Cal Hosts Multi-Events Meet, Heads to Stanford Invitational

March 27, 2007

BERKELEY - California is back in action twice this week. The Golden Bears host the Cal Multi-Events Meet Wednesday and Thursday, March 28-29, at Edwards Stadium and Goldman Field and then compete at the Stanford Invitational at Cobb Track and Angell Field Friday and Saturday, March 30-31.

The Bears are fresh off a fine performance at the Jim Click Shootout in Tucson, Ariz., where they joined with host Arizona to give the Pac-10 a victory over the SEC and Big 12 in the three-way conference meet. As they showed in Tucson, the Bears are ready to follow up their strong indoor season with an equally strong outdoor season.

Cal Multi-Events Meet
Bears senior Jonas Hallgrimsson, and junior Steven Conrad are among the athletes who will compete at the Cal Multi-Events Meet this week. During the recently completed indoor season, Conrad recorded a lifetime-best 5,259 points in the heptathlon at the Roger Cox Multis. Hallgrimsson's top score of 4,860 came in the MPSF Indoor Championships.

Cal's history in the multi-events includes two former NCAA decathlon champions on the Bears' coaching staff in Cal director of track and field Chris Huffins and associate director Ed Miller.

On Wednesday, the meet begins at 10:30 a.m. with the women's 100-meter hurdles. The final event of the day is the men's 400-meter dash at 4:30 p.m. On Thursday, the day begins with at 10 a.m. with the men's 110-meter hurdles. The final event of the meet is the men's 1,500 meters at 4:10 p.m. The full schedule is available on CalBears.com

Long considered one of the finest track and field facilities in the world, Edwards Stadium, the site of the meet, has a legacy unmatched in collegiate track and field.

Not only has the facility been host to some of the best individual performances in the sport's history, but Edwards Stadium also stands in one of the most beautiful settings in the nation, with panoramic views of the Berkeley Hills and Strawberry Canyon to the east, and the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and the City skyline to the west.

With a seating capacity of 22,000, Edwards Stadium for years had the distinction of being the largest exclusive track and field facility in the United States. Beginning with the 1999-2000 season, the Cal men's and women's soccer teams adopted Edwards Stadium's infield - Goldman Field - as their home venue.

Over the years, Edwards Stadium has witnessed 12 world records, 26 American records and 24 collegiate records. The first world record in the stadium was also history's first 15-foot pole vault, by Cornelius 'Dutch ' Warmerdam in 1940. The last world mark to fall in Berkeley was in 1978, as Washington State's Henry Rono clocked a 13:06.4 in the 5,000-meter run. On a cinder surface in 1966 - before a Tartan all-weather surface was added in 1977 - a University of Kansas freshman by the name of Jim Ryun ran a remarkable 3:51.3 mile.

Stanford Invitational
The 2007 version of the meet consists of college and open competition that expects to draw more than 5,000 athletes. Cobb Track and Angell Field, Stanford's nationally acclaimed facility, features nine 48-inch lanes, multiple dual-direction runways for all of the umps and no less than five separate sites for the throwing events.

The entire track was resurfaced in August of 2003. The Cobb Track and Angell Field complex is specifically designed to take advantage of any favorable wind conditions and will provide the athletes with the best opportunities for outstanding performances.

At the 2006 Stanford Invitational, more than 256 athletes achieved NCAA regional or automatic qualifying standards. Countless others bettered the NCAA Division II and III standards or achieved conference-qualifying marks.

Last Time Out:
Anyanwu Sets Cal Record, Pac-10 Scores Victory at Jim Click Shootout
Cal senior Kelechi Anyanwu threw the discus a school-record 185-11 and the Golden Bears reached regional qualifying marks or times in 13 events on March 24 in the Jim Click Shootout at Roy P. Drachman Stadium. Cal and host Arizona combined to give the Pac-10 a victory over the SEC and Big 12 in the three-way conference meet. Anyanwu, whose mark won the women's discus event, moved past the record of 181-02 by former Bears star Sheni Russell.

The Pac-10 collected 513.50 total points, with 241.50 from Cal and 272 from Arizona, to the SEC's 451.50 (South Carolina 190, Arkansas 145.50, Florida 116) and the Big 12's 440 (Texas Tech 223, Kansas State 217).

The Pac-10 men also outscored their opponents, with 283.50 points (Arizona 146, Cal 137.50) to the Big 12's 218.50 (Texas Tech 116, Kansas State 102.50) and the SEC's 206 (Florida 116, South Carolina 90). In the women's competition, the SEC won with 245.50 points (Arkansas 145.50, South Carolina 100) to the Pac-10's 230 (Arizona 126, Cal 104) and the Big 12's 221.50 (Kansas State 114.50, Texas Tech 107).

