EUGENE, Ore. –The California Golden Bears track & field team concluded their 2014 season with two student-athletes in action at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Saturday afternoon in Eugene, Ore. Redshirt sophomore Jonte Grant was one of two Bears to set a new PR, leaping a distance of 51-11.75 in the triple jump on his third attempt, finishing 14th overall. Fellow sophomore Thomas Joyce set a new PR in the 1500-meters final, placing 11th nationally with a time of 3:41.08.
“Both Jonte and Thomas PR’ed today, but it fell short for each of them for a podium spot,” Director of track & field Tony Sandoval said on Saturday afternoon in Eugene. “Both emerged this season and will continue to improve looking ahead to next year.”
Grant, a Hayward, Calif. native, concluded his breakout season by leaping a lifetime best distance of 51-11.75, surpassing his previous best mark of 51-7.25, which he set two weeks ago in Fayetteville, Ark. at the Prelims. Grant’s third and final jump, though it was a personal best, unfortunately wasn’t enough to carry him into the final three jumps as a top nine finisher. The ninth and final qualifier, Eastern Michigan’s Donald Scott leapt a distance of 52-2.50.
Joyce, a Moraga, Calif. native set a lifetime best on Saturday as well, clocking a time of 3:41.08 to finish in 11th place in the 1500-meters final. His previous PR of 3:41.28 was set in Fayetteville at the NCAA West Prelims a couple of weeks ago. In order to qualify for Saturday’s final, Joyce lunged across the finish line on Thursday to pass Kentucky’s Matt Hillenbrand, and seized the final non-automatic qualifier spot by just .02 seconds.
The Golden Bears’ successful 2014 campaign came to a close Saturday in Eugene. The Bears were represented by ten student-athletes overall at the NCAA Outdoor Championships this past week, with six individual competitors in seven individual events, as well as the men’s 4x100-meter relay team. Additionally, redshirt senior Hammed Suleman claimed his second consecutive Pac-12 long jump title, the men finished as the No. 1 ranked team in the country, while the women finished 17th in the Track and Field News Dual Meet rankings, both the men’s and women’s teams swept the Big Meet against Stanford for the first time since 2000 and during the indoor season, the men’s team captured the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championship for the first time in school history.
NCAA Outdoor Championships Hayward Field/Eugene, Ore. California Results Men 1500-meters (final) – 11. Thomas Joyce 3:41.08