7 Golden Bears earn NCAA Track and Field championships berth for 8 events
California Golden Bears Track and Field team will be sending the largest contingent of athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships since 2014 with 7 Bears in 8 events after the conclusion of the NCAA West Prelims from Sacramento last weekend. Last year, only 3 Bears made the NCAA championships. Two of them: Peter Simon in Shot Put and Ashley Anderson in the Triple Jump will be making a return trip in 2018.
Seven is also a larger contingent than the 5 Bears that made the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track and Field championship from Texas A&M earlier this year in March. 4 of those 5 Bears will also be making the trip to Eugene.
The lone exception on the two returning list is senior Bethan Knights, who didn’t appear to compete since the Indoor season.
Out of the 26 entries from Cal, 19 of them had outperformed their seed. Still, a top 12 finish is required to advance to the NCAA championships.
Here are the Cal Bears that will be competing for a NCAA title next week:
Junior Silviu Bocancea in the Hammer Throw. Bocancea had a personal best throw of 215-11 that is 3rd best in Cal history.
Sophomore McKay Johnson will compete in two events at the NCAA Outdoor; he has qualified in both Discus (a personal record) and Shot Put. Johnson also made the Shot Put event for the Indoor championship this year, where he finished 8th in the country.
Also advancing in Shot Put is senior Peter Simon, who is one of the 3 Cal representative last year and finished 6th in the country.
After making the NCAA Indoor Track and Field championship earlier this year where she finished 10th in the country, junior Lauren Martinez will also compete in the outdoor version.
Senior Ashley Anderson will be making her 3rd straight NCAA Outdoor Championship by making a clutch jump on her last attempt. Anderson placed 19th last year with a jump well worse than her personal best. Two years ago, none of her jump counted as she committed a foul on all of the attempts.
Cal Football kickoff returnee and senior Ashtyn Davis will also compete in the outdoor NCAA championship. Davis finished 3rd in the country in the 60 meter hurdles in the indoor championships. For the outdoor championships, the hurdles distance is 110 meter.
A newcomer to the program, Cal sophomore Tuomas Kaukolahti will also make the Outdoor NCAA championship after making the Indoor version earlier this year; his event is the Triple Jump. I don’t necessarily know the difference between doing the Triple Jump indoor vs. outdoor, but he will be looking to improve on that 5th place finish.
Tuomas Kaukolahti is headed to the NCAA Championship!— Cal XC/Track & Field (@CalTFXC) May 27, 2018
This wind-legal PR of 52-4.5 booked it! pic.twitter.com/Q9wuGmUjxA
Below are the results of the full Cal contingent for the 26 events. Some close calls include Camryn Rogers in the Hammer toss, Noelle Schiller in the Long Jump, Amarie Bremel in the Discus, and Cal Football fullback Malik McMorris in the Shut Pot.
Long Jump: 17. Noelle Schiller, 19-5.50
Javelin: 46. Chrissy Glasmann, 130-6
400 Hurdles First Round: 27. Paramveer Chohan, 51.75
Hammer: 4. Silviu Bocancea, 215-11
3000 Steeplechase Quarterfinal: 28. Annie Boos, 10:17.77
Pole Vault: t1. Lauren Martinez, 13-8.5
110 Hurdles First Round: 7. Ashtyn Davis, 13.923000
5000m Semifinal: 34. Brie Oakley, 16:27.17
5000m Semifinal: 25. Garrett Corcoran, 14:03.09110m
Hurdles Quarterfinal: 9. Ashtyn Davis, 13.83
The 2018 NCAA Championships will again take place from Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon from June 6th to June 10th.
Cal Men’s Rowing at IRA Championships this weekend seeking 18th national title
Looking to emulate the success of Cal women’s rowing last weekend, Cal men’s rowing will be racing for the IRA championship from Mercer Lake in central New Jersey this weekend. Last year, Cal had a shockingly disappointing 5th place finish in the Varsity 8+ final. Several of the Golden Bears were both a part of that boat as well as the 2016 National Champions. They will look to end the year (and for some, their domestic college career) on a high note.
With the news from the beginning of the school year that head coach Mike Teti will step down to take over the US men’s rowing national team, it is finally announced earlier this week that Associate Head Coach and 3x Calympian Scott Frandsen will take over as the 16th head coach of the “oldest and grandest sports” at Cal.
A three-time national champion while competing for the Bears, we look forward to Scott continuing to cultivate a culture of excellence at Cal.— California Rowing (@CalMRowing) May 29, 2018
: https://t.co/ocJ0YIlY6L pic.twitter.com/7Ov0udz9jl
3x Calympian for his native Canada, the Cal graduate (from the Haas school of business) won 3 national championships during his 4 year at Cal. He also won a silver medal in the pairs event with Dave Calder at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He also did a quick email Q&A with us last year.
Congrats to Coach Frandsen! While Cal Athletics is following an alarming trend of just promoting from within for their head coaching vacancies, Frandsen taking over is more akin to Walter Chun taking over Men’s Golf than Matt McShane taking over Volleyball.
