Cal Hosts Berkeley Invitational for 2002 Opener

Aug. 30, 2002

BERKELEY -

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BEARS OPEN SEASON AT HOME VS. SAN JOSE STATE:
The California cross country teams open the 2002 season with a rare home meet, Sat., Sept. 7. The Golden Bears entertain San Jose State in the Berkeley Invitational beginning at 10 a.m. with the women's three-mile race, followed by the men's four-mile competition. Both races take place on the fire trail which begins above Memorial Stadium and ends at the Silver Space Research Center.

MIX OF VETERANS AND FROSH IN SEARCH OF NCAA MEN'S BID:
The Cal men's cross country team may have the right mix to earn the program's first team bid to the NCAA championships in November. The Bears are led by senior Martin Conrad, junior Girmay Guangul and Carlos Carballo, along with freshmen Abadir Barre, Giliat Ghebray, Kevin Davis and Eric Roberts. The freshmen are part of the No. 2 track and field recruiting class in California according to Calprep.com. Carballo is Cal's top returner from last year's Pac-10 (35th, 26:00.5) and NCAA regional (56th, 33:12.80) meets. Guangul competed in the 2000 NCAA Cross Country Championships but struggled with injuries in 2001.

MACLISE, PARKER, RUZNIC, DUFFY PACE BEARS:
The Cal women's cross country team is led by one senior and several talented sophomores and freshmen. The women also have a chance of showing significant improvement in 2002. Senior Lache Bailey, sophomores Abby Parker and Lindsey Maclise, redshirt freshman Maja Ruznic and freshman Bridget Duffy are expected to pace the Bears. Maclise, who scored in the 1500m at the 2002 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships, is the Bears' lead returner from last year's conference cross country meet, finishing 55th in 24:40.7. Duffy is one of the most talented freshmen to join the Cal program in several years, as she was a two-time state champion in cross country at St. Mary's High School in Berkeley.

2001 IN REVIEW:
Both Cal squads experienced some early season success but struggled at the league meet with the men placing eighth and the women ninth. The women didn't compete at the NCAA West Regional, while the men posted an 11th-place showing. Senior Corey Creasey paced the Bear men at Pac-10s (26th, 25:42.3) and NCAAs (43rd, 32:41.00). Camille Stanley had the top performance at Pac-10s for the Cal women, taking 45th in 23:33.3.

DID YOU KNOW?:
Cal has built a reputation over the last several years of attracting up-and-coming East African runners to its program. This includes Bolota Asmerom, a 2000 Olympian and 2001 All-American originally from Eritrea, and his brother, Yonathan. The tradition has continued this season with Girmay Guangul (Ethiopia), Abadir Barre (Somalia) and Giliat Ghebray (Eritrea).

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