For those who haven’t been to Edwards Stadium, it might be hard to imagine how a sunny Saturday at Cal’s home track could motivate the Bears to achieve first-place finishes and new personal bests. Some might ask: What’s so special about the track at Edwards Stadium? Let me explain.
Located on campus next to the RSF building and only a few minutes away from downtown Berkeley, Edwards Stadium is an impressive edifice the Cal track and field team uses to train and complete workouts when the weather permits (which it usually does).
The blue-and-gold colored track sits in the middle of a stadium with the capacity to seat 22,000. While there certainly weren’t 22,000 spectators at the USC Dual Meet on Saturday due to COVID-19 restrictions, the large and looming stands served as a reminder that the Bears have many virtual fans rooting for them from home.
“It was great to do our normal warm up for everything,” said senior Meredith Corda. “It was nice being at home and my parents even got to come, which was awesome.”
A successful day at Edwards Stadium started off with Cal senior and top-ranked hammer thrower Camryn Rogers taking first in her signature event, which was expected, given her national standing in the event. Rogers never fails to impress, especially considering her performance at the April 2-3 Stanford Invitational, where she rose to the No. 1 spot and notched a career-best throw of 71.73 meters — 3.21 meters above the best mark of No. 2 Sade Olatoye from Ohio State.
Other highlights from the meet include the women’s distance squad sweeping the 1500 meter event, with an all-Bears quartet taking the top four spots. Just 6.19 seconds separated the first and fourth finishers in their pack. Corda took first place in her first 1500-meter race in two years and landed a new personal best of 4:35.55.
“I’m really happy with how well our girls squad did today,” Corda said. “We did really well following the plan our coaches gave us, which was to work together and to run as fast as we could to the finish.”
Senior Josh Johnson faced off against USC junior and former Bear McKay Johnson in shot put. This matchup was familiar to the two nationally ranked throwers — as former teammates, they often competed in the same events at each invitational. McKay took first and Josh took second; however, Josh currently sits at No. 3 in the nation in shot put while McKay is ranked No. 9.
On Saturday, a few states away at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Arizona, sophomore Hakim McMorris competed in the decathlon and took 12th. McMorris was the only athlete from Cal who traveled to Arizona to compete.
After a refreshing weekend of competition at home, Cal will once again hit the road and travel to Eugene, Oregon, to compete in the West Coast Classic. While Hayward Field won’t have the same homey feel as Edwards Stadium, it will still provide the Bears with a chance to notch more wins and qualify for the NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Championships.