March 13, 2013
BERKELEY - With the indoor season now complete, the Cal track & field team turns its full attention to the outdoor campaign, starting with Saturday's Hornet Invitational in Sacramento. Events at Hornet Stadium on the Sac State campus get underway at 9:30 a.m. and will run throughout the day.
Last year, the Bears concentrated on sprints and field events, with the highlight being Brian Carmichael's meet record in the high jump with a clearance of 6-11.75. Although he completed his collegiate eligibility with the 2013 indoor season, Cal still boasts three 7-footers in the event in Nick Ridge (7-3.00), Harrison Steed (7-2.50) and Maurice Valentine Jr. (7-0.25). In addition, freshman Noel Frazier set a PR with a height of 6-11.75 in winning the high jump at the Stanford Opener March 2.
In that initial outdoor meet two weeks ago, the Bears came away with 18 victories, including double-winners Charnell Price (100 and 200 meters) and Randy Bermea (110 and 400 hurdles). Price was timed in 11.87 in the 100 and came back later in the afternoon to run 24.27 in the 200. Bermea recorded times of 14.58 in the 110 hurdles and 52.89 in his specialty, the 400 hurdles.
Among the personal bests on the day were a 21.62 by Tom Blocker in the 200 meters and 8:24.10 by James Slater in the 3000, a 13-second improvement from his previous top time. Alima Kamara, who ranks second in school history in the women's 400, started her outdoor campaign with an impressive early time of 54.04 during her victory in the event.
Other than having a select group of athletes travel to the Texas Relays later this month, the Bears will remain in the Bay Area for the rest of the regular season. Three meets will be held at Edwards Stadium in Berkeley - the Cal Multis March 27-28, a tri-meet featuring Michigan and Virginia April 6 and the Brutus Hamilton Challenge April 26-27. The Big Meet will be at Stanford April 20.
NCAA INDOORS RECAP: Senior Ray Stewart matched his own school record in the 60-meter hurdles during the preliminaries, before finishing eighth in the final to earn first-team All-American honors at the NCAA Championships last weekend in Fayetteville, Ark.
Stewart posted the fourth-fastest qualifying time of 7.68 seconds in his heat. However, he got off to a slow start in the final and crossed the line in 7.89. Still, he is the first Golden Bear to score at the indoor national meet in the hurdles in 24 years.
Stewart, who redshirted last year due to knee surgery, captured the Pac-10 title in the 110-meter hurdles outdoors in 2011 with a PR 13.48 to rank second on Cal's all-time performer list behind only Larry Cowling (13.39).