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Natalie Bitetti took first place at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational
Natalie Bitetti took first place at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational

Natalie Bitetti Earns National Athlete of the Week Honors, SCIAC Weekly Honors, for CMS Women's Cross Country

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Junior Natalie Bitetti earned the National Division III Women's Athlete of the Week award from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for events through Sunday, Oct. 9, the organization announced today.

Bitetti continued her dominant junior season by taking first place at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational on Saturday morning at the Pomona-Pitzer Cross Country course, leading wire-to-wire to help the Athenas to a second-place finish behind Division II Biola. Bitetti took the lead on the opening straightaway across the Pomona-Pitzer soccer field, hitting the initial hill with a two-stride lead over the pack, and never relinquished it, crossing the line in 21:28.0 for almost a 13-second victory margin over Lynette Ruiz of Biola.

It was Bitetti's second individual title in four races this fall, after opening with a first-place finish at the Redlands Invitational on Sept. 3. She was also the top Division III runner at the UC Riverside Invitational on Sept. 17, and came in third place out of 395 runners at the Paul Short Run in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where she led the Athenas to a first-place finish. 

In addition to her national award, Bitetti also won the SCIAC Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week for the fourth time this season, following all four races that she has run in. 

It marks the second year in a row that CMS has had the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week after the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational. A year ago, Riley Harmon earned the honor after taking first place.

CMS will next be in action on Oct. 29 for the SCIAC Championships at Prado Park, where they will try to win their 12th league title in a row.