Stewart Sets Personal Record at Stanford Invite
Monday, March 28, 2011
Category: Sports > Spring > Track and Field
After Ray Stewart just missed the cutoff for the NCAA Indoor Championships with a provisionally qualifying time, he wasted no time making a splash in the outdoor season in his first outdoor appearance for the Cal track and field team.
Stewart, a junior transfer, took the title in the 110m hurdles at this weekend's Stanford Invitational and became tied as the fourth-fastest 110m hurdler in school history.
His time of 13.66, a personal record, crushed runner-up David Klech of Oregon. Klech came across the finish line at 14.05, an eternity later in the track and field world.
"Just to see this guy come in and do it day in and day out, he's definitely got the ability to go to NCAAs," teammate Mike Morrison said. "There's no doubt in my mind he can go to NCAAs and come away with an All-American finish."
Stewart should be more acclimated to the 110m hurdles of the outdoor season than the 60m hurdles of the indoor season, according to coach Tony Sandoval. This is because at his height and build, he still doesn't reach his top speed when he hits the 60m mark.
"He's got it all," Sandoval said. "I think he can go faster. I see nothing but great things ahead for him."
If Stewart, the school record-holder in the 60m hurdles, wants the same accolade for the 110m hurdles, he will have to beat Larry Cowling's time of 13.39 set in 1982. His 60m hurdles record stands at 7.77.
His time of 13.72 in the preliminaries matched his previous personal record set during his freshman year at nearby Merritt College in Oakland.
Other winners for the Bears at the Stanford Invitational were Tracey Stewart, Angelica Weaver and Kristen Meister in the triple jump, 400m hurdles and high jump, respectively.
Stewart, despite facing a headwind of 1.1 meters per second, logged an effort of 40-7.75 on her second attempt. The senior was the runner-up in triple jump in the Pac-10s last year.
Weaver won the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:00.42, only a third of a second shy of her personal record.
Meister leaped her way to the top in the high jump with a clearance of 5-9.25.
Rowena Tam came close to making Cal history like Ray Stewart.
She posted a time of 16:35.22 in the 5000m. The time was only two seconds too slow to put her in the all-time top 10 in the event for the Bears. She came in seventh place at the meet.
The majority of the Bears will have two weekends off before the Big Meet held at Stanford on Saturday, April 16. Those who compete in select events will be eligible to participate in the four-day Texas Relays from April 6 to April 9.
Byron Atashian covers track and field. Contact him at [email protected]
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