The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's cross-country team showed its depth last Saturday in taking first place in the 36th annual Biola Invitational at La Mirada Regional Park.
Running against Division I powers USC, Cal State Fullerton and the University of San Diego, along with the Asics Track West club, the Division III Athenas ran away with the title with 44 points, even though they had nobody among the top four finishers.
Louise Tench was the top Claremont runner with a fifth-place finish in 19 minutes 1.6 seconds. She was followed by teammates Jan Stuart, Jen Davis, Shoshana Ziblatt and Amy Ward, who all finished within a minute of Tench in sixth, seventh, 11th and 15th places, respectively.
"We're usually pretty good, but so far this has been a really special year," said Coach John Goldhammer, in his 14th season at Claremont. "To say that we're running well would be a fair statement.
"We've battled both USC and Asics West before and lost at UC Riverside. So to beat them both and to do it on the same course where we will run our conference championships was very important."
The Athenas, whose third-best runner, Sarah Gerard, missed the meet because of another commitment, have been led by Tench throughout the season, but Stuart is the defending conference and regional champion.
"We have a strong group of runners that are pretty close," said Goldhammer, whose team swept the first five places ahead of Chapman, Biola and Redlands in the NAIA Division portion of the meet. "Our goal is to win our conference and regional meets and place in the top 10 nationally."
The Stags also did well in the men's division, finishing second to Asics Track West, which had five of the first six finishers.
Matt Newman finished seventh overall but second among collegiate runners in 26:22.7. Biola's Trevor Sybert finished behind Newman in the NAIA invitational division race, which Claremont easily won with 24 points.
Jacques Sallberg of Cal State Los Angeles did not run last weekend, but the junior cross-country runner proved to be an athlete to watch two weeks ago by winning the men's open division at the Stanford Invitational.
Sallberg, who transferred from Glendale College, has impressed Coach Kevin McCarthy all season with his ability to run with the best, and his time of 25:24 for 8,000 meters at Stanford put him among the top collegiate runners on the West Coast.
"He is a talented runner who tends to run with his competition," said McCarthy, who has been at CSLA for four seasons. "He's really tough. In fact, his time would have placed him in the top 15 if he had run in the Stanford Invitational division and that's good."
On Saturday, Sallberg will run in the San Luis Obispo Invitational against the top Division I runners from California, Santa Barbara and Fresno State.
With La Verne and Redlands, the top two football teams in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, idle last weekend, Cal Lutheran stepped up and won its first game of the season, a 21-14 victory over Occidental.
After taking a 21-0 lead, Cal Lutheran needed cornerback Chad Valousky's third interception of the game to save the victory.
Fredrik Nanhead, a freshman tailback from Sweden who has been in the United States for a month, was the offensive star for the Kingsmen with 164 yards in 21 carries, including a 72-yard touchdown run.
The 45-game unbeaten streak by UC San Diego women's soccer team ended last Sunday with a 1-0 loss to Cal State San Bernardino. San Diego's previous loss in a regular-season game was Oct. 7, 1992. The Tritons were 40-0-5 during the streak. San Bernardino (8-1-1) scored on a 56th minute penalty kick by Jamie Caffrey.
Biola's women's volleyball team is ranked 13th in the NAIA poll with a 13-3 record, but will be without its top player, Sarah Rameson, for the rest of the season because of a knee injury. Rameson, a junior outside hitter, was ranked among the nation's leaders in averaging 5.3 kills a game.
Arthur Tombakian of Cal State Los Angeles earned the right to play in this week's Rolex National tennis tournament at Boca Raton, Fla., after winning an intercollegiate regional tournament at Cal Poly Pomona last week. Tombakian, who sat out most of last season because of a knee injury, defeated top-seeded Mike Burgess of Cal Poly Pomona, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, in the championship match. Tombakian and CSLA teammate Antti Pohjonen lost in the doubles final to Andrew Csordas and Jonathan Chan of UC Davis, 6-4, 7-5.