Golden Bears Add Deep Recruiting Class

Aug. 3, 2009

BERKELEY - A total of 36 student-athletes - 22 men and 14 women - will join the California track & field team as recruits for the 2010 season, Golden Bear head Coach Tony Sandoval announced Friday. The group includes a pair of California state high school champions, a sub-four-minute miler and a multi-event All-American, as well as a national youth champion.

'This year's recruiting class has a blend of athletes who can score at the NCAA championships immediately and a number of `diamonds in the rough' that should help immediately at the Pac-10 championships and eventually the NCAA's,' Sandoval said. 'The staff worked extremely hard throughout the year and I believe we're set up to go after some of the best talent on the West Coast year after year. Cal's academic prestige and Athletic Study Center allow us to attract those athletes who want the very best of academics and athletics. We want to be a consistently elite program across the board.'

On the men's side, James Brewer, a transfer from the University of Bath in England, will enter Cal in the fall after running a 3:54.80 mile at the Aviva London Grand Prix on July 25. The runner-up at the European Under-23 Championships in the 1500 meters this past summer, he owns a best of 1:47.92 in the 800m and 3:39.01 in the 1500m. Brewer was the European Junior runner-up in the 800 in 2007. Brewer was named to the UK's National team and will be in Berlin for the 2009 World Championships.

Michael Morrison, who is transferring from the University of Florida, earned All-American honors at the 2008 NCAA indoor championships in the heptathlon and was the 2007 SEC Indoor and Outdoor Freshman Athlete of the Year. He captured the 2008 Mt. SAC Relays title in the decathlon (career-best 7,803) and has also cleared 16-10.75 outdoors in the pole vault. Morrison has a HS best of 17'6.25' in the pole vault.

Chase Wheeler and Hammed Suleman both captured state titles this past spring. Wheeler, from De La Salle HS in Concord, won the long jump with a mark of 25-2.25, while Suleman, of Deer Valley HS in Antioch, went 49-7.50 to claim the triple jump competition. Wheeler has bests of 10.70 in the 100m and 21.68 in 200m. Suleman jumped a best of 51-2 in the TJ at the Oakland Relays, and he has gone 24-1 in the long jump.

Adding to Cal's distance corps is Collin Jarvis out of Rancho Buena Vista HS, who was the state runner-up in the 3200m with a time of 8:53.78. He also posted a time of 4:12.02 in the mile, which was the fourth-fastest mark among California high school runners in 2009. In addition, Jarvis won the Arcadia HS Invitational 3200m this spring.

The Bears gained three more sprinters in Thomas Blocker (Jesuit HS, Sacramento), Dash Oliver (Castro Valley HS) and Charles Saseun (Rancho Cucamonga HS). Blocker reached the state final in the 400m and posted a best of 47.69, in addition to times of 10.86 in the 100m and 21.49 in the 200m. Oliver has run 10.63 in the 100m and 22.09 in the 200m, while Saseun, the state runner-up in the 100m as a junior (10.39), went 10.52 in the 100m and 21.68 in the 200m this past year.

Maurice Valentine (Castro Valley HS) and Chad Jones (Bishop O'Dowd HS) are a couple of local products who will add depth, as well. Valentine owns a personal best of 6-11 in the high jump and 14.30 in the 110-meter high hurdles, and Jones has PRs of 23-7 in the long jump, 48-3 in the triple jump and 14.29 in the 110HH.

Cal has added a pair of strong distance runners in Matt Petersen (Davis HS) and Cody Schmidt (Redondo Beach HS). Peterson ran a career best in the state meet in the 3200 9:01.45, and Schmidt had a best of 9:07.71 in the 3200m in 2009.

Chris Vizcaino, a former Campalindo HS runner, is transferring to Cal from Iona. He will add experience to the Bear cross country team after being a of Iona's NCAA runner-up squad in 2008. Vizcaino has career bests of 8:14.21i, 14:28.03 and 30:17.22 in the 3000m, 5000m and 10,000, respectively.

Also part of the class are 6-9 high jumper Michael Tracy (Windsor HS) and Jeff Butler (St. Francis HS, Mountain View), who has PRs of 52-7 in the shot put and 170-11 in the discus.

Rounding out the class are distance specialists Andres Diaz (Loyola HS, Los Angeles), Rylan Hunt (Aptos HS, Santa Cruz), Renaud Poizat (Arcadia HS), Simon Schmidt (Redondo Beach HS) and J.P. Slater (Loyola HS, Los Angeles), as well as long jumper Robert Holman (Palo Alto HS) and hurdler Davis Williams (Santiago HS, Corona).

For the women, Sofia Oberg is the Swedish champion in the 800m and owns a best time in the event of 2:03.99. She has competed at both the World Junior Championships and the World Youth Championships, and she has won Sweden's U20 Cross Country Championships title. Oberg ran the 1500m once this summer, finishing with a PR of 4:24.83.

