California Track and Field Travels to Washington and Arizona

Jan. 24, 2006

The California men's and women's track and field teams will split this weekend between the Arizona-California Challenge in Flagstaff, Ariz., and the Washington Invitational in Seattle, Wash. The sprinters, throwers, horizontal jumpers and pole vaulters will compete in Arizona, while the middle distance runners, multi-eventers and high jumpers will showcase their talents in Seattle. The team wrapped up the Modrall Sperling Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 21 - qualifying three individuals for nationals.


At the ARIZONA-CALIFORNIA CHALLENGE: Northern Arizona, Arizona State, Arizona, UC Berkley, Cal State Northridge and Cal State Fullerton.

At the WASHINGTON INDOOR INVITATIONAL: Cal, Arizona, Stanford and UCLA, as well as a number of smaller-conference West Coast and Northwest schools (Cal Poly, Boise State, Eastern Washington, etc.). There will also be a handful of former Olympians and world-championship competitors in the field.

The meet will be held on the Northern Arizona campus. The arena features a 300m Mondo Track located in the J.L. Walkup Skydome. The track has six lanes on the oval and eight lanes on the straightaway. The facility offers separate weight and shot put areas with cement rings, one 150-ft. long jump/triple jump runway, one 115-ft. long jump runway, one pole vault runway, and one high jump area.

The Washington Indoor Invitational will be one of the many meets held at UW's Dempsey Indoor this year. The facility houses a 307m Mondo track, six lanes straightaway, five lanes on the curve. It holds a 160-ft. elevated wooden long jump runway (132-ft. TJ) with rubber overlay; 150-ft. elevated wooden pole vault runway with rubber overlay; 80-ft. right/left wooden high jump approach area with Mondo overlay; reinforced wooden throwing ring. The MPSF Championship will be held again in this arena on Feb. 24-25.

In New Mexico, Cal junior Thomas Mack placed fourth (8.127) in the 60m hurdles. Additionally, Mack placed ran a 7.12 in the 60m. The Bakersfield, Calif., native was 10 half-a-seconds behind his 2005 season best time of 8.02 (Air Force Quad, 2/5).

After a season off, Cal junior Teak Wilburn returned to his previous form. Already one meet, Wilburn cashed in his 2.20m/7-2.50 high jump at the Modrall Sperling Invitational for a provisional qualifying mark. Prior to last season, he was the 2003 Pac-10 Champion in the high jump.

After a successful cross country season, Cal freshman Mark Matusak will compete in his first track and field event at the Washington Indoor Invitational in Seattle this weekend. Matusak will participate in the 800m. The Torrance, Calif., native was the 2005 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year in his first cross-country season. In addition, Matusak placed 17th in the Pac-10 Championship (24:56).

In her first collegiate meet, Cal freshman Inika McPherson finished second in the high-jump (1.78m/5-10.00). Her marks were indoor provisional qualifying. McPherson enters Cal with several accolades, including All-American honors. She also holds numerous freshman high school records in Texas.

OOOOOSARHIEMENSenior Osarhiemen Omwanghe competed in three events at the Modrall Sperling Invitational. Omwanghe (7.79) placed 22nd in the 60m. She ran an 8.44 in the 60m hurdles and was Cal's lowest score. Omwanghe additionally was a member on the 4 x 400m Relay team.

FRESHMAN UNITAt the Modrall Sperling Invitational, the Golden Bears introduced nine freshmen to collegiate action.

Cal senior Antonette Carter's 7.38 in the 60m gave her an indoor provisional qualifying mark. Her fourth place finish in the 60m was not her only event in New Mexico, the Concord, Calif., native also finished sixth in the long jump (5.78m/18-11.75). At the Arizona-California Challenge, Carter will hope for another NCAA qualifying performance in the long jump.

After posting a best 15.17m/49-09.25 in last years indoor season, Cal sophomore Missy Faubus will open her 2006 indoor season in Flagstaff this weekend. Faubus spent the summer competing at the Pan-Am Games, which she earned a silver medal in the shot put (50-4.5). Faubus also had a successful trip to the US Junior Nationals, she finished second in the shot.

After missing a provisional qualifying mark in the triple jump in New Mexico, Cal sophomore Cassandra Strickland aims to meet that mark this weekend in the Washington Invitational. Strickland will compete in three events this weekend, the triple jump, the long jump and high jump.

After successfully competing as a Golden Bear athlete in the early 1990s, Chris Huffins returned to Cal Oct. 16, 2002, as Director and Head Coach of the Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country programs. In the last three years, Huffins-led Bears have sent more athletes to the NCAA Championships than in any other year (12 in 2003,13 in 2004, and 15 in 2005), and has overseen 14 All-American honors. Huffins has also witnessed Cal school history books rewritten, as there have been 12 new Cal school records and six new freshman records set, which bodes well for the future. Most impressively, Huffins saw five current Golden Bears compete at the 2004 Olympic Trials in Sacramento, Calif. Most recently, 2005 saw two of Huffins' athletes ranked in the top 10 in the country by Track and Field News. Antonette Carter was ranked No. eight for the Long Jump and Paul Teinert ranked ninth in the Javelin. Huffins has seen the team dramatically improve its conference position since he inherited the program. The women have had their highest Pac-10 team finish in history two years in a row, finishing in fifth place at the conference championships, up four places from 2003. The Golden Bear men's team has moved up to seventh, in the tough Pac-10 conference, having weathered a few key injuries over the last two years. Indoors, however, the men have been second and third in the last two Mountain Pacific Championships, a success they will surely build upon in 2006. Indeed both the Golden Bear track squads look to win the indoor conference title this coming year. Huffins has also nurtured the development of the true student-athlete, evidenced by more than 60 Pac-10 All-Academic honors that his athletes have earned since 2003. The future looks bright for Huffins and his Golden Bears, as the 2004 incoming freshman recruiting class was recently ranked No. 1 and the 2005 class was ranked No. 5 in the country, respectively, by Track & Field News. Prior to taking the reigns at Cal, Huffins carried in six years of experience as an assistant coach.Huffins is assisted by, Ed Miller (field events-multi-events), Tony Sandoval (head cross country coach), Phil McMullen (pole vault-high jump-multi events), Bryan Fetzer (sprints-hurdles) and Jennifer Joyce (throws).

California will host an all-comers meet on Feb. 4 at Edwards Stadium, before returning to action the second weekend of February with trips to Seattle, Wash., and Ames, Iowa.

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