Cal Track and Field Set to Host Bay Area Blast Off

March 16, 2006

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This weekend the California track and field team will open its outdoor season with the Bay Area Blast Off. The meet will be held at Edwards Stadium, with the first events beginning at 8:30 a.m. (PST). Last weekend, sophomore Alysia Johnson earned All-American status after she finished third in the 800m at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

The Golden Bears just finished their indoor season last weekend with sophomore Alysia Johnson earning All-American honors in the 800m at the NCAA Indoor Championship. Junior Jonas Hallgrimsson also competed at the championship in the heptathlon. Over the course of the indoor season, the team broke 15 indoor school records with several individuals setting personal best in their events. Now the attention turns to the outdoor season. High hopes are set upon returning All-Americans Antonette Carter, Paul Tienert, Alysia Johnson and Bridgett Duffy, along with a host of new additions to the squad.

The Bay Area Blast Off will feature the Golden Bears along with selected colleges and junior colleges, along with several local high schools. The meet is slated for Edwards Stadium. The stadium has been host to some of the best individual performances in the sport's history. Cal's track team returned to Edwards Stadium after the 2000 season when the stadium reconstruction project was completed. Edwards's stadium was site to the 2001 Pac-10 Championship and hosted the 1993 Pac-10 meet. The track has a newly installed embedded Martin Surfacing track with eight lanes.

The Bay Area Blast Off will be a small college compeition, with major focus on high school teams ... Cal will be joined by several junior colleges and Minnesota's men's team, which has been training during spring break in California; Nevada; San Francisco State plus the Nike Farm team ... The junior colleges will include several powerhouses, including the California state junior college champions, City College of San Francisco ... 2000 Olympian and Cal alum Bolota Asmersom will run in the men's mile ... Cal will compete only a few athletes mostly on the women's side and in the throws ... The Cal relay teams will be a mix of athletes and not the normal 'A' squad ... The meet will also be a college debut for several Golden Bears, including Nate Rolfe (U.S. national high school record holder in the hammer), Dasiy Van Ravenswaay (2005 NCAA regional qualifier at UCONN) and Kristin Holmes (California state finalist last year in three events) ... It will be one of the largest meets in California this year with close to 1,000 high school athletes and 50 high schools.

The Bears will travel next up Interstate 80 for the Hornet Invitational on Saturday, March 25 in Sacramento, before returning home for the Cal Multi-Events on April 29-30.

Now on Pac-12 Network
11:00 AM PT

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