The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men’s and women’s cross-country teams held nothing back in a dual meet at La Mirada Regional Park on Saturday, Sept. 30. The Athenas ran their way to meet-wide victory, while the Stags put together a solid performance, finishing at 5-2 and placing third overall.
“They performed well, considering the flu that has hit the team over the last 10 days,” said head coach John Goldhammer, who coaches both the men’s and women’s CMS cross-country teams.
The Athenas were solid from start to finish. “The women performed well enough to win, and that was all we were looking for,” Goldhammer said, noting that two of the team’s top five runners were unable to participate in Saturday’s race.
Goldhammer describes this season’s Athena team as a “very nice surprise.” In their latest meet, the Athenas swept away the competition to finish with a 7-0 record. Four of the top 10 runners were from CMS, as were just under half of the top 15 performers.
Bryn McKillop SC ’18 came in first place in the event (21:27.66). Goldhammer pointed to three other runners that impressed him: Roselyn Cantu CM ’18, who finished third, and Morgan Blevins HM ’19 and Gabby Kimmerly SC ’20, both of whom shaved off more than one minute from their personal bests.
“The Athenas have already done individually what they needed to do,” said Goldhammer. When asked to analyze how the season may look from now on, he said, “team-wise we have to put our best race together at the NCAA meet and if we can do that we will be in the running for a top five placing.”
Of the Stags, he added: “[they] have done a great job, considering the number of athletes who graduated last year.” That number includes two All-American runners, Kyle Lund HM '17 and Joshua Sealand HM '17, who took 8th and 13th, respectively, at the Nationals competition in Louisville, Kentucky last season.
At the meet, the Stags were led by Thomas D’Anieri CM ’20, who finished third overall with a time of 25:34.83. Max Denning HM ’20 and Brooks MacDonald HM ’20 “stepped up [for four to six sick guys] and ran as close to their all time bests as anyone in the meet,” Goldhammer said, finishing fourth and fifth among CMS performers. Their gutsy performances pushed CMS into third place, with Pomona-Pitzer and Occidental College finishing ahead of them in first and second.
When it comes to the Stags, Goldhammer admits that they will have their work cut out for them, but says that “one thing about CMS Cross Country [is that] they are ready when it counts.”
CMS cross-country next competes in two separate races on Saturday, Oct. 14. A handful Stags and Athenas will make the voyage to pre-Nationals in St. Louis, Missouri, where they will race at 10 a.m., while others will remain closer to home, competing in the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational with their cross street rivals at 8 a.m..