Cal to Compete at Pre-Nationals, Bronco Invitational

Oct. 12, 2009

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Saturday, Oct. 17

at Pre-Nationals
Terre Haute, Ind.
8:00 a.m.

Saturday, Oct. 17
at Bronco Invitational
Sunnyvale, Calif.
9:45 a.m.

CAL ON THE ROAD AT PRE-NATIONALS, BRONCO INVITATIONAL: The Cal cross country teams hit the road this week for a pair of meets on Saturday, Oct. 17. Much of the squad will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., for the Pre-National Invitational on the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Championship Course, while the remaining Golden Bears will race at the Bronco Invitational hosted by Santa Clara.

The Pre-National meet, hosted by Indiana State, will be run on the same course as the NCAA championships, which will be contested Nov. 23. This weekend's events will be 8,000 meters for the men and 6,000 meters for the women; at NCAAs, the distances will be 10,000 meters and 6,000 meters, respectively.

Cal will certainly have a clear understanding of where it ranks on the national level by the end of the day Saturday, with 13 of the top 20 men's teams and 14 of the top women's teams in the field. Last year, the Bear men placed eighth out 41 teams, and the Cal women were 15th out of 39 squads.

The Bronco Invitational will take place at Baylands Regional Park in Sunnyvale and gets underway with the women's 5K at 9 a.m. The men's 8K race starts at 10:30.

BEARS SECOND AT STANFORD INVITE: Running against their strongest field to date, the Golden Bear men's and women's cross country teams both placed second to Stanford at the Stanford Invitational Sept. 26. Steve Sodaro paced Cal for the second consecutive meet, finishing in 15th place, with Collin Jarvis (17th) and Maxime Chevee (18th) also in the top 20. On the women's side, Deborah Maier, running in her first race of the fall, was fourth overall, while Ellie Keene claimed the 14th position.

GOLDEN BEAR NOTES: In the most recent regional rankings, the Cal men are eighth in the West, while the Golden Bear women are sixth ... in addition to Steve Sodaro, who finished first among Cal runners at the Sac State and Stanford meets, Collin Jarvis was the lead Bear runner at the USF Invitational ... three different Cal women have led the Bears across the line this season; Keena Kohl won the USF Invitational, Hillary Hayes was fourth at Sac State, and Deborah Maier was fourth at Stanford ... the Cal men have reached the NCAA championships the past two years, finishing a program-best 16th in 2007, as well as 22nd in 2008 ... the Bears welcome two highly decorated transfers this fall in James Brewer (University of Bath in England), who was a semifinalist in the 1500 meters at the World Track & Field Championships over the summer, and Chris Vizcaino of nearby Lafayette, Calif., who helped Iona to a runner-up finish at the 2008 NCAA championships ... Brewer and Michael Coe will redshirt this fall to recover from busy summer track seasons.

HEAD COACH Tony Sandoval: Tony Sandoval is in his 18th season as head coach of the Cal men's and women's cross country teams and his 28th year overall at the university. Also in his third year as head men's and women's track & field coach, Sandoval was the head women's track & field and cross country coach at Cal from 1982-91, prior to the merger of the men's and women's programs into a single entity in 1992. Over the past two years, he has guided the Golden Bear men's cross country team to its best finishes in school history, claiming 15th place at the NCAA championship meet in 2007 and coming in 22nd place last fall. A combined eight men's and women's runners have gained All-American status under his guidance, including Yosef Ghebray, who became just the third Cal male ever to earn cross country recognition last year. Among the women who have benefited from his coaching are Magdalena Lewy, a U.S. Olympian in the marathon in 2008, and Alysia Johnson, the U.S. champion in the 800 meters in 2007. The Bear women finished 15th at the 1984 NCAA meet, then returned in 1988 to take ninth place.

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