Golden Bears Travel to NCAA Regional Championships

Nov. 9, 2009

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at NCAA Regional Championships
Saturday, Nov. 14
Eugene, Ore.
9:45 a.m.

CAL ON ROAD FOR NCAA REGIONALS: Invitations to the 2009 NCAA championships are on the line this weekend when the California cross country teams travel to Oregon for the NCAA regional meet. The event will be held at Springfield Country Club, with the men's 10,000-meter race beginning at 9:45 a.m. and the women's 6K starting at 10:45.

The top two teams in each race earn automatic berths to the NCAA championships Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. Individual and at-large bids will also be at stake.The women's field includes six ranked teams, including No. 27 Cal, as well as No. 1 Washington, No. 5 Oregon, No. 14 Stanford, No. 16 Arizona State and No. 24 Arizona. Five schools from the men's rankings will be present as well, led by top-rated Stanford.

The West Region encompasses colleges from the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, with the exception of Idaho State and Northern Arizona, which compete in the Mountain Region.Last season, the Cal men finished fourth and received a second consecutive at-large bid to NCAAs, where they placed 22nd. The Golden Bear women were seventh in 2008 and are seeking their first trip to the NCAA meet since 1988 when they were third at regionals.

Additional information on the regional meet can be found at here.

CAL WOMEN 5TH, MEN 7TH AT PAC-10 MEET: Sophomore Deborah Maier's sixth-place finish helped the Cal women's team take fifth overall at the Pac-10 championships Oct. 30 in Long Beach, Calif. - the program's highest placing since the Bears were third in 1988. Cal claimed seventh place in the men's competition. Maier, who completed the 6000-meter course in 20:00.10, had the best showing for a Bear individual at Pac-10s since Elissa Riedy was also sixth in 1997. She also improved on last year's team-best 41st-place finish at the '08 conference championships. The men, who were short-handed due to several key runners being affected by illness and injury, were paced by Steve Sodaro, who finished 18th.

BEAR WOMEN EARN TOP 30 RANKING: On the strength of its fifth-place finish at the Pac-10 championships, the Cal women are ranked 27th in the most recent USTFCCCA rankings. In addition, the Bears have moved up one spot to fifth in the West Region rankings, Cal's highest of the year.

GOLDEN BEAR NOTES: Steve Sodaro (Sac State, Stanford, Pac-10) and Deborah Maier (Stanford, Pre-NCAAs, Pac-10) are the only Cal runners to have led the Bears in more than one race this fall ... the Bears posted top-three team finishes in each of their first three races this season, including a victory by the men at the opening USF Invitational ... Keena Kohl claimed individual honors in the women's race at the USF Invite.

HEAD COACH Tony Sandoval: Tony Sandoval is in his 18th season as head coach of the Cal men's and women's cross country teams and his 28th year overall at the university. Also in his third year as head men's and women's track & field coach, Sandoval was the head women's track & field and cross country coach at Cal from 1982-91, prior to the merger of the men's and women's programs into a single entity in 1992. Over the past two years, he has guided the Golden Bear men's cross country team to its best finishes in school history, claiming 15th place at the NCAA championship meet in 2007 and coming in 22nd place last fall. A combined eight men's and women's runners have gained All-American status under his guidance, including Yosef Ghebray, who became just the third Cal male ever to earn cross country recognition last year. Among the women who have benefited from his coaching are Magdalena Lewy, a U.S. Olympian in the marathon in 2008, and Alysia Johnson, the U.S. champion in the 800 meters in 2007. The Bear women finished 15th at the 1984 NCAA meet, then returned in 1988 to take ninth place.

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