Cal track and field competes around the bay in two tournaments

Karen Chow/Senior Staff

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You had a nice week off, but now you’ve returned to the famed temple of higher education that is UC Berkeley and woken up just a wee bit late for your first class.

After convincing yourself that your bed head looks okay, you head to class and the first and last question you hear is: how was your break?

Was it relaxing? Did you catch up on sleep?

Or was it busy? Did you go out? Travel? Do homework (really professor, an essay and a midterm)?

Either way, you probably did not compete at a track meet, and you definitely did not participate in two of them.

This weekend saw the Cal track and field team send athletes to both the Stanford Invitational and Mike Fanelli Track Classic, because making us normal folk feel bad by competing at one collegiate track meet is clearly not enough.

A platoon consisting entirely of distance runners ventured to Hayward for the Mike Fanelli Track Classic. Jessica Nye was the highest finishing Cal athlete, coming in 11th in the 1500 meters. Only two other Bears finished in the top 20 in their races, but both the men’s and women’s teams posted season’s bests in the grueling 5,000 and 10,000 meter races.

Work remains for the distance team, though, as Paul Zeiss’ 10,000 meter time was the only one from the meet which would currently qualify in the NCAA West Region.

Blue and gold uniforms were also found on the opposite side of the Bay as the Bears ventured deep into their rival’s territory for the Stanford Invitational. The meet in Palo Alto turned into something of a classic as records fell throughout the weekend.

Professional runner Emily Sisson ran the third fastest 10,000 meter ever run by an American woman. She and training partner Molly Huddle both ran Olympic standard times, outpacing the collegiate athletes.

Most other Pac-12 teams elected to send specialized squads to the meet with Washington, Cal and Stanford the only three to send larger teams. USC and UCLA were the notable Pac-12 absentees.

Cal recorded three wins and two school records at the meet. Silviu Bocancea took first in the hammer throw and Paramveer Chohan won the 400 meter hurdles, leading the way to a whopping 18 top-5 finishes.

The women’s 4×100 team stood out, winning the relay by more than a second and securing their third victory of the season. The only other Pac-12 team on the track, Stanford, did not finish.

Despite losing top performers in jumps and throws to injury and rest, the Bears still put their best foot forward in both event groups. Only two athletes finished outside the top-10 in the field competitions.

Cal struggled the most in men’s sprints, as no runner finished inside the top 10 in the 100, 200 and 400 meter races. The men’s 4×100 team would, however, take home a third place medal in an exciting relay which saw winner Washington edge out AUC Elite by .01 second and the Bears finish just .31 seconds behind the top mark.

Camryn Rogers set the school record in the hammer throw and Annie Boos continued what has been an excellent season to this point, breaking the school record in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Benjamin Micallef, on the other hand, broke the Maltese national record in the 800 meters with his personal best time of 1:51.54, earning him a 15t place finish.

With spring break thoroughly in the rearview mirror, the Bears will head across the Bay again on April 6 for the Big Meet, a competitive affair against highly-ranked rivals Stanford.

Jasper Sundeen covers track and field. Contact him at [email protected].