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Welcoming the Recruits: Caltech Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field

The Caltech women’s cross country and track & field teams have followed up one of their best recruiting classes in program history from last season with yet another, this year bringing in six newcomers to join the most successful team in a decade. Schedule Release Krystal Brodsky (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond) Molly Crotteau (Chicago, Ill. […]

The Caltech women’s cross country and track & field teams have followed up one of their best recruiting classes in program history from last season with yet another, this year bringing in six newcomers to join the most successful team in a decade.

Schedule Release

Krystal Brodsky (Redmond, Wash. / Redmond)
Molly Crotteau (Chicago, Ill. / Payton)
Sirisha Gudavalli (Boulder, Colo. / Fairview)
Claire Hu (Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn)
Lily Kitagawa (Portage, Mich. / Portage Central)
Jessica Ye (Lutherville Timonium, Md. / Dulaney)

“This is probably the deepest, most talented class of female distance runners that has matriculated at Caltech in my time here,” Head Coach Ben Raphelson said. “Last year, our women’s team took a huge step forward, both in the conference and regionally. This group will be key in continuing, if not accelerating, that progress.”

Krystal Brodsky
Redmond, Wash. / Redmond
800m: 2:24
1600m: 5:32
3200m: 11:54

A Washington state qualifier in cross country, Brodsky completed dual enrollment at Bellevue College, from which she will graduate with an associate’s degree after serving as a calculus, chemistry and English tutor. She placed in the 99th percentile on the national genchem exam.

“Krystal competed at a high level while balancing dual enrollment at her local community college,” Raphelson said. “Not only a versatile talent able to succeed at both the middle and long distance events, she comes in well prepared to thrive as a student-athlete at Caltech.”

Molly Crotteau
Chicago, Ill. / Payton
800m: 2:29
1600m: 5:32
3200m: 11:56

Crotteau qualified for the Illinois state championships twice while also interning at the Chicago Diabetes Project and researching Oncofertility in the Northwestern Health Science program.

“Even with the athletic success she has experienced in high school, I think Molly is really just scratching the surface of her ability,” Raphelson said. “I’m looking forward to seeing her progress – she has the potential to be a key cog in our team for the next four years.”

Sirisha Gudavalli
Boulder, Colo. / Fairview
5k XC: 20:53

An impressive athlete who competed at altitude throughout high school, Gudavalli also conducted bioengineering research at Colorado University and biochemistry research at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“Sirisha comes from a highly successful program in Colorado,” Raphelson said. “Her personal-best cross country time was recorded at over 5,000 feet above sea level, where there is a relative lack of oxygen, so she figures to thrive here in Southern California.”

Claire Hu
Palo Alto, Calif. / Henry M. Gunn
5km XC: 19:19
3200m: 12:01

Another state qualifier among this year’s recruits, Hu boasts a personal-best five-kilometer cross country team that ranks among the fastest of any incoming runner in program history. She had conducted nutrition research through the University of Connecticut Mentor Connection and ecology research on Bay-Area watershed through Advanced Authentic Research.

“Claire’s passion and energy for running are contagious,” Raphelson said. “She is a gifted and dedicated competitor who has a chance to make an impact early in her career. I think she’ll really thrive over the longer distance races that we contest in college.”

Lily Kitagawa
Portage, Mich. / Portage Central

Jessica Ye
Lutherville Timonium, Md. / Dulaney

“Jessica and Lily will provide important depth to our group and will have every opportunity to develop into Top-7 performers for our group,” Raphelson said. “I’m excited to get them on campus and help them progress.”

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