SALEM, Oreg. – The weather was not ideal for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps cross country team on Saturday morning at Bush's Pasture Park, as the Stags and Athenas had to battle light showers in 56 degree weather and 18 miles per hour winds. Regardless, the two teams grinded it out to earn a trip to the NCAA Division III Championships after the men and women's team finished first and second, respectively. The Stags won their field quite handily, scoring 43 points, leading the runner-up Occidental (81 points) by 28. The Athenas were able to finish higher than last year's regional winner, Willamette, and scored 86 points. However, they had to settle for second place again after falling behind Whitworth by only four points.
The Stags saw all seven of their runners finish within the top 25, including three in the top 10. Seniors Joshua Sealand (HMC) finished second overall at 25.47.7 while his classmate Kyle Lund (HMC) was less than a second behind him (25:48.3) to take third place. Junior Kevin Huang (HMC) finished in ninth at 26:10.9. Senior Jesse Joseph (HMC) impressed in his Bush's Park debut, taking 13th at 26:37.8, and the Stags' lone freshman Thomas D'Anieri (CMC) finished 16th at 26:41.5.
Whitworth had a strong deep pool of runners, led by third-place finisher Kayla Leland (22:06.4) and three other runners within the top-25. Although the Athenas saw three of their runners within the top 25, Whitworth had more runners in higher spots, including two in the top-10. Junior Bryn McKillop (SC) saw significant improvement in her course time, taking fourth place at 22:10.3 after finishing in sixth at 22:36.0 two years ago. Senior Caroline Willian (CMC) was the second-highest finishing Athena at 13th, coming in at 23:00.5, while senior Carmen Mejia (SC) took 15th at 23:01.9. Sophomore Malea Martin (CMC) finished 22nd, clocking in at 23:26.1.
The Stags and Athenas will close out their season at the NCAA D-III Championship on Saturday, Nov. 19 at Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky. The women will start their race at 8 am and the men will follow at 9am.
By Young Kim
Sports Information Assistant