Cal Sprints Home for Hamilton Invite

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There's nothing like a home meet to help a team overcome its recent frustrations on the road and to make the injuries hurt a little less.

The Cal track and field teams will host the fifth annual Brutus Hamilton Memorial Invitational this weekend, after competing at UC Davis and Stanford the past two weeks.

The two-day invitational will be held at Edwards Stadium beginning today at 4 p.m. and resuming on Saturday at 9 a.m.

"Traditionally we're strong in this meet," distance coach Tony Sandoval said.

The tournament is named after the famed Cal coach who steered the Bears' ship from 1933-1965 and coached in the 1952 Olympics.

The Cal men in particular are looking forward to this meet as well as to competing at home after being on the road the past two weeks.

The Bears men have yet to place first in a meet this year, but have won the Hamilton Invitational two years in a row.

It's perfect timing for a team that can't catch a break.

The story of this early season has been injuries to some of the best athletes on the men's side.

Among the players the Bears have been without this season are junior hurdler Tim Bogdanoff (ineligible) and sophomore shot putter Rhuben Williams (tendinitis in throwing hand).

Last weekend, injuries were most felt in the long and triple jumps, as the Bears were without two stellar athletes, junior Vincent Ibia and senior Jerriod Mack.

"We gave up 25 points in the jumps," head coach Erv Hunt said. "The opposition didn't post any super marks."

Additionally, junior Nick Mazur, who competes in the 100 meters, had to attend to personal matters due to a death in the family.

Cal is hoping the excitement of a home meet will diminish the impact of the absence of certain key members of the team.

While the men may be seeing hard times, the women are a different story.

The Cal women are certainly for real. At times this season, they have dominated and are building on two encouraging victories, bringing excitement to Cal's meet at Davis last weekend as well as ruling at home two weeks before that.

In both those meets, the women grabbed first place and the individual members of the team set personal records in many events while winning others, including 10 last weekend in Davis.

While the Cal men finished a respectable second, many thought they would have fared better against such light competition.

Now Cal must face a Cardinal team that defeated the Bears two weeks ago at Stanford. The Card is Cal's biggest rival and the other half of the Bears' only dual meet of the season.


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