Huffins Inks Seven New Bears

Nov. 20, 2006

BERKELEY - California signed a diverse and talented group of seven women's athletes, including two Bay Area recruits and one foreign athlete, Chris Huffins, Cal's Director of Track and Field announced today. The group includes sprinters, distance runners, a hurdler and a heptathlete. Most of the signees come from California, including Cherrelle Garrett from Hayward and Dantia Hudson from Oakland, and one, Natalya Beneby, comes from the Bahamas.

'I'm excited about this strong group of recruits,' Huffins said. 'This class will help us continue the success we have had on the women's side.'

Garrett, a sprinter out of Mt. Eden High School, has top times of 11.44 (wind-aided) in the 100 meters and 23.87 in the 200 meters. She is currently ranked 12th in the 100 meters and 23rd in the 200 among returning U.S. high school athletes. As a junior, she took sixth place in the 100 and seventh in the 200 at the California State Meet. As a sophomore, she took fifth in the 100 in the state meet.

Hudson, from Skyline High School, will compete in the heptathlon at Cal. She has run a 14.64 in the 100-meter hurdles and a 45.76 in the 300-meter hurdles. Hudson also has posted an 18-0 mark in the long jump. She is ranked the ninth-returning high school hurdler in California.

Beneby is a talented hurdler and soccer player, who has represented her country in the latter sport. In 2005, she held the national record in the 300-meter hurdles and also competed for the Bahamas at the Carifta Games that year. Beneby won a silver medal in the 300-meter hurdles and a bronze in the 4x100-meter relay at that Carifta Games and earned a bronze in the 2006 version in the 400-meter hurdles. Her time of 1:00.96 in the 400h is the best time at the national junior level for the Bahamas.

She also has a personal record of 24.11 in the 200 meters. Beneby has been a member of her country's under-17 and U-19 national soccer teams, including the squad that attempted to qualify for the FIFA U-19 World Championship.

Cal's other recruits include Allison Stokke, Chelsea Reilly, Taylor Bryson and Kayla Dixon.

Stokke, from Newport Harbor High School, is a pole vaulter with a PR of 13-5 3/4. As a junior, she took second place at the CIF State Championships with a mark of 12-9, the same mark she hit as a sophomore, when she set the national sophomore indoor record. A member of the USA Today's All-USA Girls Track Team as a sophomore, she set national age-group records of 13-5 3/4 at age 16 and 13-4 at age 15. She set a national freshman record of 12-8 and was a Verizon Junior All-American in 2004.

Reilly, whose mother, Marci, is a Cal alumna, is a distance runner from Davis High School who ranks as the fifth-best returning senior in California in the 1600 meters. She is a favorite at this year's Division I CIF Cross Country Championships. In track, she set her high school record in the 1600 meters (4:54.61) in 2005. Reilly was a state qualifier in the 1600 in both 2005 and 2006, taking 13th place this year. In cross country, she was a member of the Division I section team all four years at Davis High School and qualified for the CIF State Cross Country Meet as a freshman, sophomore and junior.

Bryson, from Newport Harbor School, is another distance runner, who has a PR of 4:59.59 in the 1600. She is the seventh-best returning senior in California in the 1600. As a junior, she finished 28th at the CIF State Cross Country Championships.

Dixon, a sprinter from Cleveland High School with lots of potential, has PRs of 11.94 in the 100 meters and 24.50 in the 200. As a junior, she took 10th place in the 100 at the CIF State Championships.

The current Bears next compete in the Hampton Inn & Suites Invitational on Jan. 20, 2007, in Boise, Idaho.

California Track and Field Recruits

Natalya Beneby
Events: Hurdles, sprint relay, 100 meters
Hometown: Nassau, Bahamas
High School: Saint Andrews School
on Jan. 20, 2007, in Boise, Idaho.

Taylor Bryson
Events: 1600 meters, cross country
Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.
High School: Newport Harbor School
on Jan. 20, 2007, in Boise, Idaho.

Kayla Dixon
Events: 100 meters, 200 meters
Hometown: Reseda, Calif.
High School: Cleveland High School
Club Coach: Lawrence Webster
on Jan. 20, 2007, in Boise, Idaho.

Cherrelle Garrett
Events: 100 meters, 200 meters
Hometown: Hayward, Calif.
High School: Mt. Eden High School
Coach: T.J. Williams
on Jan. 20, 2007, in Boise, Idaho.

Dantia Hudson
Events: Heptathlon, hurdles, long jump
Hometown: Oakland, Calif.
High School: Skyline High School
High School Coach: Jamal Cooks
on Jan. 20, 2007, in Boise, Idaho.

Chelsea Reilly
Events: Distance running, cross country
Hometown: Davis, Calif.
High School: Davis Senior High
Coach: Bill Greggon Jan. 20, 2007, in Boise, Idaho.

Allison Stokke
Events: Pole vault
Hometown: Newport Beach, Calif.
High School: Newport Harbor High School
High School Coach: Logan Odden

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