With one of the largest squads in recent memory filling out the roster the 2012 Caltech track and field teams are poised for record setting and winning performances.
Armed with depth in a variety of events, the Beavers will post stellar team scores while moving up the school’s top 10 lists.
“We have a team that is willing to put the work in to get better each day,” said 14th year head coach Julie Levesque. “Our depth is one of our strong points this season which gives us a better chance to score points during team meets as they push each other to get better during practices.”
Brice Nzeukou will help captain the squad this season doing a variety of events. The junior is one of the squads fastest sprinters while helping the team score points in various field competitions. Last season Nzeukou had the best team marks in the 100- and 200-meter races. He also was among the team’s best in the hammer, discus, javelin and shot put events.
“Brice is willing to do a variety of events which is a huge plus for us. His athleticism combined with his work ethic reflects his team first attitude,” Levesque said.
Peter Park returns for his second year on the track with high potential after a solid first season last year. He has the second best times among all returners in the sprints for the Beavers. Expect first-year Eric Martin to be a valuable asset in the sprints and a variety of field events as well after showing great promise in preseason practices.
“While Peter and Eric don’t have a lot of experience, they have a lot of potential. I am very pleased with their performances so far in practice and there is no reason to think they won’t keep improving as the season goes along,” Levesque said.”
The distance events will be handled by a host of returners and key first-year runner. Alan Menezes posted the best times by a Beaver runner in the 1500 meter run and could see time in longer races if he is needed. Michael Zhang and Will Livingston add depth to the distance and steeplechase events. Jared Forte is another distance runner to keep an eye on after a stellar cross country season where he was consistently the top Caltech finisher in both the 6K and 8K races.
“Our distance runners could really provide a big lift
throughout the season. I really believe they can provide us with
valuable points each meet,” Levesque said.
Last season Paige Logan was one of the best in the SCIAC in a variety of throwing events. The sophomore finished second in the shot put and discus at the year-end championships. She owns the school record in the shot put and is listed in the top three in Caltech history in the discus and hammer throws.
“At some point Paige will own at least three school records before she graduates and she has the potential to win a few conference championships,” Levesque said.
The event flexibility of Sarah Wright and Mia Oviatt will help the Beavers in a variety of events. The duo competed in three different multi-event competitions as they moved into the school’s top 10 in nine separate events. Wright is second and Oviatt fourth on the school’s top 10 list for best Heptathlon score.
“Sarah and Mia can do a variety of different events for the squad which will provide important team points as we try and move up the league standings,” Levesque said. “They both put in quality practice time which I think will help them move up in the school record books as well.”
Jess Swallow returns for her final season in a Beaver uniform. Last year she was the school’s best in the long jump, triple jump and high jump. The Rhode Island native was just behind Wright as the best Pole Vaulter last year as well.
“Jess has been such a stalwart for this program the past three seasons and I really think she is going to finish her Caltech career on a high note,” Levesque said.
A pair of first-year runners to watch out for are Stephanie Reynolds and Katherine Lai. Reynolds was the top Caltech finisher in every cross country meet during the fall while Lai is going to give the Beavers a boost during hurdle events.
“Stephanie is one of the best distance runners we have had in a while. She runs smart races each time she laces up her shoes.” Levesque said. “Katherine is such a coachable athlete and she has really shown impressive improvement during preseason hurdle practice.”