Feb. 5, 2013
THIS WEEK IN CAL TRACK & FIELD: With a final weekend of competition before the MPSF Championships get underway later this month, the Cal track & field team will send competitors to two separate meets in an effort to improve their marks and seedings. One group will travel to the Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., Friday, with the rest of the squad flying to Seattle for the Flotrack Husky Classic Friday and Saturday.
The Don Kirby meet is a one-day event that concentrates on field events and sprints, while the Husky Classic features a competitive field over two days of competition.
Last year, Deborah Maier, now a senior for the Bears, made her 2012 debut at the Husky Classic and produced the fifth-fastest indoor 5000-meter time in collegiate history when she finished in a school-record 15:29.24. She went on to finish as the NCAA indoor runner-up in the 3000m and 5000m.
Following this week, Cal will return to Seattle and the Dempsey Indoor Facility for the MPSF Championships Feb. 22-23.
LOOKING BACK AT THE UW INVITATIONAL: The Golden Bears captured six events, including two each by Chioma Amaechi and Taylor Kientzel, during a productive weekend at the UW Invitational in Seattle Jan. 25-26. Amaechi set a school record in the women's weight throw (67-2.00, more below) and won the shot put with a PR effort of 52-6.50, a mark that puts her fourth on Cal's all-time performer list. Meanwhile, Kientzel won the long jump (24-5.75) and triple jump (50-10.75), both in lifetime-best performances. Other winners at the meet were Derek White in the men's weight throw (62-4.00) and Jordan Locklear in the men's mile (4:08.11). In the men's high jump, Nick Ridge established a PR with a clearance of 6-11.50, while Dash Oliver had a PR 6.85 in the 60m.
On the first night of the two-day meet, Alima Kamara (24.94) and Ray Stewart (21.85) set PRs in their respective 200m races, with Stewart's time being the best for a Golden Bear since the 2005 season. In addition, freshman Victoria Rische went over the bar at 12-10.75 in the women's pole vault to become the No. 9 performer in the event in school history.
RECORD THROW FOR AMAECHI: Sophomore Chioma Amaechi smashed the Cal record in the women's weight throw at the UW Invitational, beating the mark by four feet and her own PR by nearly seven feet. She uncorked a mark of 63-4.00 on her fourth attempt to top the previous Cal record of 63-3.25 set by Linda Oseso in 2012. Then on her fifth try, Amaechi went 67-2.00 - a distance that would have placed her fifth at last year's NCAA Championships meet. Entering the UW Invite, Amaechi's lifetime best in the weight throw was 60-3.00.
CAL WOMEN RANKED 12TH: Cal's women's squad is holding strong among the best teams in the country with a 12th-place ranking in this week's coaches poll. Individually, four Golden Bears are ranked in the top 15 nationally in their respective events based on performances in 2013: Chioma Amaechi (12th, weight throw, 67-2.00), Collin Jarvis (15th, 3000m, 8:03.62), Taylor Kientzel (T15th, long jump, 25-5.75) and Hammed Suleman (T15th, long jump, 25-5.75).
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES: Sophomore Kelsey Santisteban qualified for the NCAA national meet and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors in cross country last fall ... Cal class of newcomers on the women's side has been ranked fifth best in the country by Track & Field News ... former Golden Bears Chelsea Reilly (18th) and Magdalena Lewy Boulet (21st) both had strong finishes at the USA Cross Country Championships Feb. 2 in St. Louis.