The 2012 CMS cross country teams set some pretty high standards for the incoming teams to try to top. Both teams won SCIAC and West Region titles and had their best ever finishes at the NCAA Championships
The Athenas return their top three finishers from their third place nationals team with two of them earning All-American recognition. Senior Allison Barnwell (CMC) finished 33rd in Terre Haute while sophomore Bridget Blum (CMC), who had a spectacular year, finished 24th, and junior Sara Mostatabi (CMC), who traded off running second or third all year, placed 66th. Several other women will be vying for the top seven places including seniors Lisa Beem and Laura Sauvage, both of whom have competed at the national level before. Head Coach John Goldhammer, entering his 29th year at the helm of both programs, also has high hopes for several other returners and three incoming freshman that could be huge factors.
On the men's side, the Stags graduated three school record holders in track: Bennett Naden (HMC) Steeplechase, Rafer Dannenhauer (HMC) 5,000, and Brian Sutter (CMC) 10K, along with five other four-year leaders in the program. In addition to their conference and region titles, CMS also won the Pre-Nationals and then placed 11th at the NCAA Championships in Indiana last fall. Although the 2013 season would appear to be a rebuilding one, the coaching staff feels very comfortable with the returning group of athletes including defending West Region champion Zorg Loustalet (HMC) who was the first freshman to win the regional race in 24 years. He'll be supported by upperclassmen Sam Pitcavage (CMC), Justin Jones (HMC) and Jon and Colin Briskman (CMC). Several rising sophomores had very good track seasons and there could be at least three freshmen who break into the top seven this season as well.
Both teams return to Claremont on August 25. The first scheduled meet will be held in Santa Barbara on Saturday September 7. In what has become an alumni event, the meet features a four mile combined race versus the Warriors of Westmont College, followed by a 100+ person dodge ball competition on the sands of Ledbetter Beach.