Athenas Third, Stags 11th At NCAA Championships
The women's cross country team finished third and the men's team finished 11th at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on Saturday. Both results were the best in program history. The teams combined finish of 14 was the best of any of the 16 programs that had both their men's and women's teams competing in the meet.
The Stags scored 329 points, just six points behind tenth and 14 behind ninth. The point total is almost 100 less than their previous low in five appearances since the championship field expanded to 32 teams in 2006. The eleventh place finish is an all-time program best and also the best finish by a West Region team since the field expansion. Rafer Dannenhauer led not only the Stags with a 38th place finish, but he was also the first finisher from the West Region for the second straight year. His time of 25:08.3 was over a minute faster than he ran on this course earlier this season at the Pre-National Invitational. Zorg Loustalet was second for the Stags and the West finishing in 59th with a time of 25:24.2. He was also the fourth highest freshman finisher in the race. Brian Sutter was 79th in 25:33.4, Bennett Naden was 108th in 25:46.0, Sam Pitcavage was 169th in 26:10.9, Justin Jones was 181st in 26:15.0 and Colin Briskman was 217th in 26:33.5. The five scorers had team point totals of 27, 43, 58, 76 and 125.
The Athenas scored 233 points, just 12 points behind second, while bettering their pre-race national ranking of fourth. This was the fourth top five finish for CMS and second in a row as they finished fourth last year. Since the NCAA women's field expanded to 21 teams in 1993 (it expanded again to 24 in 1999 and to 32 in 2006), CMS is the only West Region team to finish in the top five. CMS is the only West Region team, men or women, to earn a team trophy since 1983 and we have now earned three.
For the fourth time in program history, two Athenas earned All-American honors in the same race. Bridget Blum finished 24th in 21:48.3 and Allison Barnwell finished 33rd in 21:56.6. Sara Mostatabi was 66th in 22:30.8, Marnie Hogue was 84th in 22:36.8, Aubrey Zimmerling was 144th in 23:02.6, Kate Crawford was 204th in 23:29.4 and Lisa Beem was 218th in 23:39.0. The five scores had team point totals of 13, 20, 43, 56 and 101. The team's depth was their strength all season and it showed again in this race. The Athenas had the 11th number one among the placing teams, the sixth number two, the fifth number three, the best fourth, the fourth fifth, the sixth sixth and fifth seventh runner.
Blum and Barnwell are the 12th and 13th Athenas to earn NCAA All-American honors and CMS is tied for ninth among all teams nationally and first in the West Region with 20 All-Americans.