Feb. 20, 2013
THIS WEEK IN CAL TRACK & FIELD: The Cal track & field team heads to Seattle Friday and Saturday for the MPSF Indoor Championships, the Golden Bears' final opportunity to secure invitations to the NCAA meet early next month.
As opposed to past seasons when runners, jumpers and throwers needed to attain a minimum qualifying standard to reach the national championships, new guidelines in place for this year mean the top 16 declarations for individual events and top 12 declarations for relays will be accepted into the meet.
The MPSF Championships have traditionally brought out the best in the Bears - a total of 13 current school indoor records have been set at the conference meet. Last year, the Cal men finished ninth and the women were sixth. The Bears posted five top-five finishes, including an MPSF title by Deborah Maier in the women's 3000m.
The first event on tap this weekend is the women's weight throw that gets underway Friday at 12 noon. Competition runs through the men's distance medley relay at 7:25 p.m., then resumes Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. The final event is the men's 4x400m relay set to go off at 2:40 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT: The Bears were last in action two weekends ago at the Husky Classic in Seattle and the Don Kirby Elite Invitational in Albuquerque. The most notable performances at the Husky Classic came in the 5000 meters, where Collin Jarvis set a men's school record and Kelsey Santisteban became the school's No. 4 runner in the women's race. Jarvis completed his event in 13:56.36, breaking the mark of 14:03.06 posted by Kari Karlsson in 2010. Meanwhile, Santisteban finished in 16:01.70, which ranks her fourth under all conditions and second in indoor racing in Cal history.
Victoria Owers came within two-and-a-half inches of the Cal freshman record in the women's shot put with a mark of 52-10.25 at the Don Kirby meet. Still, the distance puts her fourth on the school's all-time performer list as the best result for the Bears since the 2005 season.
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.
TOP 25 BEARS: Four members of the Cal team are currently ranked among the top 25 nationally in their respective events: Kelsey Santisteban (15th, 5000m, 16:01.70), Chioma Amaechi (16th, Weight Throw, 67-2.00), Hammed Suleman (17th, Long Jump, 24-8.25) and Collin Jarvis (24th, 5000m, 13:56.36.
CONFERENCE LEADER: Derek White enters this weekend's meet as the MPSF leader in the men's weight throw after registering a personal-best 62-6.00 at the season-opening Cherry & Silver Invitational.
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES: Sophomore Kelsey Santisteban qualified for the NCAA national meet in cross country last fall ... Cal's class of newcomers on the women's side has been ranked fifth best in the country by Track & Field News ... with a PR 8:53.89 run in a meet in Birmingham, England, Feb. 16, former Golden Bear Chelsea Reilly is ranked 12th in the world and first among Americans in the 3000m ... Alysia Montano, a 2012 USA Olympian in the 800m, set an American record of 1:23.59 in winning the 600m at the Millrose Games earlier this month.