The Golden Bears Travel to Texas Relay, Johnny Matias

April 4, 2006

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The California track and field team will split the team and travel to the famed Texas Relays Thursday-Saturday, April 6-8 in Austin, Texas, and the Johnny Mathis Invitational at San Francisco State on Saturday, April 8. Last week, the Bears hosted the Cal Multi-Events and compete in the Stanford Invitational in Stanford, Calif.

This past weekend at the Stanford Invitational, sophomore Rebecca Yau set a regional qualifying mark in the 5000m, on Friday night. At the Cal Multi-Events, redshirt freshman Artensia Young finished second in the heptathlon, just shy of collecting regional qualifying point total. At the Hornet Invitational two weeks ago, freshman Ryan Young broke the freshman record in the javelin with his throw (232-10) and redshirt freshman Emilee Strot (152-10) broke both the women's freshman record and outdoor school record in the javelin. Redshirt freshman Nate Rolfe continued his success in the throwing events. Freshman Kandi Bonty won both the 100m and 200m dash last weekend. Senior Qadriyyah Abdullah won the long jump competition with her jump of 19-03.25. The athletes will be dispersed between the Texas Relays and the Johnny Mathis Invitational this weekend.

The University of Texas will hold its 79th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays this weekend at the incredible Mike A. Myers Stadium. The Texas Relays attract some of the nation's top high school, collegiate, and professional track and field athletes. The last time Cal athletes competed in the Texas Relays was during the 2004 season, when Teak Wilburn finished first in the high jump with an NCAA qualifying mark and Antonette Carter qualified for the NCAA Regional with her performance in the 100m dash. The Texas Relays were created in 1925 by former University of Texas men's track and field coach Clyde Littlefield to celebrate the completion of the university's Memorial Stadium. Clyde Littlefield was a 12-time letter winner in football, basketball, and track while at UT and later coached the men's track and field team for 41 seasons. At this year's meet, Cal's women's sprint medley team will be highly favored. Both the men's and women's 4 x 400m teams will look to hit the regional qualifier mark. The men's javelin throwers will look to continue their success.

The Johnny Mathis Invitational has been held at San Francisco State since 1982 to honor musician and former San Francisco State track and field star Johnny Mathis. The Johnny Mathis Invitational will feature the Golden Bears along with selected collegiate teams as well as open, club, and unattached athletes.

Freshman Ryan Young made a statement in his first outdoor meet as a Golden Bear. Young threw 232-10 in the javelin, winning the competition at the Hornet Invitational. Young's throw also broke the freshman school record set by Adam Burgh in 2004 (200-40). Young's throw was also the No. 7 All-Time throw for U.S. juniors (19 and under). His throw passed Breaux Greeg on the list, who is the current American senior national record holder in the event. Young is currently ranked the fifth junior in the world at this time and second in the nation. He will compete for the Golden Bears at this weekend's Texas Relays.

After a successful indoor season senior Antonette Carter will return to her successful reign of the outdoor track. Carter will compete in the long jump, the 4 x 200m and the spring medley relay at the Texas Relays this weekend. The two-time All-American set the Cal outdoor school record in the 100m (11.43) and 200m (23.06) last season. Carter earned All-American honors in the 200m last year at the NCAA Championships with a fifth-place finish.

This weekend, redshirt freshman Emilee Strot can continue his strength in the throwing events at the Texas Relays as she competed in the discus and javelin. Strot broke both the freshman school record and the outdoor school record in the javelin at the Hornet Invitational. Strot threw 152-10, breaking Laura Baker's freshman record of 134-10 from 1989 and breaking Brooke Meredith's outdoor school record of 148-00 set in 2004.

The Texas Relays will provide redshirt freshman Nate Rolfe the chance to continue her success in his first outdoor season. The high school All-American recorded Cal's all-time fourth-best throw in the hammer at the Bay Area Blast Off. Rolfe continued his success last weekend at the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento, Calif., where he threw a season-best 180-10 in the discus. Rolfe redshirted last year's outdoor season, but competed indoors, posting Cal's second-best team mark in the weight throw (59-04.75). Currently, Rolfe ranks nationally 16th in the discus and 15th in the hammer.

