110th Annual Big Meet

Pre-Big Meet Quotes

April 27, 2004

Date	Sat. May 1, 2004Place	Berkeley, CATime	All Day

California track and field will host Stanford's program at the 110th annual Big Meet at Edwards Stadium on Saturday May 1. The field events begin at 10:30 a.m. with men's hammer while running events begin at 1:00 p.m. with the women's steeplechase. The afternoon should conclude around 4:15 p.m. with the men's and women's 4x400 meter relays. The 4x100 meter women's relay (1:35 p.m.) will offer added intrigue coming off the heels of Stanford and Cal's 1-2 finish in the event at Penn Relays last weekend. Both squads had showings at the Penn Relays, the Triton Invitational, and Cal's own Golden Bear Qualifier last weekend.Some Bears may also compete at Stanford's Cardinal Qualifier on Friday evening. For more information on Stanford or the Cardinal Qualifier, please visit www.gostanford.com.

The Cal men lead the series over Stanford, 63-44-2, in a rivalry dating back to a 91-35 Golden Bear win in 1893. On the women's side, Stanford leads, 14-10. Cal last won the Big Meet in 2000, so for this year's class of seniors, the meet marks the final opportunity to defeat their rival.

Cal's men's team fell to Stanford, 93-70, and the women were defeated, 111-51. However, Cal's young team set two records, starting with the 4x100 meter relay team (then-freshman Jacqueline Earls, current sophomore Osarhiemen Omwanghe, current sophomore Antonette Carter, and current junior Shannan Hawes), which set a new school record at 45.57, beating the old record of 45.61 set at the Big Meet in 1991. That relay team went on to improve its school record to 45.01 at the NCAA West Regional. That time stands today, at least while this year's 4x100 meter relay team (sophomore transfer Tiffany Johnson, Omwanghe, Hawes and Carter) hovers at No. 2 all-time with a season-best of 45.31. Omwanghe set the second Cal record at last year's Big Meet, breaking the freshman record in the 100 meter hurdles at 13.60. Omwanghe currently holds a season-best of 13.64 from her win at Mt. SAC Relays, April 18. Other highlights included current senior Deanna Slaton winning the 400 meter hurdles last year - an event she continues to dominate this season - and a 1-2 finish by current senior Ricci Dula and junior Toby Atawo in the men's 100 meter.

Senior Sheni Russell won Pac-10 Field Athlete of the Week honors after she broke the school record in the discus at the Triton Invitational Saturday with a mark of 181-02 (55.22m). With the new mark, Russell is ranked second in the Pac-10 Conference and seventh in the nation. The team co-captain broke Kim Kessler's previous record of 178-10, set in 1987 at the Big Meet vs. Stanford. Her ninth-place finish was the highest of any collegiate athlete in the women's discus at the invitational. The senior co-captain from Riverside, Calif. redshirted last season and finished sixth in the discus at Pac-10 Championships as a junior in 2002.


Triton Invitational: In addition to Russell's outstanding performance, senior Rhuben Williams qualified in his third event (shot, hammer, discus) for Pac-10 Championships, recording a personal record of 172-07 (52.60m) in the discus. The successful Southern California trip concluded with sophomore Kurt Seefeld throwing a season-best 176-00 (53.64m) in the men's discus and freshman Kelechi Anyanwu marking at 145-05 (44.33m), her season best by an inch, in the women's discus.

Penn Relays: On the opposite coast, Golden Bears were making their mark at the Penn Relays. The women's 4x100 meter relay team (sophomore Osarhiemen Omwanghe, sophomore transfer Tiffany Johnson, junior Shannan Hawes and sophomore Antonette Carter) placed second (45.52) at Penn Relays Friday. Cal finished second only to Stanford in the event. Cal recorded another No. 2 finish when sophomore Teak Wilburn placed second in the high jump Saturday with a 7-02.25 (2.19m) mark. Cal's 4x100 meter relay team (senior Nick Mazur, freshman Darren Woods, junior Toby Atawo, and senior Ricci Dula) did not participate in the finals for the relay, despite qualifying in the preliminaries.

Golden Bear Qualifier: Meanwhile, at home, the team hosted the Golden Bear Qualifier where senior Deanna Slaton set a personal best in the 400 meter hurdles. With her time of 58.03, Slaton is approaching the school record of 57.61, set in 1986 by Helga Halldorsdottir. For now, she remains No. 2 on Cal's all-time list, having moved up with a time of 58.32 earlier this season. Senior and team co-captain Stephanie Cowling won the women's 100 meter hurdles her first time competing in the event this season with a 14.63 time. High jumper Cynthia Mallory improved her season best by two inches to 5-07 (1.70m) to qualify for Pac-10 Championships. Redshirt freshman Whitney Schmucker and junior Lindsey Maclise each set season-bests in the women's 800 meter, Schmucker with 2:11.95 time and Maclise at 2:12.96. Heptathlete Brooke Meredith improved in the shot put with a 42-01.25 (12.83m) mark. Junior Randy Fair won the men's 400 meter race at 49.43. Freshman Ben Karl won the men's 200 meter with a 22.52 time. Freshman Bjorgvin Vikingsson set a season-best 54.11 in the 400 meter hurdles.

Both the men and women are in the Top 25 in the nation again this week. The Golden Bear women pulled rank at No. 13 and the men came in at No. 17, as of Monday, April 26 in the rankings. Cal has qualified 22 athletes, some in multiple events, for the NCAA Regionals, and 37 for Pac-10 Championships, so far. The Bears also have several individuals on the national performance lists. Cal is particularly strong in the throws where senior Rhuben Williams is seventh in the shot and 16th in the hammer, senior Sheni Russell seventh in the discus, and senior Amin Nikfar eighth in the shot. In multi-events, junior Brooke Meredith is third in the nation in the heptathlon while sophomore Scott Sobieralski is 20th in the decathlon. In jumps, sophomore Teak Wilburn is third in the high jump, senior Bruce Giron is 11th in the triple jump, and junior David Glasgow is 16th in the high jump. In running events, Senior Ahmad Wright is 11th in the 400 meter hurdles, senior Deanna Slaton is 15th in the 400 meter hurdles and sophomore Kevin Davis is 25th in the steeplechase.

Cal throws coach Jennifer Joyce broke her own Canadian national record in the hammer on April 9 at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational with a 217-07 (66.33m) throw. Joyce set her former record of 214-00 (65.23m) as a senior at Cal two seasons ago.

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