Bitetti, CMS Women's Cross Country, Earn West Region Championships
SPOKANE, Wash. - Natalie Bitetti ran a 21:41.3 to finish in first place by 11 seconds, as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's cross country team earned a team title at the NCAA West Regional championships, earning an invitation to next week's nationals in Lansing, Michigan.
Riley Martel-Phillips of UC Santa Cruz was second in the race in 21:52.8, while Pomona-Pitzer was a distant second in the team competition, with the Athenas earning 37 points and the Sagehens 73.
Just as she had at the SCIAC Championships, Bitetti led the whole way, racing out to the lead with a 3:22.0 split in the first 1000 meters, and never letting go. She ran almost as fast on the sixth 1000 meters (3:28.2) as she did on the first 1000
Meredith Bloss came in fourth for CMS with a time of 21:57.7, with Anika Kimme adding a top 10 finish in 21:58.8, placing sixth. Elle Marsyla was 12th in 22:14.2, and Angie Gushue finished off the team championship as the fifth Athena to cross the line in 22:27.5, placing 17th.
CMS has now qualified for nationals as a team for 14 straight seasons, and the Athenas will try to contend for the title next week in Lansing after a runner-up finish last year, when they came in just two points behind Johns Hopkins.