CLAREMONT, Calif. (Oct. 12, 2019) – Senior Simon Ricci (Chicago, Ill. / Latin School of Chicago) of the Caltech men's cross country team became the fastest 8K runner in program history with yet another featured showing at the Pomona-Pitzer Invite over the weekend. The Beavers placed fourth out of nine teams, beating out SCIAC foes Chapman University, the University of La Verne and Whittier College.
Ricci took ninth overall out of a 91-man field with a school record 25:31.6 spurred by an aggressive start that allowed him to mix it up with the leaders throughout the race. Senior Tanner Moore (Roseville, Calif. / Oakmont) followed his classmate with a 26:42.0, crossing the finish a split-second ahead of sophomore Gaurav Phanse (Fremont, Calif. / Dublin), who posted a 26:42.4. Junior Matthew Earney (San Diego, Calif. / Del Norte) and senior David Fager (Miami, Fla. / Belen Jesuit Prep) rounded out the Beavers' top-5 by coming in at 28:00.3 and 28:01.4 respectively. Junior Spencer Morgenfeld (Palo Alto, Calif. / Palo Alto) clocked in just outside the top-5 with his 28:08.8.
"We're hoping to shore up the time gaps in our top-5, but top-to-bottom this was a pretty solid day for us and shows we're headed in the right direction," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said.
The Beavers also produced four career-best 8K times behind Ricci's program record. Senior Tiger Lu (Shanghai, China / Shanghai American School Puxi) ran a 28:40.9 for the best race of his career (24-second PR) as did sophomore Kellen Rodriguez (Fairmont, Minn. / Fairmont), who dropped his time from Santa Clarita by exactly 18 seconds (30:12.8). Freshmen Patrick Martinez (Fullerton, Calif. / Troy) and Marcos Perez (North Hollywood, Calif. / North Hollywood) also posted the best times of their young careers, finishing in 29:00.3 and 30:39.1. Junior Haoyuan Sun (Alexandria, Va. / Thomas Jefferson Science & Tech.) came in 13 seconds behind his recent PR in Santa Clarita, but smashed his time from last year's Pomona-Pitzer Invite by more than two minutes (30:36.2). Senior Bhairav Chidambaram (San Diego, Calif. / Canyon Crest Acad.) (29:13.2) and sophomore August Chen (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond) (36:01.2) rounded out Saturday's field of Beavers.
Raphelson and the Beavers will look to continue their momentum at this year's SCIAC Cross Country Championships, slated for Nov. 2 in Claremont.