CLAREMONT, Calif. (Oct. 12, 2019) – Junior Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn) led the Caltech women's cross country team with a sixth-place finish at the Pomona-Pitzer Invite over the weekend. The Beavers placed fifth overall among nine teams, beating out SCIAC rivals such as Chapman University, the University of La Verne and Whittier College. With Hu leading the way, the short-handed Beavers advanced through the field together during a strong second half of the race. The junior finished the race in 22:41.6, coming in third among SCIAC competitors.
Behind Hu, the rest of the women's team ran a series of PR's for the Pomona-Pitzer course, which also played host to the 2017 NCAA Division III West Regional Championships in addition to the annual invite. Junior Molly Crotteau (Chicago, Ill. / Payton) improved upon her time at last year's invite by more than 40 seconds and finished 14th overall. Senior Skye Reese (Concord, N.H. / Concord) and sophomore Alex Bardon (Boston, Mass. / Winsor School) also set course PR's and finished 25th and 26th thanks to a 23:59.8 and 24:02.6. Senior Nicole Feng (Bethany, Conn. / Amity Regional) rounded out the Caltech top-5 by crossing the finish line in 25:10.2 for yet another course PR for returning runners. Junior Sirisha Gudavalli (Boulder, Colo. / Fairview) also improved upon her best time at Pomona-Pitzer by more than 30 seconds from her freshman year, and freshman Tea Freedman-Susskind (Seattle, Wash. / Lakeside) debuted at the 6K distance with a 27:38.3.
Aside from those who PR'd on the Sagehens' 6K course, sophomores Jamie Littman (Port Washington, N.Y. / Paul D. Schreiber) and Natalie Lelieur (South Pasadena, Calif. / South Pasadena) improved on their times from this year's Riverside Invitational, coming in at 27:38.1 and 31:23.4 respectively.
"We held a few key people out today so it was great to see everyone step up and deliver a strong team showing," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "Overall the team is healthy and training at a high level. We're excited about the direction we're headed."
Raphelson and the Beavers will have three weeks to prepare for this year's SCIAC Cross Country Championships, slated for Nov. 2 in Claremont.