BERKELEY –The California Golden Bears and the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced today that four Bears were named second team All-Americans, while five others were named honorable mentions. Redshirt sophomore Jonte Grant (triple jump), redshirt seniors Hammed Suleman (long jump), Milan Ristic (110-meter hurdles) and sophomore Thomas Joyce (1500-meters) each were named to the second team. The men’s 4x100-meter relay team comprised of senior Tom Blocker, redshirt junior Dan Davis, redshirt senior Dash Oliver and freshman Khalfani Muhammad and redshirt senior Derek White (discus) were also named honorable mentions.
Grant, a Hayward, Calif. native, concluded his breakout season by leaping a lifetime best distance of 51-11.75 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships on Saturday, 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.
Suleman, an Antioch, Calif. native, concluded his stellar collegiate career for the Golden Bears last Thursday night at the NCAA’s. The back-to-back Pac-12 long jump champion in the long jump leapt a distance of 24-1.50 in Eugene on his second of three attempts. The top nine competitors earned three more jumps, and the ninth qualifier, Nebraska’s Patrick Raedler out-jumped him by just a quarter of an inch to advance.
Ristic placed fifth in his heat of the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 13.98, missing out on qualifying for Saturday’s final. The transfer from UNC Asheville had come in with a legal PR of 13.63, which he set at the West Prelims in Fayetteville two weeks ago, and that mark would have qualified him on Thursday.
Joyce, a Moraga, Calif. native set a lifetime best this past Saturday at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, 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 last Thursday to pass Kentucky’s Matt Hillenbrand, and seized the final non-automatic qualifier spot by just .02 seconds.
The men’s 4x100-meter relay team posted a time of 40.17 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last Wednesday, which placed them eighth in their heat and 22nd overall. They had equaled their season-best time of 39.91 to seize the 12th and final qualification spot in Fayetteville, Ark. two weeks ago at the West Prelims to earn their way to Eugene. Their mark of 39.91 was also set earlier this season in the prelims at the Pac-12 Championships in Pullman, Wash., and it is the best time that Cal has produced since 1987, ranking seventh on Cal’s All-Time Performers List.
White placed 17th overall this past weekend in the discus at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a mark of 179-8. White’s PR mark of 194-11, was set on April 12 in Berkeley at the Big Meet against Stanford. The San Jose native had a tremendous final collegiate season in Berkeley, earning the Male Athlete of the Year honors from his peers at this year’s Oskis, and set new PR’s in both the discus and hammer (211-9), which rank eighth and third, respectively on Cal’s All-Time Performers List.
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, 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.