In so many sports, commotion is a fixed element that keeps both fans and players engaged and energized. The Seattle Seahawks are known to have one of the largest and loudest fan bases in the NFL. Because of the crowd’s incessant cheering, CenturyLink Field is considered one of the most lively places to experience a professional football game. Likewise, Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors, has been nicknamed the Roaracle because of the immense amounts of noise that is made in the arena.
In track and field, however, the atmosphere of a stadium isn’t breaking any decibels. Most events are quiet, save for some teams cheering on their own members and parents sparsely rooting on their own children. As a result, it was unlikely that when Cal took first in the women’s events and second in men’s at the Hornet Multi Meet, it would receive the “huzzah” that should have followed its thrilling performances. But stadium-rattling noise or not, Cal’s total of 24 top-five finishes is an accomplishment worthy of recognition.
Many athletes impressed on the women’s side, racking up five first-place titles. One young competitor, freshman Jackie Patterson, took first in the 100-meter sprint. This was only Patterson’s second time competing in the event, and while she has room for improvement, her hot start is promising. Patterson was also part of the 4×100 squad that took first, along with senior Jayla Scholis, freshman Zion Corrales Nelson and sophomore Taylor Smith.
Junior Ashley Anderson, Cal’s most consistent female triple jumper, took first in the event, marking it two perfect outings for her on the season. Sophomore Lauren Martinez followed suit, taking first in the pole vault for the second consecutive time this season. Lastly, senior Ilse Kaaja took first in the hammer throw, outshining junior Destiny Parker who has typically been Cal’s best female hammer thrower.
The men, however, were not going to let the women have all the fun, and they showed they were just as deserving of ear-shearing applause. Junior Ashtyn Davis continued his reign, taking first in the 110-meter hurdles, his fourth first-place finish of the season. The men also took first in the 4×100 relay, where members freshman Diab Davis, freshman Paramveer Chohan, sophomore Tyler Brendel and junior Karsten Wethington put on a quick, but impressive show. In the throwing events, junior Peter Simon took first in the shot put and senior Brenden Song took first in discus.
The women earned the top spot on the podium by totaling 150 points, leaving a substantial gap between them and second-place Sacramento, which totaled 136.5 points. The women of Cal had a monumental improvement over last year’s meet, where they took fifth after only accumulating 69 points. The men took second with 164 points, only two points shy of Weber State. The men also had an improvement over last year’s meet, where they took third after totaling 118 points.
While Hornet Stadium may not have been filled with relentless roars from the crowd, that is not indicative of Cal’s success. This was only the second outdoor meet of the season, and if the Bears continues to excel, they could find themselves at nationals, where they are likely to receive energy that is reflective of their performance.
Christie Aguilar covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].