Track & Field: Bears sending 4 to NCAA championships

Cal has advanced four athletes to the NCAA track and field championships, set for June 10-13 at Eugene, Oregon.

Freshman Bethan Knights and junior Thomas Joyce secured bids Saturday at the West Preliminary meet at Austin, Texas.

Knights finished seventh in the women’s 5,000-meter run with a personal-best time of 16 minutes, 2.49 seconds, and Joyce cruised through qualifying in the 1,500 with a 10th-place finish of 3:43.23.

Earlier, Walter Jones qualified in the long jump (25-7) and Ethan Cochran made it in the discus (183-0).


Track and field: Bears split in Big Meet

Cal’s men routed Stanford 101-62 in the 121st Big Meet on the Cardinal’s Cobb Track and Angell Field on Saturday. The Bears, who have won the past three Big Meets, own an all-time series edge of 69-50-2.

Stanford won the women’s meet 111-40, boosting its Big Meet series edge to 24-12.

Cal junior Thomas Joyce set school and Big Meet records in the 1,500 meters at 3 minutes, 39.43 seconds. He also won the 3,000 in a personal-best time of 8:00.50.

Cal sophomore Khalfani Muhammad, a running back on the football team, was second in both the 100 meters (10.62) and 200 (21.53), and anchored the 4×100 relay to victory in 41.45.


Track and field: Three Bears are 2nd at Pac-12

Three Cal athletes placed second on Sunday at the Pac-12 track and field championships at Pullman, Washington.

— Sophomore Shelby Ashe was runnerup in the hammer throw with a toss of 206 feet, 1 inch that improved her own No. 3 all-time Cal mark.

— Senior Derek White was second in the discus at 188-8.

— Senior Nick Ridge cleared 6-11 to finish second in the high jump.

Elsewhere, senior Hammed Suleman of Antioch, winner of the long jump on Saturday, added a third-place finish in the triple jump at 50-7 3/4. Senior Milan Ristic was third in the 110 hurdles at 13.97 seconds.

Cal’s 4×100 relay placed third at 40.13.

Oregon won both the men’s and women’s team titles. The Cal men finished eighth, the women ninth.


Track and field: Suleman wins 3rd Pac-12 title

Cal’s Hammed Suleman, a senior from Antioch, won his third straight Pac-12 Conference long jump title with a career-best leap of 26 feet, 1/4 inch in Pullman, Washington.

Suleman’s mark ranks him No. 4 on Cal’s all-time list and is just six inches shy of the school record set by Chris Rogers in 1985.

Kelsey Santisteban, a junior from Castro Valley, placed second in the women’s 10,000 meters with a time of  34 inutes, 13.90 seconds.

Meanwhile. Cal’s 4×100 relay team of Dan Davis, Tom Blocker, Dash Oliver and Khalfani Muhammad ran the fastest time the school has posted in 17 years  in qualifying at the Pac-12 Championships at Pullman, Washington.

 The Bears ran the day’s fourth-fastest time of 37.91 seconds, which ranks No. 7 on the school’s all-time list. The Pac-12 finals are Sunday.

Cal’s school record in the 4×100 is 39.11, set in 1975. The Bears’ previous 2014 season best was 40.16.


Athletics: Cal’s rugby rout in national semifinals, topoing a busy and successful day on all fronts

Cal’s powerhouse rugby team roared into next week’s national championship with a 58-14 rout of Central Washington in the semifinals on Saturday at Witter Rugby Field.

The Bears (18-2) face two-time defending champion BYU (17-1) next Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City. The Cougars blanked Navy 60-0 in their semifinal.

Cal led 24-0 and was never threatened by Central Washington to set up a matchup vs. BYU in the title game for the eighth time in nine years.

BYU beat Cal 27-24 for last year’s title.  The Bears topped the Cougars in five of their other seven meetings since 2006.


TRACK AND FIELD: Cal won the men’s team title at its Brutus Hamilton Challenge, led by senior Tom Blocker, whose winning time of 10.41 seconds in the 100-meter dash was a personal record and elevates him to No. 5 time on the school’s all-time list.

