Pomona-Pitzer athletes sweep SCIAC accolades

Junior Annie Lydens was named the SCIAC Female Athlete of the Week for the third time this season while sophomore forward Jake Klewer of the men’s basketball team earned the SCIAC Male Athlete of the Week honor for the first time in his career.

Lydens earned this week’s honor after recording the best finish for a Pomona-Pitzer Cross Country athlete (male or female) in the history of the Division III Championships. Lydens finished third overall at nationals, breaking the previous best of fifth-place set by Crosby Freeman at the 2004 Men’s National Championships and her own high mark of ninth-place on the women’s side, which she set last year.

In addition, Lydens also broke the program record in the 6K, crossing the line with a time of 21.02, which was 25 seconds faster than she ran last year on her way to a ninth-place finish. She easily earned All-America honors with her performance (the top 35 finishers earn All-America distinction) and has now been named an All-American three times, including once in Outdoor Track and Field after finishing second at the nationals in the 5000 meters last spring.

Lydens did not start competing competitively in distance events until her sophomore year, and has responded with three top-10 finishes in her first three seasons. As a freshman, she only competed in one cross country race due to a foot injury, and then competed in the middle-distance (800 meters) during track season.

Lydens, who also carries a 4.0 grade point average at Pomona, plans to compete in both the 1500 and the 5000 meters this spring, and is expected to be in the hunt for national championships in both events.

Klewer, meanwhile, had an exceptional performance in a double-overtime loss to defending national champion St. Thomas (Minn.) on Saturday. He finished with game-highs of 23 points and nine rebounds, while shooting 10-14 from the floor as the Sagehens nearly pulled off the upset, leading by five with 30 seconds to go in regulation. The 23 points established a new career high as well, surpassing the 21 he had last year in a home win over Caltech.

Klewer had 14 of his points in the second half, including eight straight for the Sagehens during one stretch when he helped his team pull rally from a nine-point deficit to pull even at 49-49 with 6:30 to go. He also had a key baseline spin move for a lay-up to put Pomona-Pitzer ahead by three in overtime, before the Tommies tied it on a three-point shot with just over a minute to play.