Cal Track and Field sweeps Big Meet from The Farm
Freshman Mykolas Alkena breaks the NCAA all-time men's discus record with a throw of 67.68 m (222-0)
Cal was set for another big weekend against Stanford this past weekend from both water and land, but the Big Row (where the Cal Bears are the favorites) was canceled due to COVID issues in the Stanford program. On land and from The Farm, both the men and women Cal Track and Field Golden Bears were able to win their respective Big Meet. This was only the first Cal sweep of the Big Meet since 2014.
No.22 Cal's women's Track and Field defeated Stanford's women 81.50-71.50 for their second straight Big Meet victory.
The Cal men won 86-77 over No.21 Stanford for their first win since 2019.
Here is the full list of Cal results:
MEN (Won 86-77)
Hammer Throw: 1. Ivar Moisander 65.59m/215-2; 3. Michael Gupta 59.69m/195-10
4x100m Relay: 2. California (Kamau Carlisle, George Monroe, Mason Mangum, Christian Catlin) 39.91 (T7th Cal history)
Shot Put: 1. Josh Johnson 18.74m/61-5.75; 2. Jeff Duensing 18.33m/60-1.75; 3. Iffy Joyner 17.44m/57-2.75; 4. Jake Porter 16.95m/55-7.5; 6. Justin Wirtz 14.19m/46-6.75
1500m Run: 1. Garrett MacQuiddy 3:49.30; 6. Carrick Denker 3:57.85; 7. Daniel Winek 3:59.45; 9. Jaden Rosenthal 4:01.34
110m Hurdles: 1. Hakim McMorris 14.76; 3. Riley Knott 16.02 (wind-legal PR); 4. Jimmy Dessouki 16.18
400m Dash: 1. Henry Larkin 47.30; 4. Josh Keller 49.05; 6. Aiden Baker 50.92
100m Dash: 3. George Monroe 10.56 (wind-legal PR); 4. Kamau Carlisle 10.62 (PR); 5. Mason Mangum 10.72 (PR); 7. Christian Catlin 10.80; 8. Samir Thota 10.82 (wind-legal PR); 9. Ethan Song 11.03
800m Run: 2. Ben Micallef 1:54.31; 3. Moises Medrano 1:55.18; 7. Chase Gordon 2:00.79
400m Hurdles: 1. Will Sornberger 53.97; 3. Jimmy Dessouki 56.40
Long Jump: 1. Hakim McMorris 7.38m/24-2.5; 2. Mason Mangum 7.34m/24-1 (PR); 3. Kamau Carlisle 7.26m/23-10
Pole Vault: 4. Skyler Magula 4.61m/15-1.5 (PR); - Tyler Burns NH
200m Dash: 3. George Monroe 21.61; 4. Aiden Lippert 21.83; 5. Josh Keller 22.05; 6. Samir Thota 22.26; 7. Ethan Song 22.67
High Jump: 1. Jai Williams 2.05m/6-8.75; 2. Riley Knott 1.95m/6-4.75
Discus Throw: 1. Mykolas Alekna 67.68m/222-0 (All-Time NCAA Record) (Lithuanian U23 Record) (Meet Record) (PR); 2. Iffy Joyner 62.17m/203-11 (4th Cal history) (PR); 3. Josh Johnson 55.64m/182-6; 4. Justin Wirtz 52.25m/171-4; 6. Jake Porter 47.45m/155-8 (PR); 8. Charlie Dang 45.45m/152-5
3000m Run: 4. Colin FitzGerald 8:17.27; 6. Xavier Court 8:23.65 (PR); 7. Gabriel Abbes 8:27.10 (PR)
Javelin Throw: 1. Riley Knott 46.38m/152-2 (PR); 2. Hakim McMorris 44.92m/147-4; 3. Ivar Moisander 43.45m/142-7; 6. Jake Porter 33.41m/109-7
4x400m Relay: 1. California (Blaise Carson, Will Sornberger, Hakim McMorris, Henry Larkin) 3:11.94
Triple Jump: 2. Isaiah Shaw 15.03m/49-3.75
WOMEN (Won 81.50-71.50)
Hammer Throw: 1. Camryn Rogers 72.46m/237-8 (Big Meet Record); 2. Anna Purchase 67.14m/220-3; 4. Rebecca Tomann 57.17m/187-6; 5. Jasmine Blair 54.53m/178-11; 6. Destiny Okoh 49.14m/161-2; 7. Shyann Franklin 41.64m/136-7
Long Jump: 1. Asha Fletcher 6.00m/19-8.25; 2. Ijeoma Uche 5.86m/19-2.75; 3. Felicia Renelus 5.74m/18-10 (PR); 6. Busola Akinduro 5.62m/18-5.25 (PR)
4x100m Relay: 1. California (Jada Hicks, Ezinne Abba, Maisie Stevens, Aysha Shaheed) 44.39
1500m Run: 4. Erin Archibeck 4:24.37 (PR); 5. Marea Zlatunich 4:25.07 (PR); 6. Claire Yerby 4:28.23; 10. Natalie Weiner 4:40.10 (PR)
High Jump: 2. Toby Lai 1.65m/5-5; T3. Caitlin Bailey 1.55m/5-1
100m Hurdles: 2. Jada Hicks 14.00; 3. Jordyn Grady 14.33
400m Dash: 2. Aly Conyers 54.15 (PR); 3. Ryan Lacefield 57.28
Discus Throw: 1. Jasmine Blair 55.80m/183-1; 2. Amelia Flynt 51.12m/167-8; 4. Krissy Smoot 47.51m/155-10; 6. Sara Pettinger 45.97m/150-10
100m Dash: 1. Ezinne Abba 11.10w (PR); 3. Maisie Stevens 11.42w (PR); 4. Aysha Shaheed 11.66w (PR); 5. Jordyn Grady 11.90w (PR); 6. Jahzara Richardson 12.07w (PR); 9. Jaymie Ruskovich 12.41w (PR); 10. Sara East 13.31; 11. Chloe Decker 13.37 (PR)
Pole Vault: 2. Amari Turner 3.90m/12-9.5; 5. Seanne Chan 3.60m/11-9.75
