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Henry Pick finished third last year at nationals
Henry Pick finished third last year at nationals

CMS Men's Cross Country Looks to Contend at National Championships

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's cross country team heads to Lansing, Michigan on Saturday for the NCAA Division III Championships, looking to finish in the top 10 for the third time in a row and compete for one of the NCAA trophies. 

The Stags have come in sixth in each of the last two meets in 2019 and 2021, with a year interruption for COVID in between. CMS has a program-best finish of fifth (in 2016), and the top four teams earn NCAA trophies, so the Stags will be hoping for a best-ever finish in order to get their hands on some NCAA hardware for the first time. 

CMS has some restored optimism off a strong showing at the NCAA West Regionals last weekend, where it finished second to defending national champion Pomona-Pitzer. The Stags had three top-10 finishers, led by Henry Pick, who came in second place as he returned to the form that has been elusive for him this year. 

A year ago, Pick finished third at nationals and shattered the program record for an 8K race by over 40 seconds. He also was the SCIAC Champion and the SCIAC Athlete of the Year, setting a course record in the process, and finished a close second to teammate Stevie Steinberg in the NCAA West Regionals. 

This year, Pick has had a hard time getting healthy, but his second-place finish at regionals gives plenty of reason for optimism that he will be at least close to his old self and will be able to score low for CMS at nationals. The Stags also had two other runners come in the top 10 at regionals, Miles Christensen (sixth) and Adam Sage (eighth), who are both capable of reaching the All-America cutoff. 

Oliver Pick, Henry's younger brother, was the top finisher for CMS at the SCIAC Championships and is another potential Stag candidate to make the podium, as is Charles Albach, who was one of the five scorers for CMS at regionals. Nick Taubenheim also earned All-Region honors, and Daniel Krasemann earned All-SCIAC honors, meaning all seven runners in the Stag contingent have captured postseason awards and any of the five could be scorers this weekend if they run well, which would give CMS a chance to move up the final team standings from its sixth-place spot.  

CMS is currently ranked 15th, so the Stags will have to exceed expectations, but with Henry Pick close to being back to form for the first time this year, CMS may be a bit undervalued in the rankings and could threaten the teams ranked higher if it can handle the frigid Michigan weather. The Stags also graduated five of their top seven from last year, with only Henry Pick and Miles Christensen returning, so most of the team's contingent will be running at nationals for the firs time. 

To follow along with tomorrow's races, which see the Athenas start at 11 a.m. in Michigan (8 a.m. Pacific time) and the Stags following at 12 p.m., visit the following links:

NCAA Video
Live Results