P-P Men’s XC Finishes First of DIII Schools at Invite

The Pomona-Pitzer men’s cross country team had another strong showing this past Saturday, outrunning most of its competition at the P-P Invitational. The team placed second out of 12 teams, only following Cal Poly Pomona, a Division II team. Ben Girodias PO ’15 was again the first Sagehen to cross the finish line, running an eight-kilometer time of 25:28 to place fourth overall out of 165 runners. After leading the race from mile one to mile three, John Fowler PO ’16 placed eighth in a time of 25:41.

Paul Messana PZ ’17 ran a spectacularly fast final 400 meters to finish in 10th place just two seconds behind Fowler. Messana saw the race as a learning experience leading into the important SCIAC meets ahead. 

“It was a great way to preview the course for Regionals in order to see where I stand in the times for that course so I can improve for the next race. It was definitely a confidence boost to place in the top 10 individually as well as the team placing second,” Messana said.

Another outstanding performance came from Corey Purcella PO ’16, who stepped up his game to finish fourth of the Sagehens. He placed 20th, with a time of 26:09. Pryor Stroud PO ’15 was the fifth and final P-P scorer, running 26:11 to place 23rd overall.

Sheridan Grant PO ’15 and Andrew Segraves PO ’16 also had great races for P-P. Segraves broke his previous personal record (PR) by one minute and 19 seconds to finish in 27:39, while Grant achieved a PR of 27:10 to be the 10th P-P finisher and place 62nd overall.

“The race went pretty well. I PRed [broke a personal record] by a little over 30 seconds, which was nice. I think I ran a competitive race, especially compared to runners on the CMS [Claremont-Mudd-Scripps] team,” Grant said. “Unfortunately, I missed my goal of going under 27 minutes by 10 seconds, but there are two races left in the season, so if I keep working hard, hopefully I can just dip under there.”

The P-P Invite gave the team the chance to compete against many conference rivals, and their first-place finish among SCIAC teams leaves them in a strong position heading into SCIAC Multi-Duals Oct. 18 and SCIAC Championships Nov. 2.

Stroud eloquently summed up the men’s performance: “In a word, we were swift. Swift as the winged-shoed Hermes. And, just as that son of Zeus carried missives betwixt the Olympians, we carried missives of defeat to our SCIAC rivals.”

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