Cal Heads to MPSF Indoor Championships

Feb. 21, 2007

BERKELEY - California track and field heads back to Seattle, Wash., for the 2007 MPSF Indoor Championships this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-24, at Dempsey Indoor. Several Golden Bears are among the conference leaders in various events, including All-Americans Giliat Ghebray and Alysia Johnson as well as sophomore Francis Gadayan, junior Thomas Mack, senior Nestor Solis, junior Cassandra Strickland, junior David Torrence and junior Ed Wright.

This year's meet begins at 12:00 p.m. on Friday with finals in the women's pentathlon 60-meter hurdles and the women's weight throw. The meet ends on Friday with the women's 4x400-meter relay, which is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m.

The Bears' last competition, the University of Washington's Husky Classic, was also in Seattle at Dempsey Indoor.

Last season in the 2006 MPSF Indoor Championships, the Cal women took third place and the Cal men took seventh place.

Johnson an Automatic Qualifier in 800
Junior Alysia Johnson ran a 2:05.06, a new Cal indoor record, to win the women's 800 meters at the Husky Classic. Her time ranks second in the MPSF entering the conference meet and is an automatic qualifying time for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Sophomore teammate Mackenzie Pierce's top time of 2:08.72, also set at the Husky Classic, ranks her seventh in the MPSF.

Cal's second-fastest Bear all-time in the 800, Johnson is coming off a sophomore season in which she earned All-American honors both indoors and outdoors. The product of Canyon Country, Calif., took third place at both sets of NCAA Championships in the 800, running a then-lifetime best of 2:03.04 to win the outdoor title.

Johnson later ran a lifetime-best 2:01.80 to take fourth place at the USA Outdoor Championships last summer. That time ranks second to former Cal great Louise Romo's time of 2:01.59, which was set in 1984.

She also ranks second in the 400 meters entering the MPSF Indoor Championships, having run a 54.48, another Cal indoor record, to win the title at the Dan DeHart Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. Arizona State's Latosha Wallace enters the conference meet with a 53.67 in the 400.

Bears junior Brook Turner is third in the 400, with a 55.19, and sophomore teammate Evelyn Smith is 11th with a 57.01.

Ghebray 4th in 3000
Senior Giliat Ghebray has the fourth-fastest men's 3000-meter time (8:02.07) entering the weekend. Ghebray's time is an NCAA provisional qualifying time and gave him seventh place at the Husky Classic.

The product of Union City, Calif., has a lifetime-best indoor 3000 time of 7:58.46, which he set at last season's Husky Classic. Also last year, he earned All-America honors with his 13th-place finish in the 5000 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

His younger brother, sophomore Yosef Ghebray, took 19th at the Husky Classic, with a time of 8:10.25, which ranks him 10th in the MPSF.

Wright 2nd in High Jump
Ed Wright ranks second in the conference in the men's high jump (2.16 meters, 7-01) entering this weekend. The junior from Oakland, Calif., reached that height when he took second place at the Dan DeHart Invitational.

Last year, Wright tied Arizona's Kyle Marr for third place at MPSFs, with a high jump of 2.04 meters (6-08.25).

Strickland Paces Bears in Triple Jump
Cassandra Strickland is one of four Bears in the top 10 in the women's triple jump. Her top mark of 13.19 meters ranks her second behind UCLA's Renee Williams (13.38) and just ahead of sophomore teammate Artensia Young (12.61). Also on the list are freshman Tracey Stewart (12.22) at No. 6 and sophomore teammate Lollie Onipede (12.07) at No. 7.

Just outside the top 10 is No. 11 Mercedes Marchbanks, a freshman Bear, with an 11.83.

Mack 3rd in 60 hurdles
Thomas Mack ranks third in the men's 60-meter hurdles, with his time of 8.01. The product of Bakersfield, Calif., ran that time with his fourth-place finish at the Husky Classic.

Junior teammate Craig Gallimore is 12th in the conference with an 8.16 and sophomore teammate Jordan Paul is 14th with an 8.31 in the event.

