Cal Opens Outdoor Season in Arizona

March 21, 2007

BERKELEY - The California track and field team opens its 2007 outdoor season at the Jim Klick Combined Events and the Jim Klick Shootout hosted by the University of Arizona this Thursday through Saturday, March 22-24, in Tucson, Ariz.

The Golden Bears are fresh off a successful indoor season, in which they produced eight All-Americans at the recent NCAA Indoor Championships: Juniors Alysia Johnson, David Torrence, Cassandra Strickland, Ed Wright and Francis Gadayan, seniors Kevin Davis and Nestor Solis, and sophomore Inika McPherson. Also, the Cal women's team finished 15th and the Cal men tied for 19th at NCAAs.

In Tucson, the Jim Klick Combined Events take place on March 22-23, with the Shootout on March 24. The Jim Click Combined Events will get underway at 11 a.m. on March 22 10 a.m. on March 23. The Shootout field events will begin at 10 a.m., with the first track event scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

The meet will be at Roy P. Drachman Stadium. Tickets for the Jim Click Shootout are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for youth. Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the McKale ticket office (M-F, 9-5), or on the phone by calling 621-CATS.

The meet will feature some of the best college athletes in the country, as teams from Arkansas, California, Florida, Kansas State, South Carolina and Texas Tech will be competing. Arizona will be teamed with Cal to represent the Pac-10 conference, and will be going up against combined teams from the Big 12 and Southeastern conferences. Texas Tech and Kansas State will comprise the team from the Big 12, while South Carolina will be paired with the Florida men and Arkansas women to make up the Southeastern conference team.

Last Time Out:
Johnson Wins 800, Men's DMR Sets Record at NCAAs

California junior Alysia Johnson won the women's 800-meter run in an indoor school-record time of 2:03.47 on March 10 at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Center. Johnson beat Oregon's Rebekah Noble, the runner-up who last year won the 800 title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Johnson's victory helped the Cal women score 15 points and take 15th place in the final team standings. The Cal men scored 11 points to tie for 19th with Oregon and Idaho.

Cal also set a new school record in the men's distance medley relay when it ran a 9:33.77 to take second place on March 9 behind Stanford. The Bears foursome of junior David Torrence, senior Nestor Solis, sophomore Francis Gadayan and senior Kevin Davis broke the record of 9:34.99 that Cal set when it won the title at the MPSF Indoor Championships on Feb. 23.

Arizona State won the women's team championship with 38 points, LSU (33) was second and Tennessee (30) was third. Wisconsin won the men's team title with 40 points, Florida State (35) was second and Texas (34) was third.

Johnson's title is Cal's first NCAA championship since Bevan Hart won the men's decathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2000. She is also the first Cal woman and the first overall Bears indoor athlete to win a track and field NCAA championship since Sheila Hudson won the triple jump and long jump national titles in 1990.

Cal junior Ed Wright took sixth place in the men's high jump with a mark of 2.19 meters (7-2.25). Auburn's Donald Thomas won with a mark of 2.33 (7-7.75), which tied the facility record.

Bears junior Cassandra Strickland also took sixth in her event, the women's triple jump, with a mark of 13.07 meters (42-10.75). Stanford's Erica McClain won with a mark of 13.91 (45-7.75).Cal sophomore Inika McPherson took seventh place in the women's high jump with a mark of 1.83 meters (6-0), tying the season-best mark she set at the UW Last-Chance Qualifier on March 3 in Seattle, Wash. Georgia's Patty Sylvester won the women's high jump with a mark of 1.89 (6-2.25).

In Cal's final event of the NCAA Championships, Bears senior Giliat Ghebray did not finish in the final of the men's 3,000 meters. Northern Arizona's Lopez Lomong won the 3,000 in 7:47.94.Eight Bears bring home All-America honors: Johnson, Wright, Strickland, McPherson and the four member of the Cal men's distance medley relay.

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