Written by Coach Goldhammer
As we head into my 33rd SCIAC Cross Country season, hopes are high, but we as a team have a lot to overcome after graduating a great group of seniors, both men and women. This year will start with the annual Nationball Classic in Santa Barbara on Saturday, Sept. 3, our unofficial alumni race. As usual we will have the Great Nationball game following the race and our 50-pizza feast. All are welcome. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. from just south of the Santa Barbara Pier at Cabrillo Beach.
Later on this season, our SCIAC meets are on Oct. 1 at La Mirada Park, for the dual meets, and the Championships will be at Prado Park in Chino again, on Oct. 29. For those back east, CMS will be in Connecticut on Oct. 15 at the Connecticut College Invite in Groton, Conn. The first race goes off at 11 a.m. On Nov. 12 we will be up in Salem, Ore. for the West Regional meet, then if things work out like I hope, we will be traveling back to Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Ky. for the NCAA Championships.
Now the Preview:
Athenas: The women are in far better shape concerning returners. Only one senior who ran at the NCAA Championship last year graduated, but it's hard to lose a two-time All-American. So here we start off as defending SCIAC champions. We placed 13th at the NCAA Championships with numbers 2-8 returning this season: Our number 2 runner last year was, now senior, Jen Lehr (22:04 - 6k). I'm seeing Jen as the team leader, but I see her staying at our number 2 runner as junior Bryn McKillop (22:15) has had a great summer, running 37-flat for a 10k time trial earlier this month. Bryn ran her PR at the NCAA meet last year as she was our number 2 runner while placing 83rd in Oshkosh last November. Roselyn Cantu (22:19) seems to start slow but has run well the last two years from the SCIAC meet on. I'm betting on the same thing happening this year. Caroline Willian (22:35) is our team leader on the CMC campus, although she went abroad last semester and isn't in the same shape she has been in the past, she is one tough cookie. Carmen Mejia (22:50) is a two-time All-American in track and the school record holder in the 800m (2:09.30). She is capable of running as our number 2 but has yet to buy-in and believe it. Although we have a pretty big group of freshman women this fall, at this point only one appears to be able to potentially break into the top-7 and that is Miranda Foster who is from Hellgate High School in Montana and has a 17:40 for a 3-mile cross country time to her credit and has done a good job this summer with her training.
Stags: The Stags are the defending SCIAC and Western Region champs, and are coming off their best place ever at the NCAA Championships, seventh. We have some mighty shoes to fill with the departure of four of the seven guys who ran in Oshkosh last fall, including 3-time All-American and team captain, Zorg Loustalet. The returners have some talent but have been inconsistent in there racing. Top returners time-wise are Garrett Ryan (24:44) and Kyle Lund (24:44). Josh Sealand (25:14), the two-time track 1500 meter All-American looks like he might focus and compete this year and if that's the case, he has also run 14:23 for the 5K in track. Kevin Huang (25:33) and Nico Banks (25:35) and Jesse Joseph (25:41) also return. We add two freshmen to the mix this year if they adapt to CMC and HMC, those being Thomas D'Anieri from Wellesley Mass. And Max Denning who ran 14:47 over a very fast 3-mile course in Illinois. D'Anieri set several course records last fall and ended track by running 9:03 in the 2-mile.