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The Athenas with their regional trophy
The Athenas with their regional trophy

CMS Women's Cross Country Heads to Nationals for 14th Straight Time

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's cross country team officially earned its invitation to nationals when bids were announced on Sunday, and the Athenas will head to Lansing, Michigan on Saturday hoping to compete for a national title again after finishing as the runner-up last year.

A total of 32 teams earned bids, and CMS wrapped its bid up by taking first place at the NCAA West Regionals on Saturday, with Natalie Bitetti earning the individual title to help lead the way. The region had a total of five teams selected, with Pomona-Pitzer, George Fox, UC Santa Cruz and Colorado College also earning invitations. 

Joining Bitetti on the All-West Region team were two seniors who finished in the top 10, Meredith Bloss (fourth) and Anika Kimme (sixth). Also easily making the top 36 cutoff for All-Region were Elle Marsyla (12th) and Angie Gushue (17th). 

CMS was just two points shy of winning the national title a year ago behind Johns Hopkins, which amounted to less than a second of clock time. Johns Hopkins is currently fourth, and CMS fifth, with Chicago, SUNY Geneso and Wartburg representing the top three. 

The second-place finish was the highest the program had ever accomplished, as well as the four All-Americans the program earned (Bloss, Bitetti, Riley Harmon, and Emily Clarke).