Kelechi Anyanwu opened her junior outdoor season with a successful outing at the Bay Area Blast Off. Anyanwu won the women's shot put with a mark of 47-09 (14.55m) and continued her success in the discus, posting a 150-10 (45.97m) to win the competition. The San Jose, Calif., native posted a 45-04.50 (13.83m) in the shot put in early February at the Husky Classic, posting the Bears second-best mark of the season. In the first day of the Stanford Invitational last weekend, Anyanwu finished second in the shot put with a mark of 45-11.25 (14.00m).

Freshman Mark Matusak opened his freshman campaign with a bang during the indoor season. Matusak notched a personal best 8:06.18 in the 3000m at the MPSF Championships. Matusak, the high school champion in the 3200m, will aim to continue the success in the outdoor season that saw him through the cross country season. Matusak was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year after his successful initial campaign. During the summer Matusak captured the bronze medal at the Pan Am games in the 1500m (3:49.81). At the Texas Relays, Matusak will race in the mile.

Freshman Kandi Bonty opened her outdoor season with a remarkable outing at the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento. Bonty showcased her skills in the 200m where she finished first with a time of 24.67 and continued her success in the 100m with a second place finish and a time of 12.17.

Redshirt freshman Artensia Young continued her impressive outdoor season in the heptathlon with one of her best performances of her career at the Cal Multi-Events. In the first day of competition, Young tallied a 14.04m in the 100m hurdles, jumped a 5-3 (1.60m) in the high jump, collected a 31-3.25 (9.53m) in the shot put and was clocked at 25.14 in the 200m. After the first day, Young was in second ahead of several key competitors of the meet. After the final day of competition, Young finished in second with 4915 points, just behind Liz Roehrig of Minnesota who was the Big Ten champion in the pentathlon in the last indoor season. In the final day, the native of Los Angeles, Calif., posted an 18-03.75 (5.57m) in the long jump, threw an 87-10 (26.76m) in javelin and was clocked 2:29.56 in the 800m.

Sophomore Rebecca Yau opened the Stanford Invitational with an impressive performance in the women's 10,000m, setting a regional qualifying mark with a time of 35:11.07. Yau's time earned her the sixth-best time in California history and a fifth place finish in the event.

After a successful outdoor season last year, sophomore Cassandra Strickland added an excellent indoor season to her resume. The triple jumper set her personal-best mark of 42-09.75 (13.05m) at the Arizona-California Challenge (Jan. 27). This weekend, Strickland will compete for the first time in the outdoor season in the triple jump at the Texas Relays. Last year, Stickland won the triple jump (42-1.5) contest at the U.S Junior National, en route to her seventh-place finish at the Pan Am Games.

After breaking the school indoor high jump record in her first collegiate indoor meet, freshman Inika McPherson rewrote the record in Fayetteville, Ark., at the Tyson Invitational during the indoor season. McPherson was marked at 5-10.75. McPherson previously owned an indoor school record of 5-10 set at the Modrall Sperling Invitational on Jan. 21. McPherson will open up her initial outdoor campaign at the Johnny Mathis Invitational this weekend.

This weekend junior Paul Teinert will make an appearance at the Texas Relays in the javelin. Teinert made his initial debut at the Hornet Invitational two weeks ago. Tienert finished second in the event behind teammate Ryan Young, with his throw of 230-07. Tienert now ranks third in the nation in the javelin. Last season, Tienert was the Pac-10 champion in the javelin and set Cal's outdoor school record in the event with his throw of 235-11 at the Pac-10 Championships last year in Los Angeles. The mark is also the atop Cal's All-time list. Tienert went on to compete at the NCAA Championships, eventually earning All-American honors with his seventh place finish.

