CLAREMONT, Calif. – Head Coach John Goldhammer and the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps cross country program will be heading to Prado Park in Chino, California on Saturday, Oct. 29 for the SCIAC Championship in hopes of claiming their fifth consecutive conference title and 16th total. Two weeks after splitting up to run in two separate meets (Pomona-Pitzer Invitational and Connecticut College Invitational), the Stags have regrouped and now look forward to securing the best finish on this grueling 8 km course.
Boasting a hard-working and experienced senior class, CMS saw five seniors finish in the top-10 at major events this season, including senior Joshua Sealand (HMC) who was the highest finisher amongst the Stags in four meets. Seniors Kyle Lund (HMC), Nico Banks (CMC), Jesse Joseph (HMC), Garrett Ryan (CMC), and junior Kevin Huang (HMC) will be sharing the burden to help CMS take the conference title. Based on the points and results from prior meets, the Stags will need to finish at least in second in order to take the SCIAC title.
The Stags last had all their runners in a SCIAC-related race on Oct. 1 at the Multi-Dual, in which four of their runners finished in the top-10. Led by junior Joshua Sealand (HMC), the Stags ran away with first place, while Whittier took second place. The Poets will be a threat to the Stags' title hopes, as they look to Julian Sandoval to lead the pace. Sandoval finished first overall at the Multi-Dual with a time of 25:56.55, beating Sealand by almost .07 seconds.
Pomona-Pitzer can also play spoiler in the SCIAC Championship, having taken first place at ease in their own invitational. Andy Reischling took first place with a time of 25:10.25 and won SCIAC Athlete of the Week. The Sagehens also took fourth place at the Multi-Dual, but Reischling was unavailable to run at the event.
In addition to facing a tough pool of runners, the Stags will also grind through several major obstacles at Prado Park. The course is notorious for having lots of turns, and with wet conditions expected at the date of the race, the runners will have to trudge through muddy paths. CMS last ran at the course two years ago where the runners finished 45 seconds later than their average times, but they still managed to take first place. The Stags' response to these elements will prove to be the deciding factor of this race, but with experience on their side, they are highly capable of repeating their caveat from two years ago.
"We build for each SCIAC Championship well before this year," Goldhammer said. "Developing individuals over their four years in this program is the reason we are normally in a position to claim a championship. I expect the boys to have a good race, with our top seven runners finishing within top-20 in the conference."
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant