Cal Sends 6 to NCAA Indoor Championships

March 8, 2010

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THIS WEEK IN CAL TRACK & FIELD: California will send a contingent of six athletes to Fayetteville, Ark., for the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships Friday and Saturday at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus.

Mike Morrison (heptathlon), Deborah Maier (5000 meters) and Michael Coe (3000 meters) all automatically qualified for the meet, while Mark Matusak (3000 meters) and the men's distance medley relay of Matusak, Tom Blocker, Sebastian Sam and Coe earned berths after provisionally qualifying earlier in the season.

Last year, the Cal men placed 12th with 18.5 points and the Golden Bear women were 41st with five points. Coe was the '09 national runner-up in the 3000 after running 7:54.42, and the distance medley relay was third in 9:39.39.

This season, Coe set a school record in the 3000 with a time of 7:52.14 at the Husky Classic. Matusak later claimed the MPSF indoor title in the 3000 (7:59.67) and ran a season-best 7:55.63 in the event at the UW Invitational Jan. 30.

Morrison, who placed third in the NCAA heptathlon as a sophomore in 2008 while competing for Florida (PR 5,792 points), captured the MPSF crown two weeks ago with 5,655 points. His top performance of this year came Jan. 29-30 when he posted a score of 5,710.

Three-fourths of the DMR from 2009 is back in the form of Matusak, Sam and Coe, with freshman Tom Blocker providing the one new face (replacing the graduated Jake Hanson). The quartet was fourth at the MPSF meet in 9:32.11.

Maier has set a pair of Cal records this season with a time of 9:20.05 in the 3000 and 15:58.49 in the 5000. Her 3000 performance came during her victory in the event at the MPSF championships.

2010 NCAA Indoor Championships ScheduleFriday, March 1210:00 a.m.   Heptathlon 60m           Mike Morrison             Heptathlon long jump     Mike Morrison             Heptathlon shot put      Mike Morrison             Heptathlon high jump     Mike Morrison8:20 p.m.    Women's 3000m            Deborah Maier9:05 p.m.    Men's DMR                Matusak/Blocker/Sam/Coe

Saturday, March 1311:00 a.m. Heptathlon 60m hurdles Mike Morrison Heptathlon pole vault Mike Morrison Heptathlon 1000m Mike Morrison7:55 p.m. Men's 3000m Michael Coe, Mark MatusakAll times Central Time

CAL MEN RANKED 16TH IN POLL: Based on its performance at the MPSF indoor championships, the Cal men jumped eight spots to 16th in the March 2 poll, and the Bears held onto the spot in the final regular-season ratings released March 8. Cal, which has maintained a position in the Top 25 all year, was also ranked 16th in the Feb. 2 poll.

Cal's Men's Indoor RankingsPreseason          20      Week 4 (Feb. 16)   22Week 1 (Jan. 26)   22      Week 5 (Feb. 23)   24Week 2 (Feb. 2)    16      Week 6 (March 2)   16Week 3 (Feb. 9)    16      Week 7 (March 8)   16Source: USTFCCCA

MPSF CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP: The Golden Bears captured four individual titles at the MPSF Indoor Championships Feb. 26-27 in Seattle, Wash. The Cal men claimed third place in the team competition, with the Cal women finishing in the fifth position.

Deborah Maier took home the crown in the women's 3000 meters, finishing in 9:20.05, a time that not only set a school indoor record, but also was more than a second lower than the Bears' outdoor mark in the event. Even more noteworthy was the fact that Maier fell midway through the race yet recovered to out-kick her opposition.

The Cal men produced three individual winners - Mark Matusak in the 3000 (7:59.67), Patrick Kowalsky in the shot put (59-0.75) and Mike Morrison in the heptathlon (5,655).

THE MAIER OF BERKELEY: Sophomore Deborah Maier's breakout 2009-10 year began well before the indoor track season got underway in January. During the fall, she became the first Golden Bear woman ever named first-team All-Pac-10 after finishing sixth at the conference meet. Maier also claimed all-region status based on her 14th-place finish at the NCAA regional meet, and she was selected to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team March 1.

