Andrew Blelloch came in 69th for CMS (photo by Nico Klementzos)
Andrew Blelloch came in 69th for CMS (photo by Nico Klementzos)

CMS Men's Cross Country Earns 12th Place at NCAA Division III Championships

NEWVILLE, Pa. - Mason Ratkovich finished 62nd and Andrew Blelloch came in 69th to lead four Stags in the top 100 as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's cross country team earned 12th place out of 32 teams at the NCAA Division III Championships at Big Spring High School in Newville, Pennsylvania on Saturday.

Oliver Pick came in 89th place for the Stags, while Nick Taubenheim earned a top-100 by crossing the line in 95th. Hayden Beauchemin was the fifth CMS scorer in 123rd place. 

CMS tied with St. Olaf with 338 points, but just edged ahead due to the tiebreaker. Pomona-Pitzer earned the team championship with 158 points, winning by one point over Wisconsin-La Crosse. 

Ratkovich played a big part in the team national championship results, as he finished in 25:24.6, just .8 and 1.1 seconds ahead of the fourth and fifth finishers from Wisconsin-La Crosse, earning 47 points towards the CMS team score. If he had run 1.2 seconds slower, Wisconsin-La Crosse would have trimmed two points off its score and won the national title.  

Blelloch finished in 25:30.6 in his first appearance at nationals as a junior, after overcoming injuries his first two seasons to make the CMS top seven this fall. Pick finished in 25:38.0 to earn his first top 100 finish after coming in 123rd last year. Taubenheim crossed in 25:41.3 to also take a big lead forward from 146th a year ago in his first nationals appearance. 

Beauchemin had a strong effort in his nationals debut by finishing in 21:51.4 to finish in the top half (123rd out of 294 runners). Adam Sage (26:10.2) and Daniel Fajardo (26:30.0) were also part of the seven-runner contingent for CMS. 

The Stags will return five of their top seven next year as they will try to move up the team leaderboard at the 2024 nationals and contend for one of the four NCAA trophies.