CLAREMONT, Calif. - After spending the last three weeks training, the men's and women's cross country teams made the most of the opportunity to race at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational.
The men took to the course first in the 8km race. Aditya Bhagavathi '16 led the way again with a big personal-best time of 26:06.8 to place 21st overall. The time was a 39-second career-best and moved him to No. 2 on the Beaver's all-time 8k performance list. Following him through the chute was Ian Koss '15 in a time of 27:28 for 93rd overall. Koss's time was a 23-second seasonal-best. The next three Beavers across the line were seniors Jared Forte, Eric Martin and Juan Adame, all making their season debuts. The trio ran 27:56.8, 27:57.4 and 28:48.1, respectively. Alexander Anemogiannis '17 and Elliot Simon '16 rounded out the varsity performers for the Beavers. Anemogiannis crossed in 29:01.7 with Simon next in 30:14.9. Also racing were Joel Kosmatka '17 (31:13.7), Rishabh Pipada '17 (32:03.5) Gene Vaughan '18 (32:15.4), Mason MacDougall '18 (36:34.8), and Alex Port '15 (37:43.0). Apart from Pipada who was making his season-debut, all of them ran large season-bests.
"It was the most complete squad we've raced this season so far. For three of our top five runners it was their first race," said Adame, the co-captain. "Although we're pleased with our performances, I think we just see these as starting points and I believe we have a lot of room for improvement."
The men placed 13th overall with a score of 434 points. That placed them fifth among six SCIAC teams that ran full squads, just 18 points behind Whittier and 42 points behind Redlands.
The women took to the course for their first 6km race of the season. Women's captain Stephanie Reynolds '15 led the way, covering the course in 24:07.0 to finish 55th overall. The next three finishers for Caltech were all running the first 6km race of their careers. Caroline Atyeo '18 ran 26:28.3, a time which ranks her 14th in Caltech history. Next were Gauri Shastri '17 (28:02.8) and Gillian Kopp '18 (29:30.7). Emily Jensen '16 rounded out the team scoring as the fifth finisher across the line in 30:24.7. The group of Carla Watson '15, Sheila Lo '16, and Kate Evans '17 worked together throughout the race and saw nice improvements over their performance from three weeks ago. The trio crossed the line in 31:44.2, 32:13.7 and 32:21.9, respectively.
"I'm excited to see how we're improving. A lot of women ran a faster pace today than they did at Riverside, which was a shorter race. I can't wait to see who we can beat at Multi-Duals," said Reynolds.
The women placed 14th overall, taking down SCIAC foe Whittier in the process.
For complete results, click here.
"Both teams have been working very hard and stringing together some great training," said coach Ben Raphelson. "I was glad that they got to see that their hard work is paying off. Mason MacDougall and Alex Port had tremendous drops of nearly 3:00 and 8:00 respectively, but even without them factored in, on the men's side we saw an average improvement of 43 seconds per person over our times at Riverside. For the women who had raced previously, each maintained or improved their pace for a longer distance, which shows we're on the right track. We're looking forward to the championship portion of our season to begin."
The cross country team is in action next at La Mirada Park on Friday, October 17 for the SCIAC Multi-Duals.