Posted: Apr 07, 2018
CLAREMONT, Calif. (Apr. 7, 2018) – The Caltech men's and women's track and field team had everything come together at the Pomona-Pitzer Invite on Saturday. The Beavers took advantage of optimal track conditions and turned in what may be their best meet of the season so far, with nearly all competitors recording at least one career-best mark.
"Although we were coming off the first week of classes, I think as a team we surpassed the performances from the meets we had over spring break," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "This bodes really well with SCIAC champs just around the corner."
The story of the day came when freshman sprinter Nora Griffith (Santa Cruz, Calif. / Santa Cruz), who has been flirting with Caltech sprinting records all season finally entered the record books with a 26.36 in the 200m dash to become the new program record holder. Hall of Honor recipient Kristen Zortman held the previous record (26.79). The freshman's time ranks her 10th-best among SCIAC sprinters. Griffith's 200m performance came after a very strong run in the 400m, where she went 59.42 to become the second woman in Caltech history to break 1:00 for the event. That time ties her for second-best in the SCIAC this season. Griffith now finds herself in the Caltech all-time top three in all five sprint/hurdle events. Also in the sprints, freshman Maquelle Tiffany (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Los Alamitos) grabbed a new PR in the 100m dash (14.47).
Caltech got exceptional performances from its men's and women's distance group. Sophomore Simon Ricci (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Los Alamitos), freshman Matthew Earney (San Diego, Calif. / Del Norte) and Michael Brown (New Orleans, La. / Isidore Newman) all ran to new PR's in a highly-successful men's 800. Brown led the Beavers with a 1:58.33, followed by Earney (1:59.09) and Ricci (2:00.09). In the same race, sophomore Tiger Lu (Shanghai, China / Shanghai American School Puxi) came within one-third of a second of another PR but did manage to make a four-second seasonal improvement (2:02.29). Similarly, the women's 1500 saw new personal bests from juniors Michelle Marasigan (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / James B. Conant) and Melissa Gutierrez (Pico Rivera, Calif. / El Rancho). Marasigan (5:05.49) made an eight-second improvement and now ranks seventh on the all-time list while Gutierrez moved back into ninth on the same list (5:07.52). Other personal bests on the men's side came from sophomore Bhairav Chidambaram (San Diego, Calif. / Canyon Crest Academy), sophomore David Fager (Miami, Fla / Belen Jesuit Prepatory), freshman Haoyuan Sun (Alexandria, Va. / Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech.) and senior Gene Vaughan (Mission, Texas / Sharyland) in the 1500. Chidambaram led the Caltech quartet (4:28.73) and was followed by Fager (4:31.01), Vaughan (4:37.64) and Sun (4:54.71). Senior Chris Haack (New York City, N.Y. / The Browning School) rounded out the 1500m group with a nine-second seasonal-best, coming in at 4:47.89. Additionally, sophomore Noelle Davis (Fort Worth, Texas / Texas Acad. of Math & Science) made her successful track debut in the women's 800.
The throwers also had themselves a day with a series of new personal bests. Sophomore Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) upped her PR javelin throw to 31.43m and currently finds herself ranked 9th in the conference following her two-meter improvement. Junior Muskaan Goyal (Apple Valley, Minn. / Eastview) also reset her personal best in the discus multiple times, ending the day with a mark of 22.96 while also performing solidly in the hammer throw (20.73). Caltech also got some new personal and seasonal bests in the pole vault. Senior Alexander Bourzutschky (Potomac, Md. / Montgomery Blair) claimed a new season-best jump with a 3.15 jump with sophomore Alex Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill. / Glenbard West) joining him at the height in a new career-best.
Raphelson and the Beavers will see the Sagehens again, in addition to the University of Redlands and meet host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday, Apr. 14 at the final SCIAC Multi-Dual.