Mia Zamora Johnson
Jeff Duensing set a massive personal best on Wednesday to qualify for his first career NCAA Championships.
Moisander, Duensing, And Magula Headed To Austin
SACRAMENTO – California track & field approached day one of the NCAA West Preliminary with high hopes on Wednesday as the first group of its program-record 36 entries prepared to compete against hundreds of the nation’s best at Sacramento State’s Hornet Stadium.
Each regional meet comes with high stakes – only 12 athletes in each event can clinch a spot to the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Field athletes only receive three attempts instead of the usual six to qualify, while track athletes (save for the 5000m and 10000m) must qualify through a first round and a quarterfinal.
For the second straight year, it was junior Ivar Moisander who posted the Bears’ first NCAA-qualifying performance, launching the hammer 69.15m (226-10) on his second throw to take seventh in the 48-member field. It was an improvement on his previous outings at the West Preliminary, where he finished 9th in 2022 and 13th in 2021.
Cal’s next competitor to qualify was junior Jeff Duensing, who had previously reached the West Preliminary in each of his first two collegiate seasons but failed to advance further; this time, he took the next step in spectacular fashion, surpassing his previous personal best of 18.94m (62-1.75) on all three throws. In the end, Duensing’s new best throw of 19.80m (64-11.5) measured nearly a meter farther than his old PR, moving him into a tie for third on Cal’s all-time list.
“If I could talk to my freshman self, I would tell myself not to be so hard on myself and trust that hard work pays off, to be happy that I am able to compete at such a high level and that the big throws will come,” he said. “This is the best that I have ever felt throwing the shot put – I’m looking forward to building on what I have right now at NCAAs.”
Other Golden Bear throwers who competed on Wednesday included senior Kegan Schroeter (hammer, 60.89m/199-9), junior Michael Gupta (hammer, 60.75m/199-3) and junior Jake Porter (shot put, 17.80m/58-4.75).
Two weeks after making his first appearance at the Pac-12 Championships – and walking away with a conference title – senior
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