On a hot Halloween morning, the Pomona-Pitzer men and women’s cross country teams participated in the 2015 SCIAC Cross Country Championships at Prado Park in Chino, Calif.
John Fowler PO ’16, a star athlete for the Sagehens, came into the championships with a fine string of achievements since the beginning of the season, bagging first place at the SCIAC Multi-Duals and third place at the home invitational event earlier this fall. Steven Ory PO ’16 also entered the competition with momentum and was high-spirited for the event.
The team overall was high on morale, going 8-0 over the rest of the SCIAC at the Multi-Duals on Saturday, Oct. 17, their last event before the Championships.
It came as no surprise when Fowler turned out to be the first person to cross the finish line with a time of 25:38 in the 8,000 meters (five miles) race, winning the individual title and leading the P-P men's team to a second place finish overall. With 46 points, the team finished behind only rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who earned first place as a team with 29 points.
Ory was the next Sagehen to cross the finish with a time of 26:15, good for seventh place. In addition, James Kinney PO ’18 finshed at 26:22 in 11th place, Andy Reischling PO '19 at 26:32 in 13th place, and Colin Mulligan PO '19 at 26:33 in fourteenth place.
Fowler and Ory were awarded First-Team All-SCIAC honors, while Kinney, Reischling, and Mulligan earned Second-Team All-SCIAC honors.
“I took the lead early in the race… [and] it was a great last mile,” Fowler said as he narrated his experience at the Championships. “I just put everything that I had into it.”
Running for the women’s team, Maya Weigel PO ’17 was also coming into the Championships full of energy and enthusiasm, having been named Athlete of the Week for her SCIAC Multi-Duals perfromance in which she won first place at the event. Ally McLaughlin PO '16 also entered the event having run a good season so far.
Like the men's team, the women’s team also had a good record coming into the SCIAC Championships. Finishing seventh at the home event and registering 6-2 at the Multi-Duals, the team seemed all set to exceed expectations at the Championships.
The event turned out to be a clean sweep as Weigel took first place in the women’s race, finishing with a time of 22:13 in the 6000 meter (3.7 miles) race, with the team claiming third place overall with 68 points, falling only to CMS (27 points) and the University of Redlands (60 points).
Following Weigel were McLaughlin with a time of 24:15 in 13th place, Abby Gardner PO '17 at 24:24 in 17th place, Alicia Mizes PO '16 at 24:28 in 19th place, and Molly Cole PO '16 at 24:40 in 24th place.
Weigel earned SCIAC Runner of the Year honors along with First-Team All-SCIAC honors. McLaughlin, Gardner and Mizes earned Second-Team All-SCIAC honors. Cole was also named the co-winner of the SCIAC Cross Country Celia Pederson Award, awarded to a senior athlete who best provides a manifestation of the conference's ideals during her time as a SCIAC cross country runner.
Both the men’s and women’s teams compete next at the NCAA Division III West Regional Meet on Saturday, Nov. 14, on P-P’s home course.