Arms pumping, lungs wheezing, her feet pushing the ground in a steady bum-bum-bum rhythm, Bryn McKillop SC ’18 pounded toward the finish line on the 6-kilometer University of California, Riverside course last Saturday, Sept. 17.
McKillop, a third-year participant on the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps cross country team, aided the Athenas in a ninth-place finish in the 6K event with a time of 20:47.94. Incidentally, she also took third place overall and ran herself into the history books, breaking the record previously held by her coach, Scripps College graduate Jen Tavé.
The UC Riverside race was the Athenas’ third event of the season. Carmen Meija SC ’17 came in behind McKillop, taking over the sixth-place all-time spot in the record book. Overall, the team’s 6K time was best among non-Division I schools, an impressive lineup including University of California, Santa Cruz, University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of Arkansas and University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
In the 5-kilometer event, Roselyn Cantu CM ’18 and Matilda Msall SC ’19 set personal records in an ultimate 10th-place finish for the team.
“Both teams performed well,” Coach John Goldhammer said of the meet. “The women, in particular, ran a faster team time than we did back in 2012 when we placed third nationally.” He added that McKillop “established herself as a potential All-American.”
“Any time an athlete of Bryn’s ability PR’s by over a minute it’s a special performance,” he commented.
On the men’s side, Joshua Sealand HM ’17 pulled out an especially tough finish, running a 24:51.72 in the 8K. Kyle Lund HM ’17, Jesse Joseph HM ’17, and Garrett Ryan CM ’17 all turned in solid performances as well, recording sub 26-minute times. The Stags ended up finishing in seventh place out of 22 teams in the 8K race.
“The men beat their time from last year without running our number one or [number] four man,” Goldhammer recalled. “If we stay healthy and focused, I’m fairly confident that this will be another special season for the [Stags].”
The CMS women are currently ranked No. 7 in the country and the men are currently ranked No. 8 (two spots behind Pomona-Pitzer). They no doubt have their eyes on the SCIAC championship, where the men will attempt to win their fifth title in a row and the women will attempt to win their seventh.
The cross country teams next compete on Saturday, Sept. 24, in the Coyote Invitational in San Bernardino.