LA MIRADA, Calif. (Oct. 17, 2014) – Led by new school records in both the men's and women's races, the Caltech cross country teams turned in many strong performances at the SCIAC Multi-Duals at La Mirada Park on Friday evening.
Junior Aditya Bhagavathi (Plainsboro, N.J. / West Windsor-Plainsboro) paced the squad with a third-place finish as every men's runner recorded a personal-best time. Bhagavathi posted his second successive career-best performance, shaving another 28 seconds off his time to finish with a program-record 25:38.18, which bested the previous mark of 25:44 set in 2001 (records kept since 1999).
A quartet of seniors followed Bhagavathi across the finish line in quick succession, with Ian Koss (Fort Collins, Colo. / Poudre) coming in at 27:27.79, Eric Martin (The Woodlands, Texas / The Woodlands College Park) finishing with a 27:39.74, Jared Forte (Lake Elsinore, Calif. / Elsinore) posting a 27:54.85 and Juan Adame (Sylmar, Calif. / Sylmar Math/Science Tech. Magnet) rounding out the scoring at 28:11.45 as the men's squad posted its lowest-ever average time.
Caltech earned sizable wins against Chapman University, California Lutheran University and the University of La Verne while coming up just short against the University of Redlands, 27-28, for a dual meet record of 3-5, marking the most wins in over a decade (2003).
Junior Elliot Simon (Alexandria, Va. / Thomas Jefferson) and sophomore Joel Kosmatka (Encinitas, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) also turned in strong varsity performances with big time-drops of 45 seconds (29:29.91) and 1:26 (29:47.90), respectively. Sophomores Nick Haliday and Rishabh Pipada continued the trend with each dropping over one minute to post times of 30:06.77 and 30:59.23. Freshman Mason MacDougall (La Mirada) recorded the biggest improvement of the day, dropping 2:25 to come in at 34:09.76, while freshman Gene Vaughan (Sharyland) finished up with a 31:31.55 and senior Alex Port (Denver, Colo. / George Washington) rounded out the squad with a 37:39.28.
Not to be outdone, the women's squad continued the Beavers' record-breaking efforts with nine out of 10 runners posting seasonal bests. Senior Stephanie Reynolds (Tallahassee, Fla. / Lawton Chiles) dropped over one minute from her time just two weeks prior to run her way into the record books, establishing a new 6k school record of 23:00.45, and finish 21st overall.
Freshman Caroline Atyeo (Marjory Stoneman Douglas) improved her previous time by 1:23 to run a 24:05.58 and move up to fourth on the all-time list. Racing together for the first time, sophomores Emily Mazo (Bala Cynwyd, Pa. / Harriton) and Gauri Shastri (West Lafayette Jr-Sr) displayed excellent teamwork, pushing each other to strong performances 26:48.55 and 26:49.85 to finish in 87th and 88th overall as Shastri dropped 1:14 and Mazo shaved 26 seconds from last year. Freshman Gillian Kopp rounded out the scoring for the women, finishing in 29:06.17, a 24-second improvement from two weeks prior.
Junior Sheila Lo (Arcadia, Calif. / Arcadia) had a breakout performance with her 29:55.68, an improvement of 2:18. Freshman Caroline Howard, competing in the first cross country race of her life, rounded out the top seven, finishing in 29:57.54. She was followed by junior Emily Jensen (Modesto, Calif. / James C. Enochs) at 30:45.18, senior Carla Watson (San Diego, Calif. / Westview) in 31:11.41 – a 33-second improvement – sophomore Kate Evans Suwanee, Ga. / Lambert) at 31:13 – a 1:08 improvement – and freshman Tiffany Zhang, who made her cross country debut in 32:31.53.
Head Coach Ben Raphelson and the Beavers will take the next two weeks to prepare for the SCIAC Championships, which will take place at Prado Park in Chino, Calif. on Saturday, Nov. 1.