Inaugurating the outdoor season, the Bears made their way to Stanford on Saturday to compete in the Cardinal Classic. Shining bright were the men’s hammer throwers and women’s pole vaulters, who earned two meet records and three top-10 program marks.
Leading off, senior pole vaulter Amari Turner found herself in first place with a mark of 4.27 meters. Previously setting the fifth-best program mark last outdoor season, Turner now holds the No. 2 spot in Cal history as well as a meet record.
“I had a goal this year of hitting 14 (feet) and possibly breaking the school record so it was just a really great feeling to start the season out strong,” Turner said. “I couldn’t be happier with it.”
Competing alongside Turner were teammates Ali Sahaida and Kylie Hilton, who both earned marks of 4.06 meters, tying them for fifth best in program history. For Turner, watching her teammates achieve this mark was a special moment. Before this year, Turner said she was used to competing alone in the event.
“It is so special to have competed with five of my teammates (on Saturday). It was great energy, we had positive vibes,” she said.
As the men’s and women’s vertical jumps squad has expanded, she said the team’s camaraderie has grown, becoming “closer and closer each meet.”
In the pole vault, athletes receive three attempts at each height. Navigating these attempts and avoiding failing to clear the bar is a pressure-ridden experience. On Saturday, however, Turner was able to reel it in, ultimately achieving her highest mark on her third attempt.
“If you miss your second attempt, it is always chaotic in your mind. I’m always thinking I’m on the verge of breaking down kind of, but trying to keep it together,” Turner said. “Yesterday, for instance, I made … a lot of my bars on the third attempt. It is never over until it’s over.”
Joining the women’s pole vaulters in their weekend success were the men’s hammer throwers. Also reaching the No. 2 spot in program history with a meet record and a podium finish was senior Kegan Schroeter. Dominating in the circle, Schroeter achieved a launch of 69.33 meters.
But Schroeter was not the only Bear to finish in the top three. In second place, demonstrating a skill for refinement, was junior Ivar Moisander, who improved upon his previously set No. 4 mark in Cal history.
Starting in the 100-meter dash, sophomore David Foster crossed the finish line in 10.34, earning himself a meet record and a tie for third best in Cal history. After twice setting the program record in the 60-meter dash this indoor season, Foster’s race on Saturday shows he is set to carry this momentum into the outdoor season.
Sophomore Aiden Lippert earned the Bears another top program mark in the 400-meter dash, with a time of 46.38 placing him at No. 10 in Cal history.
For the women, the 100-meter dash saw a sixth-best time in program history by sophomore Aysha Shaheed. After tying — then breaking — the program record in the 200 meter in the indoor season, Shaheed’s display of versatility, no matter the distance, will certainly aid her this season.
Teammate Jada Hicks joined Shaheed in this show of versatility and consistency, transitioning from the indoor 60-meter hurdles to outdoor season’s 100-meter hurdles. Hicks raced a 13.43 in the 100-meter hurdles this weekend — for a meet record and first place. These dynamic sophomores will continue to be an exciting watch during the outdoor season.
The men’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay squads dominated with podium finishes in both events. However, unable to beat out the Cardinal, the women’s 4×400 relay placed fourth, while the 4×100 squad fell short after disqualification.
With a solid start to the outdoor season, the Bears have shown their potential to build off last year’s accomplishments. Heading to San Diego for the Aztec Invitational on March 24 and 25, there is little rest in sight for the Bear