Not all records are created equally. Breaking a 30-year record means a lot more than breaking a three-year record. Breaking a record as a team means a lot more than breaking a record as an individual.
At the Pac-12 championships held May 13-15 in Eugene, Oregon, Cal track and field qualified 32 athletes for regionals — the highest number in program history, breaking a long-standing record as a team.
The Bears produced three Pac-12 champions and 12 podium finishes. Many events panned out exactly as they were expected to: To the surprise of none, Olympian Camryn Rogers earned her third Pac-12 title in the hammer throw with a heave of 73.71m despite the rainy conditions.
Mykolas Alekna — recently named the Pac-12 Men’s Field Athlete and Men’s Freshman of the Year — easily won the discus conference title for Cal for the first time since 1992. His throw of 68.73m is the age-19 world record and an all-time collegiate record. When the discus hit the ground, it cemented Alekna as the undisputed best collegiate discus thrower of all time.
Senior Josh Johnson threw a personal-best heave of 19.95m, walking off the throwing ring as Pac-12 champion for the first time in his collegiate career.
While the throwers earned the championship titles, the Bears’ sprinting corps left their mark on the track. Senior Ezinne Abba earned second place in both the 100m and 200m dash, and contributed to a fourth place finish in the women’s 4x100m relay.
Thirty-two athletes from the blue and gold are now looking towards the NCAA West Region Championships, held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, at the John McDonnell Field from May 25-28.
Sarah Siegel covers track and field. Contact her at [email protected].