Now on the track, Maier has not let off the pedal. She set a Cal indoor record in the 5000 meters at the Husky Classic Feb. 12, clocking an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 15:58.49, more than 30 seconds faster than the previous mark of 16:30.56 set by Alison Greggor last season. Overall, her time was the second-lowest 5000 ever - indoors or outdoors - for a Cal runner. Only Kirsten O'Hara's 15:46.8 set at the 1985 NCAA outdoor championships is better.

Then at the MPSF indoor meet Feb. 27, Maier's 3000-meter time of 9:20.05 bettered both the existing Cal indoor and outdoor records. The old indoor mark of 9:36.26 was set by Greggor in 2009, while the Bears' outdoor best is 9:21.42 by Marilyn Davis in 1986.

In addition, Maier anchored Cal's distance medley relay that set a school record with a time of 11:19.93.

MATUSAK RUNS 3:58 MILE AT HUSKY CLASSIC: A day after Maier set her 5000 record, Mark Matusak came through with his own Cal mark, covering the mile in 3:58.36 at the Husky Classic Feb. 13. The time established a Cal indoor record, eclipsing Michael Coe's 4:00.29 from 2009, and was an NCAA automatic qualifier.

Matusak, who captured the 3000 meters at the MPSF championships, becomes the fifth Golden Bear to break four minutes in the mile indoors or outdoors, and his time was the second fastest for a Cal runner under any circumstances, passed only by Coe's 3:56.18 outdoor mile last year. Other Bears to run a sub-4-minute mile outdoors are David Torrence (3:58.62, 2007), Don Bowden (3:58.7, 1957) and Andy Clifford (3:59.59, 1979).

COE CRUISING ALONG: Junior Michael Coe, who earned MSPF Male Athlete of the Year in 2009 after winning the mile and helping Cal's distance medley relay to a conference title, has continued his pace in 2010. In his first outing of the season, Coe posted an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 7:52.14 in the 3000 meters at the Husky Classic - second only to the record 7:48.05 he ran at the Husky Classic on Feb. 14, 2009. After his outstanding '09 MPSF meet, he went on to place second at the NCAA championships in the 3000 (7:54.42).

Coe was an active participant at the 2010 MPSF meet Feb. 26-27, taking fourth in the mile (4:02.86) and third in the 3000 (8:01.23) on Feb. 27, one day after helping the Bears to an NCAA provisional time in the DMR (9:32.11).

MORRISON MAKING MARK AT CAL: Junior Mike Morrison, who transferred to Cal from Florida, has quickly established his name in the Golden Bear record books. In his first attempt at the heptathlon wearing Blue & Gold, Morrison finished with a school-record 5,710 points at the UW Invitational Jan. 29-30 in Seattle, breaking the mark of 5,437 set by Jonas Hallgrimsson in 2004. He then went on to capture the MPSF title with 5,655 points. While at Florida, Morrison was the 2007 indoor and outdoor SEC Freshman of the Year, and he placed third in the heptathlon at the '08 NCAA indoor championships (PR 5,792).

Morrison's Event Bests for 201060m             7.071000m        2:46.6360m hurdles     8.35High Jump     6-4.75 (1.95m)Pole Vault   16-6.75 (5.05m)Long Jump    24-6.25 (7.47m)Shot Put     42-7.00 (12.98m)

CAL HOSTS PAC-10 CHAMPIONSHIPS: California will host the 2010 Pac-10 Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Edwards Stadium/Goldman Field this spring. The decathlon and heptathlon will take place May 8-9, with the remaining events being contested May 15-16. Cal last played host to the meet in 2001. Check CalBears.com for more details, including event times and ticket information as the event gets closer.

ALUMNI NEWS: Former Golden Bear Magdalena Lewy, a 2008 Olympian in the marathon, Boulet qualified for the U.S. team that will compete at the World Cross Country Championships March 28 in Bydgoszcz, Poland ... Alysia Johnson, who won NCAA indoor and outdoor 800-meter titles in 2007 for the Bears, qualified for the U.S. team that will compete at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar, March 12-14 with a second-place finish at the U.S. championships in Albuquerque (2:01.45); former Cal runner David Torrence also took third in the men's 1500 (3:51.31) ... former Cal 400m runner Chuck Berkeley competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver as a push man for USA 2 in the four-man bobsled; after finishing the first run in seventh place, the sled crashed in its second heat and did not complete the competition.

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