CLAREMONT, CA . – The Pomona-Pitzer Men's Cross Country program embark their quest to repeat as SCIAC Champions with a tri-meet this Saturday with La Verne and Occidental College. After the SCIAC eliminated the dual-meet format, the Sagehens are eager to seize the opportunity to race against tough schools across the country and step foot on the national stage again.
The Sagehens are ranked No. 4 in the nation by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the highest ranking in program history. Their last highest ranking was fifth during last season.
"As a team we have some high expectations coming into this season. I believe we can repeat as SCIAC Champions," said Head Coach Jordan Carpenter. "We finished in the top-10 two of the past three years and have our sights set on a finish in the top-4 in the NCAA meet. As long as we stick to our training, stay healthy all season, and show up on meet day, I think we will be in the mix."
Last season was a huge success for the Sagehens as they captured their 12th conference title, their first since 2005 as they won the championship meet 32 points ahead of second-place Occidental College and saw four runners finish within the top-10 and seven in the top-15. Andy Reischling took first place overall and was the SCIAC Final meet champion and the Sagehens saw eight runners make the All-SCIAC team. The Sagehens went on to win the NCAA West Regional meet and then took sixth in the NCAA National Championship.
2017 SCIAC Athlete of the Year Andy Reischling is back in the blue and orange, ready to lead the Hens to a repeat title. The senior is coming off an outstanding season in which he set the course record at La Mirada Park with a time of 25:22.86 and later won the NCAA West Regional at 25:04.04. Four other All-SCIAC runners will be returning to the team this year, including Owen Woo, Carter Stripp, Hugo Ward, and Julian DeGroot-Lutzner. Reischling, Stripp, and DeGroot-Lutzer competed in the NCAA last season and anticipate making a return to the grand stage.
The following freshmen will be racing for the Sagehens this season, all of whom can make an instant impact to the team in their pursuit for the National Championship.
- Oliver Chang
- Joe Hesse-Withbroe
- Liam Jones
- Owen Keiser
- Paul McKinley
- Dante Paszkeicz
- Ethan Widlansky
- Noah Williams
Our team is really competitive with each other," said Coach Carpenter. "Everyone knows they need to work hard in order to make the National Championship roster. We have a lot of guys who believe they are good enough to race at the NCAA Championship."
"Nevertheless, it's a great team atmosphere and not cutthroat," Coach Carpenter added. "This team is supportive and every one of them can be happy for one another. We have a team culture where we have a full team of 28 guys who are motivated and want see how good they can be."
9/29 Sacramento XC Challenge @ Sacramento, CA at TBA
10/13 DIII Pre-Nats @ Oshkosh, WI at 11:00am
10/27 SCIAC Championship @ Prado Park at 9:00 a.m.
11/10 NCAA West Regional @ Spokane, WA at 10:00 a.m.
11/17 NCAA Championship @ Oshkosh, WI at 11:00 a.m.
For more information about the schedule, check out the preview here