Angelica Weaver of Rancho Cucamonga captured the U.S. youth crown in the 400 hurdles earlier this year and competed at the World Youth Championships in Italy, where she finished fifth with a time of 1:01.48. Weaver's fastest mark in the 400H is 58.73.

Aziza Baker (St. Mary's HS, Berkeley) qualified for the 2009 state meet in the triple jump, placing fourth with a leap of 40-7.25. She has also covered 19-4 in the long jump.

Hillary Hayes (Edison HS, Huntington Beach) also earned a berth at the state championships this past spring where she took fourth in the 3200m in a time of 10:28.79. In addition, she set a PR of 4:53.50 in the 1600m in 2008.

Jasmine Joseph (Long Beach Poly HS) and Alima Kamara (Chavez HS, Stockton) bring sprinter speed to the Bears. Joseph ran 25.06 in the 200m and 55.68 in an injury-shortened season senior. Her career bests are 24.33 and 53.15. Kamara owns bests of 24.98 in the 200m and 55.60 in the 400m.

Malina Payton (Fremont HS, Oakland) will help out the team in the 100m and long jump. A state qualifier, she posted a best of 12.10 in the 100m and 19-9.5 in the long jump.

Completing the group of newcomers are high jumpers Kirstin Rimbach (Los Altos HS) and Gianna Fernandez (Presentation HS, Morgan Hill), throwers Clinay Cameron (Eisenhower HS, Fontana) and Omotayo Talabi (Chandler HS, Chandler, Ariz.), javelin thrower Mary Bruzzone (Acalanes HS, Lafayette), 400-meter hurdler Laureina Toler (Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd HS) and distance runner Nicole Hough (Redondo Beach, CA/Redondo Beach HS).

2010 Cal Men's Track & Field Recruiting Class
Thomas Blocker 200, 400 Fr Sacramento, CA/Jesuit HS
James Brewer 800, 1500 Jr S. Cheltenham, England/Univ.of Bath
Jeff Butler SP, DT Fr Mountain View, CA/St. Francis HS
Andres Diaz 3200 Fr Los Angeles, CA/Loyola HS
Robert Holman LJ Fr Palo Alto, CA/Palo Alto HS
Rylan Hunt 800, 1600 Fr Santa Cruz, CA/Aptos HS
Collin Jarvis 3200 Fr Vista, CA/Rancho Buena Vista HS
Chad Jones LJ, TJ Fr Oakland, CA/Bishop O'Dowd HS
Michael Morrison Decathlon, PV Jr Chesapeake, VA/Univ. of Florida
Dash Oliver 100, 200 Fr Castro Valley, CA/Castro Valley HS
Matt Petersen 3200 Fr Davis, CA/Davis HS
Renaud Poizat 3200 Fr Arcadia, CA/Arcadia HS
Charles Saseun 100, 200 Fr Rancho Cucamonga, CA/Rancho Cucamonga HS
Cody Schmidt 3200 Fr Redondo Beach, CA/Redondo Beach HS
Simon Schmidt 3200 Fr Redondo Beach, CA/Redondo Beach HS
J.P. Slater 3200 Fr Los Angeles, CA/Loyola HS
Hammed Suleman LJ, TJ Fr Antioch, CA/Deer Valley HS
Michael Tracy HJ Fr Windsor, CA/Windsor HS
Maurice Valentine HJ, 110HH Fr Castro Valley, CA/Castro Valley HS
Chris Vizcaino 5000, 10,000 Jr Lafayette, CA/Iona University
Chase Wheeler 100, 200, LJ Fr San Ramon, CA/De La Salle HS
Davis Williams 110HH, 400H Fr Corona, CA/Santiago HS

2010 Cal Women's Track & Field Recruiting Class
Aziza Baker LJ, TJ Fr Berkeley, CA/St. Mary's HS
Mary Bruzzone JT Fr Lafayette, CA/Acalanes HS
Clinay Cameron Discus Fr Fontana, CA/Eisenhower HS
Gianna Fernandez HJ Fr Morgan Hills, CA/Presentation HS
Hillary Hayes 1600, 3200 Fr Huntington Beach, CA/Edison HS
Nicole Hough 3200 Fr Redondo Beach, CA/Redondo Beach HS
Jasmine Joseph 200, 400 Fr Long Beach, CA/Long Beach Poly HS
Alima Kamara 200, 400 Fr Stockton, CA/Chavez HS
Sofia Oberg 800, 1500 Fr Lidingö, Sweden/Hersby Gymnasium
Malina Payton 100, LJ Fr Oakland, CA/Fremont HS
Kristin Rimbach HJ Fr Los Altos, CA/Los Altos HS
Omotayo Talabi Shot Put Fr Chandler, AZ/Chandler HS
Laureina Toler 400H Fr Oakland, CA/Bishop O'Dowd HS
Angelica Weaver 400, 400H Fr Rancho Cucamonga, CA/Rancho Cucamonga HS
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