It’s that time of the year when the weather gets warmer, classes start to end and everything feels nostalgic. Walks around campus have transitioned from an afternoon hobby to a way to reminisce on all the memories you’ve made despite the unusual circumstances of this school year. The Campanile begins to look extra tall and shiny in the sunlight, and watching seniors take their graduation photos serves as a painful reminder of your fleeting time as an undergrad.
As the school year is nearing an end, so is the outdoor season of track and field. With only three invitationals left, there are only a few more opportunities for the Bears to gain career-best times and qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
On May 1, Cal track and field took on Stanford at Edwards Stadium, the dual meet format leaving room for the Bears to prove themselves against their rival.
The Cal women’s team beat its Stanford counterpart 88-74, bringing home a well-deserved win for the blue and gold. Two of the women who made this victory possible were seniors Deshae Wise and Camryn Rogers; Wise took first in the 200-meter dash and 100-meter hurdles, while Rogers won convincingly in the hammer throw.
The Bears also benefited from wins by their 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relay teams. The 4 x 100 squad included junior Ezinne Abba, junior Maisie Stevens, sophomore Sonia Redon and Wise. This talented group out-sprinted Stanford by a margin of 1.79 seconds. Freshman Ryan Lacefield, sophomore Adaeze Noble, Abba and Wise later won the 4 x 400 meter relay for the Bears, beating the Cardinal by 3.03 seconds.
Losing to Stanford 85-75, the Cal men’s team found less success than the women but still managed to bring in some impressive first-place finishes.
Sophomore Henry Larkin took first in the 400 meters, sophomore Jai Williams won the high jump and sophomore Kamau Carlisle finished first in the long jump. Senior Josh Johnson won the shot put and took second to fellow Bear Iffy Joyner in the discus throw. Joyner is currently No. 8 in the nation for the discus throw, while Johnson sits at No. 9 in the shot put.
The outdoor season will conclude with major invitationals: the Pac-12 Championships May 14-16, the NCAA West Regionals May 27-29 and the NCAA Outdoor Championships June 9-12.
These meets will be the perfect opportunity for the Bears to end the 2021 season on a high note. With all the pandemic-related complications and highs and lows that come with competitive collegiate sports, the blue and gold will have three more opportunities to claim this year as a successful one.
Even though the outdoor season will soon come to an end, the progress Cal track and field has made this year will carry forward for years to come.
Mia Horne covers track and field and cross country. Contact her at [email protected].