Bears Open Season at USF Invitational

Aug. 25, 2008

BERKELEY -

This Week
California begins the 2008 season at the 16th-annual San Francisco Invitational Saturday, Aug. 30, 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. Last year, the Cal men and women both took second in their respective races. Chelsea Reilly led the Cal women in second place (18:13), and Rebecca Yau followed Reilly in fourth, clocking in at 18:23. The men's team had three runners place in the top 10. John Cheng took fourth (26:21), Austin Jett crossed the finish line in eighth (26:31) and Patrick Lynch finished in 10th (26:32).

Ghebray, Matusak Lead Cal Men
The veteran leaders for the Bears' men's team this season will be seniors Yosef Ghebray and Mark Matusak. In 2007, Ghebray and Matusak were selected NCAA All-West Region and All-Pac-10. Ghebray, who paced the Bears at the Pac-10 Championships (7th, 23:14) and the NCAA West Regional (8th, 30:14), made the all-conference first team while Matusak was named to the second team. Matusak crossed the finish line in the top 15 three times last season, including an eighth-place showing at the Pac-10 Championships in which he also earned his best time of the year (23:16).

Others To Watch For Cal Men
Two other strong runners for Cal this year will be junior Michael Coe and sophomore Kari Karlsson. Coe turned in three top-20 finishes last year, including a 16th-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. Karlsson debuted for the Bears at the Pre-NCAA meet and should be a solid contributor in 2008.

Tam and Greggor Lead Cal Women
Head Coach Tony Sandoval looks toward sophomore Rowena Tam and junior Alison Greggor to pave the way for the Cal women in 2008. Last year, Tam was a regional qualifier during the 2008 track and field season, and Sandoval is hoping she can carry that momentum into the cross country campaign. In cross country, she clocked a time of 21:43 at the 2007 Pac-10 Championships. Sandoval also sees Greggor as somebody who is ready to have a breakout campaign. Greggor was the top 5000-meter runner in 2008 in track and field for Cal and that should translate into an outstanding cross country season.

2007 in Review
Led by the core group of David Torrence and Yosef Ghebray and Mark Matusak, the Cal men's team had its best season in the history of the program in 2007. The Bears participated as a team at the NCAA Championships for the first time in school history. They also reached their highest national ranking of eighth over the course of the campaign.
Rebecca Yau and Chelsea Reilly led the Cal women's cross country team to a strong season in 2007. The two runners led the Bears in five of their six races. Reilly paced Cal at the Pac-10 Championships and the NCAA West Regional. She took 28th at the Pac-10 Championships (21:02).

Next Time
Cal has next week off before it heads east to Sacramento for the Sacramento State Jamboree at Granite Regional Park on Saturday, Sept. 13.

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