CLAREMONT, Calif. (Apr. 15, 2017) – Both the Caltech men's and women's track & field teams picked up a dual point with victories over Chapman University in the final SCIAC Multi-Dual of the spring on Saturday. The women's victory marked their first since 2008.
"This was one of the better meets we've had as a team since I've been at Caltech," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "It was inspiring seeing so many people step up with such strong performances. Some were expected based on how training has been going, but some surpassed even our high expectations. I couldn't ask for a better final tune-up before SCIACs."
Freshmen Tim Krasnoperov (Pasadena, Calif. / Polytechnic) and Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) led each gender with third-place finishes in the discus as Lauinger also moved up two spots into sixth on the program's all-time list at 95 feet, four inches. Her debut in the javelin fell just four sheet short of what would be her fourth Top 10 mark, while Krasnoperov racked up a bevy of points with a pair of fifth places and a sixth, also coming up a bit shy of both the shot put and javelin Top 10 lists.
Rookie Jesse Cai (McLean, Va. / Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech.) narrowly beat out a fellow first-year from the University of La Verne for fourth place in the 200-meter dash, a place which classmate Jena Srikanth (Fresno, Calif. / Clovis North) matched in the 5000-meter run while sophomore Michelle Marasigan (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / James B. Conant) dropped a second in the 800m to slot into fifth. Freshman Sam Blazes (Seattle, Wash. / Sidwell Friends) turned in yet another glistening rookie performance as he debuted just .22 off the Top 10 list in the grueling 3000m steeplechase.
The Beavers experienced considerable individual success beyond meet placing and all-time lists. Sophomore Ben Calvin (Shawnee, Kan. / Shawnee Mission Northwest) turned in another big time drop in both the 110m hurdles (.31) and 400m hurdles (1.34) and now ranks 10th in the SCIAC in the former. Senior Lucy Chen (Boonton Township, N.J. / Mountain Lakes) will carry considerable momentum into her final SCIAC Championships as she lowered both her 100m (.09) and 200m (.31) times to their lowest in her career despite running with far less favorable wind than in her previous PRs, while recording a consistent triple jump not far off her career best. Sophomore Muskaan Goyal (Apple Valley, Minn. / Eastview) proved to have shaken off the rust after a few weeks without training as she added a foot in the discus and debuted with a solid effort in the javelin. Junior Zane Murphy (Wilmington, Del. / Tampa Prep) rounded out a wildly successful day for the throwers with significant gains in the shot put and discus while debuting in the hammer.
Freshman Tanner Moore (Roseville, Calif. / Oakmont) trimmed almost two seconds in the 1500m to clock a 4:11.89 as sophomore Joey Hong (Milpitas, Calif. / King's Acad.) and freshman Bhairav Chidambaram (San Diego, Calif. / Canyon Crest Acad.) trimmed roughly 2.5 apiece not far behind him. Sophomore Michael Hashe (Plano, Texas / Texas Acad. of Math & Science) came in six seconds better than his career-best time and nearly 12 faster than his season-best in the 5000m, while rookie Alex Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Glenbard West) shaved over a second in the 400m and lifted his pole vault mark six inches to just over nine feet. Fellow sprinters Damien Berube (Montreal, Canada / John Abbott Coll.) and junior Alex Bourzutschky (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) made marginal gains as well, with Berube dropping .05 in the 100m and Bourzutschky chopping off almost two seconds from his season best in the 400m. Senior Alison Lui (Osprey, Fla. / Pine View) also sprinted nearly a second faster in the 200m and cleared her first height in the pole vault at two meters. Both the men's 4x100m and 4x400 relays impressed as well, with the latter placing third in dramatic fashion.
Raphelson and the Beavers have two weeks to prepare for the SCIAC Championships, which will be hosted at Pomona-Pitzer on Friday and Saturday, Apr. 28 and 29.