Palms of Victory: Camryn Rogers sets new hammer throw record (No.3 NCAA All-time); Field Hockey wins 3 on East Coast trip

Cal Beach Volleyball goes 3-1 on the weekend with a split against Stanford

A few more Cal sports concluded their seasons this past week with both women’s and men’s gymnastics competing in their respective NCAA Championships and women’s and men’s soccer left out of the reduced NCAA postseason fields. Another typically fall sport, field hockey also completed their spring season (more on them below).

ICYMI, Maya Bordas became the first Cal female gymnast to win an NCAA championship when she won the uneven bars title.

Here are the rest of the Cal victories from April 15th to 21st, 2021.

Camryn Rogers sets a new personal record, breaks Olympic standard; Cal Track and Field earns more victories

Cal swimmers have been regularly setting new personal records that are also national and/or world records. While the bulk of that does happen at the Pac-12 and/or NCAA with championships on the line, they also sometimes happen early in the season. I have become so accustomed to these that I probably do not appreciate it fully until the end of the season, with more at stake.

Cal junior Camryn Rogers has reached that level of expected greatness on her hammer throws.

The 2019 NCAA women’s hammer throw champion just continued to improve her tosses with the latest personal records of 73.09 meters (239-9) set last week from the West Coast Classic in Eugene, Oregon. She not only eclipsed the Olympic standard of 72.50 meters but was also just 4 feet, 8 inches off the NCAA record set in 2017. The Canadian Olympic hopeful clearly has her eyes set on that record before this season is over. Rogers’ throw was also the 8th best all-time, and her expected improvement should get her into Olympic medal contention territory.

For her accomplishment, Rogers earned Pac-12 Field Athlete of the Week honor.

A split-squad of Cal Bears competed against their toughest competition yet this season. On the men’s side, freshman Garrett MacQuiddy won his 4th race in 4 meets with a lifetime best 1:49.97 in the men's 800-meters. Junior Moises Medrano took 3rd.

Sophomore sprinter Henry Larkin won his 2nd 400-meters race in three meets.

Three additional Cal women won events besides Rogers. A new personal record of 13.22m/43-4.50 for Asha Fletcher allowed her to win the triple jump. She also set a new PR to take 4th in the long jump.

Annie Boos continued her impressive senior year, which started with Cal’s top finish in the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships, with a win in the 3000-meters steeplechase.

Deshae Wise also set a new PR with her 100-meters hurdles win.

Other Cal Bears of note included 3rd places by Hawa Wague in high jump (new PR), Margie Cullen in 3000-meters steeplechase, Mina Anglero in 800-meters, and Ezinne Abba in 100-meters.

The Golden Bears will have a well-deserved weekend off before hosting the Stanford Cardinal for the Big Meet on May 1st.

Cal Field Hockey earns 3 East Coast wins to close the 2021 spring season

When the schedule was first announced, I was surprised that Cal Field Hockey was going to make two long trips to the East Coast for games this season during the pandemic. With just UC Davis and Stanford (whose on their final season as one of 11 Stanford programs cut) left on the West Coast, Cal needed to travel to get games. The Bears were hoping for a 3rd East Coast trip, if they could qualify for the America East tournament by placing in the top-4.

The Bears went 0-3 on their first trip East earlier this year with a pair of tough 1-0 losses. Cal Field Hockey (5-6, 4-4 in Amerca East play) earned three tough wins on their second East Coast trip this past weekend. Unfortunately for the Bears, they finished the season 5th in the Amerca East standing, just outside the top-4 that will play in the conference tournament this weekend.

Cal 3, Albany 1

Maddie Cleat scored 90 seconds into the match. Brynn Zorilla added two goals, with Cleat assisting on one. Cato Knipping made 7 saves as the Bears withstood a 21-5 shot advantage by the Albany Great Danes in this one to earn a tough road win.

Cal 5, New Hampshire 1

Cleat scored just 90 seconds in for the second straight match! Rachel Buttinger scored Cal’s second goal. Freshman Kiki de Bruijne scored Cal’s 3rd goal before Cleat added another goal. Yvie Lock tallied Cal’s 5th goal. Knipping made six saves to earn the win.

Cal 1, Vermont 0

Bryn Zorilla’s 35th-minute goal and yet another shutout by goalkeeper Cato Knipping, who made 5 saves, allowed the Cal Bears to close their spring season on a high.

