Cal Track & Field Heads to Pac-12 Championships
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  05/09/2013

May 9, 2013

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THIS WEEK IN CAL TRACK & FIELD: Members of Cal's track & field team will face off against the best the conference has to offer this weekend at the Pac-12 Championships Saturday and Sunday on the USC campus. Live results will be posted online at, and a tape-delayed broadcast of the championships will air on the Pac-12 Networks on Wednesday, May 15 starting at 6 p.m. PT.

The Bears enter the weekend with 36 marks ranked among the top 10 in the league in 30 different events, including Pac-12 leader Collin Jarvis is the defending champion in the men's 3000-meter steeplechase, and Ray Stewart captured the men's 110-meter hurdles in 2011 before redshirting this past season with a knee injury.

Last year, both the Cal men and women placed 10th at the meet. The Bears, though, already own five points on the women's side due to Jaci Powell's fourth-place finish in the heptathlon May 4-5.

POWELL SETS PR IN HEPTATHLON: Fueled by a lifetime-best efforts in the 100-meter hurdles, 200 meters and javelin, Jaci Powell placed fourth in the Pac-12 heptathlon with a PR 5,351 points last week - the highest finish for a Golden Bear at the meet in eight years. Powell stood in seventh place after the first day of competition, and used her big throw in the javelin (145-4 - #4 all-time at Cal) to surge up the leaderboard. Her point total puts her sixth on the school all-time performer list and is the highest for a Bear since Brooke Meredith scored 5,611 points in 2004. Powell was a two-time state JC heptathlon champion at Golden West College before transferring to Cal this year.

JUMPING FOR JOY: One area to watch for the Bears at the Pac-12 meet is in the jumps, where no less than nine members of the team are ranked among the top 10 in the conference. Cal is strongest in the men's triple jump, where Taylor Kientzel is sixth (50-10.75) and Chad Jones seventh (50-9.50). Kientzel (24-9.25) and Suleman (24-8.25) also rate fourth and fifth, respectively in the long jump.

High jumper Nick Ridge is fifth in the league having cleared 7-3.00i earlier this year, and the list doesn't even include All-American Harrison Steed, who placed sixth at the NCAA meet last year and owns a Cal PR of 7-2.50, or freshman Noel Frazier, who went 6-11.75 back in March.

Among the women, Amanda Hunter enters the weekend third in the Pac-12 in the triple jump having posted a PR 42-0.50 in Sacramento in March, while Malaina Payton is also No. 3 in the long jump with a best of 21-1.50 during her victory at the Big Meet.

BIG MEET WIN FOR CAL MEN: Cal's men's team defeated Stanford, 85-78, to capture the 119th edition of the Big Meet April 20, the Bears first victory in the series since 2006. Cal clinched on the next-to-last event when Tom Blocker prevailed in PR times in the 100 (10.51) and 200 (21.23w) and ran a leg on the victorious 4x100-meter relay.

COCHRAN SETS CAL FROSH RECORD: Ethan Cochran, a two-time state discus champion while at Newport Harbor HS, etched his name in the Cal record book with a throw of 188-8 in the discus April 12. The mark broke the seven-year-old school freshman record of 184-8 set by Nate Rolfe and moved Cochran up to 16th in the country in the event at the time (now 22nd). Other than NCAA champion Martin Maric, who threw 201-10 in 2009, no other Bear has thrown further than Cochran since the 1993 season.

ASHE BREAKS FRESHMAN HAMMER MARK: Shelby Ashe, who set the American junior record in the hammer before enrolling at Cal from her home in Stone Mountain, Ga., moved up to No. 3 on the school's all-time list with her freshman-record 201-10 at the Big Meet April 20 Only Jennifer Joyce (Cal PR 214-0 in 2002) and Carrie Johnson (Cal PR 211-5 in 2007) have ever gone further.

TOP 25 BEARS: Nine Golden Bears are ranked among the national top 25 in their respective events, led by Malaina Payton, based on her 21-1.50 long jump at the Big Meet, is also in the top 10 at No. 6.

Ray Stewart          110m Hurdles   13th   13.67
Nick Ridge           High Jump      20th   7-1.50
Hammed Suleman       Triple Jump    2nd    53-4.50
Ethan Cochran        Discus         22nd   188-8
Kelsey Santisteban   5000m          16th   15:50.18
Malaina Payton       Long Jump      6th    21-1.50
Amanda Hunter        Triple Jump    25th   42-0.50
Shelby Ashe          Hammer         21st   201-10
Jaci Powell          Heptathlon     23rd   5351

ON THE ALL-TIME CAL LISTS: Although no school records have been set this outdoor season, well over a dozen Cal times and marks have secured spots on the school's top 10 performance list so far in 2013. Those who have earned mention are:

Nick Ridge           High Jump       9th    7-3.00i
Hammed Suleman       Triple Jump     6th    53-4.50
Ethan Cochran        Discus          10th   188-8
Charnell Price       100m            3rd    11.60
Charnell Price       200m            5th    23.50
Kelsey Santisteban   5000m           3rd    15:50.18
Christine Bowlus     3000m Steeple   4th    10:37.77
Molly Babcock        3000m Steeple   6th    11:08.26
Gianna Fernandez     High Jump       T4th   5-10.50
Malaina Payton       Long Jump       3rd    21-1.50
Amanda Hunter        Triple Jump     7th    42-0.50
Shelby Ashe          Hammer          3rd    201-10
Torie Owers          Hammer          8th    181-4
Jaci Powell          Javelin         4th    145-4
Jaci Powell          Heptathlon      7th    5351

18 BEARS EARN INDOOR ACADEMIC HONORS: A total of 18 Golden Bears earned mention on the 2013 MPSF Indoor All-Academic team - 5 men and 13 women. Among those recognized are four-time honoree Amanda Hunter, three-time winners Tom Blocker, Hillary Hayes and Kristin Rimbach. The full list of Cal's 2013 academic team members:

Women              Men
Evan Barr
Tom Blocker
Christine Bowlus   Matt Carpowich
Taylor Dutch       Sullivan Parker
Gianna Fernandez   Derek White
Sydney Gray
Hillary Hayes
Amanda Hunter
Taylor Lawson
Sunny Margerum
Laura O'Neill
Kristin Rimbach
Kelsey Santisteban

GOLDEN BEAR NOTES: Matt Petersen (men's cross country), Jonathan Berry-Smith (men's track & field), Deborah Maier (women's cross country) and Nicole Larson (women's track & field) all received Golden Bear Achievement Awards for having the highest GPAs on their respective teams ... Ethan Cochran received the Newcomer of the Year Award as voted by his fellow student-athletes at the Oski's, Cal Athletics' version of the ESPY's ... Rick Brown, the only four-time conference 880-yard champion (1971-74) in Pac-8 history, has been elected to the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame and will be enshrined with the rest of the class in October.