Cal Travels to Pac-10 Championships

May 13, 2002

BERKELEY -

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CAL COMPETES AT PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS:
After posting one of their highest finishes in several years at last year's Pac-10Championships in Berkeley, the California men's and women's track and field teams look to build on that at this year's conference meet, Sat.-Sun., May 18-19, in Pullman, Wash. Competition begins Saturday at noon with the hammer and the women's 4x100m relay trials from Washington State's Mooberry Track and Field Complex. Sunday is devoted exclusively to finals, beginning at 11:30 a.m. with the women's hammer.

2001 PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS IN REVIEW:
At home at Edwards Stadium, the Cal men placed sixth with 85 points and were only 1.5 points behind fifth-place Oregon. The Bears' finish was their highest since tying for sixth in 1996. On the women's side, Cal placed seventh with 54 points, which was its highest since also placing seventh in 1997. The top individual performance by the Bears came from now-graduated Bolota Asmerom, who won the 5000m (14:07.23). Cal also had several second-place finishes - Robert Kennedy (long jump), Vincent Ibia (triple jump), Shawna Adkins (triple jump) and Dana Lawson (discus). Unfortunately, Kennedy is out for the year with a hamstring injury and Ibia hasn't been competing at full strength.

TOP BEARS HEADING INTO PAC-10S:
Based on the Pac-10 top marks/times list from May 6, following are Cal's top competitors and where they rank heading into this year's Pac-10 meet - Martin Conrad (3000mSC, 4th), Ahmad Wright (400mH, 5th), Bubba McLean (pole vault, T2nd), Vincent Ibia (long jump, 5th), Jerriod Mack (triple jump, 5th), Joe Berro (javelin, 3rd), Erin Belger (800m, 3rd), Marielle Schlueter (3000mSC, 3rd), Lauren Dudugjian and Cynthia Mallory (high jump, T4th), Jennifer Joyce (hammer-1st, discus-3rd) and Sheni Russell (discus, 5th).

BEARS EXCEL AT PAC-10 MULTIS:
Seniors Missy Vanek and Shawna Adkins took second and fourth, respectively, in the heptathlon at the Pac-10 Multi-Event Championships. Vanek posted a season-best 5498 points, while Adkins tallied an NCAA provisional and all-time best 5259 points. They combined for 13 points towards the Pac-10 team competition. Cal junior Jason Gatewood finished sixth in the Pac-10 decathlon with 6809 points, good for three points in his first conference decathlon.

CARDINAL QUALIFIER IN REVIEW:
The No. 22 Cal women won three events to highlight the Golden Bears participation at the Cardinal Qualifier. Cal junior Leora Ward won the pole vault with a personal best and NCAA provisional clearance of 13-0.25. She joins Maria Lopez as the only two Cal women's pole vaulters to clear at least 13 feet. The Bears posted a one-two finish in the 100m with junior DeCola Groce winning in 12.37 and freshman Shannan Hawes taking second in 12.38. Sophomore Jenna Johnson claimed top honors in the shot put with a mark of 45-7.25. The throws were the Cal men's strongest suit Friday. Junior Zech Whittington finished second in the hammer, bettering his previous PR by about eight feet with a heave of 183-10 (No. 10 all-time at Cal). Sophomore Tony Miranda placed second in the discus with a season-best mark of 166-2. Sophomore Amin Nikfar also was second in the shot (52-6.75).

MODESTO RELAYS IN REVIEW:
The top performance from the Cal women came from sophomore Deanna Slaton, who finished third in the invitational 400mH with a PR of 59.80. Junior Sheni Russell had a strong showing in the invitational discus. She placed fourth with an NCAA provisional mark of 173-0. Junior Ahmad Wright recorded the Cal men's highest finish - taking third in the invitational 400mH (52.28). Junior Brian White posted a season best in the 100m (10.92w).

DID YOU KNOW:
Junior thrower Zech Whittington is one of the leaders of the Stiles Hall mentorship program for inner city and disadvantaged youth.

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