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Torrey Olson '09 and Women's Cross-Country Team Headed to NCAA Nationals

Update 12/01/08: The Pomona-Pitzer women’s cross country team finished 22nd in the national meet after entering it ranked 26th in the nation. Alicia Freese ’10 earned All-American honors, finishing 22nd with a 21:32 time in the 6,000-meter women’s race. She is only the second Pomona-Pitzer All American in the sport’s history, the first being Kelly Redfield '90 in 1991.

A total of 32 teams competed in the women’s meet, which was won by Middlebury.

Torrey Olson ’09, a member of the Pomona-Pitzer men’s cross-country team, and the Pomona-Pitzer women’s cross-country team are all headed to the NCAA National meet this coming weekend in Hanover, Indiana.

The women’s team took second place at the NCAA Division III West Region Championship meet on November 14. The top two teams of each of the eight Division III regions earn a spot to compete at the national meet. This will be the first time the women’s team has competed at nationals since 1982.

The Sagehens scored 89 points at the regional meet, missing the crown by just one point and coming in second to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Alicia Freese ’10 led Pomona-Pitzer with her third-place finish in 21:54—a strong showing after taking a month off due to injury. Anna Scharfen ’09 took 10th place, Maddy Kieselhorst ’09 took 11th, Rose Haag ’10 took 25th and Zoe Meyers ’10 took 40th. Freese, Scharfen, Kieselhorst and Haag earned All-Region honors.

“The team ran spectacularly,” says Women's Cross-Country Head Coach Kirk Reynolds. “We had talked as a squad about the opportunity and the possibility of doing this at regionals, but it meant a lot of things had to go right on race day--which they did. This season has been a dream. Everyone, even those not running at nationals, worked so hard this season."

The Pomona-Pitzer men’s cross-country team finished in 5th place at the NCAA West Region meet last weekend, improving upon last year’s 12th-place standing. The top seven individual runners in each region who are not already going to the nationals with their team also earn the right to compete, and having placed fifth out of 107 runners with a personal best time of 25:11 for the-eight kilometer race, Torrey Olson will be going to the national competition.

“Torrey has been our number one runner all season,” says Men’s Cross-Country Head Coach Tony Boston. “I attribute this to his tremendous work ethic and a dogged determination to succeed in all that he does.

"Torrey also serves as a co-captain on the squad. From our very first practices, he has provided tremendous leadership and guidance to our young team. All of the guys on the team look up to him and for good reason; he truly exemplifies the meaning of the Division III student-athlete. The athletics/academic balance that he maintains, his character, his leadership and his great displays of sportsmanship are all hallmarks of the Division III athlete.”

Photos by Curt Hawkinson