Bears Add 20 Newcomers for 2009 Season

May 29, 2008

BERKELEY - California director of track and field Tony Sandoval and his staff have added 20 incoming freshmen to next year's track & field and cross country teams. Nine of those athletes will be competing this weekend at the California State Championships May 30-31 at Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif.

'We feel that this is an outstanding group of student-athletes,' Sandoval said. 'They fit in well with the philosophy at Cal both athletically and academically. They have great potential, and we're looking forward to developing their skills at Cal.'

Competing at the state meet will be distance runners Nate Beach, Brazile Clark, Crystal Esparza, Sebastian Sam and Brad Surh. Also participating will be triple jumper Amanda Hunter, thrower Kendall Morris and hurdlers Aaron Burney and Ryan Holmes.

Sam heads to the state meet in the 800 with the second-fastest time in the state at 1:53.17. The future graduate of Oak Grove High School has also earned a ranking of No. 11 in the 400 (48.00). Also entering the state meet with a ranking of No. 2 is Holmes in the 110-meter hurdles (14.05). Not far behind Holmes in the hurdles is Burney, who owns a season-best time of 14.09 and a No. 4 ranking. Surh also qualified for the state championships with a high ranking, third in the 1600 at 4:11.24. Surh is also ranked 17th in the 800 (1:54.51). Beach will compete in the 3200 at the state meet (9:15.27) and currently ranks No. 22 in that event.

On the women's side, Clark paves the way for the future Golden Bears in the 800, currently ranked No. 10 in that event, with a time of 2:11.74. Fellow distance runner Esparza will compete in the 1600 after clocking a season-best 5:09.89, coming in as the 21st seed. Hunter currently boasts a ranking of No. 4 in the triple jump at 40-9.75. Morris enters the competition with a ranking of fifth in the women's discus (147-5).

In addition to the state meet qualifiers, Sandoval has added other skilled athletes who have a lot of promise to succeed at the collegiate level. James Attarian currently holds the 13th-best time in California in the 1600 at 4:14.28. Anthony Milin is currently ranked No. 21 in the 800 at 1:54.95. Keena Kohl clocked PRs this year in the 1600 (5:06) and in the 3200 (11:03). Kohl took ninth in the 3200 at the CIF Division 1 Southern Section Finals at 11:17.03 and was named MVP. Taylor Dutch took fourth in the CIF Division 3 Southern Section finals in the 800, clocking a 2:18.69.

Deborah Maier recorded school records in the 1500 and 1600 at Ponderosa High School in Pleasanton. Her times in the 1600 (5:00.04) and the 3200 (10:52) were personal bests. Ilsza Heredy will contribute to the sprinters in 2009. This year, Heredy PRed in the 200 (24.97) and in the 100 (12.32). She won the Mission League title in the 400 in 2007 and 2008, and also in the 200 in 2008.

Also contributing on the cross country side will be Sarah Rico and Alesandra Roger. This past fall, Rico clocked a 19:03 in the 5K at the Stanford Invitational, taking sixth overall. Roger logged a personal best and school-record time of 11:22 in 3200 at Marin Academy High School in San Rafael, Calif.

Adding to the depth of the 2009 class is Daniel Brown from Loyola High School in Calabasas, Calif., Ellie Keene from Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, Calif., and Herdis Helga Arnalds who comes to Cal from Iceland. This marks the second year in a row the Bears have recruited a distance runner from that country, signing Kari Karlsson a year ago.

The current Bears have a big meet themselves this weekend. They will be competing in the NCAA West Regional held on the campus of Cal State Northridge from May 30-31.

2009 Track and Field / Cross Country Newcomers
Herdis Helga Arnalds Distance Iceland / Commercial College of IcelandJames Attarian Mid-Distance Dublin, CA / Dublin HSNate Beach Distance Lafayette, CA / Acalanes HSDaniel Brown Distance Calabasas, CA / Loyola HSAaron Burney Hurdles Roseville, CA / Granite Bay HSBrazile Clark Mid-Distance Castro Valley, CA / Bishop O'Dowd HSTaylor Dutch Distance Newport Beach, CA / Orange Lutheran HSCrystal Esperanza Distance Riverbank, CA / Fred Beyer HSIlsza Heredy Sprints, Relays Calabasas, CA / Notre Dame HSRyan Holmes Hurdles South Pasadena, CA / Loyola HSAmanda Hunter Triple Jump Inglewood, CA / Marlborough HSEllie Keene Distance Vista, CA / Rancho Buena Vista HSKeena Kohl Distance Yorba Linda, CA / Esperanza HSDeborah Maier Distance Pleasanton, CA / Ponderosa HSAnthony Milin Mid-Distance Los Angeles, CA / Loyola HSKendall Morris Discus, Shot Put Modesto, CA / Fred Beyer HSSarah Rico Distance Tracy, CA / Merril West HSAlesandra Roger Distance San Rafael, CA / Marin Academy HSSebastian Sam Mid-Distance San Jose, CA / Oak Grove HSBrad Surh Distance San Carlos, CA / Carlmont HS
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