CLAREMONT, Calif. – Tomorrow morning, the Stags and Athenas begin the postseason with the SCIAC Championships on Saturday morning at Prado Regional Park in Chino, Calif. The morning will kick off with the men getting underway at 9:00 a.m. The women's race will follow at 9:45 a.m.
The Athenas head into the postseason ranked No. 5 in the country while the Stags check-in at No. 25 in Division III.
Scouting the No. 25 Stags
Sophomore Thomas D'Anieri (CMC) has paced the Stags for much of the season and leads CMS into the Conference Championship. The Stags are looking for their sixth-straight conference crown, a streak that dates back to 2012.
The Stags lost some of their fire-power from last year's SCIAC Championship. CMS is without five of their top six runners from last season's Championship run. However, D'Anieri has put together a strong sophomore season with five top-five finishes in six races. Ben Iten (HMC) has been consistent all season long with four top-10 finishes on the season, including a time of 25:23.4 at the UC Riverside Invitational (Sept. 16).
Kevin Huang (HMC) has come on strong at the end of the season, ending the 2017 campaign with three-straight top 10 finishes, including a 25:19.2 at the CSU San Bernardino Invitational (Sept. 29).
The Stags will look to their youth for important points on Saturday. Look to junior Adam Shulze (HMC), sophomores Max Denning (HMC), Brooks MacDonald (HMC), and Wilson Ives (HMC) along with freshmen Gage Hornung (CMC) and Will Kimball (CMC) to play a meaningful role in the team scoring for CMS.
Scouting the No. 5 Athenas
Bryn McKillop (SC) finished the 2016 SCIAC Championship in third-place and has only gotten better in the year since. This season, McKillop has run in six races and has taken first-place in five of them. At the CSU San Bernardino Invite, McKillop ran a 17:19.6 to improve her personal best into the top-three in program history (5K). McKillop owns the fastest time in program history in a 6K with a 20:34.4 at the UC Riverside Invitational (Sept. 16)
While McKillop has received the accolades all season, the rest of the Athenas have been just as consistent. CMS has five team victories on the season and are currently ranked No. 5 in NCAA Division III. One could argue that the Athenas are as deep as they have ever been.
Abby Johnson (SC), Ellen Berkley (CMC), Malea Martin (CMC), Roselyn Cantu (CMC), and Kyleigh Mann (CMC) have all posted 5Ks under 18:30 this season.
The Athenas are a deep and talented team that has been blowing away their competition all season long. Look for a hungry and prepared bunch on Saturday morning as they push for their eighth-straight SCIAC Championship.
Scouting the Women's Field
The results from the SCIAC Multi-Duals at the end of September might be the best way to stack the field against each other. At the 2017 SCIAC Multi-Duals at La Mirada Park, the Athenas placed four runners in the top 10, and seven in the top 15, to sweep the duals with an 8-0 record. Occidental finished second at the SCIAC Multi-Duals thanks to three top-15 finishers and Redlands took third led by Maria Ramirez (24:06.71).
Outside of strong runners for the Athenas, look for a pair of sophomore Pomona-Pitzer runners, Lauren Hamilton and Helen Guo, to be in the lead pack on Saturday morning. Expect Julissa Tobias (Whittier), Maria Ramirez (Redlands), and a trio of Occidental runners – Roxanne Valle, Aria Blumm, and Sabrina Thurber – to be up with the leaders as well.
The No. 5 Athenas are the only SCIAC team on the women's side ranked in the Nation.
Scouting the Men's Field
On the men's side, three teams enter the Championship ranked nationally. Pomona-Pitzer leads the pack ranked fifth while Occidental and CMS check in at 19th and 25th, respectively. Pomona-Pitzer claimed the SCIAC Multi-Dual meet with a 7-0 record and four runners in the top-10. Occidental finished second with a pair of runners in the top-10. CMS placed third led by D'Anieri (25:34.883) and his third place finish.
Along with D'Anieri, Huang, and Iten, look for a trio of Pomona-Pitzer runners to be in the mix for the individual title. Andy Reischling (Pomona-Pitzer) won the multi-duals with a time of 25:22.86, while teammates Owen Woo and James Kinney also finished in the top six. Whittier's Julian Sandoval is expected to be in the front pack along with Occidental's Austin Sankaran.