Cal on mission to shake up Pac-12 hierarchy at conference championships

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Lisi Ludwig/Senior Staff

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Eugene, Oregon is heaven for fans of track & field. Legends such as Steve Prefontaine called it home, running trails stretch for miles in all directions and Hayward Field is perhaps the sports’ best venue in the United States. Last year, Eugene hosted the Olympic Trials and later this year it will host the Outdoor World Championships, but Cal fans care more about the event taking place there this weekend: The 2022 Pac-12 Outdoor Championships.

While the Bears’ men’s and women’s squads are both ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation, the Pac-12 happens to be the nation’s second-most competitive conference, behind only the SEC. This year, that means that both Cal teams sit behind five Pac-12 adversaries in the national rankings, even with the incredible season the blue and gold have had.

With that being said, this season the Bears have already shown that they can rise to the challenge of strong in-conference competition. Just last weekend, Cal bested Stanford in both the men’s and women’s team competitions at the Big Meet. And, with NCAA record holders such as Camryn Rogers and Mykolas Alekna, a school record-holding women’s 4×100-meter team and plenty of other incredible talents such as Ezinne Abba, Anna Purchase and Garrett MacQuiddy, there’s no telling how high the ceiling is for this team.

The Bears will be looking to shake up the conference hierarchy this weekend when they take on their biggest rivals at the Pac-12 championships in TrackTown USA.

Ethan Moutes covers track and field. Contact him at [email protected].