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Alekna Becomes NCAA’s New Discus King At Big Meet

May 1, 2022

STANFORD – Just one day ago, Mykolas Alekna was the second man in NCAA history with multiple top-10 discus throws. Now, he owns six of them, including the greatest of all – number one.

"I knew that I was going to (break the record), but I didn't think that I would do it so early," said Alekna after the meet. "To be honest, I'm not in my best shape. Consistency in my training will be key for me going forward."

For someone not in his best shape, the 19-year-old put on a tremendous show at Cobb Track and Angell Field on Saturday in the 127th iteration of The Big Meet. His very first throw sailed 67.68m – an astonishing 222 feet – to shatter an 18-year-old NCAA record, after which he followed up with three more 67m-plus throws.

For context, his father, a two-time Olympic champion well regarded as one of the greatest discus throwers of all time, did not break the 67m mark until he was 24 years old.

Not in his best shape? Alekna currently leads the nation's No. 2 athlete, Arizona State freshman Ralford Mullings, by over 7 feet.

Despite its magnitude, Alekna's achievement was only a small part of the story on Saturday. An all-around stunning performance from each unit on both the men's and women's sides clinched Cal track & field its first Big Meet sweep since 2014, sending a cheering Golden Bear squad on an impromptu victory parade around the track that culminated with multiple athletes diving into the water-filled steeplechase pit.

"I'm so, so impressed by these kids," said Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Robyne Johnson, whose grin stretched nearly from ear to ear. "They did so well today and really rose to the challenge."

Cal's women, who are ranked No. 22 in the country, defeated Stanford's women 81.50-71.50 for their second straight Big Meet victory. Camryn Rogers started things off in the hammer throw, breaking her own Big Meet record with a toss of 72.46m (237-8) that nevertheless fell a few meters short of her collegiate record.

"This was a valuable experience," Rogers said. "Any meet where you're not feeling your best, learning to push through regardless… it's important to have those types of days, too."

The Bears' women battled through strong South Bay winds to sweep three events: the long jump (led by Asha Fletcher's 6.00m/19-8.25, the triple jump (also led by Fletcher with her wind-aided 13.13m/43-1) and the shot put (led by Amelia Flynt's throw of 15.90m/52-2). The women's 100m dash also raised some eyebrows, with Ezinne Abba blazing to a wind-aided 11.10 and teammate Maisie Williams finishing just behind with her wind-aided 11.42.

Other event winners on the women's side included Jasmine Blair (Discus, 55.80m/183-1), Ezinne Abba (200m, 23.22w) and the 4x100m relay team of Jada Hicks, Abba, Maisie Stevens and Aysha Shaheed (44.39).
Meanwhile, the men won for the first time since 2019, clinching an 86-77 victory over Stanford's 21st-ranked squad.

Iffy Joyner moved up from seventh to fourth on Cal's all-time discus list, posting a personal-best heave of 62.17m (203-11) to increase his national standing to seventh overall. In the 4x100m relay race, the quartet of Kamau Carlisle, George Monroe, Mason Mangum and Christian Catlin posted a composite time of 39.91 – tied for seventh in program history. Cal's men also swept the long jump, led by Hakim McMorris's leap of 7.38m (24-2.5), as well as the javelin throw, which was headlined by freshman Riley Knott's PR of 46.38m (152-2).

The men's additional event winners were composed of Ivar Moisander (hammer, 65.59m/215-2), Josh Johnson (shot put, 18.74m/61-5.75), Garrett MacQuiddy (1500m, 3:49.30), Hakim McMorris (110m hurdles, 14.76), Henry Larkin (400m, 47.30), Will Sornberger (400m hurdles, 53.97), Jai Williams (high jump, 2.05m/6-8.75) and the 4x400m relay team of Blaise Carson, Sornberger, McMorris and Larkin (3:11.94).

Now, Cal will look ahead to the upcoming Pac-12 Outdoor Championships in two weeks, where it will battle for conference supremacy and look to qualify as many athletes as possible for the NCAA West Regional Championships.
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)
With the conclusion of the regular season, Cal now turns its attention to the Pac-12 Outdoor Championships in two weeks, which will take place from May 13-15 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

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