Alysia Johnson Advances in 800m at USA Championships

June 24, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - Former Cal star Alysia Johnson easily advanced to the semifinals of the women's 800 meters at the USA Track & Field Championships Thursday as she posted the fastest time in the opening round with a mark of 2:02.19.

Johnson, the 2007 NCAA and USA champion when she was a junior for the Golden Bears, claimed heat two ahead of second-place Treniere Moser, who finished in 2:02.38. Latavia Thomas of LSU was third in 2:02.41. A total of 16 runners in three heats qualified for the semifinals. Complete results can be found here.

The bronze medalist in the 800 meters at the World Indoor Championships earlier this year, Thursday's race represented the first 2010 outdoor appearance for Johnson.

'I feel good actually,' Johnson said. 'I'm excited to get the round done because this is my first race outdoors. So it just kind of feels like today was my first race and I needed to get the cobwebs out.

'I just wanted to qualify easily and not go for PR now,' added Johnson, who owns the Cal record of 1:59.29. 'I'm in shape to PR, but I was just excited to get the round done.'

Johnson's semifinal will go off at 5:15 p.m. PT Friday and the 800-meter final is set for 11:50 a.m. Sunday.

Four other current and former Bears will be in action Friday. Senior Mark Matusak and alumni David Torrence and Belota Asmerom are scheduled to race in the heats of the men's 1500 meters, while Asmerom is entered in the 5000 meters later in the day. Junior Steve Sodaro will race in the men's 3000-meter steeplechase, as well.

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