Eight California Golden Bears competed at the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin this past week. The full results from them are listed below:
110m Hurdles Semifinal: 16. Misana Viltz, 13.87
400m Hurdles Semifinal: 23. Paramveer Chohan, 52.36
Hammer Throw Final: 9. Silviu Bocancea, 68.50m/224-9
Women200m Semifinal: 18. Zion Corrales Nelson, 23.24
800m Semifinal: 17. Rebecca Croft, 2:05.57
Hammer Throw Final: 1. Camryn Rogers, 71.50m/234-7
Triple Jump Final: 8. Tuomas Kaukolahti, 16.50m/54-1.75
Discus Final: 18. Iffy Joyner, 55.16m/181-0
TWO FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Of course, the highlight of the week was sophomore Camryn Rogers winning the women’s hammer throw. In addition to set a new school record with her throw of 71.50m/234-7, Rogers became
1st Cal women’s hammer throw title
1st Cal hammer throw title since 1922
5th Cal woman to win a National Championship
11th NCAA title by a Cal woman
29th Cal national champion
41st Cal national championships
Rogers add the NCAA crown to her Pac-12 crown from earlier. Of course, the NCAA win also means that she is now a First Team All-American.
After Rogers, it is perhaps of little surprise that the next best Cal finish was from the other Pac-12 champ on the Golden Bears, junior Tuomas Kaukolahti in the men’s triple jump. One of two Cal Bears to make a repeat trip back to the NCAA championships, Kaukolahti improved on his disappointing 18th place finish last year by placing 8th overall this year.
His jump of 16.50m is the 6th best in Cal history and earned him a 1st team All-American honor (finishing in the the top 8 of an event).
TWO SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICANS
Just missing the first team by one place is the other Cal NCAA championships returnee in senior Silviu Bocancea, Bocancea improved his hammer throw result from 16th to 9th to end his Cal career. The very solid 68.50m throw (note that it’s shorter than what Rogers did, which makes Rogers’ feat that much more remarkable) was the 2nd best throw of Silviu’s career.
On the other end of the spectrum, just grabbing the last spot as a 2nd Team All-American was graduate student Misana Viltz in 16th place in the 110m hurdles. The transfer from UCLA also concluded his Cal career with a 2nd team finish.
FOUR HONORABLE MENTIONS
By the virtue of competing at the NCAA Championships, the other 4 Cal Bears participants all earned NCAA Honorable Mentions honors.
They are junior Paramveer Chohan, the Big Meet hero this year, placing 23rd in the 400m hurdles.
Paramveer Chohan takes 23rd in the men's 400m hurdles with a time of 52.36 to earn honorable mention All-America honors. pic.twitter.com/SNPmN0q7Ga— Cal XC/Track & Field (@CalTFXC) June 5, 2019
Senior Rebecca Croft just missed out on a top 16 finish in the 800m. She did finish her Cal career with the 2nd best time of her career.
The 2nd best time of her career meant that junior Zion Corrales Nelson placed 18th in the 200m. By the way, Corrales Nelson’s run to make the NCAA championships (her personal record of 23.16) was also a Filipino National record in this event.
Zion Corrales Nelson records the second-fastest time of her career in the 200m!! pic.twitter.com/9RkHjGf5h7— Cal XC/Track & Field (@CalTFXC) June 7, 2019
Last but not least, sophomore Iffy Joyner took 18th in the discus toss with a throw of 55.16m.
Overall, it was a strong finish for Cal Track and Field to conclude the career of long time Cal Track and Field head coach now director Tony Sandoval, who is retiring at the end of the season after 37 years in Berkeley.
In case you are wondering, the Texas Tech men and the Arkansas women won the NCAA team crowns. Arkansas Razorbacks women just edged USC Trojans on the final event of the 4x400m relay for the win; the two schools were tied in team points before that, and USC lost 10 seconds due to losing the baton from incidental contact.
Stay tune next week for my picks (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) of the best athletes of the winter and spring seasons (had to separate them to rightfully honor everyone). I have a feeling that Cal Track and Field will be represented there.