Golden Bears Send Contingent to USA Championships

June 21, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format
USA Championships Website

THIS WEEK IN CAL TRACK & FIELD: With the NCAA season now complete, three members of the Golden Bears will travel to Des Moines, Iowa, for the 2010 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships Wednesday through Sunday at Drake Stadium. Senior Mark Matusak is scheduled to compete in the men's 1500 meters, junior Steve Sodaro will be in the men's 3000-meter steeplechase and junior Mike Morrison will vie for the title in the decathlon.

In addition, three Cal alumni will be at the meet, as well - Belota Asmerom in the men's 1500 and 5000 meters, David Torrence in the men's 1500 and Alysia Johnson in the women's 800.

Portions of the championships will be televised according to the following schedule:

Friday, June 25 - 5-7 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, June 26 - 10-11:30 a.m. ESPN; 12-1 p.m. NBC
Sunday, June 27 - 10-11:30 a.m. ESPN; 12-1 p.m. NBC
All times Pacific Time

CALIFORNIA ATHLETE PROFILES
BELOTA ASMEROM (1998-2001):
Owns the Cal record in the 5000m of 13:31.88 set at the Mt. SAC Relays in 2001 ... in 1998, set the Cal freshman 5000m mark of 14:02.27 ... best 1500m time as a Golden Bear was 3:41.97 from 2000 ... was the NCAA runner-up in the 5000 as a senior in 2001 (13:43.13) and was 10th in the event in 2000 (14:13.94) ... also won the Pac-10 5000 tile in '01 (14:07.23) ... competed for his native Eritrea in the 2000 Olympics, running 14:15.26 in the heats ... later gained American citizenship and has ranked among the top 10 in the U.S. five times in the 5000 ... had the No. 6 5000m mark in the U.S. in 2009 (7:45.89).

Alysia Johnson (2005-08): The 2007 USA champion in the 800m, running 1:59.47 ... set the Cal record of 1:59.29 when she captured the 2007 NCAA title ... also owns the Cal indoor record of 2:03.39 ... earned six NCAA All-America certificates in her career, tying the Cal record ... sixth in the 800m at NCAAs as a freshman (2:06.88) and third in the event as a sophomore (2:03.04) ... injured as a senior and did not advance to the final ... on the NCAA indoor circuit, was third in the 800 in 2006 and '08 and first in 2007 (2:03.47) ... fourth in her heat at the 2007 World Championships (2:02.11) ... won a bronze medal at the 2010 World Indoor Championships, running an indoor PR of 1:59.60.

Mark Matusak: Finished 8th at the recent NCAA Championships in the 1500m, running 3.48.91 ... broke Cal's 31-year-old school record in the 1500 at the preliminary meet to reach the NCAA Championships (3:39.59) ... his time beat the mark of 3:39.9 set by Andy Clifford in 1979 and was a nearly three-second PR ... Matusak ran his previous PR of 3:42.42 to claim third place at the Pac-10 Championships in May ... 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 ... captured the MPSF indoor title in the 3000m in 7:59.67 ... ran 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: The 2010 NCAA runner-up in the decathlon after scoring 7,801 points - the No. 4 performance in Cal history ... set PRs in each of his final four events to move up the leader board ... posted a score of 7,557 points in the decathlon at the Texas Relays March 31-April 1 ... despite a sprained ankle that had limited his workouts the previous three weeks, took fourth in the decathlon at the Pac-10 meet in early May 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: Claimed sixth in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the 2010 NCAA Championships in 8:44.06, becoming the first Cal runner to place in the steeple since 1967 ... captured the Pac-10 title in the event, running 8:40.60 ... the first conference steeple champion in school history ... his mark put him third on Cal's all-time performers list ... 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.

David Torrence (2004-08): Set Cal's freshman record in the 1500m, running 3:43.62 in 2004 ... his 3:40.80 in the 1500m from 2007 ranks fourth on the school's all-time performance list ... ran 3:58.62 in the mile in 2007 to break Don Bowden's nearly 50-year-old school record ... 13th in the 1500 in the 2007 NCAA meet (3:43.43) and was 10th in 2008 (3:43.97) ... part of Cal's 2007 distance medley relay that was the NCAA indoor runner-up in '07 ... the national junior champion in the 1500 in 2004 (3:51.36) ... ran 3:35.81 in the 1500 earlier this year, the No. 4 mark in the U.S.USA Championships Schedule

USA Championships Schedule

Time Event Cal CompetitorsThursday, June 244:45 p.m. W 800m 1st Round Alysia Johnson

Friday, June 258:30 a.m. Decathlon - 100m Mike Morrison9:30 a.m. Decathlon - Long Jump Mike Morrison12:00 noon Decathlon - Shot Put Mike Morrison1:15 p.m. Decathlon - High Jump Mike Morrison2:15 p.m. M 3000mSC 1st Round Steve Sodaro3:10 p.m. Decathlon - 400m Mike Morrison4:15 p.m. M 1500m 1st Round Belota Asmerom, Mark Matusak, David Torrence5:15 p.m. W 800m Semifinal Alysia Johnson7:35 p.m. M 5000m Final Belota Asmerom

Saturday, June 268:30 a.m. Decathlon - 100mHH Mike Morrison9:30 a.m. Decathlon - Discus Mike Morrison12:00 noon Decathlon - Pole Vault Mike Morrison2:15 p.m. Decathlon - Javelin Mike Morrison4:30 p.m. Decathlon - 1500m Mike Morrison

Sunday, June 2710:50 a.m. M 3000mSC Final Steve Sodaro11:50 a.m. W 800m Final Alysia Johnson12:40 p.m. M 1500m Final Belota Asmerom, Mark Matusak, David Torrence

All times Pacific Time

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