Hu Makes Podium in SCIAC Track Champs Debut

Hu Makes Podium in SCIAC Track Champs Debut

REDLANDS, Calif. (Apr. 28, 2018) – Freshman Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn) and the Caltech men's and women's track & field team expanded upon yesterday's success by scoring in six events on Saturday. Hu concluded the day with a successful 5000m run to debut on the SCIAC track & field podium.

Hu ran to an extremely impressive 18:03.90 to finish third among 38 SCIAC competitors, including sophomore Nicole Feng (Bethany, Conn. / Amity Regional), who finished the same race in 21:30.07. Hu, who came into the race seeded ninth, set a new PR and in turn, improved upon her 5000m program record. The rookie's top-three finish comes on the heels of a Second Team All-SCIAC and Newcomer of the Year awards in cross country, making for one of the most accomplished combined seasons in recent memory. Additionally, Hu's six points from placing third helped the Beavers finish ahead of Chapman University in the overall conference standings. The men's 5000m also saw a modicum of success, with sophomore Tanner Moore (Roseville, Calif. / Oakmont) leading the way with a new PR, a 15:25.03, en route to a ninth-place race finish, positioning himself fifth on the all-time list. Moore came into the race seeded 15th and was one of six Caltech participants in the 40-man field. Junior Rohan Choudhury (Cupertino, Calif. / Monta Vista) crossed the line behind Moore (15:55.97) and was followed by a couple of big PR's from junior Joey Hong (Campbell, Calif. / King's Acad.) (16:34.16) and freshman Alex Popov (Tarrytown, N.Y. / Hackley School) (16:35.61). Sophomores David Fager (Miami, Fla / Belen Jesuit Prepatory) and Bhairav Chidambaram (San Diego, Calif. / Canyon Crest Academy) (17:04.69) then finished the race in order, with Fager picking up a big personal best (16:39.58).

Two of the three Beavers from yesterday's session to qualify for Saturday finals also figured into the team's final score. Freshman Nora Griffith (Santa Cruz, Calif. / Santa Cruz) (1:05.04) finished in the top-five of a nine-woman 400m hurdles field. Griffith has had herself a monstrously successful freshman campaign as the current holder of the 400h and 200m dash records in addition to being second in two other events. Freshman Matthew Earney (San Diego, Calif. / Del Norte) and sophomore Simon Ricci (Chicago, Ill. / Latin School of Chicago) each secured top-10 finishes in the men's 1500m run, finishing in 4:04.34 and 4:07.34. Earney took sixth-place and set a new PR while Ricci nearly matched his PR from yesterday which allowed him to qualify. 

Caltech also impressed in the throwing events. Sophomore Alexa Lauinger (Ortonville, Mich. / Brandon) earned Caltech one point with an eighth-place finish in the javelin (30.06m), though her biggest personal gain came in the hammer throw, where she set a new PR by more than a full meter (34.37m) and outperformed her 15th seed by six spots, becoming the third Beaver on the day to do so. On the men's side, senior Zane Murphy's (Wilmington, Del. / Tampa Prep) standout throw came in the javelin when he picked up a big PR he had previously not been able to hit since his very first meet back in February 2017. Murphy's 38.43m crushed his previous best throw by over one meter. Freshman Daniel Rostovtsev (Swarthmore, Pa. / Strath Haven) also picked up his own personal best in the javelin (33.61m).

The Beavers also had representation in both 4x400 relay events, with each men's and women's team clinching eighth-place finishes, adding to the Beavers' point total. Earney combined with sophomores Tiger Lu (Shanghai, China / Shanghai American School Puxi) and Jesse Cai (McLean, Va. / Thomas Jefferson Science and Technology), in addition to freshman Michael Brown (New Orleans, La. / Isidore Newman) to clock in at 3:31.52, with Lu anchoring the team. Griffith, meanwhile, led the women's race, and along with classmate Krystal Brodsky (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond) and juniors Michelle Marasigan (Elk Grove Village, Ill. / James B. Conant) and anchor Melissa Gutierrez (Pico Rivera, Calif. / El Rancho) crossed the finish line in 4:19.37. Both teams finished ahead of the Chapman relay groups.

"I couldn't be happier with how the weekend went for the team," Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. "This is the most engaged, competitive, supportive group we've had since I've been here. They have a lot to be proud of from this weekend and this season."

Raphelson and a select few Beavers will continue to train over the next few weeks to compete in a handful of Last-Chance invitationals with an eye toward more significant personal bests or program Top-10 marks.



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