There is just something about competing at home that supersedes a road match – whether it be competing in front of local fans or just having the familiarity of home. Home meets have been scarce for the Cal track and field team, hosting only two meets in the entire season. The Brutus Hamilton Challenge marked the last home event for the Bears, and after racking up 20 first-place finishes, they proved to end their home events with a bang.
In its third-to-last meet before Pac-12 championship events commence, this is one of the last opportunities for much of the team to find a podium finish. New career highs and season bests served as the cherry on top of Cal’s homefield sundae, but the sweet taste of victory will not be as easy to attain in the coming weeks. As it stands right now, the Bears are not huge contenders in the NCAA Championship running, but they do have a shot a being a sizable contender in the Pac-12 championships.
Junior Ashley Anderson, Cal’s top female triple jumper, set a new career best at 13.03 meters. She added 0.09 meters to her previous best qualifying mark of 12.94 meters, but even with the significant improvement in her jump, her mark still lies just outside of the top-25 in the country. The new mark, however, is a testament to Anderson’s growth throughout the season and was a solid way to end her junior competition on her home runway.
Freshman Zion Corrales Nelson set a new career best in the 400-meter dash with a time of 55.04. Nelson shaved off a little over a second form her previous best of 56.51 that she set over a month ago at the Sacramento State Invitational. While Nelson likely won’t be the lead contender during championship events, her freshman debut implies promising future.
Junior Ashtyn Davis, far from a rookie, took first in the 110-meter hurdle event for the sixth consecutive time this outdoor season. While his time of 13.97 did not move up his national ranking, Davis is still ranked 12th in the nation. Davis also competed in the long jump for the first time in his career, but his inexperience in the event had no bearing on his performance as he still managed to claim the top spot on the podium.
Graduate student Scott Chiesa produced a season personal record in the javelin throw event with a mark of 63.07 meters. While Chiesa’s mark is over five meters less than his career best, it was still his longest throw of the 2017 season.
The Bears ended their last home meet on a high note, but their most important meets come on the road. Cal’s next biggest feat, the Pac-12 championships, will take place in Corvallis, Oregon, but if it can compete on the road as well as it did at home, it can expect to find several podium finishes.
Christie Aguilar covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].