Bears Set to Compete at NCAA Championships

June 7, 2010

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THIS WEEK IN CAL TRACK & FIELD: California sends a contingent of 12 athletes to compete in eight events at the 2010 NCAA Track & Field Championships Wednesday through Saturday at Oregon's Hayward Field. The Golden Bears will be vying for All-America honors in six individual events, plus two relays during the four-day meet.

Each event at the NCAA Championships will consist of a field of 24 participants, all of whom qualified at one of two regional preliminary meets May 27-29, except for those in the decathlon and heptathlon, who received berths based on their scores during the regular season.

Last year, the Cal men tied for 25th on the strength of Martin Maric's national title in the discus. The Bear women did not score in 2009, but tied for 22nd in 2008 behind Katie Morgan's NCAA crown in the pole vault. In fact, Cal has claimed four NCAA championships in the past three years, including two in 2007 when Alysia Johnson prevailed in the women's 800 meters and Kelechi Anyanwu won the women's discus.

Cal's NCAA Championships Schedule

Time Event Athletes 2010 Best Mark

Wednesday, June 94:15 p.m. W 4x100m Relay semi Payton/Dixon/Holmes/Garrett 44.975:15 p.m. W 400m semifinal Alima Kamara 52.756:15 p.m. M 3000m SC semifinal Steve Sodaro 8:40.60

Thursday, June 1010:00 a.m. Decathlon 100m Mike Morrison 10.7910:45 a.m. Decathlon Long Jump Mike Morrison 24-4.2512:00 noon Decathlon Shot Put Mike Morrison 41-5.001:05 p.m. Decathlon High Jump Mike Morrison 6-5.004:00 p.m. Decathlon 400m Mike Morrison 49.254:00 p.m. M Pole Vault final Connor Landry 17-3.754:45 p.m. M 1500m semifinal Mark Matusak 3:39.596:45 p.m. W 4x400m Relay semi Joseph/Weaver/Dixon/Kamara 3:36.81

Friday, June 1110:00 a.m. Decathlon 110m Hurdles Mike Morrison 14.9210:55 a.m. Decathlon Discus Mike Morrison 129-312:55 p.m. Decathlon Pole Vault Mike Morrison 15-1.004:00 p.m. Decathlon Javelin Mike Morrison 184-66:00 p.m. M 3000m SC final Steve Sodaro6:15 p.m. Decathlon 1500m Mike Morrison 4:48.49 Decathlon Mike Morrison 7,557 points6:32 p.m. W 400m final Alima Kamara6:40 p.m. W 5000m final Deborah Maier 16:15.39

Saturday, June 1210:03 a.m. W 4x100m Relay final Payton/Dixon/Holmes/Garrett10:30 a.m. M 1500m final Mark Matusak11:40 a.m. W 4x400m Relay final Joseph/Weaver/Dixon/Kamara

PHOTO FINISH: Photos taken by Cal's official photographer can be viewed and purchased online at GoldenBearSports.com. The selection includes action from the Big Meet, the Brutus Hamilton Invitational and the Pac-10 Championships.

BEAR NOTES: Senior Kimyon Broom, a two-time Pac-10 champion in the 100-meter hurdles who owns the school record of 13.02, underwent surgery May 27 to repair cartilage in her knee ... Mike Morrison is Cal's first decathlete to qualify for nationals since Bevan Hart won the 2000 NCAA title ... four members of Cal's roster have run sub-four-minute miles, including two who are competing at the NCAA Championships - Mark Matusak (3:58.36i) and Steve Sodaro (3:59.42); the others are junior Michael Coe (3:56.18) and freshman James Brewer (3:54.80) ... no Cal male has scored in a running event at the NCAA meet since Belota Asmerom, who was second in the 5000 meters in 2001; the Bears have two chances this year with Matusak in the 1500 and Steve Sodaro in the 3000 SC ... Malaina Payton, a member of Cal's 4x100 relay, set a school freshman record in the long jump at the NCAA preliminary meet with a mark of 20-0.25, breaking the record of 20-0.00 by Sheila Hudson in 1986 ... the Cal men finished 17th at the 2010 NCAA indoor championships.

ATHLETE PROFILES

Alima Kamara, 400m, Freshman, Stockton, Calif.
Kamara produced a nearly one-second PR to earn her place on the roster for Eugene, finishing her NCAA West Preliminary quarterfinal in 52.75 ... the time ranks No. 2 in Cal history, just shy of Latasha Gilliam's mark of 52.53 in 1996 ... her time is also the second fastest nationally among all freshman this spring behind only Regina George of Arkansas (52.62) ... Kamara's previous best of 53.68 seconds set during the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in April ... also runs anchor on Cal's 4x400-meter relay ... during the indoor season, helped Cal's distance medley relay set a school record with a time of 11:19.93 during a second-place showing at the MPSF Championships.

