The CMS cross country teams ran great team races at the UC Riverside Invitational on Saturday despite temperatures that reached 90 degrees by the time the last of the four races finished.
The meet opened with the women's 6000m Invitational, where the Athenas set the bar high, placing fifth out of 16 very competitive teams. CMS won the Collegiate Trophy as the top non-Division I team and the results should improve them in the national rankings where they are currently ranked seventh. Freshman Bridget Blum [pictured right] (21:02) and sophomore Sara Mostatabi [pictured left] (21:06) led the Athenas by finishing 10th and 11th overall. Their times are the second and third fastest in CMS history and second and fourth fastest in SCIAC history. The other seven Athenas in the race all finished within an impressive 63-second spread. Senior Marnie Hogue flew down the chute to clock a 21:54 followed by junior Laura Savauge in 22:09 and junior Allison Barnwell in 22:13. Senior Aubrey Zimmerling ran 22:49, sophomore Kaitlyn Spees 22:53, senior Laura Wyatt 22:56 and sophomore Taia Wu 22:57. All nine times are among the top-25 in CMS history and personal bests were set by Blum, Mostatabi, Hogue, Spees, Wyatt and Wu. Spees and Wu were especially impressive as both skipped the 23-minute range improving their bests from over 24 to the 22's.
The men's 8000m Invitational was a fiercely competitive race as well, and the Stags responded by doing what they do best: running fast. They took sixth place out of 19 teams (UC Santa Barbara won the meet) and were three places ahead of Pomona-Pitzer. The Stags, ranked 22nd nationally, were the second non-Division I team behind only NAIA #2 Cal State San Marcos. Senior Brian Sutter led the Stags, placing 33rd overall with a time of 25:23. CMS had a tight pack as the next five finishers were separated by just 23 seconds. Senior Rafer Dannenhauer was 38th place in 25:32, junior Colin Briskman came in 42nd in 25:36, freshman Zorg Loustalet was 44th in 25:38, senior Bennett Naden was 54th in 25:48 and senior Quinn Chasan was 58th in 25:55. Junior Jon Briskman ran 26:16, sophomore Justin Jones 26:34 and sophomore Alex Mauro 27:28. Throughout the race, the Stags packed together very well. Says Dannenhauer, "I was really happy about our pack. For almost the entire race the top five were all running together, which is something we've been trying to do for years. It really helped us along and kept us honest in the last two miles when it gets tough." Personal bests were set by both Briskman brothers, Loustalet and Naden with Colin Briskman and Loustalet moving into the top-25 in CMS history.
By the time the women's 5000m Open was up, the sun was blazing high overhead. They raced hard to land a third place finish out of 18 teams, ahead of the six other SCIAC teams in the race including five that did not have any runners in the Invitational race. Senior Kate Crawford had her best ever cross country race finishing 20th overall in 18:49. The Athenas had two nice packs. Junior Lisa Beem led the first with a time of 18:56 followed by freshman Meghan Fuelling (19:01) and senior Alisse Baumgarten (19:09). Sophomore Danielle Knott led the next in 19:31 followed by junior Becca Schell (19:32), junior Allison Rigby (19:40), junior Meg O'Keefe (19:43) and freshman Nicki Maslan (19:45). Personal bests were set by Beem, Fuelling, Baumgarten, Schell and O'Keefe.
The men's Open 8000m was run under very hot conditions, but CMS endured the best and finished first overall. Like the Athenas in the open race, the Stags also finished ahead of the six other SCIAC teams in the race including four that did not have any runners in the Invitational race. Sophomore Sam Pitcavage led the Stags with a time of 26:34 and 20th place finish. Aside from the freshmen, who were running in 8K for the first time, there were no personal bests set due to the heat, but nine other Stags finished under 29:00. They included freshman Evan Molineux (26:56), freshman Jack Wilson (27:12), junior Dan Maxwell (27:29), freshman Bob Owlett (27:38), senior Brian Conroy (28:06), junior Lucas Van Houten (28:14), freshman Joel Kirk (28:16), freshman Jacob Higle-Ralbovsky (28:22), freshman Alec Dunton (28:31) and freshman Adam Schiller (28:58).
CMS will next race on Saturday, September 29. The top 10 men and women will compete at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto while the rest of the very deep team will compete across the street at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational.