When Cal’s 2018 track and field season began, there were more than 80 eager Bears ready to give their all in their respective events. But by the time June came around, only the strongest survived — this weekend seven Cal athletes competed in the 2018 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
While no Bear was able to finish in the top 10 in any event, Cal’s athletes left it all in Track Town, USA, and their accomplishments throughout the entire season were both noteworthy and commendable.
The closest Bear to a top-10 mark was junior Lauren Martinez, who took 11th in the pole vault event with a mark of 4.30 meters. She also earned a school record in the event to cap off an extremely successful junior campaign. Atop her championships finish, Martinez earned second-team All-American Honors.
Next up for Cal came a pair of 16th-place finishers in senior Peter Simon and junior Silviu Bocancea.
Simon threw 18.95 meters in the shot put event, which, all in all was not his best throw of his season. In a field that featured the top-eight finishers throwing for 20 meters or more, Simon, who has never broken the 20-meter mark, was simply outmatched. Simon wraps up a collegiate career that featured three trips to the NCAA championships, a Pac-12 title and a 2018 second-team All-American recognition.
Bocancea threw for 65.54 meters in the hammer throw event, marking his first trip to the NCAA championships as a Bear. The junior, who transferred from UC Riverside, had a solid first year in Berkeley and will look to build upon his successes in both the hammer and weight throw events.
Sophomore McKay Johnson, who competed in both the shot put and discus events, took 17th and 18th place, respectively. In shot put, Johnson finished just behind his teammate, Simon, with a mark of 18.92 meters. He threw for 53.43 meters in the discus, and while it was not his best throw of the year, Johnson had a strong sophomore outing, earning a spot as an honorable mention All-American.
Another 18th-place finisher at the NCAA finals was sophomore Tuomas Kaukolahti in the triple jump event. Kaukolahti finished with a mark of 15.53 meters. Fellow triple jumper senior Ashley Anderson took 21st in the women’s event with a mark of 12.86 meters.
Senior Ashtyn Davis competed in the 110-meter hurdles event. Davis took 14th in the preliminaries of the event, finishing with a time of 13.87 seconds. He was one of only two Pac-12 representatives in the event. Davis also earned second-team All-American honors.
Christie Aguilar is the sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].