Griffith Adds Hurdles Record at Third SCIAC Multi-Dual

Griffith Adds Hurdles Record at Third SCIAC Multi-Dual

CLAREMONT, Calif. (Apr. 14, 2018) – Freshman Nora Griffith (Santa Cruz, Calif. / Santa Cruz) added another record to her impressive rookie resume as the Caltech track & field team had itself another successful day at the third SCIAC Multi-Dual hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday afternoon.

Griffith bounced back from a disappointing outing in the 100m hurdles with a strong run in the 400m  hurdles in 1:03.87 and nabbed the Caltech record by over half a second while taking second place in the race. The previous record, originally set by Karen Close (1:04.50) in 1980 was the longest-standing record in program history.

"It's always exciting to see a school record get broken, but we were most pleased to see Nora bounce back from a disappointing race earlier in the day," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "That resiliency reflects well on her and our team."

The rest of the day yielded many more personal bests and advancements on the all-time top 10 list thanks in part to good weather conditions and proper execution. Sophomore Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) came out and immediately set a new PR in her first hammer throw of the day with a 32.93m toss. She also set a new PR in the discus, with a 29.86m throw. Both distances allowed Lauinger to take sixth-place in both throwing events while posting solid showings in her other two events.

The majority of the rest of the Beavers' PR's came in the distance and mid-distance events of the day. Freshman Matthew Earney (San Diego, Calif. / Del Norte) made his mark in the 1500m race when he broke out in the second-half of the race with an impressive negative split for a seven-second new career-best time (4:05.36) to take 4th overall. In that same race, sophomore Simon Ricci (San Diego, Calif. / Del Norte) picked up a new PR in his own right (4:08.30). In the women's 1500m, freshman Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn) ran a strong strategic race to nearly match her career-best time in a competitive field (4:59.16).

Freshman Michael Brown (New Orleans, La. / Isidore Newman) had himself a breakout day in the men's 800m. After running 1:58 in his three previous efforts, he stormed to a 1:56.89 to place 6th in the highly-competitive field and in the process made his debut at eighth on the top-10 list. Senior Gene Vaughan (Mission, Texas / Sharyland) (2:12.93) and freshman Haoyuan Sun (Alexandria, Va. / Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech.) (2:20.96) tailed Brown and earned new top times in their own right. The women's 800m saw a slew of career-best performances. Junior Michelle Marasigan (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / James B. Conant) led five Beavers across the line with her new career-best time of 2:24.92. She was followed across by freshman Krystal Brodsky (Redmond, Wash. / Bellevue College) (2:27.70) and fellow junior Melissa Gutierrez (Pico Rivera, Calif. / El Rancho) (2:28.88). Both Brodsky and Gutierrez also posted career bests and maintained their places on the top-10 list. Sophomores Noelle Davis (Fort Worth, Texas / Texas Acad. of Math & Science) (2:31.39) and Nicole Feng (Bethany, Conn. / Amity Regional) (2:43.76) rounded out the group. Davis, in her second 800m appearance of the season bettered her time by two seconds while Feng shaved 10 seconds off her top collegiate time.

The biggest improvements on the day were evident in the 3000m steeplechase. Freshman Spencer Morgenfeld (Palo Alto, Calif. / Palo Alto) made a big leap in his second attempt. He improved upon his debut time by nearly 20 seconds (10:28.66) and just narrowly missing the 10th-best mark in school history. Freshman Molly Crotteau (Chicago, Ill. / Walter Payton) showed impressively as well, improving by nearly 30 seconds (12:17.06) from her debut effort two weeks prior. Her time currently ranks her ninth-best in the SCIAC and fourth on the Caltech All-time Top-10 list.
Despite the warm conditions, sophomores Skye Reese (Concord, N.H. / Concord), Bhairav Chidambaram (San Diego, Calif. / Canyon Crest Academy) and junior Michael Hashe (Plano, Texas / Texas Acad. of Math & Science) all had strong outings in the 5000m. Reese chopped almost 15 seconds off her previous best while Hashe dropped 9 seconds off his previous seasonal best. Chidambaram made his seasonal debut in the event with the second-best time of his career.
Freshman Netra Ravishankar (Fremont, Calif. / American) made her presence felt in the 200m dash and inched closer to the top-10 list with another improvement (28.24) while fellow freshman Maquelle Tiffany (Los Alamitos, Calif. / Los Alamitos) set new bests in both the 100m (14.24) and 200m dash (29.41).
"We embraced the competitive opportunities we got today," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "Despite the warm conditions they faced and slow early pacing in some cases, several surprised themselves with what they could achieve. It was a great final meet before SCIAC championships."

Raphelson and the Beavers will return to the track on Friday, Apr. 27 for the SCIAC Championship Meet hosted by the University of Redlands.



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