Cal track and field impresses at MPSF Championships

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Karen Chow/File

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As the 2017 indoor track and field season came to an end, junior Ashtyn Davis proved to be the model of consistency. Davis is part of a select group of Cal athletes who have claimed a first-place finish throughout the season. In fact, no other athlete this season has acquired back-to-back-to-back titles.

Three meets, three perfect finishes.

Davis added to his already impressive track resume as he took first in the 60-meter hurdles at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Championships this past weekend.

Davis was not alone in his success, as the men’s distance medley relay squad made sure to leave its mark in Seattle, Washington, taking first over UCLA by a mark of about three seconds. The squad includes senior Thomas Joyce, junior Eugene Hamilton III, junior Garrett Corcoran and freshman Paramveer Chohan. Joyce concluded his indoor track career on a high note and set the bar for his younger teammates, who will continue to strive for excellence in their future seasons.

While sophomore Tyler Brendel did not join his fellow teammates in the “first-place club” at championships, his third-place finish in the heptathlon is nothing less than spectacular. Most athletes center their training and competition on one or two events. Brendel, however, competed in a total of seven events: the 60 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump, 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1,000 meters. A first-place finish in the heptathlon 60 meters and heptathlon 60-meter hurdles helped project Brendel to a spot on the podium.

Junior Destiny Parker also had a strong performance, throwing for a personal best of 20.89 meters in the weight throw. While Parker’s throw did not give her a bid to nationals, her new personal record is proof of growth, as her last year’s best throw was 17.68 meters.

As the indoor season concludes, a select few Cal athletes may have the opportunity to extend their seasons at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Only the strongest competitors will remain, and if the athletes qualify for the big dance, only excellence with permit them to a spot on the podium.

Take Davis, the back-to-back-to-back superstar hurdler. He has been able to hold his own against fierce Pac-12 competitors, but the stage only gets bigger from here. Davis’ championship time, and personal best record, in the 60-meter hurdles is 7.75.  His time currently ranks 14th overall in the NCAA, with the top time being 7.58. His performances and consistency have been astounding, but he still has yet to crack the top 10.

Davis’ case reveals the competitive nature of track and field and shows how 100ths of seconds separate the good from the great and the great from the elite. If Davis and other Cal track members head to College Station, Texas, for the NCAA Indoor Championships, they will affirm their greatness but will still have to earn the title of elite.

The 2017 indoor track and field season is over for most the team, but the search for greatness is far from over. The 2017 outdoor season commences March 4, and Cal is looking to make a dominant debut.

Christie Aguilar covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].