Track Piles Up Career Marks at Point Loma Nazarene

Track Piles Up Career Marks at Point Loma Nazarene
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Mar. 24, 2018) – The Caltech track & field team had a day for the record books at the Point Loma Invitational on Saturday. The Beavers recorded all-time marks and career-bests in a variety of events and continued to build momentum as they enter the latter stages of the season. 
"We're starting to get a glimpse at just how good we can be," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "Performances like what we saw this weekend show that we're on the right track."
In the sprint events, freshman Nora Griffith (Santa Cruz, Calif. / Santa Cruz) demonstrated her continued improvement. Although benefitting from slight wind-assistance, her times in the 100m (12.97) and 200m (26.27) were both under the current school records of 13.08 and 26.79 respectively. Griffith's 200m mark was an all-conditions personal best by nearly a full second and earned her a 10th place finish in a field of 54 that included NCAA Division II and Division III and NAIA competitors. Fellow freshmen Netra Ravishankar (Fremont, Calif. / American), and Maquelle Tiffany (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Los Alamitos) made their debuts in the 200m, recording times of 28.49 and and 30.66 respetively. Also in the 200m, freshman Johanna Karras (Cupertino, Calif. / Monta Vista) ran a 30.17, a career-best by nearly two seconds. This came on the heels of her stellar improvement in the 400m earlier in the day - improving from 1:11.60 to 1:08.64. On the men's side, sophomore Jesse Cai (McLean, Va. / Thomas Jefferson Science and Technology) recorded a signifficant wind-legal career-best in the 100m (11.49) and followed that with a seasonal best in the 200m (23.14). Senior Alexander Bourzutschky (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) displayed considerable improvement in his second meet of the season, improving his 400m time from 58.04 to 56.37. He followed that with one of his fastest 200m performances of his career (24.82). Alex Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Glenbard West) ran an all-conditions personal-best in the 100m by nearly a half-second (12.26) and ran a wind-legal career-best in the 200m (25.16). 
Caltech's distance runners nearly matched the success of the sprinters, recording several career-bests and all-time marks. Freshman Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn) turned in a stellar performance in the 1500m (4:57.25), dropping over seventeen seconds from just two meets ago to become the fifth woman in Caltech history to break 5:00 for the distance, ranking her fifth on the all-time list. Fellow freshman Krystal Brodsky (Redmond, Wash. / Bellevue College) also cracked the top-10 list with her strongest run of the season (5:07.72), ranking her seventh. Sophomore Nicole Feng (Bethany, Conn. / Amity Regional) ran a career-best, dropping nearly seven seconds off her previous best. 
On the men's side, sophomore Tanner Moore (Roseville, Calif. / Oakmont) led the way with a seasonal-best (4:09.88). Close behind him were junior Rohan Choudhury (Cupertino, Calif. / Monta Vista) with the second-best time of his career (4:14.11) and freshman Spencer Morgenfeld (Palo Alto, Calif. / Palo Alto) who dropped nearly five seconds from his career-best run from just three weeks ago. Juinior Joey Hong (Campbell, Calif. / King's Acad.) (4:19.11) and freshman Alex Popov (Tarrytown, N.Y. / Hackley School) (4:26.44) also ran career-bests by 3.5 and 4.5 seconds respectively.  
Sophomore Simon Ricci (Chicago, Ill. / Latin School of Chicago) and freshman Matthew Earney (San Diego, Calif. / Del Norte) both found success in the 800m, each running career-best performances. Ricci's mark of 2:00.52 was nearly a full second faster than his time from one year ago and Earney turned in a strong 2:01.30 while contending for the heat win in windy conditions. Hao Sun '21 also had a break-out day, running 2:22.90 for his strongest performance in his young career. 
Despite having their training curtailed by recent rain, the throwers also contributed to the strong day. Sophomore Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) had a strong series in the hammer to place tenth overall and followed that with season's best in the discus.  On the men's side, freshman Daniel Rostovtsev (Swarthmore, Pa. / Strath Haven) continued his improvements, hitting a new career-best in the javelin (31.18m). Senior Zane Murphy (Wilmington, Del. / Tampa Prep) uncorked a clutch career-best in the discus on the final throw of the competition, improving by over 1.2m (27.55m). 
"Teammates doing well has a way of inspiring other teammates. When that happens it can establish a positive momentum that carries through the entire weekend. Hopefully we'll be able to tap into that as the season goes on."
Raphelson and the Beavers will head to the University of La Verne on Saturday, March 31 for the second SCIAC multi-dual of the year. They will face off against Chapman University, University of La Verne, Occidental College and the University of Redlands.
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