Cal track and field sets several personal records at Mt. Sac Relays

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The Mt. Sac Relays holds the distinction of being among the most heavily attended track meets on the West Coast. It presents a level of competition that is far more rigorous than most collegiate track meets, with postcollege athletes, and even international athletes, participating. But the Bears didn’t back down and managed to set a number of record performances in the face of this challenge.

This weekend, Cal track and field sent a squad of 12 people to the two-day Mt. Sac Relays on Friday and Saturday. Unlike many of its recent meets, this wasn’t a team scoring meet. Instead, the focus was to record as many individual bests as possible. While a number of athletes performed well, director of track and field Tony Sandoval saw Randy Bermea’s performance as the highlight of the weekend.

“I think the one that stood out the most for us was Randy Bermea in the 400 (meter) hurdles,” Sandoval said. “There were two sections in the 400 hurdles, and he won his heat. He placed seventh overall, and he would have been the third (place) collegiate within the field.”

Other notable performances came from Jonte Grant, who set a personal record in the triple jump, and freshman Khalfani Muhammad, who set a personal best in the 100 meters. While none of the Bears were able to bring home any event titles, they did manage to place competitively against a field of experienced athletes.

“If they compete against just always the collegiates, they lull themselves into some complacency,” Sandoval said. “To run with some postcollege athletes certainly shows they aren’t that far removed from the elite athletes as well.”

With the outdoor season winding down, this rigorous level of competition was the kind of push that the athletes needed to get prepared for the Pac-12 championships. In order to qualify for nationals, the first step will be for Cal to excel at the Pac-12 championships.

The Mt. Sac Relays also provided Sandoval and the Cal track and field staff an opportunity to scout the high school athletes who were in attendance. In the schedule of events, high school events were placed periodically in between many of the events the Bears participated in. Although the level of high school talent didn’t compare to last week’s renowned Arcadia Meet, Sandoval was still impressed by what he saw.

“Certainly, we had a chance to look at some of the people that are already signed for us, and we’re looking at people that we’re going to recruit in the future,” Sandoval said. “There’s people who do not do both meets (Mt. Sac Relays and Arcadia Meet), so it’s a good way to see people who didn’t go to Arcadia.”

Kapil Kashyap covers track and field. Contact him at [email protected]