CLAREMONT, Calif. (Feb. 17, 2018) – Several members of the Caltech track & field team made appearances on the program's all-time top 10 lists Saturday at the Pomona-Pitzer Colleges All-Comers meet, the team's first of the outdoor season.
"We're really encouraged by this season opener," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "Our hard work was certainly on display and we were able to identify some key things to work on in the future. Overall it was a very positive start to the year."
Freshman sprinter Nora Griffith (Santa Cruz, Calif. / Santa Cruz) burst onto the scene by posting the third fastest women's 100m dash time in school history (13.35) and third among SCIAC freshmen competing in the event. The time marked a commanding heat win for Griffith, who followed up the performance with equally solid showing the the 200m, where her 27.20 came in almost a whole second faster than her time at the Mountain T's Invitational and third among Caltech runners all-time. Sophomore Alex Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Glenbard West) set a new personal best in the 200m (25.31) and classmate Jesse Cai (McLean, Va. / Thomas Jefferson Science and Technology) improved upon his opening 400m from a year ago (52.55). On top of the aforementioned names, freshmen Netra Ravishankar (Fremont, Calif. / American) and Johanna Karras (Cupertino, Calif. / Monta Vista) and junior Vaibhav Anand (Northbrook, Ill. / North Shore Country Day) also had promising debuts.
The women's mile, the final event of the day, turned out to be the Beavers' most dramatic of the meet. Junior Michelle Marasigan (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / James B. Conant) turned it up with a dramatic kick to win the event's third heat over a Sagehens runner who held the lead for the majority of the race. Marasigan finished the mile in 5:32.71 and freshman Krystal Brodsky (Redmond, Wash. / Bellevue College) finished just four seconds off the junior's pace. On the men's side, sophomore Tiger Lu (Shanghai, China / Shanghai American School Puxi) finished his mile in 4:44.41, a new personal best.
The Beavers also came on strong in the 3000m races. Sophomore Simon Ricci (Chicago, Ill. / Latin School of Chicago) and freshmen Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn) and Molly Crotteau (Chicago, Ill. / Walter Payton) found their way onto the 10-lists with their times. Ricci's 8:52.27 allowed him to break into Caltech's top-5 all time and Hu (10:43.85) and Crotteau (11:13.08) were good enough for second and fourth place, respectively, on the women's 3000m list. Hu's time came in as the fastest among participating SCIAC freshmen and her growth is evident as her time marked a near 40-second personal best from her high school time. Similarly, freshman Spencer Morgenfeld (Palo Alto, Calif. / Palo Alto) came in at 9:20.17, a near 30-second improvement on his high school time and just 10 seconds off the 10th best time in Caltech history. Junior Joey Hong (Campbell, Calif. / King's Acad.) also claimed a new personal best time (9:32.18), as did freshman Alex Popov (Tarrytown, N.Y. / Hackley School) (9:44.76). Sophomore Skye Reese (Concord, N.H. / Concord) also had a successful return to the track after an injury-plagued rookie year, as her 11:41.46 missed out on the top-10 list by less than 10 seconds.
In the throwing events, senior Zane Murphy (Wilmington, Del. / Tampa Prep) put his improvements on full display with a 10m improvement on the hammer throw (26.87m) and nearly topped his personal best in the discus. Freshman teammate Daniel Rostovtsev (Swarthmore, Pa. / Strath Haven), meanwhile made a promising debut in his first throwing events ever. On the women's side, junior Muskaan Goyal (Apple Valley, Minn. / Eastview) improved her all-time best hammer throw by 0.6m and bettered her Mountain T's shot put result by one meter.
Raphelson and the Beavers will next participate in the Claremont-Mudd-Scripss Colleges' Rossi Relays meet on Saturday, Feb. 24.