CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Women's Cross Country team exceeded pre-meet expectatations Saturday at the NCAA Division III West Regional Cross Country meet hosted by Occidental College on Pomona-Pitzer's own home course. The Sagehens finished in sixth place overall with a score of 218. CMS won the West Region with 58 points followed by Whitworth with 109, Linfield at 129, Colorado College at 133 and Occidental in fifth at 152.
"Today we saw amazing runs from everyone on the team", said head coach Emma DeLira. "Going into the meet, we discussed starting out fast and positioning ourselves well so that we could finish higher than what was projected on paper. As a team, we were seeded 8th and our goal was to finish higher than 8th. We finished 6th which is fantastic for a young team that was led by two sophomores. Everyone ran hard and we are very proud of the ladies."
The Sagehens were led by Lauren Hamilton and Helen Guo who both finished inside the top-10. Hamilton took second overall in the west with a time of 21:28, which goes down as the third fastest time in program history on the Sagehens' home course. Guo took 10th place overall with a time of 22:09, which is the fifth fastest time in program history on the home course. With their finishes in the West Regional, both Hamilton and Gup qualified for the National Championship Meet and are the 15th and 16th individual women to qualify for Nationals.
"Lauren and Helen had important individual goals, to qualify for Nationals," said DeLira. "Lauren knew she needed to start out fast and race with the leaders, which she did. As for Helen, she needed to run her best race to place herself in the top 10. Both did exactly what they needed to do and have their flights booked for Nationals. Overall, I am very proud of everyone today and excited to see Lauren and Helen race next week."
Kristen Hernandez finished in 58th place overall for the Sagehens with a time of 24:11.07 while Maddie Bennet took 71st overall with a time of 24:34.49. Katie Li rounded out the top-five for the Sagehens with her 77th place finish at 24:49.12.
The Sagehens will next send Hamilton and Guo to run in the NCAA National Championship meet at Principia College on Saturday, November 18th at 11:00 a.m.