The Pomona-Pitzer men’s cross country team participated in the 2015 NCAA Division III Cross Country West Regional Championships this Saturday, Nov. 14. The team came into the competition with a high morale and a series of achievements under its belt. Hosted by Occidental College, twenty teams from across the region attended the meet at P-P's home course.
John Fowler PO ’16, the star athlete for the Sagehens, led the team amazingly well, finishing second individually to help the team finish in second place overall for the 8000-meter (five mile) race.
Fowler finished the race with a time of 25:15, coming in 11 seconds short of winner Tyler Shipley of the University of Puget Sound, who crossed the finish line at 25:04. Other members of the team also performed exceptionally well, with James Kinney PO ’18 finishing at 25:55 (7th), Andy Reischling PO ’19 at 26:09 (12th), Steven Ory PO ’16 at 26:24 (18th) and Corey Purcella PO ’16 at 26:31 (23rd). In addition to the top five Sagehen finishers, Colin Mulligan PO ’19 and Julian DeGroot-Lutzner PZ '19 also earned All-Region honors for their top-35 finishes.
“The regional meet was a great experience for my team and me,” Fowler said, sharing his West Regionals experience. “It's always fun racing on our home course and it was definitely exciting to clinch our fourth-straight qualification to Nationals.”
The P-P men’s team came in second overall with 62 points, just behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, who won the overall title with 51 points. Willamette University came in third with 109 points, Occidental College fourth with 146, and Puget Sound fifth with 174. The team will next compete in the NCAA Division III National meet in Oshkosh, Wis., on Saturday, Nov. 21.
On the other hand, the P-P women’s cross country team also put up a splendid performance of its own. In the 6000-meter (3.7 mile) race, Maya Weigel PO ’17 took home the individual title, leading the team to a fifth-place finish at the event out of 19 teams from all over the region.
Defending her title from last year, Weigel finished the course with a time of 21:24, leaving behind the competition as she defeated the runner-up by 22 seconds. With the win, Weigel becomes the second Sagehen to win back-to-back West Regional titles. The victory also leads her to the NCAA Division III Nationals meet this coming weekend.
“I just wanted to go out strong and I knew that I had a lot of good competition coming in, so I just wanted to go out as hard as I could and try to maintain that throughout the race,” Weigel said in a post-race interview.
The other members of the team also managed amazing performances, with Ally McLaughlin PO '16 taking 15th place with a time of 22:41 as she earned All-Region honors along with Weigel. In addition, Alicia Mizes PO ’16 finished with a time of 23:44 (47th), Kristen Hernandez PO ’18 with 23:50 (50th), and Molly Cole PO '16 with 23:54 (52nd).
The team came in fifth overall with 162 points, finishing behind Williamette with 64 points, CMS with 79, Whitworth University with 87, and Colorado College with 92.
The Sagehens will compete at Nationals this coming weekend.