Cal track and field hurdler wraps up 2018 season at USATF championships

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After transferring to Cal from UCLA — just in time for the 2017-18 track and field season — there were high hopes for senior Misana Viltz as he redshirted the outdoor season in order to compete in both indoors and outdoors next year.

Viltz took 20th place in the 110-meter hurdles event at the USA Track and Field, or USATF, Outdoor Championships on Saturday, alongside some of the best hurdlers in the world. As the only Bear competing in the championships, Viltz proved that he is more than capable of living up to the expectations set for him.

While he just missed the top-16 mark needed to qualify for the semifinal round, Viltz recorded a time of 14.39 seconds. Running in the third heat of the preliminary round, up against both amateur and professional hurdlers, Viltz ran into a wind of -1.2 meters per second.

A returning competitor in the prestigious race, Viltz beat his 22nd-place mark from the preliminary round of the 2017 season, during which he competed for UCLA.

His qualifying mark of 13.74 seconds at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Arizona, allowed him to be eligible for the 2018 championships. Viltz took second at the Sun Angel Classic to Aries Merritt, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, against whom Viltz faced off again at the USATF Championships.

In the indoor season, his best time in the 60-meter hurdles was 8.04 seconds at the UW Invitational, earning him fourth place. This performance just edged out his time of 8.07 at the Husky Classic, at which he took third.

Ending his season with a strong performance in Des Moines, Viltz has been very successful in his first year as a Bear and is expected to continue doing so in both indoor and outdoor races in the 2018-19 season.

Contact Deana at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @DeanaKajmakovic