Cal Sends Johnson, Wright to NCAA Indoor Championships
March 11, 2008
Bears Head to NCAA Indoor Championships
Seniors Alysia Johnson and Ed Wright will represent California at the NCAA Indoor Championships March 14-15 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Johnson will run in the preliminaries of the 800 meters on the first day at 2:45 p.m. (PT). The 800-meter finals will be the next day at 4:45 p.m. (PT). Wright will compete in the high jump also on the second day at 2:45 p.m. (PT).
A schedule with the start times and live updates for the NCAA Indoor Championships can be found here
The Golden Bears earned 15 individual provisional qualifiers during the indoor season. Johnson was the only automatic qualifier. The women's 4x400 relay and the men's distance medley relay also provisionally qualified.
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.
Interim Track and Field Director Tony Sandoval will bring two of his finest athletes to the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend - Alysia Johnson and Ed Wright.
Johnson kicked off the 2008 indoor season at the Husky Classic. In Seattle, she placed third in the 800 meters with a time of 2:08.70. The 2007 NCAA indoor and outdoor 800-meter champion won her heat but two runners in different heats finished with a better time. The race was just a warmup for what was in store for the MPSF championships. At the conference meet, Johnson set an MPSF record and the school-indoor record when she won the 800-meter title with an NCAA automatic-qualifying time of 2:03.39. Johnson enters the national championships with the second-best time in the nation, just two one-hundredths of a second behind Michigan's Geena Gall (2:03.37).
Wright also began the campaign at the Husky Classic. The 2007 Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional champion provisionally qualified for the national championships when he tied his career-best mark of 7-3.25 (2.22m) to take second. At the MPSF championships, Wright took top honors in the high jump with a mark of 7-3.00 (2.21m). Wright's provisional-qualifying mark from the Husky Classic put him into the NCAA championships, with his 7-3.25 mark tied for third in the nation.
Bears Compete at Last Chance Meets
Cal had five athletes compete last weekend in two Last Chance meets. In the Arkansas Last Chance Qualifer, senior Thomas Mack ran in the 60-meter hurdles and freshman Cherrelle Garrett participated in the 60-meter dash. Although Mack didn't beat his personal-best time in the hurdles, he did beat USC's Kai Kelly en route to claiming top honors for the second time this season. Mack posted a time of 7.93. His personal best is an indoor school record and a provisional-qualifying time of 7.89.
In the Washington Last Chance Meet, junior Inika McPherson competed in the high jump, while junior Katie Morgan and freshman Allison Stokke took flight in the pole vault. Morgan and Stokke each posted the same mark of 13-1.00 (3.99m) for the second consecutive week. Stokke set the mark the first time as the new Cal freshman record and the mark was also a school indoor record for Morgan and Stokke. The mark also put Morgan and Stokke second on Cal's all-time chart for pole vault.
Last Year's NCAA Championships
Highlighting last year's indoor national championships, Alysia Johnson won the women's 800-meter run in an indoor school-record time of 2:03.47. Also in the men's high jump, Ed Wright took sixth with a mark of 2.19 meters (7-2.25). In all, eight Bears brought home All-America honors: Johnson, Wright, Cassandra Strickland (triple jump), Inika McPherson (high jump), and the Cal men's distance medley relay - David Torrence, Nestor Solis, Francis Gadayan and Kevin Davis. The Cal women finished in 15th as a team, while the men tied for 19th.
Did You Know
One of Ed Wright's goals in 2008 is to break the all-time Cal record in the high jump, which was set by his old high school coach, Jeff Rogers. While Rogers was at Cal, he was coached by Wright's current Cal coach, Ed Miller.
The indoor national championships conclude the indoor season for Cal. The Bears have next week off before traveling to Sacramento to open the 2008 outdoor season at the Hornet Invitational Saturday, March 29.
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.