No. 20 Cal Prepares for NCAA West Regional
Nov. 10, 2008
The California cross country team returns to the national scene this week, competing in the NCAA West Regional on Saturday, Nov. 15, at Stanford. The first race will be the women's 6,000-meter race at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the men's 10,000-meter race at noon. The Golden Bear men look to capitalize on their success of a second-straight third-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships two weeks ago.
The top two teams in each race qualify automatically for the NCAA Championships, along with the top four individuals not on qualifying teams. In addition, teams around the country are competing for 13 at-large berths, which will be awarded based on a season-long points system developed by the NCAA, with priority toward top regional placers. Historically, the West Region has received several at-large bids.
In the Rankings
The Cal men are currently ranked No. 20 in the nation and No. 5 in the West region, while the Cal women are ranked No. 12 in the West region.
Last Time Out
The then-No. 24 Cal men's team tied for third with then-No. 24 Washington with 104 points on Oct. 31 at the Pac-10 Championships, held at the Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Ore. Seniors Yosef Ghebray and Mark Matusak led the Bears as each finished in the top 15. The Cal women finished eighth with 209 points.
Ghebray paced the Bears, placing sixth at 23:43., while Matusak took 14th, touring the course in 23:56. The other top Cal runner was junior Michael Coe, who finished in 21st at 24:22.
Freshman Debra Maier led the Cal women by placing 41st in a time of 21:25. Junior Gabriela Rios-Sotelo didn't finish far behind Maier, taking 43rd overall.
The Bears' Lineup
Cal's lineup at the Pac-10 Championships meet for the women's race features Alison Greggor, Debra Maier, Rowena Tam, Keena Kohl, Gabriela Rios-Sotelo, Michelle Davis and Rebecca Palm. The runners for the Bears' men's team are Mark Matusak, Yosef Ghebray, Kari Karlsson, Michael Coe, Matt Kelley Miller, Maxime Chevee and Steve Sodaro.
Last Year's NCAA West Regional
Three runners from Cal's men's cross country team finished in the top 15, as the Golden Bears placed fourth overall with 112 points at the 2007 NCAA West Regional. The fourth-place showing tied for the best finish in school history. The Bears' women's team took 9th with 328 points.
The three runners to finish in the top 15 were David Torrence and Mark Matusak and Yosef Ghebray. Ghebray paced the Bears in eighth, touring the course in 30:14.55. Torrence finished right behind Ghebray in ninth at 30:19.00. Matusak took 11th with a time of 30:22.95. Chelsea Reilly led all Cal women's runners with a 44th-place showing, clocking in at 21:32.80 on the 6K course.
If things go well this weekend for Cal, it will next be running in the NCAA Championships on Monday, Nov. 24, in Terre Haute, Ind. Last season, the Cal men ran in the national championships for the first time as a team.