Claremont, Calif. - Junior Annie Lydens (Tokyo,
Japan) pulled away from the field down the homestretch to capture
the individual championship at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational
(pictured crossing finish line), setting an event record with a
time of 21:03.9.
Lydens' time was 6.5 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, Suzanne Cornwell of Cal State San Marcos, which won both the team championships. Pomona-Pitzer finished sixth in the team competition, behind San Marcos, Cal Poly Pomona, Westmont, Whitter and Occidental.
Lydens was in the front pack for most of the race, but held a two-stride lead heading into the final mile and then slowly pulled away from Cornwell for the individual title.
"It took me about a mile to settle in and really start to feel comfortable," said Lydens, who was the NCAA Division III West Region champion last year (and the ninth place finisher in the nationals). "There was a group of 10 runners at the front for the first half of the race, and as the pack started to thin out, I felt like I was in a good position. The other runner (Cornwell) up front with me had a really fast 5K time, so I knew she had some speed and I would just have to be patient."
Sophomore Claire Brickson (Madison, Wisc.) was the second-highest Sagehen finisher with a time of 23:06, putting her in 27th place. Senior Kayla Eland (Seattle, Wash.), junior Naomi Wagner (La Jolla, Calif.) and senior Leslie Canter (Austin, Texas) also scored for the Sagehens.
The Sagehens Men's Cross Country team ran a deliberately conservative race. The usual top four for Pomona-Pitzer: senior Anders Crabo (Bellingham, Wash.), senior Colin Flynn (Bellingham, Wash.), sophomore Alex Johann (Palo Alto, Calif.) and junior Alex Johnson (Seattle, Wash.), all finished between 27:00 and 27:03, well off their usual pace. Ryan Rosmarin (Huntington, N.Y.) was the top individual finisher for the Sagehens, the fifth different runner to finish first for the team this season, while Scott Humbarger (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) was second for Pomona-Pitzer.
Cal State San Marcos won the men's team competition, followed by Westmont and Occidental. Sam Hynes (unattached) won the individual competition, followed closely by Eric Kleinsasser of Occidental.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action in two weeks at the SCIAC Multi-Duals at La Miranda Park.