Cal track and field runs through its stacked schedule

Cal track and field traveled down to Southern California, trading out overcast and drizzling weather for sunnier skies. It won’t be a vacation — with three meets taking place over just a few days, this is the busiest week yet for the Bears.

Cal track and field runs through its stacked schedule

The Mt. Sac Relays held in Walnut, CA kicked off the Bears’ stacked schedule with decathlon and heptathlon competitions starting on Wednesday and events extending into the weekend. Cal will be splitting its roster between the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, CA from April 14-15 and the Long Beach Invitational from April 15-16.

Mt. Sac Relays

A hefty portion of the roster will be competing in Walnut at the Mt. Sac Relays, including some of Cal’s most formidable talent.

Ezinne Abba will be running the 100 meter and 200 meter and Asha Fletcher is entered into the long and triple jump. Camryn Rogers is all but certain to take first place in her event of choice, the hammer throw. Quite a few throwers, including Jasmine Blair, Rebecca Tomann, Anna Purchase and Ivar Moisander, will be competing at the Mt. Sac Relays and the Long Beach Invitational.

A testament to her supremacy in both the 100 meter and 200 meter, Abba is one of two Bears to be ranked among the nation’s top 25 athletes in not one, but two events (Maisie Stevens is the other).

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Bryan Clay Invitational

Four members of the distance squad will be circling the Azusa Pacific University track and representing Cal at the Bryan Clay Invitational: Colin FitzGerald and Marea Zlatunich in the 5000 meter, and Xavier Court and Meredith Corda in the 1500 meter. All four are seniors.

FitzGerald ran a blistering time of 14:31.65 earlier this season, his fastest ever. Zlatunich, meanwhile, is less than a week removed from running a new personal best of 4:27.72 in the 1500 meter at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. She will be looking to lower her 5000 meter personal best this time around — a feat she nearly accomplished at the Cardinal Classic in March.

It was at that same Cardinal Classic meet that Court earned himself a personal best time of 3:51.10, putting a sub-3:50 mark within striking range at the Bryan Clay Invitational. And, like Zlatunich, Corda is fresh off a 1500 meter personal best this past weekend. Her time of 4:29.60 earned her second at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational (behind only Zlatunich).

Long Beach Invitational

While a few of Cal’s underclassmen sprinters and hurdlers are registered to race, Cal will send some of its top field athletes to the Long Beach Invitational.

Moisander, Purchase, Blair and Tomann will take on the hammer throw. Purchase is seeded No.2, and without Olympian Camryn Rogers competing, she might have a real chance to take first in the event. At the Brutus Hamilton Invitational last week, Purchase walked off the throwing ring with the second-best throw by any woman from Great Britain and the best throw by any woman besides Rogers in Cal history.

While Blair is set to compete in the hammer throw, her main event will be discus. The junior from Texas is seeded No. 2 and is a serious contender for first place. Other strong contenders include shot putters Jeff Duensing and Amelia Flynt; Flynt is seeded No. 4 in the women’s division and Duensing is seeded No. 6 in the men’s division.

Junior Kamau Carlisle — a consistent and strong performer — will be competing in the long jump. Classmate Mason Mangum, who is typically neck and neck with Carlisle, won’t be joining the fray in Long Beach. Fans might be interested to see how Carlisle performs without his friendly competitor.

This weekend will be grueling for both athletes and coaches as resources are spread thin across three large events. A brief respite from competition is on the horizon though, as the Big Meet against Stanford isn’t until April 30. As the sun sets on the 2022 season, the Bears will bid farewell to their last chances to hit a personal record or snag a spot on the podium.

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