Connor Landry, Pole Vault, Junior, Newcastle, Calif.
Landry qualified by clearing 17-2.75 in the pole vault to secure the 10th spot for the national meet ... outdoor best is 17-3.75, which he achieved during his fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships May 15 in Berkeley ... lifetime best came indoors with a height of 17-5.50 at the Husky Classic ... a transfer from Cal Poly where he was a two-time Big West champion in the pole vault, Landry's PR heading into this season was 16-6.75 ... the first Cal pole vaulter to reach nationals since Robert McLean in 2002.

Deborah Maier, 5000m, Sophomore, Cameron Park, Calif.
Maier qualified for the NCAA Championships with a time of 16:37.95 at the West Preliminary meet, which was fourth in her heat ... owns an outdoor best of 16:15.39 from her fourth-place finish at the Pac-10 Championships in Berkeley ... set a Cal indoor record in the 5000 with a mark of 15:58.49 at the Husky Classic, knocking more than 30 seconds off the previous record ... only Kirsten O'Hara's 15:46.8 set at the 1985 NCAA outdoor meet is faster in school history ... at the MPSF indoor meet, won the 3000 meters in 9:20.05, which bettered both the existing Cal indoor and outdoor records ... also anchored Cal's distance medley relay that set a school record with a time of 11:19.93 ... during the fall, became the first Cal woman to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors in cross country after taking sixth at the conference meet ... fastest 5000m entering the 2010 season was 16:31.41.

Mark Matusak, 1500m, Senior, Torrence, Calif.
Matusak broke Cal's 31-year-old school record in the 1500 meters at the preliminary meet to reach the NCAA Championships ... his time of 3:39.59 beat the mark of 3:39.9 set by Andy Clifford in 1979, and it was a nearly three-second PR ... also the fifth-fastest time in the NCAA this season ... Matusak ran his previous PR of 3:42.42 to claim third place at the Pac-10 Championships in May ... redshirted in 2009 and was a semifinalist in the 1500 at NCAAs in 2008 ... during the 2010 indoor season, set a Cal record in the mile, running 3:58.36 at the Husky Classic ... one of six Cal runners to break four minutes in the mile and the only one to do so indoors ... captured the MPSF indoor title in the 3000 meters in 7:59.67 ... has run leadoff on Cal's distance medley relay the last two years, taking third at NCAA indoors in 2009 and fourth this past March.

Mike Morrison, Decathlon, Junior, Chesapeake, Va.
Morrison posted a score of 7,557 points in the decathlon at the Texas Relays March 31-April 1 to take over fifth on Cal's all-time performers list ... despite a sprained ankle that had limited his workouts the previous three weeks, took fourth in the decathlon at the Pac-10 meet with a total of 7,218 points ... a week later, placed fourth in the Pac-10 long jump (24-4.25) ... won the MPSF heptathlon title indoors earlier this year and was third in the event at the NCAA meet with a school-record score of 5,826 ... a transfer from Florida who was the 2007 SEC Freshman of the Year ... owns a PR of 7,803 in the decathlon set at the Mt. SAC Relays his sophomore year.

Steve Sodaro, 3000m SC, Junior, Tiburon, Calif.
Sodaro captured the Pac-10 title in the steeplechase, running 8:40.60 to become the first conference steeple champion in school history ... his mark put him third on Cal's all-time performers list and ranks sixth among collegians this year ... won his heat in 8:51.55 at the NCAA West Preliminary meet to qualify for NCAA's for the first time ... entering the season, his PR was 9:04.41 in the event ... ran a 3:59.42 mile at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational in April, becoming the sixth Golden Bear ever to run a sub-four-minute time ... ranks among Cal's Top 10 performers in the 1500m (3:41.85), mile (5th), 3000m (7th, 8:08.93); 3000mSC (3rd) and 5000m (10th, 14:01.08) - all times posted this year ... earned All-Region honors in cross country his past fall after leading the Bears in four of his five races, and helped Cal to Top 25 NCAA team finishes in both 2007 and '08.

Women's 4x100-meter Relay
Cal's 4x100-meter relay of freshman Malaina Payton, junior Kayla Dixon, senior Kristin Holmes and junior Cherrelle Garrett qualified with a season-best time of 44.97, 0.43 seconds faster than they ran at the Pac-10 meet ... the mark is No. 6 on Cal's all-time list ... this marks the third straight year the Bears have reached NCAA's in the 4x100 relay ... Cal was 13th last year with a foursome that included Dixon and Garrett, running 44.66 ... in 2008, Holmes and Garrett helped Cal to an eighth-place finish in 44.32 ... Garrett is anchoring the relay for the third year in a row ... she ranks No. 2 at Cal in the 100 meters (PR 11.38), while Dixon is 10th (11.96).

Women's 4x400-meter Relay
The quartet of freshman JAsmine Joseph, freshman Angelica Weaver, junior Kayla Dixon and freshman Alima Kamara comprises Cal's 4x400-meter relay ... their qualifying time from the preliminary meet (3:36.81) was the fastest for the Bears in three years and ranks fifth on the school's all-time performance list ... the group's previous best this year was 3:40.06 ... they make up Cal's first 4x400 relay to reach NCAA's since 1996.

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