Feb. 23, 2013
SEATTLE, Wash. - Taylor Kientzel took second place in the triple jump and Ray Stewart claimed runner-up status in the 60-meter hurdles to lead the Cal men's track & field team to a third-place finish at the MPSF Indoor Championships Sunday. The Cal women, who got a trio of top-five performances from Gianna Fernandez, Amanda Hunter and Kelsey Santisteban, were eighth overall.
The men took a tremendous step forward from last year, when they placed 10th with 26.5 points, by totaling 73.5 points to sit behind only top-15 schools Arizona State (125.5) and Oregon (102) in the final standings. The Bears scored in seven of a possible nine events Saturday and have now finished among the MPSF's top three in four of the past six years.
"I was very pleased with the grit and unity the team displayed today," director of track & field Tony Sandoval said. "The team battled on the men's side for third place all the way through the last events."
Fresh off his school and meet-record 7.68 time in the 60-meter hurdles prelims Friday night, Ray Stewart just missed out on an MPSF title, falling in the final by 0.01 to Johnathan Cabral of Oregon, 7.77 to 7.78. Stewart will likely still earn a berth to the NCAA Championships early next month based on his Friday performance.
In the men's high jump, Nick Ridge had a huge PR when he cleared 7-3.00, which puts him ninth on Cal's all-time performer list and is the best for a Bear since Ed Wright posted a height of 7-3.25 in 2007. No jumper at the MPSF meet went better than 7-3, with four jumpers reaching the mark. Based on fewest misses, Edgar Rivera-Morales of Arizona was first, followed by Arizona State's Bryan McBride, and Ridge and Stanford's Jules Sharp tying for fourth. In addition, Brian Carmichael was sixth with a top height of 7-1.00.
Others who helped the men add to their point total Saturday were Jordan Locklear (7th, 800 meters, 1:51.28), Chris Walden (4th, 3000 meters, 8:05.62), the 4x400-meter relay of Tom Blocker, Randy Bermea, Elliott Surovell and Kyle Ezold (3:14.26) and Ethan Cochran (8th, shot put, 54-3.75).
The Cal women picked up three fourth-place finishes on the day. Kelsey Santisteban came through in the 3000 meters in 9:17.52, Gianna Fernandez set an indoor PR in the high jump with a mark of 5-7.25, and Amanda Hunter used her sixth and final attempt to post a distance of 39-11.25 in the triple jump. Santisteban's time moves her up to No. 3 all-time at Cal, trailing only Chelsea Reilly (9:00.86) and Deborah Maier (9:02.35), who set their marks last year.
The Bears' final point came with an eighth-place performance in the women's 4x400-meter relay, with Taylor Lawson, Charnell Price, Arielle Cunningham-Stevenson and Alima Kamara timed in 3:46.49. In the individual 400 meters, Kamara set a PR of 54.82.
The Bears will next be in action at the Stanford Outdoor Opener on Saturday, March 2.
MPSF Indoor Track & Field Championships
800m - 7. Jordan Locklear 1:51.28
60m Hurdles - 2. Ray Stewart 7.78
Team Standings - 1. Arizona State 125.5; 2. Oregon 102; 3. California 73.5; 4. Washington State 70; 5. Stanford 66; 6. BYU 46; 7. UCLA 39; 8. Washington 37; 9. Arizona 36; 10. Colorado 34; 11. Long Beach State 16; 12. Cal State Northridge 15
Mile - 17. Sydney Gray 4:56.46
Triple Jump - 4. Amanda Hunter 39-11.25 (12.17m)
Team Standings - 1. Oregon 112; 2. Arizona State 96; 3. Arizona 92; 4. Stanford 82; 5. UCLA 67.5; 6. Washington 48; 7. Washington State 34; 8. California 31; 9. BYU 24; 10. Utah 21.5; 11. Colorado 19; 12. Hawaii 18; 13. Cal State Northridge 15; 14. Long Beach State 2