CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's track and field team earned the 2019 SCIAC Championship, edging out Redlands by just three points (150-147) on Sunday afternoon at the Burns Track Complex to win the program's fifth straight league title.
CMS led for the most of the championship, holding a 72-36 lead over Occidental after the first day (with Redlands in third at 31 points). Redlands was able to fight its way into the lead with two events left, but CMS was able to make up the ground in the 5000 meters by having four different runners score to pick up a combined 15 points. Senior Malea Martin was third in 18:04.70 for third place (six points), while sophomore Abigale Johnson, freshman Riley Harmon and senior Natalie Marsh came in the 5-7 spots to pick up four points, three points, and two points respectively.
Johnson had a big personal effort to help the Athenas to the team win, competing in three events on Sunday, starting the day by winning the 1500 in 4:39.81 to pick up 10 points and adding three more in the 800 with a sixth-place finish. Martin ran the 10000 yesterday, picking up seven points, and running in both events to provide 13 points for the Athenas was an important factor in the final margin of victory as well.
The track events also started with a key second-place finish in the 4x100. Redlands won in 47.23, while the CMS relay of junior Sabrine Griffith, sophomore Aubrey Egerter, junior Amanda Mell and sophomore Grace Pratt edged out Occidental for second place by a tenth of a second, giving the Athenas eight points instead of six.
Griffith and Egerter followed with top-six finishes in the 100-meter hurdles, with Griffith running a 14.68 to come in fourth and Egerter earning a sixth-place finish with a 14.90, providing five points and three points, respectively.
With the final margin as close as it was, every point proved to be valuable. Junior Julia Drooff earned three points with a sixth-place finish in the 400-meter dash in 60.62. Pratt finished fifth in the 100 with a 12.44 and Griffith was eighth in 12.80 to provide a combined five points, with Pratt also adding two in the 200 with a 25.81. Senior McKenzie Deutsch got a point in the 800 in 2:23.03 and sophomore Bailey Mknelly picked up one in the 400-meter hurdles (67.57).
In the throws, junior Amanda Gallop provided two points in the shot put with a top distance of 35'2.5" to place seventh, and freshman Rosey Sams got a point in the discus with a throw of 119'7" to come in eighth.
The narrow win enabled the senior class to finish with four SCIAC titles in their four years, while the distance runners who also ran cross country were a perfect 8-for-8 winning league championships. This year's track and field title was especially rewarding as the Athenas graduated three national champions off of last year's team (Tyra Abraham, Bryn McKillop and Emily Bassett) and it took everything they had to hold off a Redlands team that came in ranked No. 3 in the country.
"I'm so happy that it worked out this way, said senior distance runner Malea Martin. "I think we all contributed something to this win. Even those who didn't score points, everyone pushes the next person, and literally every person mattered."
With the league championship in their pocket, the Athenas will wait and see which athletes will continue on to the NCAA Division III Championships later this month. In the meantime, there will be a couple of final events for athletes to try to improve their marks to qualify for nationals, including their own Claremont Classic Multis on May 9-10 at the Burns Track Complex.