LA MIRADA, Calif. (Oct. 17, 2015) – Freshman Melissa Gutierrez (Pico Rivera, Calif. / El Rancho) ran the fifth-fastest time in program history and senior Aditya Bhagavathi (Plainsboro, N.J. / West Windsor-Plainsboro North) placed second overall as the Caltech men's and women's cross country teams competed at the SCIAC Multi-Duals in La Mirada Park on Saturday morning.
Gutierrez shaved over a minute from her time at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational two weeks prior to clock a 24:13.55, good for 40th place in the field of 102 runners. Freshman Michelle Marasigan (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / James B. Conant) followed in 75th place while seniors Rachel Thorp (La Canada, Calif. / La Canada) and Alice Michel (La Canada, Calif. / La Canada) also saw big time drops, with Thorp improving on her 2013 performance by 22 seconds in her 2015 debut and Michel chopping 1:44 off her Oct. 3 run. Junior Lilly Luo (Belle Mead, N.J. / Montgomery) split the captains with a 28:27.06, 42 seconds quicker than her most recent race.
Bhgavathi improved on his breakout 2014 Multi-Duals, moving up from third to second place just 19 seconds behind Pomona-Pitzer Colleges' John Fowler. Bhagavathi trimmed another 17 seconds from his best race this season to clock a 25:47.82 and will look to continue the trend at the SCIAC Championships in two weeks.
"Aditya ran his strongest race of the season to this point," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "There are some great runners in this conference, so for him to be mixing it up at the front for two years now is a tribute to some really hard work and dedication on his part."
The rest of the Beavers' scoring lineup finished in quick succession, with all five crossing the finish within 18 places of one another. Freshman Rohan Choudhury (Cupertino, Calif. / Monta Vista) fronted the pack in 70th place followed by seniors Alexander Anemogiannis (Atlanta, Ga. / Marist School) and Jared Forte (Lake Elsinore, Calif. / Elsinore) and freshmen Rohan Doshi (West Windsor, N.J. / West Windsor-Plainsboro North) and Joey Hong (Milpitas, Calif. / King's Acad.). Freshman Michael Hashe (Plano, Texas / Texas Acad. of Math & Science) and sophomore Mason MacDougall (La Mirada, Calif. / La Mirada) built on big improvements two weeks prior with another 16- and five-second drops, respectively.
"The humid conditions and dealing with some illnesses the past week didn't allow us to run to our full potential," Raphelson said. "We've put in a lot of work this season and will do our best to put these challenges behind us and produce our best efforts in the final races of the season."
Raphelson and the Beavers will prepare for the SCIAC Championships, hosted at Prado Regional Park in Chino, Calif., in two weeks' time.