This afternoon, the Pomona-Pitzer men’s and women’s cross country teams will face off against conference rivals during SCIAC Multi-Duals at La Mirada Park. After several months of intense training, the runners are ready to begin the in-conference portion of their season as they go head-to-head with the best in the SCIAC.
Last year, the women placed second at Multi-Duals behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. They are looking for a similar finish this year, anticipating strong competition from CMS, California Lutheran University, and Occidental College.
“The team has worked so hard to get to this point. We think we can surprise some teams and place high in the conference Multi-Duals, and that will take us on to the next SCIAC meet and to Regionals,” women’s Head Coach Kirk Reynolds said.
Individually, expect impressive performances from Claire Brickson PO ’14 and Camille Matonis PZ ’15, who both finished in the top 20 at last year’s meet and who have led the team all season. Also be on the lookout for Maya Weigel PO ’17, who has placed just after Brickson and Matonis in each race this year, as well as Ally McLaughlin PO ’16, Alicia Mizes PO ’16, Lauren Collins PO ’15, Helena Epps PO ’16, and Cassandra Owen PO ’14, all of whom have the potential to score for the team.
“I’m looking for the women to go to the starting line with an eager smile and do what we do every day in practice and run like the wind,” Reynolds said going into the meet. He also stated that he would not be able to sleep Thursday night because of excitement, adding, “If we manage to beat a couple competitive teams [on Friday], I’ll do backflips in my straw hat.”
Like the women, the men’s team also placed second behind CMS at last year’s Multi-Dual meet. The Hens are poised to improve on that strong finish this year, especially considering they had seven runners in the top 25 last year, five of whom will be competing again this year.
Ben Girodias PO ’15, who placed eighth at Multi-Duals last year and was first among SCIAC competitors at last week’s P-P Invitational, is in a good position to compete for a top spot this afternoon. Alex Johann PO ’14, John Fowler PO ’16, Corey Purcella PO ’16, and Steven Ory PO ’16 will also look to repeat their solid performances from last year. Other consistent P-P frontrunners—including Paul Messana PZ ’17, Pryor Stroud PO ’15, and Adam Hathaway PO ’17—will be key to the team’s performance at Multi-Duals.
Girodias expressed confidence regarding the team’s preparedness and his own strength going into the conference meets.
“We are in great form. We have run harder workouts, more mileage, and faster times this season. It will be a battle for sure, but if we go out and run our best, I don’t think anyone can stop us. On a more personal level, it takes time and hard work to reach the next level. I have been more committed than ever this season and can feel the strength that only comes through miles of training. I am excited to race and see who can stay with me,” Girodias said.
After Multi-Duals, the men’s and women’s teams will return from fall break to get in just under two more weeks of training before the SCIAC Championships on Nov. 2 at Prado Park in nearby Chino.