CMS Men Hold off Oxy for Fourth Straight Title

CMS Men Hold off Oxy for Fourth Straight Title

LOS ANGELES (Apr. 30, 2016) – Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges held off Occidental College to claim their fourth straight title at the 2016 SCIAC Track & Field Championships, hosted by Caltech.

The Stags scratched out just over 200 points (204) to edge out the Tigers (179), which had gone undefeated in the regular season dual-meet schedule.  Pomona-Pitzer tallied 130 points to finish in third place, while the University of La Verne (117) finished a close fourth.  The University of Redlands (57) placed fifth, followed by California Lutheran University (43) in sixth, Whittier College (27) in seventh, Chapman University (15) in eighth and Caltech (eight) in ninth.

A sweep of the 1500-meter run got things going for CMS and the Stags scored at least one competitor in all but two events, including seven with two or more scorers.  Individual titles in the aforementioned 1500 as well as high jump and triple jump carried the Stags over the top despite Oxy's five individual titles in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 400 hurdles and 4x400 relay.  The Tigers also picked up a key 1-2 finish in the 200m, scored two or more competitors in seven events and did not fail to score in a single event.  Pomona-Pitzer also cracked the top ranks with four individual titles, in the 110 hurdles, 800m, 5k and javelin throw.

4x100 relay: The Leopards backed up their top billing with a blazing 40.85, just .02 off the top time run in Division III this season.  Oxy and Redlands held position in second and third, although CMS came within the narrowest of margins (.01) of making the podium.

1500: The CMS trio of Evan Molineux (3:52.25), Joshua Sealand and Kevin Huang formed a clear top three, beating out the rest of the field by almost three full seconds.  After finishing as runner-up to Sealand in 2015, Molineux swapped spots with the junior in his final year.

110 hurdles: The Sagehens' rookie duo of Marcus Polk (14.64) and Cal Neikirk took the top spots, with the latter beating out #2 qualifier Afari La-Anyane of Redlands.

400: Jeh Johnson clocked a 47.80 to beat out La Verne's Josh Francis and teammate Gabriel Barrett-Jackson, who qualified for finals with the seventh-rated time but had entered as the #2 seed. 

100: Redlands senior Joey Colucci once again left the SCIAC Championships having run the conference's fastest time of the season but without a title to show for it, as Oxy's Hugh Pegan pulled the upset while CMS rookie Corbin Betherum edged out another Bulldog in Myles Speegle for the final spot on the podium.

800: Unsurprisingly, #1 seed Paul Messana (Pomona-Pitzer) turned it on in the finals to claim the title with relative ease, even running a second slower than his season best at 1:52.69 as Molineux (CMS) and Nicholas Vucovich (Pomona-Pitzer) joined him on the podium.

400 hurdles: Oxy's Jesse Wong dropped over a second to win in 53.19 over a pair of rookies in Nick Burchett (Redlands) and Neikirk (Pomona-Pitzer)

200: In one of the most anticipated races of the day, top-seeded Oxy duo Pegan and Johnson  swapped positions, with the former getting the win while the latter blew past La Verne's Francis in the final 100 to take second.

5000: SCIAC record-holder John Fowler (Pomona-Pitzer) completed his cross-country and 5k double, besting a pair of Stags in Zorg Loustalet and Sealand.

4x400: The expected top three of Oxy, La Verne and CMS held, although Pomona-Pitzer recorded a near-four-second drop to make a race of it for the final spot on the podium.

Javelin: Calvin Aylward (Pomona-Pitzer) crushed the field with an opening throw of 58.22m/191', while Adam Hilborn (CMS) moved up from fourth to second and Michael Burciaga-Ellis (Whittier) dropped back a spot but stayed on the podium in third.

Shot put: Michael Bassette (Cal Lutheran) cleared 50 feet on his first throw and fortunately did not need another as he fouled on the final five but took first place (15.65m/51'0 ¾").  Chris Gura (La Verne) and Andrew Clarey (Oxy) rounded out the podium.

High jump: Cam Van (CMS) outlasted top Oxy foes Taylor Walton and Austin DeWitz before reaching two meters, then cleared an additional height at 2.02m/6'7 ½" before bowing out at 2.04m.  DeWitz would miss the podium entirely, however, as Jacob Pavlovics (La Verne) cracked the top-3 and emerged from the three-way tiebreaker for third at 1.92m by virtue of having the fewest misses.

Triple jump: Van (CMS) doubled up just an hour later with a title-winning final leap of 14.53m/47'8", narrowly defeating other podium favorites Jacob Lopez (La Verne) and Davis Catolico (CMS).