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Meredith Bloss set a new CMS record for a 6K with a time of 20:31.0
Meredith Bloss set a new CMS record for a 6K with a time of 20:31.0

Bloss Sets Program Record to Lead Athenas to Second Runner-Up Finish in 2021 Season

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Meredith Bloss set a new program record for a 6K race with a time of 20:31.0 as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's cross country team finished second of 22 teams, behind only Division I California Baptist, at the UC Riverside Invitational on Saturday morning.

The Athenas earned their second runner-up finish in two events to start the 2021 season, after also earning second place at the Mark Covert Classic behind Cal State Fullerton, another Division I program. 

At the UC Riverside Invitational, CMS finished ahead of numerous Division I programs, with Arizona, UC Irvine and UC Riverside taking up the 3-5 spots in the team standings, just behind the Athenas. USC, St. Mary's, Arizona State and Long Beach State finished in the 8-11 positions. 

On the individual finishers list, the Athenas placed three runners in the top 11, led by Bloss, who came in fourth overall with a time of 20:31.0, behind only Greta Karinauskaite of California Baptist (20.19.0), Hannah Chau of UC Irvine (20:21.4) and Grace Driskill of Arizona (20:28.4). 

That time of 20:31.0 also enabled Bloss to set a new program record for a 6K race, surpassing the old record of 20:34.4, which was set by Bryn McKillop in 2018, also at the UC Riverside Invitational.

Riley Harmon added a seventh-place finish for CMS with a time of 20:37.6 (moving her into third all-time for a 6K race), while Natalie Bitetti was just outside the top 10 with an 11th place finish in 20:42.5 (placing her fourth). Bitetti was actually ninth among collegiate runners, though, with two competitors from Cal Coast Track Club finishing in the top 10 (Harmon was sixth in the college competition). 

Angela Gushue (30th, 21:20.2) and Laura Zimmer (36th, 21:30.7) were the final two scorers for the Athenas, with Sophie Gitlin finishing right behind Zimmer in 39th place with a time of 21:32.6.

CMS will be back in action next Saturday when it takes part in the Cougar Challenge, hosted by CSU San Marcos.