The NBA may have canceled the first two weeks of its season, but for the Pomona-Pitzer men’s cross country team, the season is in full swing; and the next two-plus weeks promise to be very exciting.
Saturday morning looms, and, as the week has passed, the men of PPXC have grown anxious. The first of two SCIAC conference championship meets, the Multi-Duals, will be held at La Mirada Regional Park on Oct. 15, and with their performances earlier this season, the P-P men have certainly set a high standard for themselves. Currently ranked at the top of SCIAC for the fourth straight week—No. 1 the NCAA West Region and No. 27 (with a season high of 26) in the country—PPXC looks for big things out of all its runners this weekend.
“We all have put in unfathomable amounts of effort this season,” Paul Balmer PO ’12, PPXC captain, said. “Saturday, obviously, is our first chance to definitively prove that we’ve deserved this number one ranking all season long. Each guy on the team, too, I know, is chomping at the bit to be unleashed, to finally demonstrate their true capabilities this weekend.”
Anders Crabo PO ’12 added, “It came down to asking ourselves: ‘Raddies [a team run along Radcliffe Drive] or Natties [Nationals]?’ Multi’s are where we’re gonna whip out the Sagecock playbook, execute perfectly, and show everyone that we did indeed decide early in the season that this year was all about Natties.”
Indeed, the Hens are poised to have what could well be one of the best SCIAC Multi-Dual team races ever. With a top five spread (the time difference between the first and fifth scoring runners on a team) consistently under a minute, there is no shortage of depth to this Sagecock team. PPXC is loaded with talent—earlier this year at the UC-Riverside Invitational, the team’s top 7 all placed among the 14 best times in program history.
Asked how the program, while still relatively unknown across campus, could become such a hotbed of successful running, Gerardo Paleo PO ’15 commented, “It’s all about the environment. Here, everyone is welcomed into the fold that is the PPXC family, and one man’s determination proves to be another man’s motivation. Such an atmosphere just lends itself to success.”
Balmer added, “I am of the strongest conviction that the team should run together as much as possible. And we’ve done this—and more. Together, we’ve made the decision to demand the utmost of ourselves this season, and we’ve made the lifestyle choices and have committed ourselves to the training program since it began in May to put ourselves in a position to truly perform at the highest level possible this fall, which we have. Now, I just can’t wait to see what that means for Saturday’s race.”