Recap Cal at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
The best season in Cal Track and Field‘s recent history came to an end this past weekend.
Thirteen Golden Bears competed in 10 events at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. The eight Cal women accumulated 12 points and finished 21st as a team. The five Cal Men accumulated 13 points and tied for 18th place as a team. Typically, only the top 8 finishers would score points. Winners get 10 points; Second place gets 8 points; the rest is reduced from 6 to 1 for 3rd through 8th place. Incidentally, Florida won both the men’s (54 points) and women’s (74 points) team championships. Cal would need to have at least 5-6 top 3 finishers (per gender) to truly be a team championship contender.
Nonetheless, it’s been a long time (apparently since the inaugural championship in 1922) since four Cal Bears earned (and scored) First Team All-American honors.
Up to that year, Cal had not had four First Team All-American pitchers since 1922 – the very first NCAA championships ever held. This year’s group, the Assistant Coach Mohammed Satara as “the best he’s ever coached,” gave Bears fans plenty to get excited about, including an all-time NCAA record set by Alekna and a third hammer national title from Rogers.
The highlight, of course, was senior Camryn Rogers, who hit a three-pointer in the hammer throw. Canadian “Calympian” also set a new college record. If you missed it, check out her record-breaking throw-in my previous post.
With her record-breaking season, Camryn Rogers has been shortlisted for the Honda Award for Track and Field.
Rogers now owns the top 11 women’s hammer throws in college history.
Teammate junior Anna Purchase also scored with 7th place in the same event.
A pair of Cal men also shared the podium in Discus. Freshman Mykolas Alekna was just inches away from Virginia freshman Claudio Romero. Teammate Iffy Joyner finished 4th overall.
In other events, Josh Johnson (men’s shot put) and Ezinne Abba (women’s 100-meter dash) were honored as 2nd Team All-Americans.
Hakim McMorris performed well (top 4) in 4 of the 10 decathlon events (100m, long jump, 400m and 110m hurdles) and finished 19th overall. Despite Cal’s prowess in the throwing disciplines (not to mention that his brother Malik is not only a soccer player but also a Cal weight thrower), Hakim can certainly improve in shot put (13th), javelin throw (18th) and discus throw (20th). .
Ivar Moisander (men’s hammer throw), Busola Akinduro (women’s triple jump) and the quartet of Jada Hicks, Jordyn Grady, Maisie Stevens and Aysha Shaheed (4x100m relay) were also eligible to compete in NCAA national championships for the first time when they landed or were DQ’ed at the bottom of the 24 competitors’ deep fields, as in the case of Cal’s relay team.
While there is some ambiguity as to the future facility for the program if/when the prime properties of Edwards Stadium are rumored to be taken over by the university, Robyne Johnson, director of Cal Track and Field/Cross Country, has a good job in her third year accomplished season. Due to COVID, Johnson has repeatedly referred to this season as her “first real year” in interviews.
I’ll end with a series of great photos of Golden Bears in action, followed by a list of their results.
NCAA Outdoor Championships Complete Roundup – California
Hammer throw women:
-national champion Camryn Rogers (First Team All-Americans)
-Seventh place Anna purchase (First Team All-Americans)
Discus throw men:
-Second place Mykolas Alekna (First Team All-Americans)
-Fourth place Iffy Joyner (First Team All-Americans)
triple jump women:
-23. place Busola Akinduro
Shot put men:
-10. place josh johnson (Second Team All American)
Women’s 100 meters:
-15. place Ezanne Abba (Second Team All American)
-19 place Hakim McMorris
Hammer throw men:
-20. place Ivar Moisander
Women’s 4 x 100m relay:
-Semifinalists Jada Hicks, Jordan Grady, Maisie Stevens, Aysha Shaheed