Pressey Tops in 60, Broom Tops in 60 hurdles
Cal sophomore Angie Pressey is ranked seventh in the conference with a time of 7.62 in the women's 60-meter dash, while freshman teammate Kimyon Broom is third in the women's 60-meter hurdles, with an 8.50. Sophomore teammate Artensia Young ranks ninth in the 60 hurdles, with an 8.81.

Gadayan Leads Cal in Men's 800
Cal sophomore Francis Gadayan leads a trio of Bears in the top 11 of the men's800 meters. His time of 1:51.95, which gave him 13th at the Husky Classic, is fourth in the MPSF.

Sophomore teammate Sean Carey is seventh, with a 1:52.91, and junior teammate David Torrence is 11th, with a 1:53.40, in the 800.

Turner 6th in 200
Junior Brook Turner has Cal's top time in the women's 200 meters, with a 24.61 set at the Husky Classic. Sophomore Kandi Bonty is eighth, with a 24.92.

Torrence Also Strong in Mile
Torrence ranks fourth in the conference in the men's mile, with a school-record 4:01.80. He took seventh at the Husky Classic with that time, which also is a provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships.

Senior teammate Kevin Davis ran a 4:02.02, another provisional qualifying time, to finish eighth in the mile at the Husky Classic.

Grimes Paces Bears in Pentathlon, High Jump
Sophomore Tifani Grimes leads Cal in the women's pentathlon, with a score of 3.427 that came as part of a 10th-place finish in the Roger Cox Multis. That score ranks her 10th in the conference.

She also ranks eighth in the women's high jump, with a mark of 1.70 meters that came as part of the pentathlon at the Roger Cox Multis.

Solis 4th in 400
Cal senior Nestor Solis ranks fourth in the conference in the men's 400 meters, with a time of 48.12, set with a third-place finish at the Husky Classic.

Faubus Contender in Women's Shot, Weight Throw
Sophomore Missy Faubus leads the Bears in two events, with a fifth-ranked mark of 15.05 meters in the shot put and a 12th-ranked mark of 14.84 meters in the weight throw. Her shot mark came in the Husky Classic and her weight throw came in the Hampton Inn & Suites Classic.

Two other Bears are in the MPSF's shot put top 10, with senior Kelechi Anyanwu sixth (14.90 meters) and sophomore Emilee Strot ninth (14.35).

Amadi Tops Bears in Triple Jump
Freshman Charles Amadi, also a defensive back for the Cal football team, ranks eighth in the conference in the men's triple jump, with his mark of 14.58 set with a seventh-place finish at the Husky Classic.

Cal Women's Relay 4th
The Cal women's top 4x400-meter relay time of 3:43.69 ranks fourth in the MPSF. The Cal quartet of sophomore Evelyn Smith, Johnson, Pierce and Turner ran that time when it won the relay at the Husky Classic.

Ludden Leads Way in Weight Throw
Junior John Ludden has the Cal men's top weight throw, with a mark of 18.03 meters that ranks him sixth in the MPSF. Junior teammate Zak Thomas is 13th, with a mark of 16.25.

Bears Pair Ranks in Top 10 of Heptathlon
Bears junior Steven Conrad ranks sixth and senior teammate Jonas Hallgrimsson is eighth in the men's heptathlon. Conrad earned a total score of 5,259 points, while Hallgrimsson had a 4,845, at the Roger Cox Multis. Conrad finished fifth and Hallgrimsson was 11th in Albuquerque, N.M.

Shuler 9th in Pole Vault
Cal freshman Ryan Shuler's mark of 5.07 meters ranks him ninth in the MPSF in the pole vault. He reached that mark with a fifth-place finish at the Dan Dehart Invitational.

Men's 4x400 Relay 4th
The Cal men's top 4x400-meter relay has a time of 3:15.99, which ranks fourth in the MPSF entering the conference meet. The foursome of Solis, junior Jonathan Suddaby, sophomore Jake Hanson and Gadayan took fifth place with that time at the Dan DeHart Invitational.

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