Cal Men, No. 16 Cal Women Competes at Pac-10 Multi Events and Modesto Relays

May 1, 2007

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Event: 66th Coca-Cola Modesto RelaysDates: May 5Location: Modesto, Calif.

Event: Pac-10 Track and Field Multi Event Championships, presented by 76 GasolinesDates: May 5-6Location: Stanford, Calif.

California will send several athletes to the 66th Coca-Cola Modesto Relays on Saturday, May 5 and junior Steven Conrad will compete at the Pac-10 Track and Field Multi Event Championships, presented by 76 Gasolines on Saturday, May 5-Sunday, May 6 on the Stanford campus. The Cal women are ranked 16th in the Trackwire national top 25 poll and 16th in the USTFCCCA poll.

Nine Golden Bears will paticipate in the Modesto Relays, with freshmen Taylor Franklin and Theresa Raub kicking off the day at 10 a.m. in the women's pole vault. At noon freshman Ryan Shuler will start the men off in the pole vault. Other events Cal will participate in are, men's shot put (3:40 p.m.), women's high jump (3 p.m.), women's shot put (2 p.m.) and women's discuss throw (2:30 p.m.). Conrad will begin his qwest for a Pac-10 Multi Event title at 11:30 a.m. and continue through 5 p.m., Sunday.

Last Time Out:
Records Shatter at the California Collegiate Challenge

Not even a 50-year old record could withstand the record breaking day on Saturday at the California Collegiate Challenge. Junior David Torrence broke Don Bowden's 50-year old mile record, knocking eight hundreths of a second off Bowden's time and posting a new school record of 3:58.62. In 1957 Bowden was the first American to run a sub-four-minute mile at 3:58.70.

Also on Saturday, junior Alysia Johnson posted the best time in the country this year in the 800-meter run, establishing her own school record with a time of 2:01.48. That time broke the previous record set by Louise Romo 23 years ago.

The Golden Bears finished off Saturday with one final record setting performance, the 4 x 400 relay team of Brook Turner, Mackenzie Pierce, Evelyn Smith and Alysia Johnson set a new record of 3:35.46 in the event.

Aside from Cal's record breaking performances the meet produced seven performances currently ranked in the Top 10 in the world according to the IAAF (International Association of Athletic Federations).

Johnson's 800m time also ranks fourth worldwide in the 800m. Torrence's mile time is the fifth-best in the world. Brooks' Jeff Laynes, who finished second in the 100m (10.16) time is tenth. In the 110m hurdles Adidas' Eric Mitchum's (formerly of Oregon) time of 13.52 is ninth in the world. Houston's Ebonie Floyd's time of 22.79 is third and her time in the 400 (51.36) is fourth in the world.

One of the biggest highlight was showcased Adidas sprinter Derrick Atkins setting the best time in the world of 9.98 so far this season in the 100m. It was Atkins' first attempt this track season in the 100. This also is a new Edwards' Stadium record in the event.

In addition to Atkins' stadium record, between all of the schools -- eight individual school records were broke. Also at the meet 147 NCAA regional qualifying marks were set.

Last Time Out:
Wright Goes to New Heights at Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational

Two days after his 7-5 (2.15m) performance in the high jump at the California Collegiate Challenge, junior Ed Wright improved his personal best to 7-3 (2.21m) at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational.

Also improving her PR was sophomore Mackenzie Pierce in the 800m. Pierce was clocked at a 2:04.78. The time moves Pierce up to fifth on the Cal's Top 10 All-Time list.

Senior Giliat Ghebray set Cal's third best time in the 5000m with his time of 13:42.16 at the meet.

Conrad Regionally Qualifies in Decathlon at Cal Multis

Cal junior Steven Conrad will be the Bears lone representative in the Pac-10 Track and Field Multi Event Championships, presented by 76 Gasolines this weekend. This season Conrad reached an NCAA regional provisional-qualifying and lifetime-best score of 7,214 points en route to finishing second in the decathlon on March 29 in the Cal Multi-Events Meet at Edwards Stadium and Goldman Field. More recently, he recorded a season-best long jump of 22-9.75 and season-best javelin throw of 180-1 at the Big Meet.

National Champ Johnson Stars in 800

Cal junior Alysia Johnson has been regarded as one of the top middle-distance runners in the nation and now she is. In the California Collegiate Challenge, Johnson broke Louise Romo's 23-year old mark of 2:01.59 with her personal best time of 2:01.48. The time is the country's best in the 800m this season. Again On April 7, she set the Big-Meet record of 2:03.43 to win the 800 event at Stanford.

