Bears Sign Nine More Elite Athletes

Aug. 3, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. - With school starting at the end of this month, the Cal Track & Field program looks forward to welcoming a freshmen class of 27, including 13 November signees announced late last year, and 15 new student-athletes. Altogether, track & field director Chris Huffins and his staff recruited a class of 10 women and 17 men, including several state and junior national champions.The women's list of spring recruits is led by one of the most gifted young throwers in the country. Melissa 'Missy' Faubus is the Junior National Champion and the California State Champion in the discus. The Centennial High School grad from Bakersfield, Calif., went on to the World Junior Championships in the event, where she holds a personal best of 170-1, finishing eighth in the international competition. Faubus is also the state runner-up in the shot put, where her personal record is 49-7.25.The middle distances will be strengthened by Alysia Johnson who brings another California State Championship to the Bears with a win at the state meet in the 800 meters. The Canyon County, Calif., native boasts a PR of 2:08.97 in the 800-meter run.Along the sand pit, another out-of-state champion, Cassandra Strickland, will bring to the freshman class her experience as a three-time Nevada State Champion in the triple jump. The Las Vegas, Nev., native holds a personal best of 40-01.25 in the triple jump and 18-8 in the long jump.The women's class is rounded out by distance runner Marie Raffray, a California state finalist in the 1600-meter run from San Diego Academy, and sprinter/jumper Artensia Young, of Serra High School in Serra, Calif., who boasts marks of 11.81 in the 100 meters, 40-4 in the triple jump, and 19-4 in the long jump.For the men, Ed Wright headlines a deep group of spring recruits. Wright further bolsters a strong Cal high jumping crew, coming in to college with a 7-0 personal best in the event. The Berkeley local from St. Mary's High School is both the California State and Golden West Champion in the high jump.The Bears signed two more throwers this spring to national letters-of-intent: Paul Tienert of Combine, Texas, a transfer student from SMU, who owns a PR of 215-3 in the javelin, and Bobby Smallman of Livermore, Calif., who boasts a 181-2 PR in the discus. Distance runners Chris Chavez, Micah Parker and Phil Porter, middle distance talents Eric Lee and Tim Bardet, and hurdler Yahya Abdul-Mateen -- a local from McClymonds High School in Oakland -- round out the incoming freshmen class.

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