Last weekend, the Cal track and field team travelled across the Bay to face rival Stanford at the Stanford Invitational. The meet did not count for scores and holds no value toward rankings, yet Stanford held the upper hand.
This weekend the Bears will have another chance to face the Cardinal on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Edwards Stadium.
And this weekend, it counts.
With the Stanford Invitational so fresh in their minds, the Bears will enter prepared give the Cardinal a close showing. At the Invitational, Cal had seven top-10 finishes, including a few personal records on the men’s side.
Dash Oliver and Jonathan Berry-Smith both set personal records in the 200 meter race, finishing with times of 22.02 and 22.23, respectively. Meanwhile, the women finished with three top-10 results. Amanda Hunter also notched a victory in the 400 meter hurdle.
Although the Bears did not have the edge last weekend, they have some strengths that they would like to exploit during their next try against the Cardinal in their long distance races.
Cal has runners Collin Jarvis and Taylor Bryson who ran two of the fastest 5000 meter times in school history and will try to use them to gain an advantage, but Stanford will look to derail that. The Cardinal are led by Chris Derrick, who holds the third best 1500 meter time in the country, and Amaechi Morton, who lays claim to the nation’s top time in the 400 meter hurdle.
Stanford seems poised for success after dominating both the men and women in last year’s matchup, winning 98-65 against the former and 88-75 against the latter. Most of the team from last year has returned, and the Cardinal will definitely look to take its wins in the sprints and middle distance races.
This year’s faceoff marks the 118th annual Big Meet, in which the men have held a sizable lead in head-to-head matchups. The women, by contrast, have competed in only 33 meets, and have a losing record.
Despite Stanford’s recent dominance in the Big Meet, Cal will be driven by revenge. Last week’s Stanford Invitational showed that the squad has the potential to stay in the meet if all of the racers can contribute in their specific ways. On Saturday, they will have a chance to do so when it really matters.