29 Bears on Entry List for NCAA Preliminary Rounds

May 21, 2010

BERKELEY - California track & field will be well represented in the NCAA preliminary rounds as 29 individuals plus two relays have earned berths in the field and will compete May 27-29 in Austin, Texas.

In a change from previous years, there are no qualifying standards for the 2010 NCAA Championships. Instead, the top 48 entries in individual events and the top 24 relay teams have been invited to one of two preliminary round sites to determine the field for the national meet held at the University of Oregon's Hayward Field June 9-12.

At the preliminary round sites, first-round and quarterfinal heats will narrow the list of competitors, with the semifinals and championship events contested in Eugene, Ore. For the heptathlon and decathlon, the top 24 entries will not compete in the preliminary rounds and will advance directly to nationals.

For the Bears, 12 men have earned berths based on their performances during the 2010 outdoor season. Junior Steve Sodaro, the Pac-10 champion in the 3000-meter steeplechase, is the highest ranked Cal athlete, holding down the third position in the steeple with his conference-winning time of 8:40.60.

Senior Mark Matusak is 15th in the West in the 1500 meters after running a PR 3:42.24 to capture third place at Pac-10s, while Patrick Kowalsky is 13th in the shot put with a best of 59-3 in his specialty. In addition, junior Michael Coe is ninth in the 5000 meters with his best of 13:48.64, and Brian Carmichael is 17th in the high jump after clearing a PR 7-0.25 at the Pac-10 meet.

Three Bears will be in the pole vault - No. 16 Connor Landry, who has a best of 17-3.75; No. 32 Justin Miller (16-10.75) and No. 43 Ryan Shuler (16-7.50).

Cal will have two competitors in two events. Freshman Hammed Suleman qualified in both the long jump (25th, 24-8.50) and the triple jump (39th, 49-9.25). Junior Mike Morrison will vie in the long jump in the preliminary rounds after recording a best of 24-4.25 at the Pac-10 Championships. He has also earned one of 24 national berths in the decathlon, where he ranks seventh after scoring 7,557 points at the Texas Relays.

Other Bear men who will be in Austin are Cody Schmidt (3000m steeplechase, 9:03.07) and Miles Palacios (hammer, 199-1).

Seventeen Cal women, as well as both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, will make the trip to the NCAA preliminary rounds.

A pair of Bears is rated in the top 10 in their respective events. Sofia Oberg is sixth in the 800 meters after posting a time of 2:05.27, and Tracey Stewart is eighth in the triple jump. Stewart had a wind-aided mark of 42-11.50, more than a foot longer than her previous career best, to take second at the Pac-10 meet.

Three Cal runners will be in the 5000 meters, led by Deborah Maier, who ran 16:15.39 at Pac-10 despite an injury that had sidelined her the previous three weeks. Maier ran a school-record 15:58.49 indoors earlier this year, which would stand as the seventh-fastest outdoor time in the West. Alison Greggor (22nd, 16:25.88) and Michelle Davis (43rd, 16:49.62) will run alongside Maier in the 5000.

Junior Cherrelle Garrett will look to advance to nationals again, as she is 24th in the West in the 100 meters with a time of 11.67 seconds. She was second at West Regionals and 15th at NCAAs in the 100 last season.

A pair of freshman will represent Cal in the 400 meters in No. 18 Alima Kamara (53.68) and No. 30 JAsmine Joseph (54.12), while two Bears will also be in the pole vault - No. 22 Allison Stokke (13-3.75) and No. 29 Theresa Raub (13-0.25).

In the high jump, Kristen Meister is seeded 14th with a height of 5-10.75.

The remainder of the Bears contingent includes: Angelica Weaver (400-meter hurdles, 1:00.10); Natalya Beneby (400-meter hurdles (1:00.91); Malaina Payton (long jump, 19-10.75); Mercedes Marchbanks (triple jump, 41-6.50); Linda Oseso (hammer, 178-11); and Danielle Hoolko (javelin, 143-6). Cal's 4x100-meter relay is seeded 16th with a time of 45.18 and the 4x400 relay is seeded 18th at 3:40.06.

For a complete list of entries, as well as schedule information, visit the NCAA website.

California NCAA Preliminary Round Entries

Women                                RegionalName                   Event        Rank   MarkCherrelle Garrett      100m           24   11.67Alima Kamara           400m           18   53.68JAsmine Joseph         400m           30   54.12Sofia Oberg            800m            6   2:05.27Deborah Maier          5000m          19   16:15.39Alison Greggor         5000m          22   16:25.88Michelle Davis         5000m          43   16:49.62Angelica Weaver        400m Hurdles   27   1:00.10Natalya Beneby         400m Hurdles   42   1:00.91Team                   4x100m Relay   16   45.18Team                   4x400m Relay   18   3:40.06Kristen Meister        High Jump      14   5-10.75 (1.80m)Allison Stokke         Pole Vault     22   13-3.75 (4.07m)Theresa Raub           Pole Vault     29   13-0.25 (3.97m)Malaina Payton         Long Jump      40   19-10.75 (6.06m)Tracey Stewart         Triple Jump     8   42-11.50 (13.09m)Mercedes Marchbanks    Triple Jump    25   41-6.50 (12.66m)Linda Oseso            Hammer         45   178-11 (54.53m)Danielle Hoolko        Javelin        47   143-6 (43.75m)

Men RegionalName Event Rank MarkMark Matusak 1500m 15 3:42.24Steve Sodaro 3000mSC 3 8:40.60Cody Schmidt 3000mSC 43 9:03.07Michael Coe 5000m 9 13:48.64Brian Carmichael High Jump 17 7-0.25 (2.14m)Connor Landry Pole Vault 16 17-3.75 (5.28m)Justin Miller Pole Vault 32 16-10.75 (5.15m)Ryan Shuler Pole Vault 43 16-7.50 (5.07m)Hammed Suleman Long Jump 25 24-8.50 (7.53m)Mike Morrison Long Jump 38 24-4.25 (7.42m)Hammed Suleman Triple Jump 39 49-9.25 (15.17m)Patrick Kowalsky Shot Put 13 59-3.00 (18.06m)Miles Palacios Hammer 22 199-1 (60.69m)Mike Morrison Decathlon* 7 7,557*automatically advances to NCAA nationals in decathlon

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