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Natalie Bitetti finished third to lead CMS to the team title
Natalie Bitetti finished third to lead CMS to the team title

CMS Women's Cross Country Dominates the Field at NCAA Pre-Nationals

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's cross country team had four of the top ten finishers as it earned a dominant win at the NCAA Division III Pre-Nationals, held at E.P "Tom" Sawyer State Park.

The race was held at the same site where the NCAA Division III Championships will be held in November, and the Athenas had a statement performance that they will be one of the teams to watch, earning 43 points, well ahead of second-place Wisconsin-La Crosse with 70, while Calvin was a distant third with 153. Emory (170 points) and MIT (172 points) rounded out the top five. 

Natalie Bitetti was the top individual finisher for CMS, coming in third place with a time of 22:00.9, while Riley Harmon finished in fourth with a time of 22:10.6. Joining them in the top 10 were Meredith Bloss in seventh place with a time of 22:21.0, and Emily Clarke in ninth in 22:25.2. 

Sophie Gitlin sealed the win for CMS as the fifth scorer, coming in 22nd place in 22:52.3 to give the Athenas 43 points total as a team. CMS showed off its depth as well with three other runners placing high, as Mallorie Jenne was 33rd in 23:13.7, Brooklyn Button was 38th in 23:23.3, and Angela Gushue was 60th in 23:47.9, out of a field of 277 runners. 

CMS, which is ranked No. 4 in the nation, will be back in action on Saturday in Claremont when it participates in the annual Pomona-Pitzer Invitational.