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CMS poses with its 13th straight championship banner (photo by Christian Campbell)
CMS poses with its 13th straight championship banner (photo by Christian Campbell)

CMS Women's Cross Country Dominates for 13th Straight SCIAC Title

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Natalie Bitetti repeated as the individual champion, and the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's cross country team had the top three finishers, and six of the top eight, as it dominated the field on the way to the SCIAC Championship on Saturday at the Riverside City Cross Country Course.

Bitetti was followed by Elle Marsyla in second place and Riley Capuano in third as CMS finished with 19 points, way ahead of second place Redlands with 91 and third-place Pomona-Pitzer with 100. 

Laura Zimmer came in sixth place, Angie Gushue seventh and Sara Wexler eighth as the Athenas placed six on the All-SCIAC first team by finishing in the top 10. CMS also had Revere Schmidt (12th) and Hannah Weaver (15th) on the All-SCIAC second team. 

Bitetti's winning time was a 21:33.9, finishing almost a half-minute ahead of her closest competitors. Those competitors were her own teammates, of course, as Marsyla was runner-up with a 22:00.2 and Capuano came in third with a 22:11.3. 

Bitetti was almost a full minute ahead of a runner from any other school, as Occidental's Jenna LeNay was the first non-Athena to cross, finishing in 22:30.3, which was 56.4 seconds behind Bitetti. Zimmer finished first in a tight cluster of four runners, as she clocked a 22:48.9, followed by Gushue in 22:50.3, Wexler in 22:54.8 and Chloe Bullock of Redlands in 22:55.5. 

The Athenas had plenty of other runners in the top half of the field of 104 competitors as well. Sally Gaskell (26th) and Amelia Opsahl (28th) were in the top 30, Jenna Milbrodt (33rd) and Phoebe Wolfe Lyons (34th) finished back-to-back, as did seniors Kaya Hano (40th) and Lily Ryan (41st). Olivia DeBoer (43rd) and Claire Stuvland (45th) earned top-50 finishes in their first SCIAC competitions. 

CMS will be back in action in two weeks for the NCAA West Regionals, which will also be held at the Riverside City Cross Country Course on Nov. 11.