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Natalie Bitetti and Josh Angle led their teams to SCIAC titles
Natalie Bitetti and Josh Angle led their teams to SCIAC titles

Natalie Bitetti, Josh Angle Highlight CMS 2023-24 Department Awards

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Natalie Bitetti of the women's cross country and track and field teams earned the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Female Athlete of the Year, and Josh Angle of the men's basketball team captured the CMS Male Athlete of the Year in a vote of the department's head coaches and support staff.

Bitetti swept three majors honors, also earning the Claremont McKenna Female Athlete of the Year and the Claremont McKenna Senior Female Athlete of the Year. Frank Applebaum of the CMS men's swimming and diving team was the winner of the Claremont McKenna Male Athlete of the Year and the Senior Male Athlete of the Year. Adivik Mareedu of the men's tennis team was the Harvey Mudd Male Athlete of the Year, and Alisha Chulani was the Harvey Mudd Female Athlete of the Year, while Hannah Weaver of cross country/track and field was the Scripps Athlete of the Year, and Laurel Ovenell of women's soccer was the Scripps Senior Athlete of the Year. 

In the department's specialty awards, Laura Zimmer of the cross country/track and field teams won the Dickinson Award, given to the Claremont McKenna student who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership, self-discipline, determination and conscientiousness. Sena Selby of the women's tennis team was the winner of the Hank Krieger Award, given to a graduating CMS student who exhibits athletic excellence, academic excellence and leadership. Weaver earned the Noelle and Veronique Boucquey Award given to the Scripps outstanding senior scholar-athlete, while Applebaum and Cooper McKenna of the women's water polo team were the CMS winners of the SCIAC Scholar-Athlete Awards. 

Bitetti had a spectacular senior year with the Athenas, earning runner-up finishes at both the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship and the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championship in the 3000 meters. The second-place finish at cross country nationals tied her for the highest finish for any cross country runner (men or women) in the history of the SCIAC, including matching the standard set by former CMS runners Cindy Nagle and Bryn McKillop. She added a second-place finish at indoor nationals as an individual, to go along with a third-place finish with the distance medley relay, and helped CMS to the SCIAC and NCAA West Regional titles with first-place finishes and Athlete of the Year Awards. 

Angle led the CMS men's basketball team to its deepest NCAA run in its history, advancing to the round of 16 with its first-ever regional title. He was named the SCIAC Athlete of the Year and the Region X Athlete of the Year, and was a first-team All-America selection from the NABC. He broke the CMS records for three-pointers in a season and a career, and was selected to participate in the Reese's Division III NABC All-Star game at the national championships. 

Applebaum was a two-time national champion for the Stags in the 200-yard butterfly, and earned All-America honors in all three of his races as a senior (100 fly, 200 fly, 200 IM), while capturing the SCIAC Athlete of the Year this season after sweeping SCIAC titles in all three of his individual events as well, while earning All-Academic accolades as a dual major in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) and psychology.

Mareedu led the men's tennis team to a runner-up finish at the NCAA Division III Championships, after clinching All-America honors with an ITA West Region title in the fall, and finished the year with a 30-6 singles record. Chulani earned All-America distinction in both singles and doubles, while helping CMS to the national semifinals and a No. 1 national ranking during the entire regular season. 

Weaver was a part of the CMS women's cross country contingent that traveled to nationals and earned a fourth-place finish, after she picked up All-SCIAC accolades with a top-20 finish at the league championships, and was an All-Academic selection, graduating from Scripps with a degree in media studies. Ovenell was the only senior on a young women's soccer team, serving as a team captain, and earned All-SCIAC accolades while guiding the Athenas to a SCIAC Postseason bid. 

Zimmer had a key role in all three seasons with the CMS distance team, earning All-SCIAC and All-Region honors for the cross country team in the fall, earning All-America honors with the distance medley relay team in the winter, and earning second-team All-America honors in the 1500 meters in the spring, while earning All-Academic distinction while majoring in economics and psychology at Claremont McKenna. Selby was another All-Academic honoree and one of the leaders of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, while leading the women's tennis team to the national semifinals and earning All-SCIAC accolades. McKenna was a three-time first-team All-American for the women's water polo team, and graduated from CMC with a 4.0 GPA as a biology major. 

McKenna was also an academic award recipient from Claremont McKenna, earning the Keck Science Department Award for biology, while teammate Olivia Cairns earned a similar award from the Government Department and Eric Sanchez of men's soccer earned the outstanding major award from the Robert Day School of Economics and Finance for financial economics. John Horan of men's track and field won the Robert Day School Outstanding Senior Thesis Award in financial economics, Lexi Lee of women's swimming and diving earned the Keck Science Department Outstanding Senior Thesis Award for physical science, and Carly Kirsch of the women's track and field team, earned the Outstanding Senior Thesis Award in psychology. 

CMS ended the year with a top-10 finish in the Learfield Directors' Cup standings (ninth), and earned a national championship (men's water polo), two runner-up finishes (men's tennis, women's water polo), two national semifinalist appearances (volleyball, women's tennis) and a fourth-place finish (women's cross country). Men's basketball (regional champions) and baseball (regional finalists, school record in wins) also had historic seasons, while women's golf (eighth), men's cross country (12th), men's golf (13th), men's swimming and diving (13th), and women's indoor track and field (14th) all finished in the top 16.