AUSTIN, Texas – The California Golden Bears track & field team had seven student-athletes compete in Austin, Texas in the 87th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Though the weather wasn’t cooperating, Cal’s 4x100-meter relay team qualified for the final on Saturday with a time of 40.24, which was their best time thus far this season. In addition, senior Milan Ristic set a PR in the 110-meter hurdles, shattering his previous best with a 13.71 on Friday morning and qualified for the final. Redshirt sophomore Jonte Grant also had an impressive day in the triple jump, coming close to his personal best, obtaining a mark of 50-6.25 (15.40m) and placing third.
“Large hail and thunderstorms hampered the meet throughout the day with delays that effected warm ups,” Director of track & field Tony Sandoval said from Austin on Friday night. “We're pleased that the 4x100 relay and Milan are in the finals tomorrow. Jonte and Malaina also jumped well under these conditions.”
Cal’s 4x100-meter relay team comprised of freshman Khalfani Muhammad, redshirt seniors Tom Blocker, Dash Oliver and Ristic opened the morning on a high note for the Bears, posting a 40.24. Their time in heat number two held up as the ninth best time during the preliminary heats, qualifying them for Saturday afternoon’s final, which is set to start at approximately 11:30 a.m. PT.
Ristic followed up his relay success with some individual accolades, breaking through with a 13.71 in the 110-meter hurdles and qualifying with the third best time. He shattered his previous PR of 13.88, set back in 2012 prior to his transfer from UNC Asheville. Ristic was behind Florida senior Evan Lovett (13.62) and Texas A&M senior Wayne Davis II (13.64), as the three were definitely the class of the preliminary round.
Blocker also impressed in the 100-meters, clocking a time of 10.56, which is below his personal best, but is certainly a promising start to his final outdoor season for the Golden Bears. Muhammad’s time of 10.71 was a bit below his previous outing in Sacramento last weekend (10.60), but he is showing continued improvement from his indoor campaign.
Grant, a Hayward native, rebounded from fouls on his first and third attempts to post a solid mark of 50-6.25 on his fourth jump, which is just four-and-a-half inches shy of his PR set in February of this year during the indoor season at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships in Seattle. Payton also did well despite the conditions, posting a mark of 20-0.25 (6.10m) in the long jump competition, placing seventh.
The men’s 4x100-meter relay (approx. 11:30 a.m. PT) and Ristic (110-meter hurdles at approx. 12:50 p.m. PT) will be in action on Saturday in Austin for the finals of their respective events. The Texas Relays are being broadcast live on the Longhorn Network and fans can also follow along live here.87th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays
Mike A. Myers Stadium/Austin, Texas
110-meter hurdles (prelims) – 3. Milan Ristic 13.71q
Triple Jump – 3. Jonte Grant 50-6.25 (15.40m)
Long Jump – 7. Malaina Payton 20-0.25 (6.10m)
q- Qualified for Saturday’s final