This weekend will feature a doubleheader for Cal track and field as the Bears will split off to compete at the Stanford Invitational and the San Francisco State Distance Carnival.
The Stanford Invitational is one of the highest-profile meets in the nation, especially for the distance events.
The meet will feature some of the nation’s hottest competitors. Oregon’s freshman Cooper Teare, the reigning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in cross country, is poised to make a big impact this weekend in the 5K.
“People come from all over the West Coast, especially in the distances,” said Cal head coach Tony Sandoval. “They will come from the midwest to run in the 800, 1,500, steeplechase, 5,000, 10,000. There’s a mix of college people and also a mix of open athletes that are starting their outdoor season, so professional athletes.”
Expect Cal’s distance squad, headlined by freshman Brie Oakley and senior Garrett Corcoran, to notch in some exciting finishes. Oakley and Corcoran will be racing in the women’s 5K and men’s 5K, respectively.
Senior Ashtyn Davis will aim to defend his title in the 110-meter hurdles from last season’s competition. Davis has looked strong all year and should have no problem in either the prelims or the finals for his event.
On the field side, Cal will continue to look toward its throwers for its most consistent scoring. Last year’s invitational saw senior Destiny Parker come in second in the hammer.
To add some more fire to the mix, this year’s new addition, freshman Camryn Rogers, has been an absolute machine in the hammer. This strong pair will be one of the Bears’ most potent scoring duos.
The men had similar success last season, sweeping the discus and claiming first in the shot put at last year’s invitational. The Bears will field their returning core of senior Peter Simon, junior Malik McMorris and sophomore McKay Johnson to try to replicate their success.
Those distance athletes who weren’t able to qualify for the Stanford Invitational will compete at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival. While the meet won’t feature a ferris wheel or a travelling psychic, it will be a competitive meet filled with distance events and relays.
“There’s pretty good competition at the SF State meet,” Sandoval said. “It may not be at the high level like Stanford, but it is a good-quality meet for those emerging athletes who haven’t distinguished themselves yet.”
Cal track and field is set to have an exciting weekend with these two meets. The Stanford Invitational will be sure to produce some exciting performances from Bears and competitors alike. While the competition won’t be as elite at the SF State Distance Carnival, it will still be a fun time to watch the young Bears.