Cal Alum Chuck Berkeley Wins World Cup Bobsled Event
Nov. 24, 2009
BERKELEY - Former Golden Bear track & field athlete Chuck Berkeley, who finished fourth in the 400 meters at the 2000 Pac-10 championships, teamed with John Napier to win a World Cup two-man bobsled competition last Saturday (Nov. 21) at Lake Placid, N.Y.
Berkeley served as brakeman for Napier, as the pair defeated fellow U.S. squad members Steven Holcomb and brakeman Justin Olsen by 0.26 seconds with a combined two-run time of 1:53.62.
In their first run, Napier and Berkeley had a push time of 5.16 seconds and a finish time of 56.75 seconds to lead a field filled with competitors boasting of Olympic and World Cup accomplishments. During their second run, the tandem had push of 5.14 and covered the course in 56.87 seconds.
Berkeley took up bobsledding in 2007. He first gained interest in the sport while a student at Cal, where he watched Darrin Steele train with Cal associate head coach Ed Miller for the 1998 Olympics. Berkeley joined the World Cup team in his first season and placed 16th at the World Championships with Napier. Earlier this season, he served as a push athlete for Todd Hays in the four-man bobsled at a World Cup event in Park City, Utah, finishing sixth. Berkeley was also third at the 2009 U.S. Bobsled Push Championships.
Originally from Pittsfield, Mass., Berkeley transferred to Cal from Diablo Valley College in 1998 and competed for the Bears during the 1999 and 2000 track & field seasons. His best mark was 46.95 in the 400 at the 2000 Pac-10 meet, where he placed fourth, and he anchored Cal's 4x400 relay that clocked a time of 3:09.81 at the Mt. SAC Relays in '00.