The CMS cross country teams opened their invitational season on Saturday with a solid effort at the UC Riverside Invitational under very warm conditions.
The meet opened with the women's 6000m Invitational where the Athenas placed 10th out of 23 very competitive teams. CMS was the top Division III team in the race and finished behind six Division I teams, two Division II teams and a post-collegiate club team. Junior Bridget Blum [pictured left] (21:11) finished fifth overall and was the first non-Division I finisher. Seniors Sara Mostatabi (21:54) and Taia Wu (22:20) and freshman Bryn McKillop (22:37) were the second, fifth and sixth Division III finishers. The next four Athenas, all of whom are sophomores, finished within four seconds: Jen Lehr (22:50), Rachel Mow (22:51), Stephanie LaFace (22:53) and Caroline Willian (22:54). Sophomore Anna Shepard ran 23:13 which was a personal best by over two minutes. Wu, McKillop, Lehr, Mow, LaFace and Willian also turned in personal bests.
In the men's 8000m Invitational the Stags finished 10th out of 29 teams. The Stags were also the top Division III team and finished behind six Division I teams, two Division II teams and one junior college team. CMS, which was ranked fourth in the West Region in the preseason poll, are likely to move up as they beat top ranked Pomona-Pitzer in this race and second ranked Occidental in the Open race. Sophomore Zorg Loustalet led the team with a 34th place finish in 25:05. A pair of sophomores in Garrett Ryan and Alex Lombardo turned in huge personal bests of 25:25 and 25:30 respectively. Both times are among the top 25 in CMS history. Junior Jack Wilson and sophomore Nico Banks [pictured left] ran together for virtually the entire race and finished in 25:55 and 25:59. Seniors Sam Pitcavage (26:23) and Justin Jones (26:26) and freshman Kevin Huang (26:26) finished in tight group in sixth, seventh and eighth on the team.
By the time the women's 5000m Open started, the temperature was getting uncomfortable for distance racing. The Athenas finished sixth out of 20 teams with two of the five teams in front of them not having anyone compete in the Invitational race and the other three Division I or II. CMS finished ahead of five SCIAC teams including four that did not have any runners in the Invitational race. The top seven Athenas finished within ten seconds of each other: freshman Breanna Sewell (19:33), sophomores Olivia Carmo (19:34), Amber Scott (19:37) and Carmen Mejia (19:41), freshmen Laura Broderick (19:42) and Emma Su (19:43) and sophomore Kathleen Muenzen (19:43).
The men's Open 8000m was run under hot conditions. CMS finished third out of 13 teams finishing behind a Division I and Division II team. The Stags finished ahead of four SCIAC teams including two that did not have any runners in the Invitational race. Freshmen Danyon Anderson (26:43), Collin Barraugh (26:54) and Kyle Suver (27:19) were the team's top three finishers. Sophomore Jesse Joseph (27:20) and junior Jacob Higle-Ralbovsky (27:21) rounded out the scorers. Four more freshmen, Hunter Olsen, David White, Alex Mitchell and Brian Chmelik, were in the Stags' top ten.
CMS will next race on Saturday, September 29. The top 10 men and 10 women will compete at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto with the rest of the team racing at the Cal State San Bernardino Invitational.