A pair of Golden Bears won conference titles on Saturday - as three Cal squads wrapped their competitions at their conference championships, Cal Women’s Swimming and Diving, Cal Men’s Track and Field, and Cal Women’s Track and Field. Cal Men’s Track also won the Men’s Distance Medley Relay on Friday.
From Federal Way, Washington, Cal sophomore and Rio 2016 Calympian and 2x Medalist (Silver in 100m Back and Gold in 4x100 Medley Relay) Kathleen Baker became the lone Golden Bear to win a Pac-12 title at the 2017 Pac-12 championship. Baker won the 200 yard Backstroke with a time of 1:48.33 just ahead of Stanford’s Janet Hu and Ally Howe (who broke Natalie Coughlin’s NCAA record and edging Baker in the 100 Back). The 200 Back win at the Pac-12 is the Bears’ 5th straight. With a very impressive (but also extremely annoying, for Cal fans) outing at the Pac-12 by eventual winner Stanford (winning all 5 relays and 15 of 21 events), Cal Bears had to repeated settle for 2nd places on a variety of events (4 relays and 4 individual events). Golden Bears finished in 2nd place in the team standings.
PAC-12 CHAMPION! @KathleenBaker2 sets a meet record in winning the 200 back in 1:48.33! #GoBears pic.twitter.com/PUabyfftje— Cal W Swim/Dive (@CalWSwim) February 26, 2017
Bears placed 2nd in 200 Medley Relay, 400 Medley Relay, 800 Free Relay, and 200 Free Relay. Bears placed 3rd in the 400 Free Relay, behind Stanford and USC. Individually, Baker was the runner-up in 200 IM and 100 Back. Osman was the runner-up in 50 Free and 100 Fly. Katie McLaughlin placed 3rd in 200 Fly. Numerous other Golden Bears scored points by making the A-Final (top 8) or B/C Finals (9-16 and 17-24). Despite many swimmers posting personal records at this meet, the Bears will look to have even more taper for the NCAA championships. Diver Phoebe LaMay also made it to a pair of finals for the Bears; she placed 6th on the platform and 5th on the 1-meter.
Bears will rest for a couple of weeks before heading out to Indianapolis, Indiana for the NCAA championships on March 15th-18th. Yours truly will be there to track the action live (be sure to follow CGB @GoldenBlogs or me @YRueyYen during that time). May the Golden Bears be the ones that are just edging out the Stanford Cardinal for NCAA titles at that meet (that’s the only way for a potential team upset over Stanford).
Form Seattle, Washington, Cal junior Ashtyn Davis took home the conference (MPSF) title in the 60 meter Hurdles. Davis, who Cal Football fans know as a cornerback and special team player, equalled his personal best with a time of 7.75 seconds. Recruited to Cal for track, Davis has also made his mark on the Cal Football squad.
FEATURE | Ashtyn Davis gets it done on the football field and on the trackhttps://t.co/qPPr5ZvWiT#GoBears #WeAreGolden pic.twitter.com/oTeyqF0T35— Cal Football (@CalFootball) November 9, 2016
Golden Bears also won the conference title in the Distance Medley Relay (DMR) - a relay that is 1200 meter (3 laps), 400 meter (1 lap), 800 meter (2 laps), and 1600 meter (4 laps). The quartet of Thomas Joyce, Paramveer Chohan, Eugene Hamilton III, and Garrett Corcoran finished with a relay winning time of 9:34.11, 3+ seconds ahead of UCLA for the MPSF title.
As a whole, the Cal men placed 7th at the MPSF championship behind winner Oregon. Bears also saw a couple of close finishes with Garrett Corcoran being the runner-up in the 3000 meter and Tyler Brendel placing 3rd in the heptathlon. Other Golden Bears to score point at this meet includes Noel Frazier, Malik McMorris, Ellis Newton, Peter Simon and Karsten Wethington.
Yes, that’s Cal Football player Malik McMorris who placed 8th in the shutput with a 57-7. Frazier cleared 6-9 to placed 7th in the high jump. Newton (1:51, 800 meters), Simon (59-6.75, shot put) and Wethington (47.6-50, triple jump) each placed 6th.
Three Cal women scored points (placed in the top 8). On Friday, Destiny Parker and Lauren Martinez came close to the conference title by finishing 2nd in women’s weight throw (68’ 6.50) and pole vault (13’ 6.25), respectively. On Saturday, Ashley Anderson had a personal best 40-4.75 in the triple jump to place 6th. Overall, the Cal women placed 12th behind winner USC.
Cal Track and Field will next start their outdoor season next week at the Cal Outdoor Opener on March 4th before finishing the indoor season at the NCAA Indoors championships from March 10th-11th at Texas A&M.