April 26, 2013
BERKELEY - Christine Bowlus established a lifetime best in winning the women's 3000-meter steeplechase, crossing the line in 10:37.77 to move up to fourth on Cal's all-time performer list to highlight action at the Brutus Hamilton Open and Distance Carnival Friday at Edwards Stadium.
The meet honors the longtime Golden Bear head coach who oversaw the program for 30 seasons and guided Cal to 14 top-10 national finishes. Hamilton also served as head coach of the U.S. Olympic team at the 1952 Games in Helsinki.
Running virtually alone from the first lap, Bowlus seemed to increase her advantage with every stride and won by her race by 40 seconds over second-place Kailey Ulland of USF. Bowlus' previous fastest time was 10:47.39 set at the Big Meet last weekend.
Golden Bears captured both shot put competitions in impressive fashion. Chioma Amaechi nudged up her season best during her victory in the women's event, as her effort of 50-4.75 was a quarter inch further than the mark she recorded three weeks ago in Berkeley. Ethan Cochran took the men's shot with a top effort of 56-0.00, outdistancing runner-up Michael Cardinal of Utah State by more than a foot. Cochran, who set the Cal freshman record in the discus earlier this year, owns a PR of 58-2.00 from last week's Big Meet.
In the men's 200 meters, Charles Saseun edged Wisconsin's Babatunde Awosika, 21.64 to 21.66, to win the event, lowering his PR by a third of a second. Carisma Lyday led a 1-3-5 Cal finish in the women's 200 meters with a wind-aided time of 24.94 in her section.
Sophie Hitchon of Great Britain, who finished 12th at the Olympic Games last summer, set an Edwards Stadium record with her winning effort of 228-7 in the women's hammer in the morning. She broke the mark of 220-10 by former Cal thrower Jennifer Joyce in 2005. Chioma Amaechi was the top Cal finisher with a season-best 182-9.
In the men's hammer, Scott Esparza matched his top effort of the year with a distance of 200-6, which put him in fourth place. Four competitors threw over 200 feet, led by Mark Dry, also of Great Britain, who had a winning mark of 238-0.
Golde Ibia tied her PR in the women's 100-meter hurdles, finishing second in 14.22 despite running into a headwind of 1.4 meters per second. Dorcas Akinniyi of Wisconsin came from behind over the final few hurdles to nip Ibia at the finish by 0.02 seconds.
In the final event of the day, James Slater claimed the men's 5000 meters in 14:26.76 - a nearly 30-second PR.
Action resumes at Edwards Stanford on Saturday morning with the Brutus Hamilton Invitational Challenge. The field events get underway at 9:30 a.m., and the first event on the track begins at 12:30 p.m. Admission is free. For those unable to attend, the afternoon portion of the meet will be streamed live online by Flotrack (fee required).
Brutus Hamilton Open Challenge
Edwards Stadium / Berkeley, Calif.
200m - 1. Charles Saseun 21.64; 4. Daniel Davis 22.15
5000m - 1. James Slater 14:26.76; 6. Matt Petersen 15:10.38; 15. Edward Trim 15:11.78
110m hurdles - 4. Andrew Cruikshank 15.78
Pole Vault - 6. Andrew Cruikshank 12-8.00 (3.86m)
Hammer - 4. Scott Esparza 200-6 (61.11m); 10. Stephen Burke 173-6 (52.88m); 11. Chijoke Nwuzi 172-0 (52.42m); 13. Dan Isaac 168-0 (51.21m)
200m - 1. Carisma Lyday 24.94w; 3. Tiarra Pittman 25.02; 5. Esther Higgwe 25.24w
800m - 3. Dynasty Gammage 2:14.74
1500m - 8. Molly Babcock 4:49.92
5000m - 4. Laura O'Neill 17:20.55; 7. Hillary Hayes 17:30.83
100m hurdles - 2. Golde Ibia 14.22
3000m steeplechase - 1. Christine Bowlus 10:37.77
High Jump - 9. Jaci Powell 5-2.50 (1.59m)
Hammer - 4. Shelby Ashe NM