Pomona College Magazine
Volume 41. No. 2.
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Going the distance

An All-American runner and a Coach of the Year lead Pomona's Cross Country team to Nationals.

With just over a mile remaining in the 2004 NCAA Division III National Championship cross
country race, Crosby Freeman ’06 is thrilled with his position in the front pack of eight
runners. With his racing shoes flashing rhythmically through the grass, Freeman breathes
deeply, quickens his legs and arms, and grinds toward the finish line.

After three and a half miles on this gray, 40-degree November day at Whitetail Golf Course
in Colfax, Wis., Freeman is hoping this last stretch of the course will fly by, leading
his team to a strong finish in the standings and placing him higher at Nationals than any
Sagehen before him.

Freeman of Piedmont, Calif., leans into a grassy uphill. The junior has led the team ever
since his frosh year, when he was SCIAC Conference runner-up, qualified to Nationals and
earned All-American honors with his 31st place finish at Nationals. In 2003, Freeman won
the conference meet and Runner of the Year honors, plus he led the Sagehen men’s squad to
its first conference team title since 1982. That group, however, missed a team berth to
Nationals by one spot. Freeman qualified individually to Nationals, but placed 80th.

This year, under long-time Head Coach Pat Mulcahy ’66, the team had everyone back with
hopes of being even better. In cross country, teams thrive on group cohesiveness. Unlike
track, with specialty distances of 800, 1,500, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters, everyone in
cross country trains for the same 8,000-meter (5-mile) race distance. Plus, no sprinting,
jumping and throwing groups pull a coach in different directions. Cross country practices
are focused affairs, team bonds are especially tight, and any major team goal can be a
compelling, demanding imperative: get out and run.

“I didn’t talk it up that much,” said Mulcahy, who has taken teams to Nationals seven
times, “but the team did, which I did not realize during the year. I thought it was only
an outside chance, at best.”

Going undefeated in SCIAC dual meets and winning the conference championship meet—in a
close, seven–point victory over Occidental College—showed the squad that a national berth
was possible. “We have to use all the races to get better,” Mulcahy told the team.

There was still the Regional race. With Willamette University—ranked 8th nationally—the
hands-down favorite, the battle for the second and final team berth looked to come down to
Pomona-Pitzer and University of Puget Sound, last year’s runner-up and qualifier for
Nationals.

Mulcahy recalls the pre-race thinking: “We talked about where we had to place to beat
Puget Sound, and it basically came down to our No. 4 and No. 5 guys had to beat their No.
3, 4 and 5 guys.”

On a warm, humid Southern California morning, the Sagehens get out well after the starting
gun for the regional race at Prado Park in Chino. Midway through the race, Pomona-Pitzer’s
top five scorers are running strongly and beginning to look for their Puget Sound rivals.

Freeman finishes 3rd individually in what he terms a “disappointing” race, while teammates
Will Leer ’07 (8th), Golden Krishna ’05 (13th), Sean McCarron ’07 (22nd) and Nate DeFelice
’05 (23rd) round out the scoring top five. The finishers stagger out of the chute and gasp
for air with their hands on their knees or lie benumbed and steaming on the grass. Final
scores are announced and Willamette wins, as expected. By a mere four points, Pomona-Pitzer edges Puget Sound for the final team berth to Nationals. Although exhausted, the Sagehens gather with smiles, high-fives and hugs.

Four days later the squad is on a plane headed to Nationals, previewing the course and
attending the athletes’ banquet, where Mulcahy is named the West Region Men’s Coach of the Year.

“The reason I even had a chance to win it is because they did a great job,” said Mulcahy.
“I’ve got to keep it in perspective. There are times I think I did a better coaching job
and had better teams, but didn’t win it.”

Mulcahy’s training has worked well for Freeman. “He’s not there to hold your hand through
it and baby the runners,” explains Freeman. “He knows that if you want to be good, he can
take you there. All you have to do is listen to what he tells you to do.”

