Bears Gear Up For Last Chance Meets

March 4, 2008


Bears Head To Last Chance Meets
The California track and field team continues the 2008 indoor season at two Last Chance Meets this weekend. The first one will be the Arkansas Last Chance Qualifier Friday, March 7, at the Randal Tyson Track Center. The second is the Washington Last Chance Meet Saturday at the Dempsey Indoor Track Facility in Seattle, Wash.
A schedule with the start times for the Arkansas Qualifier can be found here A schedule with the start times for the Washington Last Chance Meet can be found Alysia Johnson has automatically qualified in the 800. The women's 4x400 relay and the men's distance medley relay have also provisionally qualified.

Alysia Johnson Blog
Follow the 2008 track season through the words of Cal's double NCAA champion and five-time All-American Alysia Johnson on Follow Johnson during the campaign as she discusses competing as a defending national champion through each of her competitions during the 2008 season.

Cal's Lineup
Interim Track and Field Director Tony Sandoval will have five of his athletes compete this weekend. Freshman Allison Stokke and junior Katie Morgan will compete in the pole vault, while junior Inika McPherson will participate in the high jump at the Washington Last Chance Meet. Senior Thomas Mack and freshman Cherrelle Garrett will compete in the Arkansas Last Chance Qualifier, with Mack in the 60-meter hurdles and Garrett in the 60-meter dash. All five competitors provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships at the MPSF Championships last weekend.
Stokke and Morgan both posted a mark of 13-1.00 (3.99m). The mark not only set the school indoor record, but Stokke, being a freshman, also earned the freshman school record, as well. McPherson, an indoor All-American last year, qualified when she posted a mark of 1.78m (5-10.00) at the MPSF championships. Mack set the school indoor record in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.89. Garrett clocked in at 7.40 in the 60-meter dash, which was a new personal best.

Magnificent Matusak
Mark Matusak has already been having a tremendous indoor season. The native of Torrance, Calif., has already set new PRs in both the 800 and the mile. He also provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships when he PRed in the mile (4:03.15) at the Husky Classic. He set a new personal best in the 800 at the United Heritage Invitational with a time of 1:52.28.

Mack Attack
Thomas Mack has been on a tear during the indoor season. Mack qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships last weekend at the MPSF Championships when he set the school indoor record in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 7.89. Mack had previously broken this record at the Husky Classic back on Feb. 16 when he posted a time of 7.94. The previous record was 7.96, set by Tim Bogdanof in 2003.

Bears Produce Strong Showing at MPSF Championships
Cal got multiple provisional qualifiers for the NCAA Indoor Championships at the MPSF Championships last week. The Bears claimed four conference titles, including the 800-meter title from Alysia Johnson who set the MPSF and Cal indoor records with her time of 2:03.39 to automatically qualify for the indoor national championships. Besides Johnson, senior All-American Ed Wright won the high jump title, freshman Cherrelle Garrett won the 60-meter dash and sophomore Michael Coe won the 3000 meters. Garrett and Coe each recorded new PRs with their provisional-qualifying marks.
Also provisionally qualifying while recording new personal bests were senior shot putter Craig Kent, junior Steven Conrad and sophomore Kyle Mills-Bunje in the heptathlon and junior Kellan Patterson in the 60-meter dash.
Two relays also provisionally qualified, the men's distance medley relay consisting of senior Andres Perezchica, juniors Mark Matusak and Jake Hanson and Coe, and the women's 4x400 relay (Johnson, juniors Kandi Bonty, Mackenzie Pierce and Evelyn Smith).

Last Year's UW Last Chance Meet
Highlighting last year's UW Last Chance meet, Inika McPherson won the women's high jump with an NCAA championships provisional-qualifying mark and a Cal indoor school record. McPherson posted a jump of 1.83 meters (6-0), just off the automatic-qualifying mark of 1.84 meters. McPherson's jump was just three quarters of an inch from Cal's all-time record (6-0.75), set by Beth Vidakovits in 1989. McPherson's mark was also a then-lifetime-best mark until she broke that record at the MPSF championships last week.

Did You Know
Cal junior thrower Miles Palacios, has traveled throughout Latin America, including eight states in Mexico, the country in which his parents reside.

Up Next
Cal heads to Fayetteville, Ark., next week for the NCAA Indoor Championships March 14-16. Alysia Johnson will look to defend her 800 national title, as well as numerous other Bears who will be contending for NCAA championships.

Interim Director of Track and Field Tony Sandoval
Tony Sandoval, a familiar name in San Francisco Bay Area track and field circles, continues his 26th year of association with the California track and field program and his first as the interim Director of Track and Field, after serving the past 17 seasons as the associate director of track and field. Sandoval previously served 10 years as Cal's head women's coach prior to the merger of the men's and women's programs into a single entity.

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