Golden Bears Host Stanford in 112th Big Meet Saturday
April 21, 2006
IN THE STARTING BLOCKS:
The California track and field team will host Stanford for the 112th Big Meet at Edwards Stadium on Saturday, April 22. Last week, the Golden Bears hosted the ninth annual Brutus Hamilton Invitational at Cal.
A GLANCE AT THE 112th Big Meet:
Cal will host Stanford at Edwards Stadium for the 112th Big Meet on Saturday, April 22. The competition ranks among the nation's oldest sports rivalries and even though it was inaugurated in 1892, the same year of the first Big Game against Stanford, the Big Game will only see its 108th gathering this year. Despite the respective successes this season for the Cal men and women teams, neither can assume victory as the Big Meet has a history of emotional upsets and outrageously unpredictable performances. The Cal men took back the title from Stanford in 2004 after the Cardinal ran a three-year win streak from 2001-03. The loss in 2002 marked the first time Stanford had won at Cal since the 1960s. Before the 2002 loss, the Cardinal beat Cal in 1997 by one point to snap a 25-year win streak by the Golden Bears. The men's series currently has Cal leading 64-44. On the women's side, Stanford currently leads the series 16-10 with the last five wins going to the Cardinal. The five-year drought means that none of the current athletes on the Cal women's team can boast a Big Meet win thus far.
The 112th Big Meet will showcase some of the best competitions this season...Cal two-time All-American Alysia Johnson will make her first outdoor appearance in the women's 400m against favorite Janice Davis from Stanford, who has ran a 52.93 this year...The women's 100m will feature Stanford's Chauntae Bayne and Cal's Antonette Carter, who won the event last year at Stanford...The men's 100m will feature two of Stanford's football players - Wopamo Osaisai and TJ Rushing. Rushing is set to enter the NFL next season...The women's 200m is expected to be the best event on the women's side, and is loaded with talent: Stanford's Chauntae Bayne, Jakki Bailey and Alana Walker and Cal's Antonette Carter, Kristin Holmes, Tiffany Johnson and Brooke Turner are all potential NCAA qualifiers...Cal's Nestor Solis is favored in the men's 400m...The women's 800m will feature a great field of NCAA potential as Cal's Mackenzie Pierce and Alysia Johnson look to improve their regional qualifying times against Stanford's All-American distance runners Arianna Lambie and Ashley Freeman...In the men's 800m Cal's Alex McClary will battle four Stanford runners, as he looks to improve his regional qualifying mark from his second-place finish last weekend at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational...Cal's defending Pac-10 javelin champion Paul Teinert will look to win again this year after finishing first last year at the 111th Big Meet...Cal's freshmen sensations Nate Rolfe and Emilee Strot look to continue their successes in the shot put, discus and hammer throw.
Long considered one of the finest track and field facilities in the world, the University of California's Edwards Stadium has a legacy unmatched in collegiate track and field. Not only has the facility been host to some of the best individual performances in the sport's history, but Edwards Stadium also stands in one of the most beautiful settings in the nation, with panoramic views of the Berkeley Hills and Strawberry Canyon to the east, and the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and the city skyline to the west. Over the years, Edwards Stadium has witnessed 12 world records, 26 American records and 24 collegiate records. The first world record set in the stadium was also history's first 15-foot pole vault, by Cornelius 'Dutch' Warmerdam in 1940. The last world mark to fall in Berkeley was in 1978, as Washington State's Henry Rono clocked 13:06.4 in the 5,000-meter run. On a cinder surface in 1966 - before a Tartan all-weather surface was added in 1977 - a University of Kansas freshman by the name of Jim Ryun clocked a remarkable 3:51.3 mile.
The Cal track and field team will travel next to Des Moines, Iowa, for the Drake Relays on April 28-29 at Drake Stadium.