Bears Send 15 Athletes to NCAA Championships
June 8, 2005
Date: Wednesday-Saturday June 8-11, 2005
Place: Sacramento, CA
Time: All Day
FIFTEEN FOR SACRAMENTO
Every year since head coach Chris Huffin's short tenure began in 2003, Cal's track & field team has sent progressively more athletes to the NCAA championships. In his first season, Huffins sent the largest number of athletes in the history of the program when 12 athletes qualfied in the first year of the NCAA Regional meet format. Last year, that number was bested when 13 athletes earned berths, and now in 2005, 15 athletes are being sent to the national championships.
THE RIVER CITY AND MEDIA INFO
Cal State Sacramento will host the NCAA championships for the second time since 2003 and has been contracted to host the meet from 2005-07. This is the first time since 1945 that a site has hosted the NCAA championships in consecutive years when Marquette University hosted the 1944 and 1945 meets.
The Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex has become a track & field hub since the newly renovated facility played host to the 2000 Olympic Trials. Specatator friendly and praised for its extremely fast Mondo surface, the facility hosted the Olympic Trials again in 2004.
Currenlty, only full-session tickets are availble for advance purchase by calling (916) 566-6560. Prices are $55 for reserved seats and $40 for general admission. Discounted rates are availble for students, senior citizens, and children under 12. For seating diagrams and ticket order forms go to www.hornetsports.com.Live results will be availble from www.ncaasports.com/track-and-field, with information on accepted entries and seed marks posted in the meantime.
AT THE 2004 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Last year, when the meet was held in Austin, Texas, the Cal squads garnered four All-Americans, two of which will be competeing this June. Senior Rhuben Williams and senior Brooke Meredith will be participating in the shot put and heptathlon, respectively. Williams was 11th in the shot put at 57-9.75 in 2004, while Meredith was fifth in the heptathlon with 5,442 points for first team All-America honors. After the first day, Meredith languished in 12th, but she stormed past seven athletes on the strength of her performance in the javelin and the 800m. Other athletes returning to compete in this year's championships include senior Shannan Hawes, junior Tiffany Johnson, junior Osarhiemen Omwanghe and junior Antonette Carter.
NEWBIES AND 2003 COMPETITORS
Senior Chloe Jarvis redshirted last season in order to train for the U.S. Olympic Trials. During that year, she posted her lifetime best of 2:03.62 in the 800 meters. Sophomore Elzunia Lamb had returned to her native Poland in order to make preparations for the 2004 Olympics, as well.Although he did not qualify for last year's meet, senior David Glasgow did participate in the high jump at the 2003 championships.Athletes making their first appearance at an NCAA national championships meet include junior Paul Teinert, freshman Cassandra Strickland, sophomore Whitney Schmucker, freshman Alysia Johnson, freshman Alex McClary and sophomore Adam Burgh.
Adam Burgh qualfied for the NCAA championships with a clutch effort at the West Regional championships. The sophomore javelin thrower threw eight feet past his previous lifetime best to launch the spear 215-6 for a fourth-place finish. Cal's freshman record-holder threw 210-2 on his first throw to break his old lifetime best and improved again in the fifth round when he threw his best mark of 215-6. The throw put him in fourth place behind a pair of All-Americans from Boise State, including the defending NCAA champion Gabriel Wallin.
Paul Teinert finished just ahead of Burgh for third place with his throw of 216-7. The mark is hardly indicative of Teinert's ability. The junior transfer broke the school record unofficially at the Blue-Gold Intrasquad meet back in Feburary. At home against Illinois, Teinert broke Joe Berro's school record officially, by throwing 233-1. Berro's old record stood at 229-0. The junior would continue to improve throughout the season, culminating in a Pac-10-winning mark of 235-11 to seal the event on his very first throw.
Alex McClary had to rely on an at-large bid in order to get his ticket stamped to Sacramento. The freshman's 1:48.84 run at the Modesto Relays against some of the thickest competition bodes well for Cal's middle-distance future. That time at Modesto marked the freshman's first trip under 1:50 and he hasn't looked back since, running 1:49.68 in the final at the NCAA West Regional and 1:48.99 in the Pac-10 final.
Senior co-captain David Glasgow made sure he would not be left at home again after his dissapointing performace at last year's NCAA West Regional where he no-heighted. This year, the senior posted a lifetime best of 7-2.25 to clinch second.
