Sometimes doing the same thing over and over again can become monotonous. Completing weekly problem sets, working a menial job and doing daily chores are all examples of things that get boring when done often.
One thing that never becomes tiresome — even though it occurs on a pretty routine basis throughout the spring, with the exception of the cancellations of the 2020 season — is witnessing Cal track and field’s progress at each outdoor invitational.
On April 2 and 3 the Bears competed in Palo Alto against a number of teams in the Pac-12 as well as several non-conference opponents. The team’s success across the Bay can be measured based on individual accomplishments, like the first-place finishes of freshman Garrett MacQuiddy, senior Deshae Wise and sophomore Henry Larkin.
MacQuiddy is a newcomer who has placed first in every single event he’s competed in this season for a total of three victories. The freshman is ranked in the top 100 for the 800 and 1500 meters on the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor qualifying list. In order to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships, MacQuiddy will have to make it to the top 16.
Wise has also had a noteworthy spring so far, with a top-three finish at each of the invitationals she’s competed in during the outdoor season. At the Stanford Invitational, she came in first in the 100-meter hurdles with a new personal best of 13.34 and second in the 400-meter hurdles. Wise is ranked No. 32 in the 100 hurdles on the NCAA qualifiers list and has the potential to qualify for the championships.
This year is Larkin’s first season with the blue and gold, and as an underclassman, he’s already proved himself to be a formidable competitor. At the Stanford Invitational, he brought home a first-place finish in the 400 meters, with a career-best time of 47.00. Larkin is also in the top 100 for the qualifiers list.
Senior Josh Johnson is ranked higher on the qualifiers list than any other track and field athlete at Cal and is currently the only one in position to qualify. As No. 3 in the nation for the shot put, Johnson is shaping up to have a record-breaking season.
Johnson’s second-place finish at the Stanford Invitational suggests room for improvement, but he’s pleased with how he performed overall.
“There were some good things happening, so I can’t be too upset with it,” Johnson said. “The rhythm and speed were good, but I need to work on the execution of my finish.”
Johnson achieved his career-best throw of 19.88 meters at the Trojan Invitational in March. This mark is 1.19 meters off from the season-best mark of No. 1 shot putter Turner Washington from Arizona State.
“Being that this is only our second outdoor meet, I’m just grateful we get to have a season and get out there and compete with other competitors,” Johnson said. “I’m just enjoying the whole experience right now and feeling really blessed we’re able to have a season.”
The blue and gold will be back in action April 8 and 9 at the Jim Click Invitational in Tucson, Arizona. On April 10, some of the Bears will face off against USC in a dual meet held at Edwards Stadium. These two upcoming invitationals will be a chance for Cal to build on the consistency it captured during the indoor season.
Mia Horne covers track and field and cross country. Contact her at [email protected]