The Pomona-Pitzer invite had a crowded field this year. Along with the regular 26 colleges of all levels that participated, there were also participants from the paralympics as well as representatives from five different countries at the Saturday, April 8 meet.
Jackson Cooney CM ’18, a pole vaulter who finished seventh in the meet, said that the wide field provided “really good competition for our athletes.”
Malea Martin CM ’19 added that “as an invite, it doesn’t count towards conference points, so I would say a meet like this is slightly more individually focused than team focused, at least compared to a dual meet.”
Although there were some difficult conditions to deal with, specifically wind in the second half of the event, both the Stags and Athenas experienced relative success. However, the meet itself focused solely on individual events, and there were therefore no team rankings with which to gauge CMS’ overall success.
Cooney said that it was “overall a good meet” for the team, partly because it was an opportunity for certain athletes who had missed significant amounts of time due to injury to compete.
The No. 2 nationally ranked Athenas also had a strong showing. Two CMS records were set during the meet. Tyra Abraham SC ‘18 set an impressive one in the 200 meter race. Her time of 24.36 seconds was both a CMS record and a Division III best. Overall, she finished fourth, but second among college athletes and first among those from Division III.
Abraham had an almost equally impressive performance in the 100-meter dash, once again finishing fourth and second in terms of overall and collegiate performances, respectively.
“Overall, the girls’ track team is amazing,” Cooney said. “They win every meet.”
Martin echoed that sentiment, saying “the Athenas haven’t run into much trouble so far at dual meets.”
Vaiva Palunas SC ’17 had another notable performance and also set a CMS record with her hammer throw of 56.59 meters. She was also the fourth overall and second collegiate level finisher in her event. Carmen Mejia SC ’17 won the 800-meter run for the collegiate athletes and placed second overall.
For the Stags, the strongest showing came from the distance runners, which Cooney describes as the program’s strength. Joshua Sealand HM ’17 and Ben Iten HM ’19 had especially strong showings. Sealand won his 800 meter race overall, coming in with a personal best time of 1:51.38. Iten, like many of his teammates, was the second collegiate finisher and fourth overall in his event, the 5000-meter race.
The fortunes for the Stags and Athenas have differed throughout this season. While the Stags have had a few struggles, including a tough loss in a dual meet to Sixth Street rivals Pomona-Pitzer, Cooney believes that if each individual performs to the best of his abilities, a SCIAC title is still within reach.
On the women’s side, the Athenas have blown opponents out of the water in the majority of their meets this season. This continues a recent stretch of dominance by the CMS women, who are looking to put the cap on their third consecutive undefeated dual meet portion of their schedule.
The final SCIAC dual meet of the 2017 season, where CMS will compete against Occidental College, California Lutheran University, and University of Redlands, takes place this Saturday at Occidental.