Hamilton (third from right) poses with the throws group after breaking the school weight throw record in his first NCAA meet.
Transfer Senior’s First NCAA Meet Pays Dividends; Cal Sets 5 Program Top-10 Marks
California track & field posted another standout day in its second week of competition, adding another school record and four additional program top-10 marks at the Don Kirby Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday.
The program record came courtesy of senior Rowan Hamilton, who transferred to Cal this past offseason and had never competed in an indoor meet. His debut was particularly notable because he had also never competed in an NCAA meet, having spent the previous five seasons at British Columbia, an NAIA institution; nevertheless, he performed splendidly, crushing Cal’s 20-year-old weight throw record on his very first attempt to eventually take second place in the contest. That mark of 21.98m (72-1) was a whopping 2.22m (7-3) farther than the old program lead.
“Today was a great day for Rowan,” said assistant coach Mo Saatara, who leads the throws. “It was a challenge for him to compete in a new event, but he did a great job executing our plan.”
Cal’s standout throws were not limited to the men – for the second meet in a row, freshman Adrianna Coleman posted a top-10 weight throw mark, improving her PR by 1.35m (4-5.5) to 19.50m (63-11) for Cal’s fifth-best result all-time and third place in the competition.
The Golden Bears’ horizontal jumpers also continued to impress in their return to Albuquerque. Senior Mason Mangum, who leads Cal’s 11th-ranked men’s long jump squad, improved his personal best to 7.70m (25-3.25) to move from fifth to third on the program list and take fourth place; meanwhile, sophomore Jason Plumb also reached the final with a new PR of 7.45m (24-5.5). Classmate Seth Johnson was the third member of the squad to achieve a new career mark at 6.45m (21-2).
On the women’s side, senior Busola Akinduro led a trio of flight-winning female Bears with a personal-best 5.98m (19-7.5), tying for the No. 5 mark in Cal history. Her younger teammates Torre Anderson and Ashanti Elie leaped 5.89m (19-4) and 5.53m (18-1.75), respectively; Anderson’s jump was also a personal record, while Elie’s…