Cal track and field teams finish with strong performances at two weekend meets

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Poring over the extensive, 34-page statistics sheet for the Friday events alone, it became very apparent that the Stanford Invitational was a big as everyone made it sound. Members of the Cal track and field teams were able to partake in this gathering of more than 3,000 athletes this weekend, as well as a second meet Friday: the San Francisco State Distance Carnival.

“We have to split the squad and staff. It is a logistical nightmare,” said Cal track and field director Tony Sandoval. “The only reason that I can’t complain too much about it is that other coaches that are doing the same things have to fly from other places in the United States.”

At Stanford, freshman Marissa Williams placed second in the women’s 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:24.74, and in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, sophomore Ashtyn Davis also came in second in 13.76 seconds.

Sophomore Bethan Knights won the women’s 5,000-meter run, clocking one of best times of the three sections of the event. She finished in 15:52.91.

Freshman Lauren Martinez placed second in the women’s pole vault, falling on the right side of the tiebreaker between her and the third-place athlete, both finishing with a height of 3.71 meters.  Another freshman had a strong performance with Luciano Lopez placing second in the men’s pole vault with a high of 4.90 meters.

This weekend was also big for Cal women’s jumpers at Stanford. Senior Christine Canning was the third-place finisher in the high jump, jumping as high as 1.70 meters. Sophomore Ashley Anderson won the triple jump, reaching a distance of 12.88 meters.

Out of all of these performances, three Cal athletes were able to top their personal bests: junior Jayla Scholis in the 200-meter race, Davis in men’s hurdles and Lopez in men’s pole vault.

The most impressive Bears performances at Stanford came from Cal underclassmen. This is a promising fact, not only for the remainder of this outdoor season, but for seasons to come.

A second meet split the Cal teams this weekend: the San Francisco State Distance Carnival.

Many of the athletes, not only from Cal, who did not qualify for the Stanford Invitational competed instead at the Distance Carnival.

The most notable performance at the Distance Carnival was that of freshman Kai Benedict, who ran the 1,500-meter run in 3:53.00, finishing in eighth place. This time would have almost placed him within the qualifiers for the invitational.

“We have had people get those qualifying marks at the San Francisco meet, even though they didn’t get into the Stanford Invitational,” Sandoval said.

The Bears were more successful at Stanford than at the Distance Carnival in terms of the number of point-scoring finishes. Considering, however, that both of these meets were new for the Bears, they had extremely successful results across the board.

Lucy Schaefer covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].