Golden Bears travel to Pac-10 Multi Events and Modesto Relays

May 2, 2006

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The California multi eventers will travel to the Pac-10 Multi Event Championships on May 5-6, in Eugene, Ore., and the rest of the Golden Bears will head to the Modesto Relays in Modesto, Calif. Last weekend the Golden Bears competed at the 97th annual Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa

At the 97th annual Drake Relays the California women's sprint medley team delivered an outstanding performance despite another weekend of poor weather conditions for the Bears. The sprint medley team of seniors Tiffany Johnson and Antonette Carter and sophomores Brook Turner and Alysia Johnson won the race in the pouring rain with its time of 3:50.81. The men's distance medley relay team of sophomore Alex McClary, senior Nestor Solis, sophomore Sean Carey and freshman Mark Matusak finished third in its race with a time of 9:49.80. In the field events, sophomore Ed Wright won the high jump with his mark of 6-08.75 (2.05m). Senior All-American Paul Teinert finished fourth in the javelin with his mark of 210-04 (64.11m). On the women's side, freshman sensation Emilee Strot finished fifth in the discus with her throw of 169-11 (51.79m). Junior Carrie Johnson placed fourth in the hammer with her throw of 182-04 (55.59m) and freshman Inika McPherson finished fifth in the high jump with her jump of 5-07 (1.70m). This weekend the attention turns to the Pac-10 Multi Event Championships in Eugene, Ore., where Tifani Grimes, Artensia Young, Steven Conrad and Jonas Halgrimsson will represent the Bears.

The 65th Annual Coca-Cola Modesto Relays will be held in Modesto, Calif., at the Modesto Junior College Stadium. The Modesto Relays will feature the Golden Bears along with selected collegiate teams as well as open, club, and unattached athletes. For those who have not yet qualified for one of the four NCAA Regionals, the Modesto Relays provide one last opportunity to earn a regional qualifying mark. The last time the Bears competed at the Modesto Relays was the 2003-2004 season when Cal throws coach Jennifer Joyce broke her own Canadian hammer record and junior Teak Wilburn won the men's high jump to qualify for the Pac-10 Championships.

The Golden Bears will showcase three athletes at the Pac-10 Multi Event Championships in Eugene, Ore., this weekend. Redshirt freshmen Tifani Grimes and Artensia Young will compete on the women's side in the heptathlon and junior Jonas Halgrimsson will compete for the men in the decathlon. The Pac-10 Multi Events will feature the conference's top collegiate athletes in the heptathlon and decathlon. The events will be held at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field, the finest track-only venue in the nation and host to three Olympic Trials, nine NCAA Championships, and six USA Championships. Events are scheduled to begin at noon on both Saturday and Sunday. Last year the multi events were held at UCLA's Drake Stadium in Los Angeles, where Cal finished third behind Washington State and Oregon in both the women's heptathlon and the men's decathlon.

The Californian Golden Bears opened Pac-10 competition last year with two impressive performances by Cal's leading multi-event athletes. Senior All-American Brooke Meredith set a total of three personal bests in the heptathlon and finished third with a score of 5,446, the ninth best collegiate score in the country. Junior Jonas Hallgrimsson managed a similar feat as Meredith, finishing third in the decathlon with a total score of 7,002. It was his first decathlon of last year's season due to injury.

Junior Jonas Hallgrimsson battled back from injury last season to place third at the MPSF Championship on Feb. 25 in the heptathlon during the indoor season. Hallgrimsson collected 5429 points at the meet. He posted his season bests in almost all the categories: 13.45m (44-01.50) in the shot put, 7.03m (23-00.75) in the long jump, 2.00m (6-06.75) in the high jump, 8.64 in the 60m hurdles and 7.53 in the 60m. He collected his season best of 4.25m (13-11.25) in the pole vault at the UW Indoor Invitational on Jan. 28. Hallgrimsson joined middle distance runner Alysia Johnson as the only two Golden Bears to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Last season at the Pac-10 Multi Events Championships, Hallgrimsson posted a NCAA qualifying mark of 7,002 in the decathlon. He boasted amazing marks in last year's championships in the 400m (52.62), 1500m (4:39.61), 110m hurdles (15.59) and javelin (213-06). His javelin mark from last year's competition ranks him seventh on the all-time Cal list.

In her first year with the Golden Bears redshirt freshman Artensia Young has continued her impressive outdoor season in the heptathlon. One of her best performances of her career came at the Cal Multi-Events, on March 29-30. 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 Minnesota's Liz Roehrig, who was the Big Ten champion in the pentathlon in the last indoor season. In the final day, the Los Angeles native 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. In the indoor competition, Young opened her season at the University of Washington Indoor Invitational with a fourth place finish in the pentathlon with a total of 3606 points. Young collected the marks of 2:30.46 in the 800m, 8.90 in the 60m hurdles, 1.58m (5-02.25) in the high jump, 5.70m (18-08.50) in the long jump and 9.81m (32-02.25) in the shot put. At the MPSF Indoor Championships Young competed in the women's long jump and earned the Bears four points with her mark of 5.83m (19-01.50). Young also competed in the pentathlon and finished right below redshirt freshman Tifani Grimes in ninth place with a score of 3614.

