Cal Returns to Sacramento For Sac State Nike Elite Meet

March 25, 2008

BERKELEY -

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Bears Set To Compete in Nike Elite Meet
The California track and field team returns to Sacramento for the second outdoor meet of the 2008 campaign at the Sacramento State Nike Elite meet Saturday, March 29, at Hornet Stadium. The Golden Bears competed in the Hornet Invitational last weekend and earned three regional qualifiers.
Cal ended the 2007 outdoor season with two national titles as senior Alysia Johnson won the 800-meter title and Kelechi Anyanwu brought home the NCAA title in the discus.

Three Bears regionally qualify at Hornet Invitational
Cal won four events and garnered three NCAA regional qualifiers at the Hornet Invitational last Saturday at Hornet Stadium. In addition, numerous PRs were set in the opening meet of the 2008 outdoor season.
In the women's 1500 meters, junior Mackenzie Pierce claimed first place with a personal-best, regional-qualifying time of 4:27.57. Senior Craig Kent also earned top honors while regionally qualifying. He posted a mark of 16.91m (55-5.75) in the shot put. Kent also took third in the discus with a mark of 49.76m (163-3).
Cal's other regional qualifier was sophomore Theresa Raub in the pole vault, as she posted a mark of 3.85m (12-7.50) to take third overall. Raub's mark was also a personal best.
Cal's other two first-place finishers were senior Pippa MacDonald and junior Artensia Young. Macdonald got her senior campaign off to a good start with a first-place finish in the 800 (2:12.19). Young won the triple jump with a mark of 12.14m (39-10.00).

Looking Back at the Indoor Season
The Bears earned 15 individual provisional qualifiers during the indoor season. Alysia Johnson was the only automatic qualifier. The women's 4x400 relay and the men's distance medley relay also provisionally qualified.
At the MPSF Championships, Johnson turned in an MPSF and school indoor record time of 2:03.39 to win the 800 and automatically qualify for the national championships.
Senior Thomas Mack set the school indoor record in the 60-meter hurdles twice. He took top honors with a personal-best, record-setting time of 7.94 at the Husky Classic. He would later break that record at the MPSF Championships with a time of 7.89. He won two 60-meter-hurdle races during the indoor campaign.
The women pole vaulters also had a memorable indoor season. Freshmen Cyrena Giordano and Allison Stokke each set the school freshman record. Giordano was first with her mark of 12-11.75 at the United Heritage Invitational on Feb. 1. Stokke later broke the freshman record with a mark of 13-1.00 at the MPSF Championships, which also set the school indoor record. Fellow vaulter, junior Katie Morgan set the same mark as Stokke at the conference meet. The two would later earn the same mark again at the Washington Last Chance Meet.

Johnson and Wright Compete in NCAA Indoor Championships
Alysia Johnson took third in the NCAA 800-meter final at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 15 at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. Johnson, the 2007 800-meter NCAA indoor champion, crossed the finish line with a time of 2:05.47. LSU's Latavia Thomas won the NCAA title, clocking in at 2:05.07, followed by second-place Heather Dorniden of Minnesota (2:05.45).
Johnson earned All-America honors for the sixth time in her collegiate career. She currently has two NCAA 800-meter titles, and she also won the 800-meter title at the 2007 USA Championships.
Senior Ed Wright placed seventh in the high jump, posting a mark of 7-0.25 (2.14m). Wright also earned All-America honors, the third time of his collegiate career.

Did You Know
Joey Thomas' father, Ramsay, was the first person in the state of Maryland to break 50 seconds in the 400 meters, while competing for the University of Maryland.

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.

Up Next
Cal begins its home schedule next week, hosting the Cal Multi Event from April 2-3 at Edwards Stadium. Also next weekend, the Bears will compete in the Texas Relays from April 3-5 and the Stanford Invitational from April 4-5.

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 numerous 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.
Sandoval specializes in coaching men's and women's distance events, 800 meters and above, as well as cross country. His expertise also extends to meet management, as he has a wealth of experience conducting major cross country and indoor and outdoor track invitationals. Sandoval was a member of the NCAA Track & Field Rules Committee (1981-88) that directs all three Division I championship meets.
Under his tutelage, members of the Cal women's team have earned All-America honors on 21 different occasions. Most recently, Sandoval added two more honors from two-time national champion Alysia Johnson in the 800 meters, giving her a total of five times receiving the honor. She earned the accolade both indoors and outdoors, in 2006 and 2007 following her one 800 honor in 2005. Chloe Jarvis earned indoor All-America honors in the 800m in 2005. Sandoval also added Erin Belger to the list of All-Americans, as Belger finished third in the 800m at the 2002 NCAA Championships. In cross country, Bridget Duffy earned All-America honors under Sandoval in 2003.

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