The Bears completed their 2005 season with a number of outstanding performances from both the men's and women's teams in the Pac-10 and NCAA Championships. In the Pac-10 Championships Paul Teinert posted a lifetime best in winning the javelin and senior Chloe Jarvis was the Pac-10 champion in the 800m. Both Tienert and Antonette Carter set school records at the Pac-10 Championships in the men's javelin and women's 100m. The men finished in eighth place with 60.5 points and the women finished fifth with 82 points. Head coach Chris Huffins sent an impressive 15 athletes to the national championships, the most since his short tenure began in 2003. On the men's side the athletes that competed in the NCAA Championships included javelin throwers Adam Burgh and Teinert, 800m runner Alex McClary, senior co-captain David Glasgow and senior All-American shot put thrower Rhuben Williams. The women sent 10 athletes to the NCAAs including Jarvis, Carter, Shannan Hawes, Whitney Schmucker, Alysia Johnson, Cassandra Strickland, Osarhiemen Omwanghe, Elzunia Lamb, Tifany Johnson, and Brooke Meredith. Carter won All-American honors in the long jump, marking Huffins first All-American as a coach at Cal and his first female All-American athlete. Carter's fifth place finish in the 200m earned her second All-American honors of the meet. On the men's side, Teinert's seventh place finish in the javelin earned him All-American honors, marking Huffins first male All-American athlete at Cal. Glasgow finished 11th in the high jump ending his career at Cal with his first All-American honors. The Cal's women team ended up finishing 29th with nine points and Cal's men finished 60th with two points scored by Tienert. Five more Cal athletes earned junior All-American honors at the 2005 U.S. Nationals including Missy Faubus and Emilee Strot in the shot put, Alysia Johnson in the 800m, Tifani Grimes in the heptathlon and Chris Chavez in the 5000m.

In the recent issue of Track and Field News, the magazine previewed collegiate athletes. On the Cal women's side senior Antonette Carter ranked No. 8 in the 100m, No. 12 in the 200m and No. 4 in the long jump. Sophomore Alysia Johnson was ranked No. 16 in the 800m, while freshman Inika McPherson was ranked No. 4 in the high jump and was given the nod for top freshman in the nation. For the men, junior Paul Teinert was ranked No. 5 in the javelin and junior Teak Wilburn ranks No. 7 in the high jump.

Two meets into the outdoor season Cal has broken outdoor school records and freshman school records. Freshman Ryan Young's javelin throw of 232-10 broke the freshman school record set by Adam Burgh in 2004 (200-40) at the Hornet Invitational. Redshirt Freshman Emilee Strot broke both the freshman school record and the outdoor school record in the javelin at the Hornet Invitational. Strot threw 152-10, breaking Laura Baker's freshman record of 134-10 from 1989 and breaking Brooke Meredith's outdoor school record set in 2004 of 148-00.

California is off to a hot start. During the indoor season the team rewrote several of the school's indoor records. Senior Antonette Carter set school records in the 60m (7.33) at the Arizona-California Challenge and the 200m (23.81) at the MPSF Championships. Senior Osarhiemen Omwanghe broke the 60 hurdles record with her time of 8.31 at the Husky Classic. Omwanghe had set the previous 60m hurdles' record two weeks prior. Senior Bridget Duffy broke the school record in the mile (4:49.04) and in the 3000m (9:39.26) at the MPSF Championships and sophomore Alex McClary broke his own indoor record in the 800m at the Alex Wilson Invitational after he was clocked at 1:49.71 in South Bend, Ind. At the UW Indoor Invitational, the Cal men's distance medley team broke the school record (9:42.31) and women's (11:28.96) distance medley teams set new school record at the MPSF Championships. Junior Teak Wilburn broke the indoor high jump, with his 7-3.75 from the Tyson Invitational. Sophomores Alysia Johnson broke Chloe Jarvis record in the 800m at the MPSF Championships with her time of 2:05.52, then broke her own record in the prelims at the NCAA Indoor Championships (2:05.49). Rebecca Yau set a new school record in the 5000m after she was clocked at 16:52.66. Also at the MPSF Championships, junior Giliat Ghbray set a new school record in the 3000m (14:13.60).

After successfully competing as a Golden Bears 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, the Huffins-led Bears have sent more athletes to the NCAA Championships than in any other three-year span (12 in 2003,13 in 2004, and 15 in 2005), and he has overseen 14 All-American honors. Huffins has also witnessed Cal history books rewritten, as there have been 12 new Cal school records and six new freshman records set, which bodes very well for the future. Most impressively, Huffins saw five current Golden Bears compete at the 2004 Olympic Trials in Sacramento, Calif. In 2005, two of Huffins' athletes were ranked in the top 10 in the country by Track and Field News. Antonette Carter was ranked No. 8 in 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. Prior to this season, 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 in 2004 and 2005, up four places from 2003. The Golden Bears 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 2004 and 2005 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships. 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, was the 2004 incoming freshman recruiting class was ranked No. 1 and the 2005 class was ranked No. 5 in the country, by Track & Field News. Prior to taking the reigns at Cal, Huffins was an assistant coach for six years.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).

The Cal track and field team will host the Brutus Hamilton Invitational at Edwards Stadium on Saturday, April 15.

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