Strong underclassmen who can carry on the legacy that upperclassmen created are a critical part of a team’s life cycle — they help ensure the team’s success in future seasons. Cal’s track and field team understands well that with new athletes comes new room for growth.
With changes to coaching staff — including the addition of Bobby Lockhart as distance coach and Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta as a volunteer assistant coach — underclassmen will have plenty of support to rise to the occasion.
Although the Bears have many talented underclassmen, here are just five of the outstanding young athletes to keep an eye on this track and field season.
Sophomore Hakim McMorris, multis
Competing in one collegiate-level track event is hard enough on its own, but sophomore Hakim McMorris spent his first outdoor season with Cal facing the 10-event decathlon.
McMorris placed second in the decathlon at the 2019 Pac-12 Track & Field Championships in Arizona, where he competed against other top athletes from around the conference. Other impressive moments from his 2019 season included a first-place finish at the Hornet Invitational and first-place finish for his group at the Bryan Clay Invitational.
McMorris competes in distance, sprint, jump and throw events. Hopes are high for this underclassman as he heads into 2020 with one impressive season already under his belt.
Sophomore Sydney Reid, jumps
Placing first for the long jump at an invitational isn’t easy, and for many athletes it takes more than just one season of college track to do so. Sophomore Sydney Reid managed to capture first at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational her freshman year with a mark of 5.59 meters. She placed eighth at the 2019 Pac-12 championships and set a personal best of 5.95 meters — she is predicted to jump even farther in 2020.
Sophomore Colin FitzGerald, distance
After finishing top-five for the men on Cal’s cross country team at every race this fall, sophomore Colin FitzGerald will bring his endurance and skill from the cross country season into the new year.
Like many sophomore Bears, this season will be Fitzgerald’s first time actually competing with the team.
“I was redshirted last year, so I’m excited to get out there and compete for the first time,” FitzGerald said.
He spent the 2019 track season fighting multiple illnesses, including poison oak.
“The first year of college is just hard for a lot of people, and it was for me, so I’m in a good place as a sophomore — taking care of myself and all that,” Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald competes in distance events and will run the 5K and possibly the steeple chase this year.
Sophomore Maisie Stevens, sprints
Many athletes at Cal traveled far from home to compete at UC Berkeley, but sophomore Maisie Stevens traveled farther than most, coming all the way from Sydney, Australia.
Stevens competes in the 100-meter, 200-meter and sprinting relays. She set her 2019 outdoor season personal records in the 100-meter and 200-meter at the Stanford invitational last March, posting 11.80 and 24.15, respectively.
Sophomore Moises Medrano, mid-distance
Sophomore Moises Medrano will switch from running longer distances in cross country last fall to mid-distance events in track this spring. Last track season he placed second in the 800-meter at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational, the Big Meet and the Hornet Invitational. He notched a 1:50.97 in the 800 for his season record in 2019.
Bobby Lockhart, Tianna Bartoletta, Hakim McMorris, Sydney Reid, Colin Fitzgerald, Moises Medrano, Maisie Stevens