Cal Looks For Strong Showing at Pac-10 Championships

Oct. 28, 2008

BERKELEY -

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This Week
The California cross country team hopes for its best performance of the season this week, as it will participate in the Pac-10 Championships on Friday, Oct. 31, at 2:25 p.m. in Springfield, Ore. The Golden Bears will be facing some stiff competition as four other teams in the Pac-10 are currently ranked in the USTFCCCA top-25 poll.

In the Rankings
The Cal men are currently ranked No. 24 in the nation and No. 6 in the West region, while the Cal women are ranked No. 11 in the West region.

Last Time Out
The Bears competed in two races two weeks ago - the Pre-NCAA meet and the Bronco Invitational, hosted by Santa Clara. The Cal men placed eighth in both races, while the women came in 15th in the Pre-NCAA meet, but didn't have enough runners participating to place as a team at the Bronco Invitational.
At the Pre-NCAA meet, senior Mark Matusak paced the Bears, taking 16th place with a time of 24:00. For the women, sophomore Rowena Tam led the Bears by placing 63rd in a time of 21:33.
At the Bronco Invitational, freshman Nate Beach finished first among Cal runners with his 16th-place finish, touring the course in 25:12. Fellow freshman Maxime Chevee also posted a top-25 placing, coming in 23rd at 25:26. Freshman Michelle Davis paced the Cal women, recording a time of 18:24 and coming in 40th place. Freshman Taylor Dutch didn't finish too far behind Davis at 43rd overall with a time of 18:29.

The Bears' Lineup
Cal's lineup at the Pac-10 Championships meet for the women's race features Alison Greggor, Debra Maier, Crystal Esparza, Rowena Tam, Keena Kohl, Gabriela Rios-Sotelo, Taylor Dutch, Michelle Davis, Herdis Arnalds and Rebecca Palm. The runners for the Bears' men's team are Mark Matusak, Yosef Ghebray, Kari Karlsson, Michael Coe, Matt Kelley Miller, Matt Hansdavid Miller, Nate Beach, Eric Lee, Maxime Chevee and Steve Sodaro.

The Competition
Four Pac-10 teams are in the top 25, owning the top two spots for the men and women. Oregon is No. 1 for the men and No. 2 for the women, while Washington is No. 1 for the women and Stanford is No. 2 for the men. The Washington men are ranked No. 24 with Cal, and the Stanford women come in at No. 18. UCLA is 13th for the men and Arizona State is No. 15 for the women.

Last Year's Pac-10 Championships
The Cal men came in third at last year's conference meet, while the women took ninth. Yosef Ghebray paced the Bears, placing seventh at 23:14. After Ghebray, the other top-10 Cal runners were Mark Matusak and David Torrence. Matusak took eighth, touring the course in 23:16, while Torrence finished right behind Matusak in ninth at 23:17. Michael Coe crossed the finish line at 23:28 (16th). Chelsea Reilly led the Bears by placing 28th in a time of 21:02.

Next Time
Cal has a week off as it will prepare for the NCAA West Regional on Nov. 15. The national regional will take place at Stanford. Following the West Regional, Cal hopes to qualify for the NCAA Championships on Monday, Nov. 24, in Terre Haute, Ind.

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