The Bears filled up an entire page in the record books this weekend, with several athletes breaking both personal and school records.
Over the weekend, Cal sent a split squad to the Husky Indoor Classic in Seattle and the Don Kirby Elite Indoor Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. Historically, these two events have been known to be among the most competitive in the indoor track and field season, and they certainly brought out the best in the Bears, especially redshirt junior Chioma Amaechi.
Amaechi gave Cal its only two wins this weekend in Seattle, highlighted by the setting of a new school record of 21.75 meters in the weight throw on day one, a mark which currently stands at No. 5 in the NCAA. She also set a career best with a shot put of 52-11.50, giving her a commanding lead of more than two-and-a-half feet over the second-place finisher, Brittany Mann from the University of Oregon.
But Amaechi wasn’t the only one breaking records. Redshirt seniors Tom Blocker and Dash Oliver also set personal records for the 60-meters, with times of 6.74 seconds and 6.78 seconds in the finals, respectively. In fact, Blocker’s time of 6.74 was a new school record, beating out the previous mark of 6.77 set by Kellan Patterson in 2009 at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Seattle.
Redshirt senior Hammed Suleman, identified by head coach Tony Sandoval as someone who could potentially qualify for the NCAAs this weekend, did not disappoint and set his indoor personal record in Albuquerque with a triple jump of 52-2.00. The mark will likely qualify him for the NCAA championships, which are also being held in Albuquerque, in March. He participated in the NCAA championships last year, after qualifying for the long jump in NCAA west preliminaries, so it would be no surprise for him to qualify again.
Other athletes who set personal records include Milan Ristic, Charnell Price and Grace Beaudoin. Ristic tied his indoor personal record in the 200-meters with a time of 21.48 seconds, while on the women’s side, Price set her personal record with a time of 24.29 seconds. Moving away from running events, Beaudoin achieved a personal best with a high jump that cleared 5-8.00. While none of these athletes achieved marks that qualify them for the NCAAs, their improvements mark the kind of progress that Sandoval is looking for during the regular season, and the team hopes to continue to make strides toward qualifying by the end of the season.
After a weekend highlighted by two individual first-place victories by Amaechi, Cal will have the week off before its next event.
Contact Kapil Kashyap at [email protected].