC) finished third overall while senior Carmen Mejia took 13th. Both runners also competed in the NCAA Track & Field Championships this past spring and will play a major role in moving the program forward. The Athenas will also count on seniors Jen Lehr (SC), Caroline Willian (CMC), Rachel Mow (HMC), and sophomore Malea Martin (CMC) for consistently strong showings this season.
The two programs will face notable competition on Sept. 17 to move up the rankings at the UC Riverside Invitational. The race will feature 17 Division I teams, including South Central region No. 1 Arkansas (W), West No. 9, 10 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (M,W) and No. 11 UC Santa Barbara (M), the Mountain region's No. 11 Utah Valley (M).
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant
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