Men's Cross Country Headed to Nationals
PORTLAND, ORE. - Occidental men's cross country is not satisfied with a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship.
Today the Tigers competed against the best runners in the West Region, finishing second and earning a ticket to the NCAA National Championships. The women's team came up short of qualifying after placing fifth at the meet.
Kevin Chaves, in the home stretch of his senior season, is running past his opponents no matter the venue. After placing first at the SCIAC Championship meet two weeks ago, earning SCIAC Runner of the Year honors, Chaves continued along the same path. His time of 24:34.85 was faster than any other competitor.
All five of the Oxy scorers finished the 8K in the top 30. Twenty five seconds after Chaves clinched the top spot, Tigers teammate, Alex Ramon crossed the finish line at 24:59.35, for fourth place. Rounding out the Oxy scoring was Keith Blumenfeld (14th, 25:45.40), Galen Smith (24th, 26:07.45) and David Martinez (29th, 26:23.75).
Occidental College runners averaged 25:34.16, under three seconds behind West Regional champion Willamette University (25:32.73).
The female Tigers harriers were again led by sophomore Maddie Weissman who clocked in at 22:50.60, for 14th place. The next Tiger across the finish line was Grace Peck (23:10.70) followed closely by Denali Halsey (23:21.95). Rachely Keylon (23:59.75) and Caitlin Coall (24:24.40) also scored for Oxy.
The women averaged a time of 23:33.48, placing sixth in the region. The top two teams, Willamette University and the University of Puget Sound will represent the West at Nationals.
Two weeks ago the Tigers were competing against the SCIAC, today they competed against the West Region and two weeks from now the men will be back out on the course competing against the best runners in the Nation.
The NCAA National Championships will be held on Sat. Nov. 17 in Northfield, Minn. The races will begin at 11:00 a.m.