Triple Jump: 1. Asha Fletcher 13.13mw/43-1; 2. Felicia Renelus 12.72m/41-8.75; 3. Busola Akinduro 12.47m/40-11; 7. Zenab Ojibe 10.92m/35-10
400m Hurdles: 2. Jordyn Grady 1:09.17
200m Dash: 1. Ezinne Abba 23.22w; 2. Maisie Stevens 23.57w (PR); 4. Aysha Shaheed 24.79w; 6. Jaymie Ruskovich 25.50 (PR); 8. Chloe Decker 28.06
Shot Put: 1. Amelia Flynt 15.90m/52-2; 2. Krissy Smoot 15.31m/50-2.75; 3. Sara Pettinger 13.87m/45-6.25; 7. Shyann Franklin 12.65m/41-6 (PR)
3000m Run: 4. Erin Archibeck 9:38.81; 6. Meredith Corda 9:47.47 (PR); 8. Kalinda Reynolds 10:41.95
4x400m Relay: 2. California (Ryan Lacefield, Jahzara Richardson, Maisie Stevens, Aly Conyers) 3:45.27
Javelin Throw: 2. Francesca Macias 40.91m/134-2 (PR)
While Cal’s 2x reigning Women’s Hammer Toss champion Camryn Rogers set the tone for the meet by winning her event, it is freshman Mykola Alekna who stole the show with a new NCAA record.
Alekna set a new record with his first throw and then added three more 67m+ throws in the Big Meet. He now has a 7 feet lead on the current collegiate No.2, Arizona State’s fellow freshman Ralford Mullings.
You can see Mykolas Alekna’s historic throw in the embedded Tweet below.
Just prior to the Big Meet, Track & Field News did a feature story on Mykolas Alekna, whose father Virgilijus Alekna is a two-time Olympic Discus champion.
CAL’S NEW DISCUS MAN on campus “has adapted exceptionally well to the college environment,” says Bears throws coach Mo Saatara. “He is a consummate student of his event and gets along well with his teammates while always staying positive and motivated.”
Saatara can say that again. One can fairly add that 19-year-old frosh Mykolas Alekna has adapted exceptionally well at every step along the way since he first picked up the platter at age 15.
Alekna’s quality as a prodigy is remarkable even when one factors in — well, a large factor. The young Lithuanian’s father is Virgilijus Alekna. That Virgilijus Alekna, 2-time Olympic gold medalist in the discus (’00 & ’04 plus bronze in ’08), 17-time World Ranker (every year in the period 1996–2012 inclusive).
The 19-year-old also talked specifically about what brought him to Berkeley from Lithuania.
And now Alekna has landed with a bang on the NCAA stage.
“I always wanted to go to the U.S. to do sports and also get a good education,” he says, “and my dad had been in the U.S. a few times when he was throwing professionally and he said it’s a very good place where you can go to school and also do sports at the same time. So he really just suggested me to go to the U.S. and then I just found a very good coach and ended up at Cal because it’s a very good school academically and also we have a very good coach here.”
Alekna says his training written by Saatara — who guided Camryn Rogers to the women’s hammer Collegiate Record, the NCAA title and 5th in the Tokyo Olympics last year — closely resembles what he did back home.
“That’s one of the reasons why I came here to Cal,” he says, “because I knew what was working for me.” And it continues to work. Spectacularly.
Between Camryn Rogers and now Mykolas Alekna, Cal’s throwing team under Mo Saatara has done a tremendous job in recent years. Iffy Joyner for men’s discus was the only other Cal Bear to make the NCAA last year with Rogers. Eight Bears made it in 2019, including three throwers: Silviu Bocancea for men’s hammer in addition to Rogers and Joyner.
By the way, Camryn Rogers was named Cal’s women’s Tom Hansen Conference Medal winner. Past Cal Tom Hansen medal winners include Natalie Coughlin, Jerome Randle, Ryan Murphy, Alex Mack, Dana Vollmer, Valerie Arioto, Layshia Clarendon, Luca Cupido, Abbey Weitzeil, etc.
The throwing team and the rest of Cal Track and Field will next compete in the Pac-12 Championship in two weeks (May 13-15) from Eugene, Oregon before the NCAA West Regional Championships (May 25-28) from Fayetteville, Arkansas. Those who qualify at the NCAA West Regional will get to compete in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship on June 8-10 from Eugene, Oregon.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!