National Champ Johnson Stars in 800
Junior Alysia Johnson is one of the top middle-distance runners in the nation, as evidenced by her recent NCAA indoor title in the 800 meters.

Cal's all-time second-fastest woman in the 800, Johnson boasts a lifetime-best 2:01.80 in the race that she set last summer. She was one of eight Bears who earned All-America honors at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Championships.

The women's 800 indoor record-holder for the Bears with her championship-winning time of 2:03.47, Johnson did not compete at the Jim Click Shootout but should make her outdoor debut at Stanford this week. The Canyon Country, Calif., product is also Cal's record-holder in the indoor 400 with a time of 54.48.

Johnson's 800 title is Cal's first NCAA championship since Bevan Hart won the men's decathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 2000. She is also the first Cal woman to win track and field NCAA championships since Sheila Hudson won the triple jump and long jump national titles outdoors in 1990. Johnson is likewise the first Bear to win indoor NCAA titles since Hudson won the triple jump and long jump indoors in 1990.

Johnson became the first member of Cal track and field to capture the Muscle Milk Student-Athlete of the Week honor sponsored by Cytosport. Johnson led the Bears to one of their top performances in recent years at the Dan DeHart Invitational Jan. 26-27 in Albuquerque, N.M.

The junior won the 400-meter dash with a time of 54.48 to set the school's indoor record. Her time was also just eight-hundredths of a second off of the NCAA regional provisional qualifying time. In addition, Johnson anchored the winning 4x400-meter relay team that logged a time of 3:44.07.

Torrence Doesn't Miss a Beat
David Torrence made his Cal track and field debut as a freshman in 2004, after starring for Cal cross country in the fall of 2003. The junior missed the next two seasons but returned for Cal cross country last fall and for Cal track and field this semester.

He hasn't missed a beat, first collecting NCAA West Regional and second-team All-Pac-10 honors for Cal cross country coach Tony Sandoval in 2006 and then starring for Huffins in 2007. In Tucson last week, Torrence ran an NCAA regional qualifying time of 1:50.23 to win the 800.

The middle-distance and distance specialist had a big impact at the NCAA Indoor Championships, leading off Cal's distance medley relay that took second place in a school-record 9:33.77. Torrence, senior Nestor Solis, sophomore Francis Gadayan and senior Kevin Davis combined for that record and earned All-America honors at the national meet in Fayetteville, Ark.

Anyanwu, Ludden Reach Qualifying Marks in the Throws
Not to be outdone is Anyanwu, who also qualified for the NCAA West Regional in the shot put, with her lifetime-best mark of 49-9.75 that placed her in a second-place tie with sophomore teammate Missy Faubus. Also in the throws, junior John Ludden threw the hammer a regional-qualifying 195-0 to win the event in Tucson. Ludden reached his personal best hammer throw at last year's NCAA West Regional with a toss of 196-11.

Wright, McPherson Jumping up the Charts
Cal junior Ed Wright and sophomore teammate Inika McPherson hit regional-qualifying marks in the high jump in Tucson. Wright, who stands eighth on Cal's all-time list with a 7-2.5, tied for first in the men's event with a 7-0.50, while McPherson tied for third in the women's high jump with a 5-8.75. McPherson set Cal's indoor school record with a 6-0 that she reached twice this season, most recently when she took seventh place at NCAAs. Wright, who was sixth at NCAAs, and McPherson were among eight Bears who earned All-America honors at indoor nationals this year.

Strickland Wins in Arizona
Bears junior Cassandra Strickland, another 2007 indoor All-American, is coming off a win in the triple jump at the Jim Click Shootout with a mark of 41-41-5.75. She ranks third all-time at Cal with a lifetime-best 43-3.25 she set during the indoor season.

Seven More Hit Regional Qualifiers in First Outdoor Meet
The other Bears to reach regional qualifiers last week included sophomore Emilee Strot in the shot put (48-11) and discus (170-10), Faubus in the discus (157.09), sophomore Mark Matusak in the 1,500 (3:46.20), freshman Michael Coe in the 1,500 (3:46.48) and junior Brook Turner in the 400 (54.47).

Turner also ran a lifetime-best 24.10 in the 200 that placed her 10th on Cal's all-time list. Coe's 3,000 time of 8:22.01 made him the 10th-fastest Bear all time in that event. Another freshman, Rowena Tam, ran her way into third place in the record books when she clocked an 11:19.60 in the steeplechase.

Up Next:
Cal Travels to 113th Big Meet
After the Stanford Invitational, Cal returns to the Farm for the 113th annual Big Meet on April 7. Last season, the Cal men defeated their Stanford counterparts, 95.66-67.33, at the Big Meet in Berkeley. The Cal women fell to the Cardinal, 89-72.

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