Cross Country Prepares for Pac-10 Championships
Oct. 26, 2009
Friday, Oct. 30
Long Beach, Calif.
CAL READIES FOR PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Cal men's and women's cross country teams will travel to Long Beach, Calif., Friday for the Pac-10 championships to be held on the Sky Links Golf Course. The men's 8000-meter race will begin at 3 p.m., with the women's 6000-meter event getting underway at 4 p.m.
The Cal men have finished third the past two seasons - their highest placing at the conference meet in history. However, the Bears' top three runners from a year ago have either exhausted their eligibility or are redshirting, and Cal may be hard-pressed to repeat its results with a young group that doesn't include a senior among its ranks. Kari Karlsson, who was fourth among the Bears at '08 Pac-10s with a 31st-place finish, led Cal in the team's most recent outing, taking 51st at the Pre-Nationals meet.
The Golden Bear women were eighth last season and also have a young crew, and they are looking to move up in the standings. Sophomore Deborah Maier has had two outstanding races so far, with a fourth-place finish at the Stanford Invitational and a 13th-place standing at Pre-Nationals. She was a Cal-best 41st at last year's Pac-10s.
More detailed information on the Pac-10 championships can be found online at: http://www.pac-10.org/championships/2009-xc.html.
MAIER, KARLSSON PACE BEARS AT PRE-NATIONALS: Sophomore Deborah Maier led the Cal women to a 13th-place finish among 37 teams at the Pre-Nationals Invitational Oct. 17 in Terre Haute, Ind., as the Bears placed ahead of two ranked programs (No. 12 Baylor, No. 27 Northern Arizona). Maier was 13th out of 247 runners on a course that will also host the NCAA championships next month. The Cal men were 18th in their race and were paced by Kari Karlsson, who was 51st. Only one senior - Alison Greggor - competed for either squad, as Cal's scoring runners combined to feature two freshmen, four sophomores, three juniors and a senior between the teams.
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES: In the most recent regional rankings, the Cal men are ninth in the West, while the Golden Bear women are sixth ... Steve Sodaro (Sac State, Stanford) and Deborah Maier (Stanford, Pre-NCAAs) are the only Cal runners to have led the Bears in more than one race this fall ... Cal sent a contingent of runners who did not travel to Pre-Nationals to the Bronco Invitational Oct. 17; the men were sixth of 17 teams and the women placed eighth out of 15 ... the Bears posted top-three team finishes in each of their first three races this season, including a victory by the men at the opening USF Invitational ... Keena Kohl claimed individual honors in the women's race at the USF Invite ... newcomer James Brewer, who was a semifinalist in the 1500 meters at the World Championships while competing for his native England over the summer, and senior Michael Coe, Cal's record-holder in the mile, are both redshirting this year.
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.