Cross Country Teams Sweep Region Titles
The men's and women's cross country teams both finished first at the NCAA West Regional on Saturday. The Athenas, ranked fourth nationally, won their third consecutive and ninth overall title in the history of the program while the Stags, ranked 10th, won their fifth overall title and first since 2009. This was the first time since 2001 that both teams won in the same year. CMS was the only team in Division III to sweep the region titles this year.
Racing at Oak Knoll Golf Course in Independence, Oregon, both teams dominated their respective races. The Stags scored 34 points, the best winning score since the region expanded to include the Northwest teams in 1998. They also won by the largest margin (34) during the same time period. The Athenas scored 40, a winning score that has only been bettered by prior CMS championship teams. They won by 54 points, a margin only surpassed by last year's team.
The Stags, who have not lost to a Division III team all season, were in control throughout the race as the team's four front runners of Zorg Loustalet, Bennett Naden, Brian Sutter and Rafer Dannenhauer were in the front pack for the entire race. With under 1000 meters remaining Loustalet and Naden moved to front and ran side by side all the way to the finish line which they crossed together. The official results had Loustalet in front 24:38.2-24:38.4 as he became the fourth Stag and first non-senior to win the Region title. Sutter finished fifth in 24:43.7 and Dannenhauer was seventh in 24:49.4 as CMS had four runners finish prior to any other team's second. Sam Pitcavage finished 20th in 25:24.7 and Justin Jones finished 22nd in 25:27.2 as both beat all the other teams' fifth runners and all, but two teams' third runner. All six runners earned All-Region honors by finishing in the top 35. Seventh runner Jacob Higle-Ralbovsky finished 36th, easily the top seventh runner in the race, while setting a personal best of 25:45.1. All seven CMS runners set PR's with the top four now sitting second, third, fifth and seventh on the CMS all-time list.
The Athenas were also in control of their race throughout as their three front runners of Bridget Blum, Allison Barnwell and Sara Mostatabi ran in third, fourth and fifth for almost the entire time including across the line. Blum ran 21:17.4, Barnwell 21:19.5 and Mostatabi 21:26.8 with all of the times among the best in region history. Aubrey Zimmerling and Marnie Hogue finished a very strong 13th and 15th and the only second runner from another team they did not both beat finished between them. Lisa Beem and Kate Crawford were impressive sixth and seventh finishers in 19th and 24th. Both beat every teams' fifth runner and all, but the second place team's third runner. All seven runners earned All-Region honors. Barnwell set a personal best as did Zimmerling (21:51.8), Hogue (21:52.2), Beem (22:03.9) and Crawford (22:18.3). The quintet now sit fourth, seventh, eighth, 11th and 16th on the CMS all-time list (Blum and Mostatabi are second and third with their best times set earlier this season).
Both teams automatically qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships which will take place November 17 in Terre Haute, Indiana by finishing in the top two. Both teams will be competing for the fifth straight year. Earlier this season, racing on the same course where the NCAA Championships will take place, the Stags won the Pre-National Invitational and the Athenas finished second in a field that featured several nationally ranked teams.