Cal Sends Record 9 Bears to NCAA Indoor Championships

March 6, 2007

BERKELEY - California will send nine Golden Bears, its largest contingent ever, to the NCAA Indoor Championships this Friday through Saturday, March 9-10, in Fayetteville, Ark. Chris Huffins, Cal's Director of Track and Field, will take junior Alysia Johnson (women's 800 meters), senior Giliat Ghebray (men's 3000 meters), junior Cassandra Strickland (women's triple jump), junior Ed Wright (men's high jump), sophomore Inika McPherson (women's high jump) and Cal's men's distance medley relay to nationals.

The foursome of Ghebray, senior Nestor Solis, sophomore Francis Gadayan and senior Kevin Davis qualified the Bears for NCAAs in the DMR, though Cal will substitute junior David Torrence for Ghebray in the race in Arkansas. Ghebray had actually filled in for Torrence when the Bears ran their qualifying time, of 9:34.99, at the MPSF Indoor Championships.

Johnson is returning for her second straight NCAA Indoor Championships, having taken third place in the 800 meters last season.

Last Time Out:McPherson Stars at UW Last-Chance Qualifier
Inika McPherson won the women's high jump with an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark and Cal indoor school record on March 3 at the UW Last-Chance Qualifier at Dempsey Indoor. The sophomore recorded a jump of 1.83 meters (6-0), just off the automatic qualifying mark of 1.84 meters. In the end, it qualified McPherson for the national championships.McPherson's mark also ties the nation's 13th-best women's indoor high jump this season and is just three quarters of an inch from Cal's all-time record (6-0.75), set outdoors by Beth Vidakovits in 1989. McPherson's 1.83 jump is also a lifetime-best mark.Cal senior Kelechi Anyanwu won the women's shot put, with a throw of 14.77 meters (48-5.5), and sophomore teammate Missy Faubus was third with her throw of 14.57 (48-4.75). Both missed the provisional qualifying mark of 15.20 meters.Bears freshman Ryan Shuler reached a height of 4.83 meters (15-10) to tie for 10th in the men's pole vault, but he fell short of the 5.20-meter provisional mark.

Women 3rd, Men 6th at MPSF Indoor Championships
The Bears are coming off the 2007 MPSF Indoor Championships in Seattle, where the Cal women took third place and the Cal men took sixth place. The Cal men's distance medley relay made history, winning its race in a school-record time of 9:34.99 at Dempsey Indoor.

The Golden Bears foursome of senior Giliat Ghebray, senior Nestor Solis, junior Francis Gadayan and senior Kevin Davis, who broke the meet record of 9:38.87 set by Stanford last year, also ran an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying time in the relay. They were .99 of a second from clocking an automatic NCAA qualifying time.

The 9:34.99 is an overall Cal school record, both indoors and outdoors.Cal junior Ed Wright had an NCAA Championships provisional qualifying and lifetime-best mark of 2.20 meters (7-02.50) to win the high jump. Wright's mark tied the Cal indoor record set by Teak Wilburn in 2004 and moves Wright to eight place on Cal's all-time men's high jump list.Junior teammate Alysia Johnson ran a provisional qualifying time of 2:05.63 to take second in the 800. Johnson had already automatically qualified for the NCAAs in the 800 at the Husky Classic, an earlier meet in Seattle.

Also on the men's side, Cal senior Giliat Ghebray also ran a provisional qualifying time, taking third place in the 3000 meters with a lifetime-best 7:56.51. Ghebray's brother, Yosef, a freshman for the Bears, ran a lifetime-best and Cal freshman-record 8:05.25 to take ninth in the 3000. Yosef Ghebray's time also moves him up to third place on Cal's all-time list.

Cal junior Cassandra Strickland took second in the women's triple jump with a provisional qualifying mark of 12.98 meters (42-07). Also, in the women's 4x400-meter relay, the Bears quartet of sophomore Evelyn Smith, junior Brook Turner, sophomore Mackenzie Pierce, and Johnson ran a provisional qualifying time and Cal indoor record of 3:37.64 to take third. That time moves the Cal relay to fourth on the all-time list.

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