With its first indoor meet in tow, the Cal track and field team prepares to show-out at the second indoor event of the season. The Bears head back to Washington, where they will be competing in the two-day indoor meet Friday and Saturday. This meet is pivotal for the athletes looking to extend their season and qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
“The last meet was a scoring meet, whereas this meet we are focused on sending individuals to nationals,” said Cal director of track and field Tony Sandoval.
California has 51 athletes competing in a total of 16 events, and 27 are competing in two or more events. Sophomore Tyler Brendel leads the team, competing in a total of five events.
One standout member of the team, sophomore Robert Brandt, is a distance runner who runs both track and cross country. Brandt took home a first-place finish at the 2017 season opener, the first win of his career. The title came in the 5000 meter run event, and he will be competing in the 3000 meter run in hopes to come out with another first-place finish.
The next standout member is another two-sport athlete, junior Ashtyn Davis. Davis plays football in addition to running hurdles on the track team. He has been a competitive and consistent hurdler for the team, and recently claimed first place at the UW Invitational in the 60 meter hurdles. He also took second place in the 110 meter hurdles in the 2016 Pac-12 Championships. Davis will be competing in the 60 meter hurdles and looking to qualify for nationals in the event.
Lastly, junior thrower Peter Simon will be looking to qualify for nationals in the shot put event. After taking third place in shot put at the UW Invitational, he’ll be hoping to outdo his most recent performance.
The 2017 track and field team has a large number of young athletes, something that has not been characteristic of the sport in recent years. However, the team seems to have some great leaders to show them how it is done, especially early on in the season, and that should help the Bears on their quest for qualification.
Christie Aguilar covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].