PASADENA, Calif. (June 28, 2016) – Caltech's cross country team has released its schedule for the 2016 season, which will include four meets ultimately building up to the SCIAC and NCAA Regional Championships.
The Beavers will begin their season on Saturday, Sept. 3 at the University of Redlands Invitational, where the men and women will compete over shortened distances of six and 4.5 kilometers, respectively, throughout Redlands' campus quad and Sylvan Park. Both the men and women showed significant improvement at last year's opener, shaving over two minutes off of their team average times. In particular, the men's team saw graduated senior Jared Forte and rising sophomore Rohan Choudhury (Cupertino, Calif. / Monta Vista) record the two fastest times on the course in program history.
The following weekend, Caltech will compete at the inaugural Biola Invitational, which will be contested on a scenic mix of rolling hills and extended flat stretches circling a lake in Fullerton, Calif. The men will face their first 8k of the season and the women will take a small step up to run their only 5k of the season. Last year, rising sophomore Michelle Marasigan (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / James B. Conant) ran her way onto the program's all-time 5k list, clocking the 11th-fastest time in Beavers history.
After another three weeks of training, the Beavers will head to La Mirada Regional Park for the SCIAC Multi-Dual Championships (Saturday, Oct. 1), which count toward the final conference standings. Caltech historically has run some of its best races at the La Mirada course; graduated seniors Aditya Bhagavathi – last year's runner-up – and Stephanie Reynolds broke the men's and women's program records at the race in 2014, when the men also posted the then-fastest team average time in program history.
For their final race in preparation for the championship season, the Beavers will travel to Claremont, Calif. for the eighth annual Pomona-Pitzer Invitational (Saturday, Oct. 15), where Bhagavathi clocked another Caltech top performance of 26:04.28 last year.
The final string of meets of the 2016 season will begin with the SCIAC Championships at Prado Regional Park in Chino, Calif. At the 2015 SCIAC Championships, the men's team narrowly beat the University of Redlands by two points, 161-163, which not only earned them their best finish in the conference (fifth place) since 2004, but also their first-ever regional ranking in program history. On the women's side, the Beavers demonstrated their pack mentality, with a group of four led by Marasigan all finishing between 70th and 86th place and another trio crossing the line from 94th to 97th place.
Two weeks later, Caltech will head to the NCAA West Regional Championships, which will be hosted by Willamette University in Salem, Ore. on Saturday, Nov. 12. The men will look to improve upon their historic finish at last year's regionals, which was the program's first time ever placing ahead of five other regional opponents in the meet's largest field in history. The women's team will target an improvement on a two-year streak of placing 18th, with both squads also eyeing qualification as a team or individually for the NCAA Division III Championships the following weekend in Louisville, Ky.
*All race dates, times and locations are subject to change