Cal Gets Set for MPSF Championships

Feb. 26, 2008

BERKELEY -

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Bears Look for Good Results at Conference Meet
The California track and field team continues the 2008 indoor season at the MPSF Championships, Feb. 29-March 1 at the Dempsey Indoor Track Facility in Seattle, Wash. The meet is hosted by the University of Washington. The action kicks off at 10 a.m.
A schedule with the start times for each event on both days can be found here
The Golden Bears head to the conference meet with seven provisional qualifiers for the NCAA Indoor Championships. The seven athletes are Alysia Johnson (800), Ed Wright (high jump), Donny Appanaitis (pole vault), Cyrena Giordano (pole vault), Mark Matusak (mile), Michael Coe (mile) and Yosef Ghebray (3000).

Alysia Johnson Blog
Follow the 2008 track season through the words of Cal's double NCAA champion and five-time All-American Alysia Johnson on www. CalBears.com. Follow Johnson during the campaign as she discusses competing as a defending national champion through each of her competitions during the 2008 season.

Cal's Lineup
Interim Track and Field Director Tony Sandoval will bring his top athletes to the MPSF championships. Among the Bears competing are seniors Alysia Johnson (800 meters) and Ed Wright (high jump), both 2007 All-Americans. Johnson will also compete in the 4x400 meter relay.
Also in the lineup are senior Thomas Mack (60-meter hurdles) who will try to beat his indoor school record and personal-best time of 7.94 that he earned at the Husky Classic. Freshman Cherrelle Garrett (60 meters, 200 meters), who dominated in the first two meets in Nampa, Idaho, will run the 60 and 200 meters.

Scouting the Opposition
Cal will face some stiff competition at the MPSF championships. The top-ranked Arizona State men will also be in Seattle. The Sun Devil men are one of two top-10 teams in the championships, along with No. 10 Oregon. Stanford and UCLA are also in the USTFCCCA Top 25 at 17 and 25, respectively.
On the women's side, ASU is near the top in that national poll as well, coming in at No. 2. The Cardinal is right behind the Sun Devils at No. 3. Washington comes in ranked 16th and Arizona and Oregon also cracked the top 20 at No. 19 and No. 20, respectively.

Magnificent Matusak
Mark Matusak has already been having a tremendous indoor season. The native of Torrance, Calif., has already set new PRs in both the 800 and the mile. He also provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships when he PRed in the mile (4:03.15) at the Husky Classic. He set a new personal best in the 800 at the United Heritage Invitational with a time of 1:52.28.

Last Time Out at the Husky Classic
Five Bears provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships at the Husky Classic two weeks ago, including Alysia Johnson and Ed Wright. Johnson placed third in the 800 meters with a time of 2:08.70. Wright, the 2007 Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional champion, claimed second in the high jump when he tied his personal best with a mark of 7-3.25 (2.22m).
In the mile, Mark Matusak and Michael Coe each reached new personal bests along with provisionally qualifying for the indoor national championships. Matusak clocked in at 4:03.15 to take 12th, while Coe finished right behind him in 13th at 4:03.43. Their fellow distance runner, Yosef Ghebray, hit a new PR in the 3000, the event in which he provisionally qualified for the indoor national championships, crossing the finish line at 8:04.15.
Thomas Mack was the only Bear to win an event at the Classic. He set the school indoor record for the 60-meter hurdles when he took top honors with a time of 7.94.

Last Year's MPSF Championships
In last year's conference meet, the Cal women took third with 79 points, while the Cal men came in sixth with 64 points.
Highlighting the championships was Ed Wright's victory in the high jump, claiming top honors with an NCAA provisional qualifying and then-lifetime-best mark of 2.20 meters (7-02.50).
Alysia Johnson ran a provisional qualifying time of 2:05.63 to take second in the 800. Johnson also ran in the women's 4x400-meter relay along with Evelyn Smith, Brook Turner and Mackenzie Pierce, which ran a provisional qualifying time and Cal indoor record of 3:37.64 to take third.
California won the distance-medley relay in a meet-record time of 9:34.99. The relay consisted of Giliat Ghebray, senior Nestor Solis, junior Francis Gadayan and senior Kevin Davis.

Did You Know
Cal junior distance runner Sean Carey's father, Van, is a professor of mechanical engineering at Cal. Carey, a native of Albany, Calif., is an interdisciplinary studies major.

Up Next
Cal returns to Washington next week for the Last Chance meet March 8. It's the last of three indoor competitions in Seattle, and also the final tune up before the NCAA Indoor Championships March 14-16.

Interim Director of Track and Field Tony Sandoval
Tony Sandoval, a familiar name in San Francisco Bay Area track and field circles, continues his 26th year of association with the California track and field program and his first as the interim Director of Track and Field, after serving the past 17 seasons as the associate director of track and field. Sandoval previously served 10 years as Cal's head women's coach prior to the merger of the men's and women's programs into a single entity.

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