EAGLE ROCK, Calif. (Mar. 11, 2018) – Freshman Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn) fronted a record-setting day for Caltech track & field at Saturday's Oxy Distance Carnival by breaking one a 29-year old record and one of the oldest remaining records on the women's side.
Hu decisively broke Jerri Martin's 5000m record with an 18:12.18 in the midst of a field consisting of schools from all three NCAA sub-divisions and did so with rainy conditions looming over Eagle Rock for most of the day. Martin's previous record was 18:29.60, which further illustrates just how good Hu was on Saturday. She also recorded the third-fastest time among SCIAC runners within the event. Hu's strong showing was an exclamation point on a strong day considering the results posted by the rest of the Beavers' track competitors.
"This was one of the best days the team has had since I've been here," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "We had several inspiring performances."
Freshman Molly Crotteau (Chicago, Ill. / Walter Payton) had an additionally solid day within the same race as Hu. The rookie's time of 19:21.51 is good for seventh all time, joining new record holder Hu and sophomore Jena Srikanth (Fresno, Calif. / Clovis North) on the list. The women's team also had a great day in the 10000m run when sophomore Skye Reese (Concord, N.H. / Concord) completed the race in 41:54.20 The sophomore showed remarkable poise in her 10000m debut. Her final 5000m was a a full ten seconds faster than last weekend's 5000m debut. The run was also good enough to position Reese as the second-fastest 10K runner in school history. Caltech also made some noise in the 800m on both the men's and women's side. Freshman Michael Brown (New Orleans, La. / Isidore Newman) (1:58.97) and junior Michelle Marasigan (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / James B. Conant) (2:26.47) posted marks just off their career-bests, which bodes extremely well for the duo with several weeks remaining in the season.
The Beavers also turned in a solid day in sprinting events. Freshman Nora Griffith (Santa Cruz, Calif. / Santa Cruz) set a new PR in the 100m hurdles (15.85) and both Griffith (1:01.89) and fellow freshman Netra Ravishankar (Fremont, Calif. / American) (1:03.87) turned in top-10 marks in the 400m dash, coming in at fourth and seventh respectively. Meanwhile, freshman Maquelle Tiffany (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Los Alamitos) returned from a long layoff for her first track meet in four years and ran an all-time best 14.56 in the 100m dash. The men's 400m dash also yielded strong results as sophomore Jesse Cai (McLean, Va. / Thomas Jefferson Science and Technology) topped his seasonal best with a 52.12 and sophomore Alex Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Glenbard West) ran a 56.79 top his previous best time by nearly one second. Other personal bests on the men's side included sophomore Tanner Moore (Roseville, Calif. / Oakmont) and freshman Spencer Morgenfeld (Palo Alto, Calif. / Palo Alto), who clocked in at 15:32.72 and 15:57.41 in the men's 5000m respectively. The finish now has Moore positioned eighth on Caltech's all-time 5000m list.
"Overall, the team showed remarkable poise. The women especially are competing at a historic level but making it look routine," Raphelson said. "I can't wait to see where the remainder of the season takes us."
Raphelson and the Beavers will be have a week off before they're back at it again at the Point Loma Nazarene Invitational on Saturday, Mar. 24.