Bears Qualify Quintet To NCAA Finals

Bears Qualify Quintet To NCAA Finals

Cal Athletics

Both Anna Purchase (left) and Audrey Jacobs (right) will compete for Cal in the NCAA women’s hammer final.

Jacobs, Purchase, Visca, Uche, Turner Earn Top-12 Finishes

SACRAMENTO – In their first day of competition at the NCAA West Preliminary, California track & field’s women had a lot of work to do in order to top Wednesday’s outing, in which three Golden Bear men qualified through to the upcoming Outdoor Championships. Not only did the women match that total, they nearly doubled it – at the end of the night, five additional Bears had joined the Finals-bound party and another two had advanced to the next round of their respective events.
Cal’s first qualifier (freshman Audrey Jacobs) had to wait quite some time before she could celebrate – she had won her flight in the hammer throw, but that was only the second of three 16-athlete sections to compete. In the end, her new U20 Dutch record of 64.57m (211-10), which ranks fourth-best in program history, was enough to finish in a coveted top-12 spot and place her at third on this year’s World U20 list.
“I don’t really have words yet, to be honest,” Jacobs said afterward. “I’m just very, very happy. Of course, you dream about it beforehand – becoming an NCAA finalist – but I never expected to actually do it.”
To add to Jacobs’ joy (and to that of throws coach Mohamad Saatara), she will not be the only Golden Bear competing for a women’s hammer title this year. Senior Anna Purchase, who currently ranks second in the nation, broke the 70-meter barrier on her final throw to take the lead with ease and earn a second straight NCAA Championships bid.
“It’s really nice to have another girl with me out there again,” she said, referring to the departure of alumnus Camryn Rogers. “Audrey and I are trying to keep the prestige of the Cal name going – we’ll try and defend the California title in two weeks.”
Following the Bears’ tremendous outing in the hammer, freshman Carolina Visca earned the team’s third NCAA berth of the day, becoming the first women’s javelin thrower to qualify for Cal since 1982. Both her first (54.73m/179-6) and third (54.88m/180-1) throws broke her own program record, continuing her streak of improving with each consecutive meet to put her in…

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