Bear Kick Off Outdoor Season at Home

March 15, 2005

Berkeley, CA -

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Date ..................Friday-Saturday March 18-19, 2005Place ................ Berkeley, CATime ..................9:00 a.m.


The Bay Area Blast Off will begin Friday with competition devoted wholly to high school athletes, except for the men's and women's hammer throw, which will be contested that morning at 9 a.m. Running events starting at 1 p.m. Saturday's competition will feature collegiate and open competition with the javelin starting the field events off at 9:30 a.m. and the running events beginning at 12 noon. Both the high school and collegiate meets will take the form of a relay meet with only a select few races run individually, such as the barrier races and the 100m dash. The competition will feature mostly Bay Area high schools and universities.


Last Saturday, seniors Chloe Jarvis and Rhuben Williams traveled to the NCAA Championships in Fayetteville, Ark, to compete in the 800m and shot put, respectively. Both athletes had a difficult time for themselves and performed below their seasonal best with neither making it to the finals. Jarvis' ran a time of 2:08.73, which was well behind her school-record time of 2:06.95 run last month at the MPSF championships. The race at Fayetteville developed unremarkably with the pack coming through 400m at 60 seconds. Jarvis sat in the middle and would waste energy trying to maneuver inside and outside of the group so that she would not be boxed in and ready to make a move. At 600m, Jarvis began her kick, but with the energy wasted earlier in the race she would have to settle for fifth in her heat and 13th overall. The slowest time to make the finals was 2:06.68 where only the top eight athletes from the heats qualified.

Williams made things difficult for himself early on in the shot put. With each athlete only allowed three throws to qualify for finals, Williams fouled his first throw. After regaining his composure with his second and best throw of the day at 17.61m (57-09.50), Williams was still considerably short of his seasonal best of 62-04.50. Williams' third and final throw would only go 17.60m (57-09.00). The shortest throw to make the finals was 19.21m (63-00.25). Had Williams made the finals he would have had two more throws to improve. He finished 13th overall in the competition.


Cal school record holder in the 5,000m and alum, Bolota Asmerom, finished second in the 3,000m at the USA Indoor Track and Field championships in Boston. Asmerom went into the competition with the third-fastest time in the country of 7:50.44, which he ran at the Tyson Foods Invitational only two weeks prior to the race in Boston. Asmerom ran a hard-fought race where it came down to who had the strongest kick in the end as former Stanford athlete Jonathon Riley bested Asmerom by only eight hundreths with a time 7:53.73. With no indoor world championships this year, Asmerom finished the season with the 16th-fastest time in world for the 3,000m. Last summer at the U.S. Olympic Trials, Asmerom finished third in the 5,000m, earning him a spot on the U.S. Olympic team. Asmerom would be denied a trip to Athens however, since he did not have an Olympic 'A' standard, which is necessary for a team to send more than one athlete in any given event.


At the MPSF championships in Seattle last month, the women's team gave a stellar performance as eight school records fell in two days of heated competition. Of those records broken, the long standing mark by Louise Romo in the 800m set in 1984, was bested by Chloe Jarvis in 2:06.65. The women's team would finish second up from their sixth place finish at the 2004 championships. The men went into the second day of competition well ahead with the help of the Cal throwing corps finishing 1-2-6-7 in the weight throw for 23 points. Misfortune would befall the men's team though in the form of a hamstring pull to sophomore Darren Woods and a false start by sophomore Thomas Mack in the 60mH. The points lost ended up dropping the Bears to fourth place.


After Williams and Jarvis, six more Bears earned NCAA provisional qualifiers that were not quite good enough to get them a ticket to Arkansas. Junior Osarhiemen Omwanghe, finishes ranked 39th in the 60mH with her time of 8.38 set at the Air Force Quadrangular meet. The time is also a school record. Sophomore Darren Woods earned a provisional berth in the 400m with his school-record setting time of 46.90, which ranks him 31st in the nation. Woods is currently receiving treatment for a hamstring pull suffered at the MPSF championships. Freshman Cassandra Strickland used a massive personal best in the triple jump to get her name on the national list at 29th. The jump of 42-01.25 beats her old PR by five inches. Sophomore Giliat Ghebray climbed into the top 30 list for the first time in his career with a fourth-place finish at the MPSF championship in the 3000m. Ghebray's time of 8:02.11 put him ahead of six other Stanford athletes at the championship meet. Senior Girmay Guangul's third place finish at the MPSF championships and his school-record time of 14:07.95 made him the 31stfastest time in the nation over 5000m. Freshman Tifani Grimes also cracked the top 40 by ranking 37th in the women's indoor pentathlon with 3,754 points.


The Bears unofficially opened their outdoor season with the Blue and Gold Intersquad meet, which featured spirited competition as the Bears sharpened their teeth in preparation for an outdoor campaign that ends with the NCAA championships in Sacramento, Calif. Among the highlights were junior transfer Paul Teinert beating the school record in the javelin with a toss of 70.61m (231-8.00). This beats Joe Berro's mark of 229-0 set in 2003. Freshman Emilee Strot broke the women's freshman class record in the discus, throwing 52.55m (172-05.00). Strott's throw would have placed her seventh on the all-time list which is headed by Sheni Russell at 181-02. At the 2004 NCAA championships, Russell gained All-American status with a throw of 53.32m (174-11.00). None of the school records will count since the competition was strictly informal.

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