California Track and Field Open at the MPSF Championships

Feb. 24, 2006

SEATTLE, Wash. - The California men's and women's track and field team opened the MPSF Championship with a bang. The women are tied with Oregon in third (30 points) and the men stand in seventh with eight points in Seattle, Wash., on Friday. The women finished six events, while the men held finals in only four events.

'The women are doing outstanding,' director of track and field Chris Huffins said. 'They are poised and positioned to battle for the championship tomorrow. The men have shown a lot of positive things today from a very young squad.'

The majority of the Golden Bears were only qualifying for the finals in their individual events. However, the women did hold finals in the long jump, weight throw, pole vault and the distance medley relay. In the long jump senior Antonette Carter jumped a 5.86m (19-02.75) earning the Bears five points. Redshirt freshman Artensia Young collected four points with her 5.83m (19-01.50) on Friday. Senior Tiffany Johnson posted a 5.78m (18-11.75) earning three points, and sophomore Cassandra Strickland added one point with her seventh place jump of 5.68m (18-07.75).

In the women's weight throw, junior Carrie Johnson collected four points after she broke the school record set by Dana Lawson in 2001, when she recorded a throw of 18.40m (60-04.50). Junior Kelechi Anyanwu also competed, but did not earn points; she threw a 14.88m (10.00).

Also gaining points for the Golden Bears in the 5000m, sophomore Rebecca Yau finished fifth (16:52.66), earning four points. Yau broke the school record of 17:17.92 set in 1994 by Tenaya Sodeman. Joining Yau in the race, senior Abby Parker was clocked at a season-best 16:56.27, placing her in fifth and earning three points for Cal. The distance medley relay team of senior Lindsay Maclise, freshman Kandi Bonty, sophomore Alysia Johnson and senior Bridgett Duffy were clocked at 11:28.96, a new school record in the event. They earned five points with their third place finish.

The men finals were held Friday were in the long jump, weight throw, 5000m and the distance medley relay. In the 5000m, junior Giliat Ghebray finished in ninth with a final time of 14:13.60, just shy of collecting points for the Bears. The men's distance medley relay team of senior Kevin Davis, sophomore Jonathan Suddaby, sophomore Alex McClary and freshman Mark Matusak finished second (9:42.67) and earned eight points. The time was also a provisional qualifying mark.

Several preliminaries were held on the track. Sophomore Brook Turner won her heat in the 400m (55.78) qualifying for Saturday's finals in the event. Senior Bridgett Duffy (4:52.80/third) and Lindsay Maclise (4:52.84/fourth) both qualified for the mile run final. In the 60m dash, seniors Carter (7.44) and Tiffany Johnson (7.61, season-best) qualified for their final. Both freshman Mackenizie Pierce (2:08.24) and sophomore Alysia Johnson (2:08.60) each won their heats of the 800m, qualifying for the final. Carter won her heat in the 200m, breaking her school record she set two weeks ago (24.02) with her time today (23.84). Senior Tiffany Johnson's time of 24.50 qualified her out of her heat in the 200m. Senior hurdler Osarhiemen Omwanghe finished second with a time of 8.36 in her 60m hurdles heat, qualifying for the finals on Saturday.

Three Bears qualified for Saturday's final in the men's 60m hurdles and posted their season-best in the event. Junior Thomas Mack recorded an 8.03, freshman Jordan Paul was clocked at 8.19 and sophomore Craig Gallimore was timed at 8.23. Senior Nestor Solis (47.78) qualified in his heat of the 400m dash. Sophomore Alex McClary finished second in his heat in the 800m with his time of 1:50.54.

Junior Jonas Hallgrimsson is in third in the heptathlon with 3022, a perfect position for tomorrow's finals.

The Bears will continue tomorrow in the MPSF Championship. The first event will start at 10 a.m. (PST). The meet is being held at Dempsey Indoor on the UW campus.

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