Cal Begins 2007 at San Francisco Invitational

Aug. 28, 2007

Berkeley -

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CAL OPENS SEASON AT USF INVITATIONAL: California begins the 2007 season at the 15th-annual San Francisco Invitational Saturday, Sept. 1, at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The women's 5K race starts at 9:15 a.m., followed by the men's 8K event at 10 a.m. The course, which begins and ends at Speedway Meadow, is composed primarily of grass and dirt trails with gradual uphill and downhill slopes. Last year, the Cal women took top honors in the event and had two runners finish in the Top 5. Bridget Duffy led the Cal women in second place (17:43), and Rebecca Yau came in right behind Duffy in third, clocking in at 17:51. The men's team took third and had two runners place in the top 10. Eric Lee took fifth (26:33.60) and Matt Miller finished in eighth (26:48.50).

MATUSAK, TORRENCE PACE CAL MEN: Senior David Torrence (Tarzana, Calif.) and Mark Matusak (Torrance, Calif.), the 2005 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year, are likely Cal's one-two punch again this year. Torrence represented Cal in the 2006 NCAA Championships and earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors and All-West Region honors. Matusak was the top freshman at the 2005 Pac-10 meet, placing 17th (24:56). Matusak, who did not compete in last year's USF Invitational, notched two top-25 finishes in 2006. Torrence and Matusak finished first and second, respectively, among Cal runners for each race they both competed in last season.

OTHERS TO WATCH FOR CAL MEN: Senior Chris Chavez (Culver City, Calif.) and junior Yosef Ghebray (Union City, Calif.) are top returners from last season. Sophomore Michael Coe, the runner-up at the 2005 Footlocker Nationals and a state cross country champion, and sophomore Steve Sodaro (Tiburon, Calif.), who led Cal in last year's Aggie Open, could be factors.

YAU LEADS BEAR WOMEN: Senior Rebecca Yau (Orinda, Calif.) is expected to lead the Cal women this season. Yau paced the Bears in all but one competition last season. She led the team at the NCAA West Regional with a 33rd-place (22:24.69) showing. Beginning with her second-place finish in the Aggie Open, Yau paced Cal in every race for the rest of the season.

OTHERS TO WATCH FOR CAL WOMEN: Top contenders for top five spots include sophomore Alison Greggor (Novato, Calif.), juniors Mackenzie Pierce (Pffaftown, N.C.) and Rebecca Palm (Campbell, Calif.), senior Pippa Macdonald (Kailua, H.I.), sophomore Gabriella Rios-Sotelo (Berkeley, Calif.) and redshirt freshman Rowena Tam (San Diego, Calif.). The newcomers may crack the rotation, as well: Taylor Brayson (Costa Mesa, Calif.), MayC Huang (San Jose, Calif.) and Chelsea Reilly (Davis, Calif.).

2006 IN REVIEW: David Torrence and Rebecca Yau led the way for Cal a year ago. The Bears' men's team finished 10th in the NCAA West Regional behind a 13th-place showing (30:34.99) from Torrence, who qualified for the NCAA Championships. At the national meet, Torrence took 92nd place (32:31.2). The Cal women's team finished 18th at the NCAA regional. Yau placed 13th at the Stanford Invitational to lead all Cal harriers and turned in two top-5 showings in 2006.

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