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Cal Track & Field: Josh Johnson, Ivar Moisander Qualify for NCAA Nationals

Camryn Rogers, Cal women take the stage Thursday at the NCAA West preliminary meet.

After Day 1 of the NCAA West preliminary track and field meet at Fayetteville, Arkansas, Cal already has two qualifiers for the NCAA nationals.

Senior Josh Johnson threw a personal-best 65 feet, 11 inches (209,09 meters) in the shot put to miss the program record by just four inches while qualifying third to the NCAA meet that will be held June 8-11 at Eugene, Ore.

Sophomore Ivar Moisander also finished among the top 12 to qualify for the collegiate nationals with a ninth-place finish in the hammer throw. Moisander threw 214-5 (65.35), nearly eight feet off his personal record.

Still waiting to compete on Friday, among others, is freshman Mykolas Alekna, the national collegiate recordholder in the discus and a heavy favorite to advance in that event.

The women take the stage on Thursday and Saturday with two-time defending national champion Camryn Rogers, also the NCAA recordholder, going in the hammer throw on Thursday morning.

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So the Bears seem likely to qualify at least four athletes — and maybe more — to Eugene just one year after they sent just two to the NCAA meet.

Johnson eclipsed his previous best of 65-5 1/2 (and recorded his first-career 20-meter throw), leaving him just short of Dave Porath's 1981 school record of 66-3. Porath went on to finish third at the '81 NCAA meet.

Meanwhile, sophomore Garrett MacQuiddy finished fourth in his heat of the 1,500 meters in 3 minutes, 34.06 seconds to advance to Friday’s quarterfinal round.

Cal athletes who were sidelined on Wednesday were pole vaulter Tyler Burns (tied for 18th at 17-0 1/4), long jumper Mason Magnum (26th in 24-5), shot putters Jeff Duensing (22nd in 61-4) and Jake Porter (30th in 57-11) and 400 hurdler William Sornberger (29th in 51.95).

Cover photo of Josh Johnson by Ben Lonergan, Register-Guard for USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo