Simon, Davis take first at Pac-12 Championships

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Aditi Raghunath/Staff

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Move over moms, because your kids are stealing the spotlight. Sunday was dedicated to the celebration of mothers throughout the United States, but for the Cal track and field team, the day was about chasing a top spot on the podium at the Pac-12 Championships. And while the Bears may not have spent most of the day with their moms, their performances were sure to make them proud.

Cal’s men and women placed fifth and ninth overall, respectively, but the team scores were not indicative of an overall lack of success as the Bears rolled on through Eugene, Oregon. While the Bears secured two first-place finishes and one second-place finish, three was the magic number of the championship weekend. Six athletes finished in third place, totaling nine podium placements for the Bears.

The two first-place finishes came from juniors Peter Simon and Ashtyn Davis. Simon took first in the shot put to record the Bears’ first win of the meet. The junior threw for a mark of 19.74 meters, his best mark of the season, which added just more than a foot to his previous best throw of 19.41 meters.

Davis took first in the 110-meter hurdles, his signature event, earning the title with a career-best time of 13.50 seconds. Davis’ swift performance not only allowed him to own the moment on the top tier of the podium, but also solidified an undefeated outdoor season.

Junior Marquis Morris of USC proved to be Davis’ biggest competition, trailing just .07 seconds behind Davis in the prelims. Morris proved to be a non-factor because he was disqualified during the finals, leaving Davis with a smidgen of wiggle room to work with. Davis did not need any wiggle room as he produced his speediest time of his career and edged his nearest competitor by nearly half a second.

The lone second-place finish belonged to senior Trent Brendel, who recorded a career-best time of 29:20.52 in the 10,000-meter run en route to taking second.

Among the six athletes who placed third was junior Bethan Knights, who took third in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 33:30.13. Knights shaved more than a second off of her previous career-best time of 33:31.25 in the run.

Junior Ashley Anderson took third in the triple jump with a mark of 13.08 meters, tacking on a few inches to her previous career-high mark of 13.03 meters.

Senior Ilse Kaaja took third in the women’s hammer throw event with a mark of 61.14 meters, and fellow senior Thomas Joyce took third in the 1,500-meter event with a time of 3:55.58 for a season-best, missing second place by a nearly imperceptible gap of .03 seconds.

The youngest Bears to rack up a podium finishes were sophomores Lauren Martinez and Kendall Mader. Martinez took third in the pole vault and Mader took third in discus.

Cal by no means dominated this weekend’s meet, but it also did not go under the radar. Whether it was by inches or seconds, by large gaps or small ones, the Bears left their mark on the 2017 Pac-12 Outdoor Championships.

Christie Aguilar is the assistant sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].

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