A many-headed beast: Cal track and field excels across 3 meets

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Lisi Ludwig/Senior Staff

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In Greek mythology, the Hydra is an immortal, gigantic water-snake monster. Whenever any of the Hydra’s nine heads are severed, two more heads grow in place. The more the Hydra is split, the stronger it becomes.

The same can be said for Cal track and field. Despite splitting itself to attend three separate meets last weekend, the Bears managed to excel.

Mt. Sac Relays

Several Cal athletes found success at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, but sprinter Ezinne Abba went home in perhaps the most glorious fashion. The senior from Rancho Cucamonga managed to break her own school record in the 100-meter dash, covering the distance in 11.26 seconds. While impressive, Abba’s result speaks to the talent present in other collegiate programs — her race in Walnut on Friday only earned her sixth place among the nation’s best. Nevertheless, Abba continues to cement herself as one of Cal’s fastest sprinters in program history.

Off of the track, standout performers included junior Asha Fletcher, who posted season bests in both the triple and long jump. Rebecca Tomann also PR’d her hammer throw with a mark of 57.41 meters, and senior Josh Johnson won the shot put event with a heave of 19.89 meters.

Senior Camryn Rogers and freshman Mykolas Alekna — two of Cal’s throwers who have taken on legendary status — took second place in hammer throw and discus, respectively.

Only about three people on the planet could pose a threat to either Rogers or Alekna; remarkably, these competitors happened to be at Mt. Sac. Fellow Olympian Brooke Andersen’s hammer landed a bit more than a meter further than Roger’s, who had set a collegiate record of 75.73 meters. Alekna was usurped by Olympic Champion Daniel Ståhl, but he still managed to beat out three other Olympians.

Bryan Clay Invitational

While the throwers, sprinters and jumpers battled in Walnut, a few of Cal’s distance athletes were just 12 miles North in Azusa for the Bryan Clay Invitational.

Senior Marea Zlatunich placed second in the 5,000-meter run, crossing the line in 16:31.94 minutes. Classmate Meredith Corda managed a fifth-place finish in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 4:27.70, a personal record.

Long Beach Invitational

Despite registering a large number of its athletes, Cal sent only a handful of its less competitive athletes to Long Beach. Junior Jai Williams’ eighth-place finish in the high jump was a meet highlight for the blue and gold.

As the season dwindles down to just a few more meets, the Bears must start asking themselves the hard questions: Ultimately, a hero must set fire to the Hydra before a new head can grow in place of the wounds. The Big Meet against Stanford is less than two weeks away: Will the Cardinal manage to cauterize the Bears, or will the Bears be too quick for Stanford to fight back?

Sarah Siegel covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].