Redshirt freshman Tifani Grimes opened her indoor season in January at the University of Washington Indoor Invitational, in which she competed in her first collegiate pentathlon. Grimes placed 15th in the 800m (2:36.45), fourth in the 60m hurdles (9.20), first in the high jump (1.70m/5-07), sixth in the long jump (5.37m/17-07.50) and 10th in the shot put (10.44m/34-03). Grimes continued with speed at the MPSF Championships where she finished eighth in the pentathlon, posting the Bear's season-best score of 3679. Grimes has also been a successful in individual events, at her first outdoor season at the Bay Area Blast Off, Grimes took a third place in the 100m hurdles behind senior Osarhiemen Omwanghe and redshirt freshman Artensia Young. The junior All-American had an equally impressive debut in the field events, winning the women's high jump with a jump of 5-05 (1.65m) and finishing seventh in the women's javelin with a mark of 112-04. Grimes continued her success at the Cal Multi Events in late March, when she finished fourth in the heptathlon with a total of 4824 points. After the first day, Grimes was in fifth place after posting a 14.53 in the 100m hurdles, 5-5.25 (1.66m) in the high jump, 33-5.25 (10.19m) in the shot put and 29.78 in the 200m. On the second day of competition, she posted a 17-08.25 (5.39m) in the long jump, 100-10 (30.76m) in the javelin and 2:30.86 in the 800m.

Redshirt freshman Emilee Strot continued her strength in the throwing events last weekend at the Drake Relays, finishing fifth in the discus with a throw of 169-11 (51.79m). Despite her solid performance, it was hard to top her outstanding marks from the previous weekend at the Big Meet. At the Big Meet she set a new Cal freshman record in the discus with her mark of 177-11. This mark broke the record she set at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in Berkeley, where she won the competition with her mark of 174-06 (53.81m). In the shot put at the Big Meet, Strot finished second with a regional qualifying mark of 47-08.50 (14.54m). Earlier this season, Strot broke both the Cal 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 men's distance medley relay team, featuring some of Cal's best 800m distance runners including sophomore Alex McClary, senior Nestor Solis, sophomore Sean Carey and freshman Mark Matusak, finished third in the distance medley at the Drake Relays with a time of 9:49.80. The men's 800m distance runners also had an outstanding weekend at the 112th Big Meet the previous weekend. Sophomore Alex McClary won the 800m race with his regional qualifying time of 1:49.53. Sophomore Sean Carey finished third with his personal-best time of 1:51.77. At the Brutus Hamilton Invitational McClary finished second in the race behind Washington's Austin Abbott with a regional qualifying mark of 1:49.76. Carey finished one spot below McClary in third with his personal best of 1:52.12 and sophomore Eric Lee finished fourth with his personal best time of 1:53.35.

The men's throwing corps of freshman Nate Rolfe, sophomores John Ludden and Craig Kent has tallied some impressive marks this season. Rolfe has already set regional qualifying marks in both the hammer and the discus. He recorded Cal's fourth-best all-time throw in the hammer at the Bay Area Blast Off on March 18. Rolfe continued his success at the Hornet Invitational in Sacramento, Calif., where he threw a season-best 180-10 in the discus. Ludden has also posted regional qualifying marks in both the hammer and discus. His initial season throw of 185-90 (56.62m) in the discus at the Bay Area Blast Off and his hammer throw of 195-04 (59.54m) at the Texas Relays earned him the marks. At the Big Meet against Stanford, Kent posted a 55-09.75 (17.01m) in the hammer to win the competition and also qualify for the regionals.

Sophomore sensation Ed Wright continued his success in the high jump last weekend at the Drake Relays. He won the competition with his mark of 6-08.75 (2.05m), topping his winning mark of 6-06 (1.98m) from the 112th Big Meet the previous weekend. At the Brutus Hamilton Invitational, Wright finished first with a mark of 6-08.75 (2.05m). This matches his mark at the Stanford Invitational just two weeks ago when he finished fifth. During the indoor season in early February at the Tyson Invitational, Wright jumped a season-best 6-11.75 (2.13m) to finish seventh in the event.

Junior Kelechi Anyanwu posted another regional qualifying mark in the shot put at the Drake Relays. Anyanwu was marked at a team-best 49-07.75 (14.79m). At the 112th Big Meet in the shot put, Anyanwu was marked at 48-03.25 (14.71m), finishing second in the event. At the Brutus Hamilton Invitational, Anyanwu won the shot put with her regional qualifying mark of 48-022.50 (14.64). Already this season Anyanwu opened her junior outdoor season with a successful outing at both the Johnny Mathis Invitational and the Bay Area Blast Off. At the Johnny Mathis Invitational, Anyanwu won the shot put with her mark of 47-10, and the discus with her throw of 159-08. 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.

The Bears completed their 2005 season with a number of outstanding performances from both the men 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. Teinert and Antonette Carter set school records at the Pac-10 Championships in, respectively, 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. Cal 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, Tiffany 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 honor 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 Teinert. 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.

Heading into the final meets of 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. Strot also broke the freshman school record in the discus at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational with a mark of 174-06 (53.81m) and then rewrote the record a week later at the 112th Big Meet with her toss of 177-11. At the Texas Relays, the women's 4x200m relay team of freshmen Kristin Holmes and Kandi Bonty, and seniors Tiffany Johnson and Antonette Carter set a school record in the event with a time of 1:35.79. At the 112th Big Meet, Carter rewrote her school record in the 100m. The Concord native was clocked at 11.33 in the race beating her previous record of 11.43.

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 distance medley team set a new school record (11:28.96) at the MPSF Championships. Junior Teak Wilburn broke the indoor high jump, with his 7-3.75 from the Tyson Invitational. Sophomore Alysia Johnson broke Chloe Jarvis' record in the 800m at the MPSF Championships with her time of 2:05.52, then Johnson 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 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 head to the Pac-10 Championships in Eugene, Ore., on May 13-14, before heading to the west regional in Provo, Utah on May 26-27.

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