Thomas D'Anieri ‘20 picked the right time for his fastest career cross country race, handling the muddy conditions at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships to earn a third-place finish and All-America honors Nov. 23 at Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.
D'Anieri's final time of 24:25.2 marked the second-fastest 8K ever run by a CMS cross country athlete, and the fastest in 18 years. Only David Juiliano's 24:18.9 at the NCAA Championships in 2001 has ever been faster for anyone wearing a Stag uniform.
In addition, Juiliano's second-place finish at the NCAAs in 2001 is the only time a CMS men's cross country runner has ever finished higher at the NCAA Championships than D'Anieri's third-place finish. It was even more impressive given that D'Anieri did not run at the NCAA West Regionals on Nov. 16 while nursing an injury, meaning that he had not competed in the three weeks since winning the SCIAC Championship on Nov. 2, when he helped the Stags to the team title.
D'Anieri's efforts helped the CMS men to a sixth-place team finish at the NCAA Championships, the second-highest in program history behind the fifth-place finish of the 2015 team, and a big leap forward from last year's 29th place finish, when D'Anieri was unable to compete due to injury. D’Anieri graduates off this year’s team, but the Stags return their other top six runners who competed at nationals as they will try to build on this year’s strong performance next year. The Athenas, meanwhile, return all seven of their top runners, led by All-American Riley Harmon (SC ‘22), after finishing 20th at nationals and winning the SCIAC championship for the 10th year in a row.
In other news from fall sports over the weekend, the men’s water polo team used a comeback 12-11 win over Pomona-Pitzer in the SCIAC Semifinals on Nov. 22 to qualify for the first USA Water Polo Division III Championships, which will be held at Whittier Dec. 7-8. CMS trailed 7-2 after the first quarter and 9-4 at the half, but stormed back to win on a goal from Ethan Lewis with 37 seconds left, before falling to Whittier 13-12 in the championship game. CMS will face Johns Hopkins at Whittier on Dec. 7 in the semifinals of the inaugural USA Water Polo Division III Tournament, while MIT and Whittier meet in the other semifinal.
Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams had their NCAA Tournament runs come to a close in the Round of 16, but both teams put up impressive fights. The Athenas took a 1-0 lead on No. 3 Washington University in the second half on a goal from Katrina Ostrom ‘21 before falling 2-1 in overtime. The Stags, meanwhile, trailed Centre College 2-0 with 2:14 to go and came within inches of tying the game 3-3 in the last minute after Adam Singer ‘20 scored twice in a span of 45 seconds, but a tying shot missed wide of the left post and Centre sealed a 4-2 win on a breakaway.
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- Jeremy Kniffin