The women's cross country team finished first at the NCAA West Regional on Saturday and won their second consecutive Region title and the 8th in the history of the program. The Stags ran their best race of the season and finished third, just seven points behind first. The women, ranked fourth nationally, scored 39 points to win the title by the largest margin in region history, 92 points over Willamette University. The men, ranked 31st, scored 83 points and were only seven points behind Colorado and Occidental Colleges which tied for first with 76.
The Athenas dominated the race from the starting gun. They had six runners in the top 15 for the entire race and finished with all six in the top 13 overall. Breanna Deutsch led the team with a third place finish and a personal best time of 21:37. Sara Mostatabi was the first freshman finisher in the race as she placed seventh with a personal best of 21:51. Allison Barnwell and Laura Sauvage were the top two sophomores as they finished eighth and 10th respectively. Barnwell ran a personal best of 21:53 while Sauvage ran her second best time of 22:00. Seniors Jennifer Tavé and Julia Rigby finished 11th and 13th respectively in 22:07 and 22:09 [PB]. All six runners earned All-Region honors for finishing in the top 35. Marnie Hogue ran in the top 25 for much of the race, but battled dehydration for the final kilometer and finished 56th.
Rafer Dannenhauer led the Stags with an inspired performance. He led the race in the fourth mile and finished second overall with a time of 24:59, a personal best by 27 seconds. His finish was the highest by a Stag since 2002. Bryan Chow finished sixth, three places better than his finish at the SCIAC Championships. He ran a personal best of 25:33. Brian Sutter finished 19th in 26:07 and earned All-Region honors for the third time. Alex Mauro had a clutch race for the Stags. He finished 24th overall, just one place lower than his SCIAC finish, and recorded a personal best by 23 seconds with a time of 26:17. Russell Page matched his SCIAC finish of 32nd and recorded his second fastest time ever of 26:26. Matt Cummins finished 49th in 26:55. Andrew Wordell lost a shoe during the first mile, bruised his foot trying to continue, but had to drop out during the third mile.
The Athenas automatically qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships which will take place November 19 in Winnecone, Wisconsin by virtue of finishing in the top two. The Stags received one of 16 at-large berths in the championship field. Both teams have competed at the NCAA Championships for three straight years. Last year, the Stags finished 19th and the Athenas finished 20th.