Cal Opens 2004 Season at USF Invitational

Aug. 30, 2004

BERKELEY, Calif. -

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BEARS OPEN SEASON AT USF INVITATIONAL: Behind the leadership of a group of veterans and an infusion of youth, the California men's and women's cross country teams open the 2004 season at the San Francisco Invitational Saturday, Sept. 4 at Golden Gate Park at 9:15 a.m. The women's 5K and the men's 8K start and finish at Lindley Meadow. Many of Cal's veterans will not compete this week, as the competition will offer the Cal coaching staff a chance to evaluate some of their younger runners. The field includes Cal, Stanford, UCLA, USF, Sacramento State, San Francisco State, San Jose State, Saint Mary's, Pacific, Sonoma State, UC Santa Cruz and Holy Names.DUFFY, PARKER, MACLISE, RUZNIC PACE CAL WOMEN: The Cal women return four fixtures to their lineup - seniors Abby Parker (Reno, NV) and Lindsey Maclise (Davis, CA) and juniors Bridget Duffy (Oakland, CA) and Maja Ruznic (San Francisco, CA). Duffy earned cross country All-America honors in 2003 after finishing 42nd in her first appearance at the NCAA Championships. Sophomore Samantha Jones (Martinez, CA) is joined by a group of other underclassmen who are expected to contribute this year (among others) - sophomores Pippa Macdonald (Kailua, HI) and Whitney Schmucker (San Diego, CA) and freshmen Amanda Thornberry (San Jose, CA), Whitney Russell (Santa Clarita, CA) and Alysia Johnson (Canyon Country, CA). Maclise, Ruznic, Jones, Schmucker, Thornberry and Russell are expected to run at USF Saturday, among other Bears.GUANGUL, GHEBRAY, DAVIS, PINA LEAD CAL MEN: The returning unit of seniors Girmay Guangul (San Jose, CA) and Ozzie Pina (Lakewood, CA) and juniors Giliat Ghebray (Union City, CA) and Kevin Davis (Fresno, CA) are expected to lead the Cal men's team this season. Guangul looks to earn a spot at the NCAA Cross Country Championships for the first time since his 2000 freshman campaign. Other leading contenders for spots on the travel squad are several newcomers to the program - sophomores Micah Parker (Reno, NV) and John Eves (Dublin, Ireland) and freshmen Stephen Pottey (Reno, NV) and Chris Chavez (Culver City, CA). Junior Randy Fair (Folsom, CA) and redshirt freshman Andrew Perezchica (Cathedral City, CA) are among those who look to be factors. Pina, Parker, Chavez and Perezchica are among the Cal runners set to run at USF.2003 IN REVIEW: The Cal women are coming off a ninth-place conference finish and a 10th-place showing at the NCAA West Regional - three spots better than the 2002 regional. The Cal men placed eighth at the 2003 Pac-10 meet and improved two spots to 10th at the NCAA regional.DID YOU KNOW?: Bridget Duffy completed the Bay to Breakers when she was in seventh grade in one of her first competitive races. Pippa Macdonald's father, Duncan, was a miler at Stanford, a former U.S. national champion in the 5000 meters and a 1976 Olympian. John Eves, who hails from Dublin, Ireland, attends University College in Dublin and will spend the 2004-05 academic year at Cal. Eves finished ninth in the 1500 meters at Ireland's Senior Track and Field National Championships and 25th in his country's cross country national championships. There are two sets of siblings on this year's Cal cross country team - Abby and Micah Parker and freshmen twins Alex and Andrew McClary.

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