Bears set for their final scoring meet, the Brutus Hamilton Open

Alex Turney/Staff

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“A great coach, a scholar, a gentleman, and a prince among men.” These were the words Cal track and field alumnus William Knick used to describe the man who coached him: Brutus Hamilton.

On Friday and Saturday, Cal track and field will be competing in the Brutus Hamilton Open at Edwards Stadium. Originally named the California Collegiate Challenge, the Brutus Hamilton Open has been an annual meet since 1998 and was renamed to honor the nationally renowned Cal track and field coach. During his tenure at Cal, Hamilton coached athletes who would go on to become Olympians and world-record holders. Hamilton was even inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame for his outstanding achievements.

“He’s a legend in the sport of track and field,” said director of track and field Tony Sandoval.

A large portion of Cal’s squad (approximately 60 to 65 members) will be participating in the Brutus Hamilton Open, with it being the last scoring meet of the outdoor season. In terms of competition, the No. 25 California men’s team will be up against small contingencies sent by Stanford, UC Davis, Sacramento State and USF, as well as individuals from the nearby northern California area. With all these teams coming in unranked, Cal is poised to excel and potentially rise in the rankings.

The format of this meet is unique because it consists of two separate competitions: a scoring meet and a nonscoring meet. Friday’s events are primarily the open — or nonscoring — events, in which individuals compete against each other without the concept of a team score. On the other hand, Saturday’s competition will be focused on the events for the four-way scoring meet.

“We certainly would like to win the scoring portion and stay undefeated,” Sandoval said, on his expectations for the meet. “That’s certainly something that’s important for us. But it’s also the last big team competition for us. After this, the squad will narrow down to those who qualify for the Pac-12 (championships) and beyond.”

In order to advance to the NCAA nationals for outdoor track and field, it is imperative that the Bears perform well at the Pac-12 championships, coming up in early to mid-May. Sandoval intends to send a squad of athletes to the Pac-12 championships he believes will have the ability to score. With 28 as the limit for the number of athletes a school can send to the championships, the Brutus Hamilton Open will be the last chance for athletes to prove they deserve a spot.

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