RIVERSIDE, Calif. (Sept. 14, 2019) – The Caltech women's cross country team continued its momentum from Redlands and set a new record average by 41 seconds at the Riverside Invitational on Saturday morning.
Junior Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn) broke the Caltech 6K record by eight seconds (22:16.5) and led one of the strongest team performances at the distance in the history of the program. Hu has historically run well at Riverside, coming within nine-hundredths of a second of breaking the program record at last year's race. The junior is now the first Caltech women's cross country competitor to hold both 5K and 6K records simultaneously. Collectively, the Beavers finished the meet as the second-fastest Division III team behind only SCIAC foe Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.
Caltech's pair of exceptional freshmen made all the difference in the Beavers setting the new team mark. Freshmen Lauren Garriques (Lake Forest, Ill. / Lake Forest) and Pippa Richter (Columbia, S.C. / A.C. Flora) made strong 6K debuts with Garriques' 23:13.6 earning her third-place on the team while Richter's 23:36.9 allowed her to round out the top-five. Junior Molly Crotteau (Chicago, Ill. / Payton) finished second on the team (22:54.3) and came just 12 seconds away from surpassing her personal best. Senior Skye Reese (Concord, N.H. / Concord), meanwhile achieved a massive 77-second PR, breaking 24 minutes for the first time to finish fourth on the team (23:21). Sophomore Alex Bardon (Boston, Mass. / Winsor School) posted a 24:08.7 and came 13 seconds away from a new PR while classmates Jamie Littman (Port Washington, N.Y. / Paul D. Schreiber) and Natali Lelieur (South Pasadena, Calif. / South Pasadena) rounded out the team with a 27:44.3 and a 31:27.5.
"Riverside was a great challenge for the team," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "The meet revealed some things we need to work on but overall it was another strong day."
Raphelson and the Beavers will have two weeks to get ready for the Mustang Challenge in Santa Clarita, set to take place on Saturday, Sept. 28.