Finally, All-American Rhuben Williams will be closing his Cal career. The senior has scored in three different throwing events at Pac-10 championships with his specialty, the shot put, earning him All-American honors twice. Williams currently appears on the Bears' all-time list for the shot put at #2 with a throw of 64-9.75 earned just last year. On the hammer chart, Williams stands fourth with a mark of 205.2 thrown at the 110th Big Meet. This year, Williams had his highest Pac-10 finish ever where he was second with a seasonal-best throw of 64-2.5. He followed that performance with a win at the NCAA West Regional where he beat out Pac-10 champ Sean Shields of Arizona.
WOMEN SEND 10 TO NCAAs
Chloe Jarvis has simply dominated in her event all year, the 800m. The senior co-captain currently stands third in the nation with her time of 2:04.53. That mark was run at the Pac-10 championships, which she won handily, finishing ahead of Stanford's Ashley Freeman and teammate Alysia Johnson. Jarvis earned indoor All-America honors this year despite not qualifying for the final. Two years ago, at the 2003 championships, Jarvis was 21st in a time of 2:08.07.
Three-time school record-holder Antonette Carter broke her own Cal record this year in the 200m by running 23.24 at the Pac-10 championships. The junior then followed that performance with a wind-aided 23.12 at the NCAA West Regionals to take second behind Olympic gold medalist Monique Henderson of UCLA. At that same meet, Carter moved up from fourth to second on the Cal all-time list for the long jump. The junior leapt 21-6.25w to squelch the competition and best her old mark set at the Florida Relays earlier this year. To back up the mark, Carter posted a wind legal jump of 21-4. That mark puts her behind only Atlanta Olympian Sheila Hudson, who holds school records in the triple and long jumps. The mark also places her ahead of Grace Upshaw, a 2004 Olympian and active long jumper. Carter will be competing in the long jump, 200m, and 4x100m relay.
Senior Shannan Hawes improved throughout the season. The sprinter was nowhere to be seen on all-time lists for the 100m and 200m prior to this year, but with times of 11.75 and 23.96 Hawes has catapulted to #5 and #7, respectively. The senior was also part of the school record-setting 4x100m relay last year that ran 44.28. As a further contribution, Hawes has done duty on the 4x400m relay. The only non-800m runner on the relay squad, Hawes has contributed to running 3:37.62 for second on the all-time list. Hawes will be competeing in both relays at Sacramento.
Whitney Schmucker who transferred from Georgetown to compete with the Bears, will be competing on the 4x400m relay in the lead-off leg. Schmucker improved this year to run 2:07.20 at the Pac-10 championships in the 800m, but was unable to qualify for the NCAA championships.
Alysia Johnson is making her first appearance at the NCAA championships in both the 800m and the 4x400m relay. The freshman has already run as fast as 2:05.94 in the 800m and 54.08 in the 400m. Johnson developed a reputation early on for gutsy passes and running on the outside. Johnson's highlights this year include finishing third at the Pac-10 championships and again at the NCAA West Regional championships. Johnson ranks fourth all-time at 800m and eighth at 400m in Cal history.
Cassandra Strickland is another freshman making her first of what will hopefully be several trips to Sacramento for the NCAA championships. The freshman has jumped her seasonal best of 41-7 twice this year in the triple jump. The first time occurred at the 111th Big Meet and then again at the NCAA West Regional, where she placed third. During the indoor season, Strickland jumped as far as 42-1.25 at the MPSF championships. Her indoor mark makes her third on the Cal career list.
Junior Osarhiemen Omwanghe will be competing in the 400mH for the first time as this level. Despite being the school record-holder in the 100mH at 13.43, the junior has decided to concentrate on the long hurdles this year. At the West Regional meet, Osarhiemen finished fourth in a lifetime best of 1:00.12. Omwanghe will also be competing on the 4x100m relay, which she was a member of last year when it broke the school record.
Elzunia Lamb, though touted as a heptathlete, competes strongly in both the long jump and javelin. With a mark of 19-9.5, Lamb got into this year's meet by the skin of her teeth with an at-large bid due to finishing sixth at the regional meet.
Tifany Johnson will be competing as the second leg of the women's 4x100m relay. The junior was the final member of the school record-setting relay from last year when the group ran 44.28 at the Pac-10 championships.
As the athlete with the most expierience at this level, Brooke Meredith prepares for her final heptathlon in a Cal uniform. Meredith posted her PR of 5,511 last year at the UC Multi-Meet and currently hold the school record in the javelin. This year, Meredith has posted PR's in the shot put, 100mH and 800m, all of which contributed to a third-place finish at the Pac-10 championships and a season-best score of 5,511 points. Meredith a two-time All American.