The Pomona-Pitzer women's and men's cross country teams hosted their first home meet on Saturday, Oct. 3. The annual P-P Invitational welcomed around 20 NAIA and NCAA Division II and III teams from all over Southern California, and even from New Mexico.
The 8000-meter men’s race turned out to be an auspicious one for the Sagehens, as John Fowler PO '16 bagged third place for the PPXC men's team with a time of 24:56. With 101 points, the team finished only behind the twelfth-ranked DII team Cal Poly Pomona and the tenth-ranked DIII team, rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who scored 22 and 63 points, resectively.
Steven Ory PO '16 also had a particularly remarkable race, managing a career-best team finish with a time of 26:06, earning him 22nd place on the day. In addition, three first-years stepped up in a major way to contribute to the team's third-place finish. Andy Reischling PO '19, Julian DeGroot-Lutzner PZ '19, and Colin Mulligan PO '19 all finshed within eleven seconds of each other, coming in 24th, 25th, and 31st place, respectively.
“It’s always fun running on our home course,” Peter Davis PO '19 said. “The competition was really tough and competitive, [and] it was good exposure for our team. We had been training really hard through the week and thus were a little exhausted coming into the event.”
The PPXC women’s team also managed to put up a good performance, with Maya Weigel PO '17 coming in second place overall to help the team to a seventh-place finish. A total of 18 teams from NCAA DI and DIII and NAIA participated in the women’s event.
Clocking in at a time of 21:32, Weigel came in a close second to Karis Frankian of The Master's College, who finished with a time of 21:20. Yet Weigel still beat her next-closest opponent, Marissa Nickles of Cal Poly Pomona, by 18 seconds.
With a total of 192 women participating in the race, Ally McLaughlin PO '16 (34th, 23:14), Kristen Hernandez PO '18 (56th, 23:41), and Molly Cole PO '16 (60th, 23:47) put up noteworthy performances for the Sagehens. In addition, the Hens still placed seventh overall, even with two of their usual top-five members unable to participate in the race due to unavoidable circumstances.
However, these openings allowed some new PPXC members to experience the 6000-meter run.
“It was personally my first time running 6000 meters, and it was definitely challenging,” Laura Zhang PO '19 said. “Home events are always fun, though. At least you don’t have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning [like you would] when you’re travelling to an away event.”
Cal Poly Pomona bagged first place with 51 points, and California State University, San Marcos came in second with 74 points at the women’s event.
Neither the PPXC men's nor women’s teams will compete this weekend, but they are looking forward to their next event, the SCIAC Multi-Dual Meet, on Saturday, Oct. 17. P-P will also be hosting the NCAA DIII West Regionals—a major event of the cross country season—on Saturday, Nov. 14.