Cal track and field wins Big Meet, first time since 2014

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William Webster/Senior Staff

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The last time Cal track and field swept the Big Meet, Obama was still president, gas was under $4 a gallon and we got most of our fashion cues from Tumblr.

Needless to say, it’s been a while. But the Bears went home from Palo Alto last Saturday boasting a resounding win — some even took a victory dip into the Cardinal’s water-filled steeplechase pit.

Throws

Saturday’s most impressive finisher, freshman Mykolas Alekna, was only 11 years old the last time Cal won. Now, the freshman from Lithuania holds the No. 1 men’s discus throw in NCAA history after his throw of 67.68 meters shattered an 18 year old record. For perspective, if Alekna threw his discus from the steps outside of Doe, it would fall right underneath the East Asian Library.

Alekna’s throw opened the floodgates for awards: U.S. Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) named him as its Division I Men’s Athlete of the Week, and the Pac-12 conference awarded him as the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week for the fourth time this year.

Senior Olympian Camryn Rogers surprised no one with her first place hammer throw of 72.46 meters, setting a new Big Meet record. While she was still several meters shy of her collegiate record, Rogers on an off day still competes in a league of her own. Junior Jasmine Blair won the women’s discus with a toss of 55.80 meters, yet another victory for Cal.

Jumps

The Bears stole all of the podium spots in women’s long jump,triple jump and men’s long jump. Junior Mason Mangum and senior Felicia Renelus both earned long-jump personal records of 7.34 meters and 5.74 meters respectively. Junior Asha Fletcher put on a show of consistency, taking first place in both the long and triple jump.

Distance

While Cal dominated over Stanford in sprints, throws and jumps, the Bears were simply no match for the Cardinal’s distance squad. Sophomore Garrett MacQuiddy’s 3:49.30 1500 meter was the distance team’s only first place finish at the Big Meet. The Bears were forced to find solace in the small victories — Cal grad student Ben Micallef and senior Moises Medrano went No. 2 and No. 3 in the men’s 800 meter, and senior Meredith Corda ran a personal record in the 3000 meter at 9:47.47.

Sprints

Many of the records set on Saturday are followed with the letter W — not for win, but wind. Aided by the South Bay winds, senior Ezinne Abba flew through the 100-meter dash with a new personal record of 11.10. Abba also took first in the 200-meter dash, and alongside Jada Hicks, Maisie Stevens and Aysha Shaheed, won the women’s 4×100 meter relay. George Monroe earned a win-legal personal record in the men’s 200 meter with a time of 10.56.

With the Big Meet behind the Bears, Cal will head to the Pac-12 outdoor championships May 13 to 15 with the goal of sending as much of its roster to the NCAA West Region Championships as possible.

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