Cal Heads to Oregon for NCAA West Regional

May 21, 2007

BERKELEY - California sends 32 Golden Bears, including Pac-10 champions Alysia Johnson and Ed Wright, to the NCAA West Regional Championships this Friday and Saturday at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on the campus of the University of Oregon. The Bears will vie with athletes from the states of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington for spots in the NCAA Outdoor Championships, which will be held June 6-9 at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex in Sacramento.

The Cal women are currently ranked 14th in the USTFCCCA national poll and 15th by Trackwire. At last season's NCAA West Regional, the Cal women finished sixth and the Cal men placed 14th.

A Quick Look at California
Cal is having one of its strongest seasons in recent years, based on its indoor performances as well as its achievements in the outdoor season. Bears junior Alysia Johnson, the 2007 NCAA indoor champion in the women's 800-meter run, is the favorite to win the 800 at the NCAA West Regional and the NCAA Championships. Johnson took third place in the 800 at last year's outdoor championships.

The Bears are particularly strong in the middle distances and distances as well as in the throws, with sophomore Emilee Strot (discus), senior Kevin Davis (3,000-meter steeplechase), senior Carrie Johnson (hammer), junior David Torrence (1,500), senior Kelechi Anyanwu (discus) and senior Giliat Ghebray (5,000) expected to stand out in the postseason. Ghebray, Carrie Johnson and Strot competed at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships, with Ghebray earning All-America honors in the 5,000.

Other Bears who should do well at the regional include high jumpers Ed Wright, a junior, and Inika McPherson, a sophomore. Wright won the men's event at the recent Pac-10 Championships, McPherson, meanwhile, collected All-America recognition and a seventh-place finish at this year's NCAA Indoor Championships with a season-best jump of 6-0 (1.83 meters).

A Glance at the NCAA West Regional at Hayward Field
The University of Oregon will host the NCAA West Regional Championships on Friday and Saturday, May 25-26, at Hayward Field. Oregon's fabled track and field-only facility is named for the first of several legendary coaches, Bill Hayward, who guided the University of Oregon's men's team from 1904-1947. The stadium's current capacity is 10,500. The 400-meter track consists of eight 48-inch lanes with 85-meter straightaways and 115-meter curves. The track was resurfaced in 2000 by APS.

Hayward Field was initially constructed for football in 1919. Two years later, a six-lane cinder track was installed and a full schedule of track events were transferred from Kincaid Field on the opposite edge of campus. The facility was utilized for both sports until the opening of Autzen Stadium in 1967.

Bears at the Regional
Chris Huffins, Cal's director of track and field, will bring the following 32 Bears to Eugene for the NCAA West Regional:

Men
Michael Coe, freshman, 1,500-meter run
Kevin Davis, senior, 3,000-meter steeplechase
Francis Gadayan, sophomore, 800-meter run
Craig Gallimore, junior, 110-meter hurdles
Giliat Ghebray, senior, 5,000-meter run
Yosef Ghebray, freshman, 5,000-meter run
Jonas Hallgrimsson, senior, javelin
Jake Hanson, sophomore, 400-meter hurdles
Craig Kent, junior, discus
John Ludden, junior, hammer, discus
Thomas Mack, junior, 110-meter hurdles
Mark Matusak, sophomore, 1,500-meter run
Matthew Miller, sophomore, 3,000-meter steeplechase
Jordan Paul, sophomore, 110-meter hurdles
Kurt Seefeld, senior, discus
Ryan Shuler, freshman, pole vault
Steve Sodaro, freshman, 3,000-meter steeplechase
David Torrence, junior, 1,500-meter run
Ed Wright, junior, high jump

Women
Kelechi Anyanwu, senior, discus, shot put
Kandi Bonty, sophomore, 4x400-meter relay
Kimyon Broom, freshman, 100-meter hurdles
Missy Faubus, sophomore, discus, shot put
Alysia Johnson, junior, 800-meter run, 4x400-meter relay
Carrie Johnson, senior, hammer
Inika McPherson, sophomore, high jump
Mackenzie Pierce, sophomore, 800-meter run, 4x400-meter relay
Evelyn Smith, sophomore, 400-meter hurdles, 4x400-meter relay
Emilee Strot, sophomore, discus, shot put
Cassandra Strickland, junior, triple jump
Brook Turner, junior, 400-meter run, 4x400-meter relay
Artensia Young, sophomore, triple jump, 4x400-meter relay

Up Next:NCAA Championships
The NCAA Outdoor Championships, slated for June 6-9 at the Alex G. Spanos Sports Complex in Sacramento, Calif., are next up for the Bears who qualify for nationals at the NCAA West Regional.

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