The Dutch sophomore goalkeeper Cato Knipping also earned the America East Defensive Player of the Week honor for her fine work on this road trip, making 19 total saves.

Fellow Dutch Cal Bear, freshman midfielder Kiki de Bruijne was named the conference Rookie of the Year. She became the first Cal Bear to win a major season-ending America East award. Kiki had 3 goals and 6 total points, good for 3rd best on the team in both categories.

Looking ahead to fall 2021:

The Cal Bears managed to play their spring season without any COVID problems. With just two seniors departing the squad, Cal got a lot of valuable experiences to build upon for the fall, when the Bears will likely be making a lot more long East Coast trips for games. There is also uncertainty about Cal and UC Davis’s conference affiliation for the fall season.

Still, with the key offensive players Maddie Cleats and Brynn Zorilla back and the emerging Dutch stars in Kiki de Bruijne and Cato Knipping, the fall of 2021 have all of the ingredients for a great season for Cal Field Hockey. Should Cal get Megan Rodgers, a top-10 Cal all-time scorer who could be No.2 when her career is done, back for the fall for her senior season (I have not found any explanations anywhere as to why she was not playing this spring), that would be yet another offensive weapon that could take the team back to the top-25 rankings.

Cal Beach Volleyball has a solid 3-1 weekend, including a win over Stanford; top pair Mirkovic/Schafer goes 4-0

With just two weekends of action before the Pac-12 Championships, Cal Beach Volleyball was hoping to regain some of the early season momenta. The Golden Bears may have achieved that with a pair of wins over No.11 Pepperdine and No.10 Stanford this past weekend from Stanford.

The Bears were paced by their top pair and senior duo of Mima Mirkovic and Caroline Schafer, who went a perfect 4-0 on the weekend. They became Cal’s first duo to get the Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Pair of the Week honor this season.

Mirkovic and Schafer led the 12th ranked Cal Bears to victories over No.11 Pepperdine and No.10 Stanford. They won their 4 matches without dropping a set; 21-17 was the closest that an opponent pair came to the two seniors.

Cal 4, Pepperdine 1

Golden Bears won on courts 1, 2, 4, and 5. Mirkovic/Schafer and No.2 pair of Ainsley Radell/Jordan Polo won in straight sets. No.4 pair of Maddie Micheletti/Maya Gessner and No.5 pair of Brooke Buchner/Ava Mann needed a 3rd set to earn their wins.

Alex Inman/Grace Paulson, who lost to Pepperdine on No.3 court, were the only ones other than Mirkovic/Schafer to beat Stanford on Saturday night as the Bears fell 2-3.

Cal 4, SMC 1

Like the first match yesterday, the same four pair won the Bears on Sunday morning, with all the wins via straight set. Cal managed to continue their winning streak over SMC.

Cal 4, Stanford 1

Playing their 4th matchup of the season, the Bears earned a split on hostile territory when they beat Stanford 4-1 to conclude their weekend. Golden Bears won on courts 1, 2, 3, and 5 with only court 3 going to a 3rd set.

Season Status:

The Bears (13-9, 5-4 in Pac-12) will return to Stanford for more beach volleyball this weekend ahead of the Pac-12 Championships next weekend from Los Angeles. This weekend will see the Bears rematch against Loyola Marymount as well as facing a tough Grand Canyon team as well as San Jose State; LMU had defeated Cal 4-1 earlier this season.

Cal Men’s Rowing wins season opener over UC San Diego

Racing for the first time in over a year, Cal Men’s Rowing raced each other and a boat from UCSD in their meet at the Oakland Estuary in 25 years.

The result was not too surprising but the team was just happy to be out there competing.

Since the IRA national championship is entirely decided by the Varsity 8 boat only, Below is the lineup for this year’s boat.

Graduate student Brett Cataldo coxed the national championship-winning 2V8 boat back in 2019, when the Cal 2V8 boat posted an even better time than the V8 boat. He will be the coxswain on a boat with both experience (George Finlayson and Jack Robertson) and freshmen (Frederick Breuer and Daton Wolfaardt).

The Daily Cal did a nice story on the Cal coxswain.

Season Status:

The shortened spring schedule continues this weekend when the Bears will race Oregon State, Santa Clara, and Stanford (whose program is one of the 11 announced cut) at the Redwood Shore. The big Cal vs. Washington showdown will happen the week after.