The Cal track and field team just completed what was likely its busiest weekend yet, with the team divided into three meets spanning three cities in two states.
Arguably the most important of the three was the second annual Tri-Meet with Michigan and Virginia, a meet designed to pit three of the topic public universities in the nation against one another. Unlike last year, the Bears did not have the advantage of competing at home — the meet was held in Charlottesville, Va. But, much like last year, the men’s team dominated and came away with first place.
The Bears finished with a resounding 142 points — a mark less than last year’s 161 but enough to beat second-place Virginia’s 124 points. The women slipped from last year’s second-place finish to third place with 85 points, a total much lower than first-place Michigan’s 157. But what may have been most impressive about Cal’s performance this weekend was the abundance of new personal records — 12 were set at the Tri-Meet on the second day alone.
The men’s team earned first in more than half of its events, in what was an excellent team performance, with titles in 100 meters (Tom Blocker), 1500 meters (Thomas Joyce), 5000 meters (Chris Walden), 110-meter hurdles (Milan Ristic), 400-meter hurdles (Randy Bermea), 4×100-meter relay (Dan Davis, Dash Oliver, Ristic and Blocker), high jump (Nick Ride), triple jump (Jonte Grant) and discus (Derek White).
Some notable personal records were set by Oliver, who finished the 100 meters in second place with a time of 10.61 seconds, and Joost de Jong, whose time of 54.61 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles earned him fourth place in the event.
On the women’s side, victories were earned by Charnell Price (100 meters), Angelica Weaver (400-meter hurdles), Grace Beaudoin (high jump) and Malaina Payton (long jump). While the victories were sparse, there were several new personal bests. These came from Weaver in the 100-meter hurdles, Megan Bordes in the 3000-meter steeplechase, Sydney Gray in the 1500 meters and Marisa Scott in the 1500 meters.
While the athletes who participated at the Tri-Meet were only up against two other schools, the athletes who attended the Stanford Invitational were up against a much larger and more competitive field. As a result, the Bears finished the meet with only four top-10 finishes: Nicole Larson (sixth in pole vault), Cody Bickham (fifth in shotput), Noel Frazier (fourth in high jump) and Tara Lookabaugh (third in high jump).
Cal also sent a small squad of athletes to the San Francisco State Distance Festival, a meet intended for those athletes who weren’t slated to participate in either of the other two meets. Although the Bears did not fare particularly well against competition at the meet, both Molly Babcock and William Contreras set personal records in the 800 meters.
Kapil Kashyap covers track and field. Contact him at [email protected]ilycal.org.