Photo: Jerome Seebeck
WHITTIER, Calif. (Apr. 13, 2019) – A new program record fell for the Caltech women's track & field team on Saturday when sophomore Molly Crotteau (Chicago, Ill. / Walter Payton) set the fastest steeplechase time in program history at SCIAC Multi-Dual #3, hosted by Whittier College.
Crotteau, competing against runners from Whittier, the University of La Verne and the University of Redlands, won the race in dominant 11:48.17 fashion, running more than one minute ahead of the next fastest runner while leading wire-to-wire amidst warm conditions. The sophomore came into Saturday's meet having improved on her steeplechase time consistently throughout the season and put it all together at Whittier with a 21-second PR good enough to top Juliette Becker's 11:50.18 from the 2013 season.
"We weren't necessarily surprised by Molly's time but the manner in which she did it," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "Running by herself for the entire race was really impressive. It has been a joy to see her continued development as a competitor."
Crotteau's classmate, Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn) had a dominant win of her own in the 5000. Hu tailed Redlands' former NCAA qualifier for the first two miles before making her move and pulling away in convincing fashion. Her 18:05.10 time came in just seven seconds behind her program-record mark in the event despite the rising temperature. Additionally, juniors Skye Reese (Concord, N.H. / Concord) and Nicole Feng (Bethany, Conn. / Amity Regional) returned to action to compete alongside Hu in the 5000. Caltech also thrived in middle distance as senior Michelle Marasigan (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / James B. Conant) achieved a new PR in the 800 (2:24.11), moving her into fourth all-time and less than half-a-second off the Caltech record. Sophomore Sirisha Gudavalli (Boulder, Colo. / Fairview) also picked up a big PR in the same event, lowering her top time by roughly four seconds (2:31.27). The 1500 saw senior Melissa Gutierrez (Pico Rivera, Calif. / El Rancho) come within five seconds of a PR (5:10.18) while recording a three-second drop on her top time of the season. Sophomore Krystal Brodsky (Redmond, Wash. / Bellevue College) returned to action to join Gutierrez in the 1500.
Sophomore sprinter Nora Griffith (Santa Cruz, Calif. / Santa Cruz) hit a big season-best in the 100 hurdles, clocking in at nearly a second faster than her last time from the first SCIAC Multi-Dual of the season (15.97). The sophomore also came less than two-tenths of a second from setting a second season-best in the 400 hurdles, coming in at a third-place 1:06.90. Freshman Moya Ly (Cincinnati, Ohio / Cincinnati Country Day) joined Griffith in the 400 hurdles (1:20.76), coming less than a second away from debuting in the Caltech Top-10. Griffith rounded out her day by running the 4x400 relay along with Marasigan, Gutierrez, and Gudavalli as the anchor. The Caltech quartet performed well with Gutierrez and Gudavalli setting personal-bests in each of their splits while the team clocked in at a third-place 4:19.80. Senior Muskaan Goyal (Apple Valley, Minn. / Eastview) and junior Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) keyed the Beavers in throwing events, with Goyal getting a new outdoor season-best in the shot put (7.17m) and Lauinger placing sixth with a 31.60m hammer throw.
Raphelson and the Beavers will have the next week-and-a-half to refine and refresh themselves before competing at the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges-hosted SCIAC Championships on Saturday, Apr. 27 and Sunday, Apr. 28.