CMS teams nab record-breaking honors

CMS Athenas Cross Country pose on the winner's podium with their NCAA runner-up trophy.

CMS women’s cross country poses with the NCAA runner-up trophy and several individual awards.
Photo by Larry Radloff/D3photography

November 23, 2021

It was a huge weekend for CMS Athletics as three teams competed at nationals and finished in the top six in the country, with women’s cross country earning the NCAA runner-up trophy, its highest finish in program history, volleyball reaching the NCAA Semifinals and tying the program record for wins in a season (31), and men’s cross country earning a sixth-place finish.

The fall season is also not over yet, as the CMS men’s water polo team earned a bid to its national tournament with a 15-10 SCIAC semifinal win at Cal Lutheran on Friday. The Stags will compete at the USA Water Polo Division III Championships on Dec. 4-5.

Click the links below for full recaps. Congrats to all of our amazing Athenas and Stags!

Women’s cross country

Women’s cross country ended as runner-up on Saturday at the NCAA Division III Championships by the narrowest of margins, as defending champion Johns Hopkins barely held off a late surge from the Athenas to win by just two points, 130 to 132.

CMS had four runners earn All-America honors by finishing in the top 40, led by Meredith Bloss (HMC ’23) in 13th place, Natalie Bitetti ’24 in 16th, Riley Harmon (SC ’22) in 19th, and Emily Clarke (SC ’22) in 26th. Sophie Gitlin ’22, Angie Gushue ’25, and Laura Zimmer ’24 were also part of the seven-runner contingent that came home with the runner-up trophy.

The second-place finish passes the previous program high of third place, which was set by the 2012 team, and marked the sixth time that the Athenas have finished in the top 10.

 

Volleyball

CMS Athenas Volleyball Team line up in two rows in front of a net for a group photo with their NCAA Regional Championship trophy.
CMS volleyball, which battled back from a 2-0 deficit against Wartburg, with the NCAA Regional Championship trophy. Photo by Julie Drewes
CMS Athenas Voleyball Team come together for a team huddle on the court.
The team, pictured in the semifinals, finished its season with a best-ever 31-2 record, just one game short of the title match. Photo by Ricky Bassman

CMS volleyball advanced to the national semifinals for the second time in program history—along with the 2017 team which won the NCAA title.

The Athenas earned their way to nationals by winning a dramatic five-setter at Wartburg in the regional championship match, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win the fifth set in extra points. CMS then defeated Berry 3-1 in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Thursday to tie the program record for wins in a season, finishing with a best-ever 31-2 record after falling to Calvin in the semifinals.

Melanie Williams ’22 and Jenna Holmes ’24 earned second-team All-America honors for the Athenas. Georgia McGovern ’24 was an honorable mention All-America selection.

Head Coach Kurt Vlasich was also named the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year.

 

Men’s cross country

CMS Stags cross country team compete in the 2021 NCAA Championships.
Men’s cross country, including Will Kimball '22, finished strong at the NCAA Championships. Photo by Larry Radloff/D3photography

Men’s cross country added a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championships, marking the fourth top-10 finish in program history and second in a row, just one spot behind the program’s high-water mark of fifth place set in 2016.

The Stags had two All-Americans, Henry Pick (HMC ’23) in third place and Stevie Steinberg (HMC ’22) in 22nd place, who ran the two fastest times in CMS history over an 8K race. Kyril Van Schendel ’22, Will Kimball ’22 and Adam Wilkinson ’22 were also part of the seven-runner contingent from CMS, capping off their senior seasons with a top-10 team finish.

Jeremy Kniffin

Contact

Office of Public Affairs and Communications

400 N. Claremont Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711

Phone: (909) 621-8099
Email: publicaffairs@cmc.edu

Media inquiries: Gilien Silsby
Phone: (213) 500-8673
Email: gsilsby@cmc.edu