While most students will be lighting up on Memorial Glade on Friday as a warmup for Saturday’s Cal Day festivities, Cal track and field will be all work and no play at Stanford for the Cardinal Classic.
This weekend will mark Cal’s third consecutive meet against the Cardinal — the Bears have already faced them at home and away. The meet will be a small affair with only a few schools.
“It’s a high-quality college invitational,” said Cal head coach Tony Sandoval. “It’s not as big as the Stanford Invite, since Stanford gets both college athletes intermixed with some high school events. … But it’s a good warm-up meet for us because that’s the site of the Pac-12 Championships.”
Cal will have little to lose this weekend, making it a great place to get some reps in as preparation for more significant meets later this season. The meet will give the Bears a low-pressure opportunity to really get to know the track and Stanford’s facilities.
While he normally leads the charge, senior Ashtyn Davis will be absent for this weekend’s classic. Davis is one of Cal’s strongest dual-sport athletes and will be busy with spring football training during this portion of the season.
The Bears will sorely miss Davis’ scoring, but Cal’s outstanding field athletes will be more than enough to make up for his absence.
Sophomore McKay Johnson is in the midst of a breakout season in the throws, having dominated this entire year in the shot put and discus. At the Big Meet, Johnson was able to claim first place in both events, anchoring a very solid effort by Cal’s throwers.
Johnson has not placed worse than third place this outdoor season, and he’s primed to continue his excellent run into this weekend.
Diving into the women’s throws, the names of freshman Camryn Rogers and senior Destiny Parker should be a shock to no one. Rogers has already cemented herself as the best hammer thrower in school history, while Parker has continued to deliver consistently every meet.
With Pac-12 Championships only two weeks away, the Bears will get a nice tune-up this weekend in Palo Alto. The Bears are nearing the final leg of their season, and while this meet won’t mean much, it will be a strong indicator as to where the Bears are at this point in their training.
“Well I think it’s nothing any different than what we’ve been doing before,” Sandoval said. “The good thing is we’ve had some some good weather the last couple of days, so we have a good chance to get some good training in.”
Harshil Desai covers track & field. Contact him at