Leary, Tigers Finish Second in SCIAC

Leary, Tigers Finish Second in SCIAC

LOS ANGELES — Running a man down, the Occidental men's cross country team stepped up to finish second at the SCIAC Championship meet at Prado Park on Saturday.

The Tigers finish second in the overall conference standings.

With 2016 SCIAC track and field 10k champion Austin Sankaran out with an injury, Keenan Leary and crew picked up the slack, putting all five scorers in the top 20 overall for All-SCIAC honors.

Leary finished an impressive fourth overall at 26:00.61, earning First Team All-SCIAC honors for placing in the top 10, along with Tristan Santos who was 10th at 26:24.50.

Leary was also named the 2017 Ray Adkinson Award winner, an annual accolade to a senior athlete who best exemplifies the conference's high ideals during his or her association with SCIAC cross country. These awards are named after the initial conference champions in SCIAC Cross Country history with Ray Adkinson (Pomona-Pitzer) winning the initial men's SCIAC title in 1915 and Celia Peterson (Caltech) winning the initial women's SCIAC title in 1977. 

Thomas Robertson was 15th at 26:43.91, Brody Barkan was 19th at 26:49.26 and Jovani Barajas was 20th at 26:52.05. All three men were named Second Team All-SCIAC.

Sankaran, who will be back for the West Region Championship on Nov. 11, usually runs up front with Leary in matching stunner shades as Oxy's No. 1 or No. 2.

"The Oxy men stepped up big time in the absence of one of our top runners," Oxy head coach Rob Bartlett said. "Everyone on our team overperformed today."

Senior team captain Andrew Jack was also impressive as the sixth Tiger to cross in 32nd overall at 27:18.92 in just his third race back from an injury.

No. 5 Pomona-Pitzer won the meet.

Oxy has the West Region Championships on its calendar next on Nov. 11. The Tigers can go back to the NCAA Championship with a top two finish as an automatic qualifier or will have a shot at an at-large bid if they finish third.

The Tigers are currently ranked No. 20 in the country. 

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