Blocker and football running back Khalfani Muhammad contributed to a second-place finish in the 400 relay with a season-best time of 40.25.

Sophomore Thomas Joyce was second in the Don Bowden Mile with a time of 4:00.49, which ranks No. 8 on Cal’s all-time list. Sydney Gray won the women’s Marilyn Davis mile in a personal-best of 4:22.18.


It hasn’t been a great season for the Cal baseball team, but Brenden Farney’s RBI single sparked a three-run 10th inning and gave the Bears a 7-4 win over Stanford at Sunken Diamond.

The Bears improved to 17-20 overall, 6-10 in the Pac-12.


Football: Track All-America honor to Muhammad

Cal freshman running back Khalfani Muhammad has earned high school All-America honors from Track and Field News, which named him the top-ranked 200-meter dash runner in 2013, according to the magazine’s current issue.

Muhammad, who attended Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, earned the award after victories at the Mt. SAC Relays and the California state meet and runnerup performances at Arcadia and the USA Junior championships, where he was the highest-finishing high school entry. His season-best time was 20.73 seconds.

Muhammad also was ranked third by magazine in the 100 meters, owing to victories at Arcadia, Mt. SAC and the California state meet. His best 100 time: 10.33, although he ran 10.22 wind-aided.

No other prep sprinter was ranked among the nation’s top-3 by Track and Field News.


Track and field: Montano fades to 4th

Former Cal star Alysia Montano led the 800-meter final at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships from the start Sunday, but couldn’t finish the job, fading to fourth place to miss a spot on the podium at Moscow by a scant .04 seconds.

Instead, teammate Brenda Martinez secured third place, becoming the first American woman to win a medal in the event since the world championships began in 1983.

“I just wanted to do what I do in practices. I have had phenomenal practices,” Montano said. “That last 50 meters, I wanted to show everyone what we’ve been doing in practice but I just didn’t have it.  I’m disappointed.”

Montano, fifth last summer at the London Olympics, took the lead from the outset and crossed the 400-meter mark in front at 56.06 seconds,

But Kenya’s Eunice Jepkoech Sum dashed to victory in a personal-best time of 1 minute, 57.38 seconds, followed by Russian Mariya Savinova, the defending Olympic champ, in 1:57.80.

Montano ran 1:57.95, finishing behind Martinez, whose time of 1:57.91 was a personal best.


Track and Field: Montano into 800m final

Former Cal star Alysia Montano was the fastest qualifier into the finals of the 800 meters on Friday.

Montano made it easily into Sunday’s final by winning her heat in 1:58.92. She was in front by the 400-meter mark, crossing in 56.33.

U.S. teammate Brenda Martinez was second in the same heat at 1:59.03 and American Ajee Wilson qualified third from the other semifinal at 2:00.90. Defending Olympic champion Mariya Savinova of Russia also qualified for the final.

No American woman has won a medal in the 800 meters at the World Championships, which began in 1983.


Track and field: Montano wins heat at Worlds

Former Cal star Alysia Montano won her first-round heat of the 800 meters on Thursday morning at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships.

Montano, who was fifth in the event at the 2012 London Olympics, ran 1 minute, 59.47 seconds to qualify for Friday’s semifinals. She led from the start, clocking 57.02 for the opening 400.

“I’ve got to recover and get to the next round. This is not the part. The part is three days from now in the final. I feel good,” Montano said.

Montano is attempting to become the first U.S. woman to earn a medal in the 800 at the World Championships, which began in 1983. The 800 final is Sunday.

American Brenda Martinez also won her heat in 1:59.39 to advance. Defending Olympic champion Mariya Savinova qualified third out of that heat in 1:59.44.

All three U.S. runners advanced, with Ajee Wilson grabbing the third qualifying spot in her heat at 2:00.00.


Another former Cal athlete, high jumper Inika McPherson, failed to advance to the final after scaling 6-foot-2 in the prelims.