Steve Sodaro Reaches NCAA Final in Steeplechase

June 9, 2010

EUGENE, Ore. - Junior Steve Sodaro qualified for the final of the men's 3000-meter steeplechase with a time of 8:43.04 in his semifinal heat Wednesday to highlight Cal's performances on the first day of the NCAA Track & Field Championships at Oregon's Hayward Field.

The Pac-10 champion in the event, Sodaro placed second in his semi to Princeton's Donn Cabral, who had the fastest time of the day in 8:42.84. Sodaro's mark was the next fastest, just head of the 8:43.08 by heat 1 winner Matt Hughes of Louisville. The top six finishers in each heat, plus the next two fastest advanced to the final.

Sodaro owns a best time of 8:40.60 in the steelple, which stands as the No. 3 mark in school history and sixth on the 2010 NCAA performance list. His final will start at 6 p.m. Friday.

In other action, Cal's women's 4x100-meter relay comprised of Malaina Payton, Kayla Dixon, Kristin Holmes and Cherrelle Garrett did not advance. The Bears, who entered the race seeded 23rd out of 24, placed 18th overall and seventh in their heat in 45.30 seconds. The quartet ran a season-best 44.97 at the NCAA preliminary meet to qualify for nationals.

Freshman Alima Kamara struggled in her heat of the women's 400 meters, placing 20th overall in 54.79. She reached the national meet with a PR 52.75 set two weeks ago.

The NCAA Championships continue Thursday when Cal will have a number of athletes in action. Seventh-seeded Mike Morrison begins day 1 of the decathlon at 10 a.m., and Connor Landry will compete in the pole vault final at 4 p.m. On the track, Mark Matusak will attempt to reach the final in the men's 1500 meters for the second time in three years, while the 4x400-meter relay will run its semifinal at 6:45 p.m. Deborah Maier will be the final Bear to make an appearance at the championships, racing in her 5000-meter final on Friday evening.

The meet continues through Saturday, and fans can follow the action online either through live results or live video streaming.

NCAA Track & Field Championships
Hayward Field, Eugene, Ore.

California Results

3000-meter steeplechase - 3. Steve Sodaro 8:43.04Q

400 meters - 20. Alima Kamara 54.79

4x100-meter relay - 18. Malaina Payton, Kayla Dixon, Kristin Holmes, Cherrelle Garrett 45.30

Q - qualified for final

Complete Results