The Cal track and field team left the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford’s Cobb Track and Angell Field with strong performances from all the Bears, marking the end of the outdoor season for many and beginning the road to nationals.
For the second weekend in a row, junior Thomas Joyce stole the show with another stellar performance on the track. He finished the second section of the 5,000-meter race with a final time of 13:34.42, which narrowly beat out Justyn Knight and Martin Hehir from No. 21 Syracuse. Joyce’s time was good for a first-place finish and for second best in Cal’s all-time performances for the event. This win comes after record-setting performances from Joyce in the 1,500-meter race at the Big Meet in April and the Don Bowden Mile in last week’s Brutus Hamilton Open.
Another victor in Saturday’s meet was Cal’s very own Hungarian hurler, freshman Peter Simon. Simon took first in the shot put with a final distance of 17.57 meters, beating out second-place Tristen Newman from Stanford by almost three-fourths of a meter. Cal sophomore Matt Esparza also competed in the event, finishing in fourth place with a final distance of 16.69 meters.
In the discus throw, sophomore Brenden Song and redshirt sophomore Ethan Cochran secured first- and second-place finishes for the Bears in the event, respectively. With a final distance of 57.35 meters, Song put enough on his throw to beat his teammate’s distance of 53.73 meters. Cochran’s throw was well ahead of the third-place finisher — Nicholas Budincich from Stanford, who recorded 49.44 meters — securing second place by more than four meters.
Along with these first-place finishes, the Bears also managed several second-place finishes against their elite competition. Cal sophomore Eugene Hamilton III took second place in the third section of the 800-meter with a final time of 1:48.90, while fellow sophomore Josh Lewis finished second in section five of the event with a time of 1:50.73. Freshman Matt Schwartz placed second in the pole vault, finishing behind his sole competition, Dalton Duvio of Stanford, with a height of 4.70 meters.
Cal freshmen Ellis Newton and Garrett Corcoran set personal records in the 1,500-meter this weekend, with Newton finishing the race in 3:48.66 and Corcoran finishing shortly behind with a time of 3:49.61. In the section-four 5,000-meter race, junior Leland Later finished with a final time of 14:06.01, and redshirt senior Collin Jarvis finished in 14:48.35. Lastly, Cal’s sole representative in the javelin throw, senior Andrew Scholnick, finished in fifth place with a distance thrown of 51.19 meters.
On the women’s side, junior Victoria Rische also placed second in the pole vault with a final height of 3.90 meters, narrowly missing first place by only a 14th of a meter. Junior Ginika Iwuchukwu finished second in the women’s shot put with a distance of 14.29 meters. Behind Iwuchukwu was her teammate Destiny Parker, a freshman, finishing in third with a final distance of 13.83 meters.
Those who competed Saturday will hope to have an extra jump in their race or push in their throw after this opportunity to showcase their skills to a national audience as the Bears get set for the Pac-12 championships in two weeks.
Chris Tril covers track and field. Contact him at [email protected].