The Cal track and field teams flew to Albuquerque this weekend to compete in the New Mexico Team Invitational, hoping for better results than last year. Despite their best efforts, both the men’s and women’s teams finished with disappointingly similar results.
The men fell from the third place spot they earned last year down to fourth place, and the women’s team improved only slightly, moving from seventh to sixth.
UCLA, whose teams both finished in first place last year, did not attend the meet. Filling its shoes was Nebraska, who took home the first place plaque in men’s and second in the women’s race. Nebraska did not compete in the invitational last year.
A notable performance for the Cal men’s team was junior Eugene Hamilton III’s second-place finish in the 600-meter race with a time of 1:18.94. Hamilton was also the first finisher for the Bears in the 800-meter run, coming in sixth place.
While there were some other important finishes for the male runners, the majority of the points scored for Cal were in the field events such as shot put and weight throw.
Sophomore Walt Jones IV scored six points for the Bears with his third-place finish in the men’s long jump event, as did sophomore Karsten Wethington, who competed in the triple jump event.
The Bears were particularly successful in the shot put category, with junior Sullivan Parker placing first with a high of 18.49 meters and sophomore Peter Simon finishing third with a distance of 17.89 meters. Together they earned 16 points for the team.
Lastly, senior Isaac Dan brought in 10 points with his first-place finish in men’s weight throw.
The Cal women, who managed to improve slightly from last year, ultimately struggled to place high enough to earn significant points.
The highest point earner of the running events was freshman Rebecca Croft, who came in third place in the women’s 800-meter with a time of 2:14.08. Sophomore Nuria Tio Peig and Croft who both ran in the 600-meter race finished milliseconds apart from each other, taking the fifth and sixth place, respectively. They followed shortly after Cal junior Nijae Jones, who came in fourth place.
Similar to the men, the majority of the women’s points came outside of running. Sophomore Isabella Marten finished second in women’s triple jump, with a distance of 13.08 meters. Following in the success of women’s shot putter Chioma Amaechi who graduated last year, Sophomore Ginika Iwuchukwu finished third in women’s shot put.
While it was a good day for a few athletes and a notable day for some of the younger runners and throwers, much of the team struggled to make significant contributions to the overall score.
Lucy Schaefer covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].