Cal's all-time fastest woman in the 800, Johnson shaved 32 hundredths of a second off her then-lifetime-best 2:01.80, she set last summer, in this past weekend's event. She was one of eight Bears who earned All-America honors at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships by winning the NCAA 800m Indoor title with her Cal indoor-record 2:03.47.

Johnson's 800 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 to win track and field NCAA championships since Sheila Hudson won the triple jump and long jump national titles outdoors in 1990. Johnson is likewise the first Bear to win indoor NCAA titles since Hudson won the triple jump and long jump indoors in 1990.

The Canyon Country, Calif., product is also Cal's record-holder in the indoor 400 with a time of 54.48.

Johnson became the first member of Cal track and field to capture the Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week honor sponsored by Cytosport. Johnson led the Bears to one of their top performances in recent years at the Dan DeHart Invitational Jan. 26-27 in Albuquerque, N.M.

The junior won the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.48 to set the school's indoor record. Her time was also just eight-hundredths of a second off of the NCAA regional provisional qualifying time. In addition, Johnson anchored the winning 4x400-meter relay team that logged a time of 3:44.07.

Torrence Doesn't Miss a Beat

David Torrence made his Cal track and field debut as a freshman in 2004, after starring for Cal cross country in the fall of 2003. The junior missed the next two seasons but returned for Cal cross country last fall and for Cal track and field this semester.

He hasn't missed a beat since, first collecting NCAA West Regional and second-team All-Pac-10 honors for Cal cross country coach Tony Sandoval in 2006 and then starring for Cal track and field director Chris Huffins in 2007. His biggest accomplishment this season was the shattering of Don Bowden's 50-year old mile record. This past weekend at the California Collegiate Challenge with Bowden in attendance, Torrence broke the mark with his new school record of 3:58.62. Paced by teammates senior Kevin Davis, freshman Michael Coe and sophomore Mark Matusak, Torrence was able to knock eight hundreths of a second off Bowden's time.

At the Jim Click Shootout on March 24 in Tucson, Ariz., Torrence ran an NCAA regional-qualifying time of 1:50.23 to win the 800. More recently, he showed his versatility by running a lifetime-best 8:16.63 in the 3,000 at the Big Meet and posting a regional-qualifying time in the 5,000 at the Stanford Invitational.

Torrence's 8:16.63 moved him to seventh-place on Cal's all-time top 10 list for the 3,000.

The middle-distance and distance specialist had a big impact at the NCAA Indoor Championships, leading off Cal's distance medley relay that took second place in a school-record 9:33.77. Torrence, senior Nestor Solis, sophomore Francis Gadayan and Davis combined for that record and earned All-America honors at the national meet in Fayetteville, Ark.

Anyanwu Earns Muscle Milk Award after Jim Click Shootout

Cal senior Kelechi Anyanwu threw the discus a school-record and NCAA regional-qualifying 185-11 (56.66 meters) at the Jim Click Shootout and subsequently earned Cal's Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week honor sponsored by Cytosport. Anyanwu, whose mark won the women's discus event, moved past the record of 181-02 by former Bears star Sheni Russell.

More recently, Anyanwu qualified for the NCAA West Regional in the shot put at the Big Meet with her lifetime-best 50-7.50, which moves her to fourth place on Cal's all-time top 10 list.

Ludden Reaches Qualifying Mark in Hammer

Cal's John Ludden improved his regional qualifying mark in the hammer at the California Collegiate Challenge with his third-place mark of 206-0 (62.79m). The junior also threw the hammer a regional-qualifying 195-0 to win the event at the Jim Click Shootout.

Wright, McPherson Jumping Up Cal's Charts

This past weekend at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational Cal junior Ed Wright improved his regional-qualifying mark in the high jump to 7-3 (2.21m). Wright, who stands eighth on Cal's all-time list with a 7-3, first jumped a regional qualifying mark in the event at the Big Meet when he tied for first in the men's event with a 7-0.50.

Sophomore teammate and fellow high jumper Inika McPherson hit regional-qualifying mark of 5-10.75 on her way to victory at the Big Meet. McPherson is second on Cal's all-time list in the women's high jump with a 6-0.

McPherson set Cal's indoor school record with a 6-0 that she reached twice this season, most recently when she took seventh place at NCAAs. Wright, who was sixth at NCAAs, and McPherson were among eight Bears who earned All-America honors at indoor nationals this year.

Up Next:
Bears Prep for Pac-10 Track and Field Championships, presented by 76 Gasolines

After the Pac-10 Multi Events and Modesto Relays, Cal travel across the Bay to compete in the 2007 Pac-10 Track and Field Championships, presented by 76 Gasolines, in Stanford, Calif., on May 12-13 at Cobb Track and Angell Field.