Alysia Johnson, David Torrence Advance at USA Championships

June 25, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - Alysia Johnson posted a second straight strong performance at the USA Track & Field Championships Friday as the former Golden Bear ran the fastest time in the semifinals of the women's 800 meters. In addition, former Cal star David Torrence qualified for the men's 1500 final.

Johnson will aim for her second USA title in the 800 Sunday after capturing the event following her junior year with the Bears in 2007. On Friday, she was the only woman under 2 minutes, finishing in 1:59.43 in heat 1. Maggie Vessey took second in the heat with a time of 2:00.09, while Phoebe Wright, the 2010 NCAA champion from Tennessee, claimed heat 2 in 2:01.86.

'I feel really good,' Johnson said. 'I'm just excited to get out there and run fast.'

Johnson's winning time in 2007 was 1:59.47, or 0.04 seconds slower than she ran Friday. She set the Cal record of 1:59.29 in capturing the 2007 NCAA outdoor 800 championship.

Torrence ran a time of 3:39.67 in the men's 1500, which was the second fastest of the day behind Matt Tegenkamp's 3:39.57. His final will be contested Sunday, as well.

Torrence had a collegiate PR of 3:40.80 running for the Bears in 2007, and he ran 3:35.81 earlier this year, which currently ranks as the No. 4 mark in the United States.

Senior Mark Matusak did not advance in the 1500. Although he was 18th overall, his time of 3:41.67 was just over a second outside the last qualifying spot and stands as his second-fastest mark in the 1500. He ran a school-record 3:39.59 in May.

Former Cal distance runner Belota Asmerom did not finish in the men's 5000 meters, while junior Steve Sodaro did not start in the men's 3000-meter steeplechase.

Complete schedules and results from the USA Championships can be found here.


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