Before the Cal track and field team returned from Washington this past weekend, it made sure not to come home empty handed. The Bears brought back three first-place titles and 12 top-10 finishes. Overall success came from many experienced members; however, the younger members proved that they are not to be regarded lightly and are just as tenacious as their veteran teammates.
To get things started, junior Ashtyn Davis notched another title under his belt, claiming first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.80. Having taken third at the event in last year’s Husky Indoor Classic, Davis knew he needed to improve upon an already excellent performance if he wanted to claim the title. He redeemed himself in a photo-finish manner, edging the win by a mere 0.02 seconds.
The next victory came from not one member, but four. Juniors Ellis Newton, Gerardo Castro and John Hogan, as well as senior Josh Lewis, took first in the men’s distance medley relay, putting together a time of 9:54.82. This was another neck-and-neck race, as their margin over second place came in at just more than a second.
The last spot on the podium belonged to a young member of the team, freshman Paramveer Chohan, who has shown he is ready to compete with the big boys. Chohan took first in the 400-meter event with a time of 46.95. In his first collegiate meet of his career, two weeks prior, he took first in the same event with a time of 47.34. His improvement within such a short span shows that he is not only talented, but ready to improve. And if one stand-out performance was not enough from the freshman, he also placed fourth in the 200-meter event.
Amongst Cal’s top-10 finishers, two upper-class members received their collegiate-best personal records. Junior Destiny Parker, took second in the weight throw event, with a throw of 20.21 meters. Her throw surpassed her previous personal record of 17.68 meters by almost three meters. Senior Thomas Joyce took fifth place in the one-mile event, setting his new personal best at 3:58.47, a barely perceptible but still important jump from his previous record of 3:58.69.
Junior Jayla Scholis, who took third in the 60-meter event, had a massive improvement from her first performance of the season two weeks prior. At the 2017 Washington Invitational, Scholis placed 21st in the preliminary round of the event, not managing to qualify for finals. However, this time around, she jumped 18 spots by improving from 7.79 to 7.61.
This meet served as a solid foundation for the team to build on as it moves further into the season. The Bears have a little less than two weeks to prepare for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships, their last of three trips to Washington. Only members who have qualified for their respective events will compete in this championship meet. As for the rest of the team, they have begun their training for outdoor season, which will commence in the first week of March.
Christie Aguilar covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].