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Oliver Pick was the top CMS finisher (photo by Christian Campbell)
Oliver Pick was the top CMS finisher (photo by Christian Campbell)

Stags Take Second at NCAA Cross Country Regionals

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's cross country team earned second place at the NCAA Division III West Regionals on Saturday morning at the Riverside City Cross Country course, keeping alive its hopes of earning a bid to nationals next weekend.

The Stags had six runners earn All-West Region honors, led by Oliver Pick, who came in 14th place with a time of 25:04.2. Andrew Blelloch was the second-highest finishing Stag in 17th place with a 25:05.8, his highest-ever finish for CMS in his career.

Mason Ratkovich and Hayden Beauchemin finished back-to-back in 21st and 22nd place with times of 25:07.5 and 25:12.4, and Adam Sage wrapped up the CMS scoring in 25th place with a 25:19.3. Daniel Fajardo crossed in 32nd place in 25:38.6 to make it under the cutline for all-region distinction. 

As a team, CMS finished with 93 points with an average time of 25:10, finishing behind only Pomona-Pitzer with 45 points. The Stags were able to edge out George Fox with 104 points for the all-important second-place standing in the region. 

CMS will wait the official announcements of the NCAA team selections on Monday, as the Stags will be trying to earn their 15th straight team qualification to nationals. The top two finishers used to receive automatic bids until 2020, but the recent rule changes allow only one automatic bid per region, but leave more at-large spots open.