REDLANDS, Calif. (Aug. 31, 2019) – The Caltech women's cross country team put together an all-around dominant showing to collectively win its debut race of 2019 at the Redlands Invitational on Saturday morning. In doing so, the Beavers topped SCIAC foe and invite host University of Redlands by 37 points as well as the University of La Verne by 78 points.
The women's team gave its supporters a taste of what might be to come with five Beavers finishing within the top eight runners in a field consisting of 57 women. Junior Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn) led the way for Caltech and ran to a second-place finish, coming in just four seconds behind the overall winner from LA Harbor College. Hu and her teammates showed heightened discipline on the 4.5km course, displaying early patience before asserting themselves with some key late moves. Junior Molly Crotteau (Chicago, Ill. / Payton) came in just six seconds behind her classmate to seal third place and improve her place of finish at the season-opening invitational by 14 spots. Freshmen pairing Lauren Garriques (Lake Forest, Ill. / Lake Forest) and Pippa Richter (Columbia, S.C. / A.C. Flora) made successful collegiate debuts with sixth and seventh-place finishes respectively while senior Skye Reese (Concord, N.H. / Concord) rounded out the top eight.
Freshman Tea Freedman-Susskind (Seattle, Wash. / Lakeside) and sophomore Natalie Lelieur (South Pasadena, Calif. / South Pasadena) filled out the Beavers' abbreviated team with 46th-place and 52nd-place finishes. Caltech's Saturday showing is especially impressive considering just two of the team's seven runners competed on the course last season.
"I was pretty impressed with how the women executed in their first race of the season," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "We've still got a lot of work to do but today is a good indication that they could be pretty good by the end of the year."
Raphelson and the Beavers will return to action in two weeks when they compete at the UCR Invitational in Riverside on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 7:30 a.m.