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Natalie Bitetti earned a second-place finish (photo by Christian Campbell)
Natalie Bitetti earned a second-place finish (photo by Christian Campbell)

Athenas Cross Country Wins Pre-Nationals with Dominant Performance

NEWVILLE, Pa. - Natalie Bitetti finished second, Elle Marsyla finished fifth, and all five scorers were in the top 20, as the eighth-ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's cross country team had a dominant performance at the DIII Pre-Nationals, hosted by Dickinson.

CMS finished with 51 points, while fourth-ranked MIT came in a distant second with 99 points. Williams, ranked No. 11, was third with 118, followed by No. 13 Amherst with 181 and No. 14 George Fox with 182. Pomona-Pitzer was the second-best SCIAC school in 12th with 339 points. 

Bitetti ran a 21:44.3 to come in second place, while Marsyla came had a sub-22 as well, finishing in 21:57.7. 

Three Athenas then crossed in quick succession to sew up the team victory, as Riley Capuano was 13th with a 22:21.6, Angie Gushue came in 14th with a 22:24.9, and Laura Zimmer finished off the CMS scoring with an 18th place finish in 22:30.2. 

Close behind that pack was Sara Wexler, who came in 23rd place with a 22:34.4, while Revere Schmidt was in the top 50 with a 22:52.7 (41st) and Hannah Weaver was a top-100 finisher (out of 377 runners) in 81st with a 23:22.9. 

While CMS sent eight runners to Pennsylvania, the rest of the team was simultaneously in action at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, where the Athenas came in a solid fourth with a partial roster. Sally Gaskell was the top Athena in 17th place (out of 122) with a 23:31.0.

Jenna Milbrodt came in 25th with a 23:47.3, Amelia Opsahl and Kaya Hano finished back-to-back in 30th and 31st, and Claire la was the fifth scorer in 36th place. Olivia DeBoer and Phoebe Wolfe Lyons were just off that pace in 41st and 42nd, respectively. 

CMS will be back in action in three weeks for the SCIAC Championships on Oct. 28 in Riverside.