Cal will have boats in 4 races - Varsity 4+, 3rd Varsity 8+, 2nd Varsity 8+, and the main event - the Varsity 8+ race that will decide the “national championship”. Last winning it all back in 2016 (coinciding with the women’s program winning their last NCAA team national title), Cal Men’s Crew (or Men’s Rowing if you prefer that name) is seeking the program’s 18th national title - behind only Rugby’s 33 national titles.
Unfortunately, the Washington Huskies are considered the favorites besting the Golden Bears at the Pac-12 championships. Nonetheless, Yale came out of nowhere to win their first national title last year; anything is possible. Also unfortunate is the potential threat of rain this weekend that may shake up the schedule. We will keep you informed on when the main race will occur, it is an exciting 5+ minutes to watch on the online stream.
The best known rower on the Cal V8+ boat is senior 2016 Rio Polish Calympian in Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk who was named the Pac-12 Rowing Athlete of the Year for the 3rd straight year as well as the Scholar Athlete of the Year for the Sociology major.
Here is the boat lineup for the V8+ in the Pac-12 Championships:
Final results from the men's varsity eight— California Rowing (@CalMRowing) May 13, 2018
1. Washington - 5:51.2
2. Cal - 5:52.7
3. Stanford - 6:09.3 pic.twitter.com/2tRRcQhSwJ
Eyes on the prize.— Cal Athletics (@CalAthletics) May 31, 2018
West Windsor, NJ pic.twitter.com/TNKZINjx6I
Assuming that they finish in the top 3 of their Friday races, Cal boats can go straight to the Saturday’s semifinal races. Otherwise, boats will have to race in repechage races on Friday afternoon.
The schedule for Championship Sunday is 4+ at 6:10 AM PT, 3V8 at 7:40 AM PT, 2V8 at 8 AM PT, and V8 at 9:05 AM PT. We will keep you updated if there is a change (sometimes, the change is made late on Saturday night). Yours truly also plan to be on site for the Sunday actions, and hopefully I will get to chat with the team and coaches (be on the look out for those next week).
ROW ON YOU BEARS!
Cal Baseball finishes year 1 of Mike Neu era with 32-22 record, 16-14 in Pac-12 but no postseason berth
Despite losing the first game via a heartbreaking late blown game, Cal Baseball bounced back to win their final two games of the great 2018 season. With those two wins against Arizona State University Sun Devils, the California Golden Bears finished their first campaign under new head coach Mike Neu with a pretty solid 32-22 overall record and a decent 16-14 record in the Pac-12 (good for 5th in the 11 team Pac). Unfortunately, a weak RPI (due to some bad mid-week losses and the whole Pac being deemed a weaker league) kept the Bears out of the 64 team postseason field (only about ~30 at-large bids though).
Junior CF-RHP Tanner Dodson likely capped his Cal career with a big two-run game-winning single in the 9th of the Friday 6-4 win.
While it’s not clear whether MLB organizations will want him more for his arm or bat (or maybe he can follow the trail blazed by Ohtani this year), Dodson is considered a top 100 draft eligible prospect.
Cal Bears end the season with a 3-0 win thanks to an increasingly rare shutout tossed by Aaron Shortridge (9 IP, 6 H, 5 K) who also earned the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week honor because of this game.
While Cal sophomore 1st baseman Andrew Vaughn (who is NOT draft eligible this summer) did not homer in the final weekend, he concludes his season with a historic 0.402 Batting Average, 0.531 On-Base Percentage, and 0.819 Slugging Percentage year over 54 games. Vaughn also tied Xavier Nady for the Cal single season homerun record of 23 in an year. As expected, Vaughn was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year on Thursday.
Looking ahead, Cal will certainly need to find more reliable pitching in 2019. Jared Horn will be back and hopefully be more consistent. Matt Ladrech will have graduated. Dodson, the Cal closer this year with 11 saves, will be drafted high and most likely gone. Shortridge may also be drafted but may return.
Offensively, Jonah Davis had a strong year but is draft eligible as a junior. Bears may also lose junior catcher in Tyrus Greene. Nonetheless, both freshmen Darren Baker and Sam Wezniak got a lot of seasoning this year and will be back. Max Flower and Ripken Reyes will be juniors. Cal Bears are just a couple strong pitchers away from making another run at a postseason berth in 2019. With Mike Neu’s background as a former MLB pitcher, Cal can hopefully improve on the pitching swiftly.
Collin Morikawa becomes first Cal Men’s Golfer to earn back-to-back First-Team All-American honors
Despite Cal Men’s Golf having an unexpected early ending to the season by not advancing beyond the NCAA Regional, Cal junior Collin Morikawa had yet again a very successful year. The Ben Hogan award finalist (Morikawa was on the three-men short list but did not win the award as it went to Texas’ Doug Ghim) becomes Cal’s first golfer to get First-Team All-American honors in consecutive seasons.
Morikawa along with teammate K.K. Limbhasut and Sebastian Crampton were all named to the All-West Region team. They should all be back next year when the squad is also joined by some more talented newcomers such as James Song (who lost in the 2nd playoff hole for the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Thunderbird International Junior) and Connor Golembeski (who finished 6th in the FCWT Tour Championship) who both had great outings this past weekend.