Distance Medley Relay Takes 4th at NCAA Indoor Championships
March 12, 2010
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Cal's men's distance medley relay took fourth place and heptathlete Mike Morrison positioned himself for a strong finish to highlight the Golden Bears' first day at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships held at the Randall Tyson Track Center on the University of Arkansas campus.
The DMR, consisting of Mark Matusak, Tom Blocker, Sebastian Sam and Michael Coe, finished in 9:38.19. Matusak had Cal in the lead after the first 1200 meters after running a 2:54.68 split. Ultimately, the race came down to the final leg, and Oregon's Andrew Wheating brought the Ducks across the line in first in 9:36.87. Arkansas was second, followed by Minnesota and Cal.
'Going in, I thought we had a good shot to push the leaders,' head coach Tony Sandoval said. 'Mark started off with a great 1200, and I thought the others ran well, too. It ended up being a tactical race. But we beat a lot of other teams that beat us earlier this year. I'm looking forward to getting ready to go for tomorrow.'
On Saturday, both Matusak and Coe will race in the 3000 meters, while Morrison will complete day two of the heptathlon.
Deborah Maier also ran on Friday, but she dropped out about two miles into her 5000-meter race after complaining of stomach problems and dizziness earlier in the day.
'It's disappointing because I think she could have been in scoring position,' Sandoval said. 'She's only a sophomore, and she has a great future ahead of her.'
Morrison, a junior, stood in seventh place after the first day of the heptathlon with 3,163 points in a tightly bunched field. Although Oregon's Ashton Eaton, the collegiate record-holder, was comfortably in the lead with 3,561 points, athletes ranked second through seventh were within just 37 points of each other.
'I think Mike, despite being in seventh, is in pretty good shape,' Sandoval said. 'His best events are Saturday and he could jump a lot of people.'
Morrison opened the day in the faster of two heats in the 60 meters, placing sixth with a time of 7.03 seconds for his quickest time of the year. In the long jump, he went nearly 25 feet on his first attempt, but had a close foul. Then after a foul on his second try, Morrison soared to 24-1.50 for his only legal jump, tying Kansas State's Mantas Silkauskas for the second-best mark of the day.
Morrison threw the shot put 41-10.75, getting the mark on the first of his three attempts. He also went 41-1.50 on his second try before a foul on his last throw.
In the fourth and final event of the day, Morrison cleared 6-4 in the high jump, just three-fourths of an inch shy of his season best.
The heptathlon will conclude Saturday with the 60-meter hurdles, pole vault and 1000 meters. Morrison, who transferred to Cal after beginning his collegiate career at Florida, was third in the heptathlon as a sophomore with the Gators when he scored a PR 5,792 points. He set a Cal record with 5,710 points at the UW Invitational Jan. 29-30 and won the MPSF title two weeks ago with 5,655 points.
NCAA Indoor Championships
March 12, 2010
Women's 5000 meters - Deborah Maier DNF
Heptathlon: 60 meters - 6. Mike Morrison 7.03 (872 points)
Heptathlon: Long Jump - T2. Mike Morrison 24-1.50 (7.35m) (898 points)
Heptathlon: Shot Put - 9. 41-10.75 (12.77m) (653 points)
Heptathlon: High Jump - T8. Mike Morrison 6-4.00 (1.93m) (740 points)
Heptathlon: Day 1 Standings (through 4 events) - 1. Ashton Eaton (Oregon) 3561; 2. R.J. McGinnis (Minnesota) 3200; 3. Bjorn Barrefors (Nebraska) 3196; 4. Lars Rise (Missouri) 3194; 5. Mateo Sossah (North Carolina) 3170; 6. Mantas Silkauskas (Kansas State) 3168; 7. Mike Morrison (California) 3163; 8. Gary Horn (Florida) 3122; 9. Nick Adcock (Missouri) 3120; 10. Miller Moss (Clemson) 3057; 11. Chris Dickman (Wichita State) 3003; 12. Jack Szmanda (Minnesota) 2975; 13. Curtis Beach (Duke) 2914; 14. Tommy Barrineau (Georgia) 2894; 15. Brock Spandl (Minnesota) 2869; 16. Robert Robinson (Cal State Northridge) 2842.