Stewart, Matusak PR to Pace Bears at Pac-10 Meet

May 16, 2010

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BERKELEY - Tracey Stewart took second in the women's triple jump and Mark Matusak finished third in the men's 1500 meters - both with personal-best marks - to lead California on the final day of the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships at Edwards Stadium. In all, Golden Bears set seven PRs on the afternoon.

Oregon swept the men's and women's team competitions, with the Cal men taking eighth and the Golden Bear women finishing seventh.

Stewart got out to a great start with her leap of 42-11.50 on her first attempt in the triple jump, beating her previous long of 41-7.00 by more than a foot. Stewart also exceeded her old PR with a mark of 42-2.00 on her sixth try.

'I was really excited,' said Stewart, a redshirt-junior. 'This is my fourth year, and things weren't so well in the previous three years. I'm just so blessed to go out here and just jump. That was big for me. I'm really excited about that. I had no idea the mark was as far as it was at first, but then I heard the crowd and then I saw the results.'

Stewart's mark moved her up to fourth on Cal's all-time performers list.

Matusak circled the track in the 1500 to finish in 3:42.24, matching his third-place finish in the event from 2008 when he ran 3:42.52.

'Yesterday, I felt amazing, kind of ran through the heats, and it was kind of an even race, kind of effortless,' the senior said. 'Coming back today is always tough because you have less than 24 hours to get ready. My legs were under me still, and I felt like I was able to stay as controlled as possible and run a smart race. I just wanted to be patient, because there's a few laps in there where you can kind of move around, and the past couple of races I wasn't as patient as I wanted to be.

Oregon teammates Matthew Centrowitz (3:41.16) and A.J. Acosta (3:41.83) were 1-2 in the race, as Matusak just edged out Stanford's Dylan Ferris (3:42.73) for the third spot.

Junior Michael Coe also set a PR in the men's 5000 meters with his fourth-place time of 13:48.64 just ahead of the 13:39.58 he ran two weeks ago at the Payton Jordan Invitational. Chris Derrick of Stanford won in 13:43.69, followed by Stanford's Elliott Heath, Oregon's Acosta and Coe, with Jake Riley of Stanford in fifth.

'We had Steve [Sodaro, a Cal teammate] set the pace for us because a lot of guys had been doubling back from events yesterday and this morning,' Coe said. 'So I figured my best chance was to take it out with a hard pace from the beginning rather than a tactical, sit-and-kick type race. Steve did perfect. He took us through a little over 8:50 over two miles. I felt comfortable at the beginning, and at about laps six and seven, it just hit me hard. I composed myself, took a few deep breaths. I maximized what I had left. Unfortunately, Stanford made their move at the exact right time to break me. I wanted to drop [Oregon's A.J.] Acosta and [Stanford's Jake] Riley and get third. That was kind of what I was thinking. But A.J., his kick is tough. It's good to get fourth and beat a Stanford guy. Whenever you beat Stanford, it always brings out an extra gear.'

In the men's high jump, Brian Carmichael joined the seven-foot club with a clearance of 7-0.25, an inch and a half higher than he had gone before. The result was good for sixth in the competition.

For the women, sophomore Deborah Maier just missed out on the medal stand, finishing fourth in the 5000 meters in 16:15.39. Maier set Cal's indoor record of 15:58.49 earlier this year, and Sunday's race was her first attempt at the 5K after concentrating on the 1500 and 3000 during the spring.

'I'm coming off of three weeks of injury, so I wasn't running for three weeks, and then I came back this week and tried to do some running, but my legs got super sore,' Maier said. 'It definitely felt a lot better than I thought it was. Once the soreness started going away, the aerobic fitness was still there. Obviously at the end it showed that my legs had not be running for a while, because I couldn't make them go any faster. Aerobically, I wasn't breathing too hard but my legs just didn't have the turnover they usually do. I'm just happy I got a time that will get me to regionals. I'll have a few more weeks of training and hopefully be ready.'

With a PR of 13-0.25 in the women's pole vault, Theresa Raub took sixth. The effort surpassed the 12-10 mark she recorded during the 2010 indoor season.

Kiely Smith also PR'd in the women's hammer to take fifth with a best of 173-9 coming on her fifth of six throws, while Dana Hoolko, despite finishing ninth in the women's javelin, had a personal best of 143-6.

'Our team put forth a great effort,' director of track & field Tony Sandoval said. 'There were some real surprises - Theresa Raub in the pole vault, Brian Carmichael with a PR in the high jump, Michael Coe's 5,000, Mark Matusak's 1,500 - those are the ones that stand out right off the bat. But I thought they did a great job coming back the second day. We'll know Monday where they stand in terms of the regional standing to qualify.'

The NCAA preliminary round will be held in Austin, Texas, May 27-29, and will feature teams from 25 states, with the other half of the country competing in Greensboro, N.C. The top 48 individual and top 24 relays from each region will receive berths. The NCAA Championships are slated for June 9-13 at Oregon.

                 Women - Team Rankings - 21 Events Scored===============================================================================    1) Oregon                     215        2) Arizona                   109    3) Arizona State               89.50     4) USC                        89    5) Stanford                    88        6) UCLA                       71.50    7) California                  55.50     8) Washington St.             52    9) Washington                  47.50

Men - Team Rankings - 21 Events Scored=============================================================================== 1) Oregon 168.50 2) USC 156 3) Stanford 92 4) Arizona State 85 4) UCLA 85 6) Washington 68 7) Washington St. 67 8) California 59 9) Arizona 26 10) Oregon State 6.50

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