By Hayden Cogswell

Both the men’s and women’s Cross-Country teams took home the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference championship last weekend, capping off unforgettable seasons for both squads. 

Photo Courtesy of Cross Country Facebook Page

The recent snowstorm that hit the Springs meant that before the starting gun was fired, a lot of work was needed to prepare the course.

 “I know that our coaches spent a few days just shoveling snow, and there were a few guys from the lacrosse team also out there helping,” Alexia Preston ’21 said. “A lot of effort went into making it a fair and safe course, and in terms of the athletes we got lucky and just had to focus on training and resting up before the race.”

The hard work paid off, as the women ran their way to their first SCAC title since 2016, powered by SCAC newcomer of the year, Emily Dwyer ’22 who finished second overall. Dwyer completed the 6K with a total time of 23 minutes, 28 seconds, and was just 33 seconds behind the overall winner.  

“Emily had a totally fantastic performance. She’s grown so much this season since joining the team and constantly inspires us all, we fed off her energy all day,” Preston said. “Claire Tobin [’20] also had a fantastic day and really performed for us, she really helped power a lot of us to a great race.”

While Dwyer was the standout runner of the day, the other Tigers pulled their weight, with four other CC runners placing within the top 10. Preston herself finished fifth overall with a time of 23 minutes, 47 seconds, followed by Na’ama Nevo ’23 in sixth, Clare Quinn ’23 in eighth, and Tobin rounding out the top Tigers in ninth place. 

“Going into it, we knew it would be a challenge to capture the title, especially having a few girls injured,” Preston said. “It feels epic to have surprised some folks and won, but honestly the teamwork and positivity is what made the day what it was.”

Photo Courtesy of Cross Country Facebook Page

The men’s team was powered to a title by the conference runner of the year, Tony Calderon ’20, who led the entirety of the race. His time of 25 minutes and 27 seconds in the 8K was enough to finish top of the pack and lead CC to a first place finish. Following closely behind Calderon was Max Blackburn ’20, who finished just over 20 seconds behind. 

Already a dominating performance, the Tigers pushed their advantage with four more runners rounding out the top ten. Jack Williams ’20 finished fifth, Sam Rodriguez ’22 sixth, Josh Fry ’22 seventh, and Paul Olsen ’21 eighth. Additionally, Will Foster ’23 finished fifteenth overall and was awarded SCAC newcomer of the year. 

“Tony and Jack both had standout performances,” Olsen said. “But the entire team raced really aggressively and had strong finishes.”

With a final point total of 21, CC finished the day an impressive 30 points above defending champions Trinity University.  

“It feels really great to reclaim the SCAC title. The seniors this year had won it when they were freshmen and it’s awesome to bring it back for their last year,” Olson continued. “We’ve put a lot of work in over the past few months and it’s incredible to see it pay off.”

Both teams have seven runners now looking ahead to regionals. The Tigers will look to remain healthy and continue training hard for a shot at qualifying for nationals.  

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