Cal men sweep first "Big Meet" since 2000, women win first since 2010
BERKELEY, Calif. -- California swept the "Big Meet" for the first time since the 2000 season, and Cal’s women won for the first time since 2010. The second-ranked dual meet men’s team in the country outscored Stanford 113-48, while Cal’s women won by a count of 97-66. The Bears won 23 events combined, 13 of which were won by the men. Redshirt senior Tom Blocker (100m and 200m), sophomore Randy Bermea 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles), redshirt senior Hammed Suleman (long jump and triple jump) and senior Angelica Weaver (100m hurdles and 400m hurdles) won two events each for the Bears on Saturday at Edwards Stadium. 29 new PR’s were set as well, in a landmark day for the Golden Bears program.
“Every Big Meet is a special meet,” director of track & field Tony Sandoval said on Saturday afternoon at Edwards Stadium. “As I told the kids, there have been some times when we should have won and didn’t, and times when we won and maybe shouldn’t have, so it is always kind of special. The kids knew the significance of it and stepped up one event after another and had some people that did step up and did a tremendous job, especially on the women’s side. The men just kept piling it on, event after event. We brought our ‘A’ game and this is our home and I’m proud that we came away with a double victory.”
Blocker equaled his season-best in the 100-meter, clocking a time of 10.48 to take home his first event title of the afternoon. He followed that up with another victory in the 200-meters, winning with a new PR time of 21.15, surpassing his previous best of a wind-aided 21.23 set in April of last year. Freshman Khalfani Muhammad also had a solid afternoon, finishing second in both the 100-meters (10.60) and 200-meters (21.27). In addition, he also ran the lead leg of the 4x100 relay team that finished with a time of 40.52.
Other notable PR’s were set by redshirt junior Jordan Locklear, who placed second in the 800-meters with a time of 1:49.90 and sophomore Thomas Joyce also PR’ed in the same event, with a time of 1:52.85. Joyce then went on to win the 1500-meter race as well, coming from fifth place in the final half lap to seize the victory with a mark of 3:46.76.
“I think Joyce’s upset victory was the exclamation point on the day,” Sandoval added. “It is one of their best events and they have two nationally-ranked 1500-meter runners. They were targeting to try to beat Jordan [Locklear] thinking he was the one, and Thomas, who did this last week as a matter of fact, sprinted past both of them and that was pretty special.”
The Bears men went 1-2 in the hammer, as redshirt junior Scott Esparza climbed onto the all-time best performances list at No. 5, with a PR throw of 209-1. Redshirt senior Derek White placed second with a mark of 203-11 and junior Isaac Dan set a new PR with a throw of 197-3, just missing 10th on the best performances list and finishing fourth. White also found himself seventh on the all-time performers list after his win in discus, in which he set another new PR with a throw of 194-11.
Suleman repeated in both the long jump and triple jump, posting marks of 25-0.50 and 50-8.25, respectively to edge teammate Jonte Grant, who finished second in both events with distances of 24-2.50 and 50-7.50.
On the women’s side, Cal also finished 1-2 in the hammer as sophomore Shelby Ashe uncorked a throw of 200-11 to win this event at the Big Meet for the second consecutive year. Senior Maggie Simpson also set a PR with a mark of 176-10, finishing second. Junior Chioma Amaechi also set a new PR in the shot put, winning the event with a mark of 52-11.00.
On the track, it was Weaver who set the tone, winning both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles with times of 14.23, which was a new personal best and 1:00.45, respectively. Sophomore Khala Taylor had a very busy day, competing in five events; the 200-meters, 400-meters where she PR’ed with a time of 56.98, the 4x100 and 4x400 relays and the javelin, having a strong day in each event.
Freshman Megan Bordes set a new PR by more than 14 seconds with a time of 10:50.74 in her 3,000-meter steeplechase victory, placing her sixth on the all-time performance list. Junior Sydney Gray also impressed in the 3,000-meters with a personal best of 9:26.65 on her way to a second place finish. She also PR’ed in the 1,500-meters after clocking a time of 4:21.68, surpassing her previous best set last week at the Tri-Meet in Charlottesville, Va. (4:26.69).