Saturday morning the team peels off sweats and stands on the starting line, bouncing in
the chill and blowing into cupped hands. Teams and individuals—215 runners total—stream
off the line at the gun. “There are thousands of people there, and you don’t get that in a
normal cross country meet,” said Mulcahy. “People are screaming all the way alongside the
course. The neatest thing is to hear the (crowd’s) roar on another part of the course and
to know the runners are coming.”

Pomona-Pitzer Men's Cross Country NCAA All-Americans Runners:


1977: Gerry Harnett ’79
1978: Gerry Harnett ’79
1999: Adam Boardman ’01
2002: Crosby Freeman ’06
2004: Crosby Freeman ’06

Sagehen Roundup

Fall 2004
Women’s Cross Country (4-3 SCIAC, 4-3 overall)
After placing fourth in the SCIAC Multi-Dual meet, the team took third in the SCIAC Championships. Amy Rapp ’06 earned All-SCIAC First Team honors for the third year in a row. Kira Donnelly ’08 and Ann Prouty ’05 were All-SCIAC Second Team.

Football (3-3 SCIAC, 4-5 overall)
Anchored by the best defense in SCIAC, the Sagehens claimed victories over Cal Lutheran, Redlands and rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The win over Redlands was the first since 1986 (13 games). The game versus CMS returned the Peace Pipe to Pomona-Pitzer.

Men’s Soccer (12-2-1 SCIAC, 13-5-1 overall)
The team won its first SCIAC title since 1996 behind goalkeeper Dan Bendett (Pitzer ’06), who was named All-SCIAC First Team. Alex Pickrell ’05 and Scott Coleman ’05 were named to the NSCAA/Adidas Men’s Scholar All-West Region Team. Pickrell was also named to the NSCAA/Adidas Men’s College Scholar All-America Team. Coleman was named the SCIAC Male Soccer Player of the Year.

Women’s Soccer (7-2-3 SCIAC, 8-5-4 overall)
The Sagehens took second place in the conference and were ranked No. 7 in the West Region. They received an NSCAA/Adidas Women’s College Team Academic Award, recognizing the team’s cumulative 3.5 GPA. Three players earned All-West Region honors—with Lauren Denny ’06 named to the first team and Kate Walker ’07 and Ashley Hovey ’06 on the second. Five players were named all-SCIAC, with forward Anna Renery ’06 and Denny on the first-team and Walker, Hovey and midfielder Lily Muldoon ’07 on the second.

Volleyball (7-7 SCIAC, 18-12 overall)
En route to the Amherst Tournament title, the team defeated Middlebury, Wesleyan, Muhlenberg and host Amherst. Katherine Hopkins ’05 was named tournament MVP and continued to excel in conference play, garnering a second team All-SCIAC mention.

Men’s Water Polo (4-3 SCIAC, 15-15 overall)
The team finished third in the conference. With strong play from Tim Brown ’07 and Ben Cooper ’07, the Sagehens notched SCIAC wins over rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Occidental and Cal Lutheran.

Winter 2004-05
Men’s Basketball (12-2 SCIAC, 17-9 overall)
Anchored by Kamau Norman-Terrence ’05, Alex Lloyd ’06, David Knowles (Pitzer ’07), and Chaz Turner ’07, the Sagehens won their second consecutive conference championship, again advancing to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. All Conference Honors: Player of the Year, Alex Lloyd ’06; First Team, Tom Hollo ’06; and Second Team, Kamau Norman-Terrence ’05.

Women’s Basketball (4-10 SCIAC, 11-14 overall)
Caroline Crocker ’06 and Alana Casner ’07 were both named to the all-conference second team.

Women’s Swimming and Diving (5-2 SCIAC)
All Conference Honors: Laura Condon ’08, 100/200-yard freestyle; Lucy Keller ’05, 500/1650-yard freestyle; and Christine Bell ’08, 100/200-yard breaststroke.

Men’s Swimming and Diving (4-3 SCIAC)
All Conference Honors: Mike Song ’08, 50-yard freestyle; Andy Vonasch ’06, 200-yard breaststroke; Nick Douglas ’07, 100/200-yard butterfly; and P.C. Fleming ’05, 400-yard individual medley.
 
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