Cal Mourns Passing of David Torrence
David Torrence, a star middle-distance runner for the Golden Bears from 2004-08 and a 2016 Olympian for Peru, passed away Monday. He was 31.
"I'm in shock and heartbroken in learning of David Torrence's tragic death in an apparent pool accident this morning," Cal director of track & field Tony Sandoval said. "I can't think of anyone of my guys who best represented all that's good about Cal cross country and track & field. He was a runner from Loyola High School who dedicated himself at Cal and afterwards to become an Olympian, American-record holder and an athlete who everyone loved and respected. He was the heart and soul of the revival of the distance program while at Cal. He loved Berkeley and had so much pride in being a Golden Bear. My thoughts and prayers go out to his mother, Bianca, and his sister."
Torrence set the Cal freshman record in the 1500 meters in 2004 with a time of 3:43.62 – a record that continues to stand more than 13 years later. He ran a person-best 3:40.80 in the 1500 as a junior, which ranked No. 2 in school history at the time.
In addition, Torrence established the Cal record in the mile in 2007, with his time of 3:58.62 breaking Don Bowden's 50-year-old mark of 3:58.7 from 1957. Later that season, Torrence finished 13th in the 1500 meters at the NCAA Championships, crossing in 3:43.43. The following year, he place 10th in the event at NCAA's.
During indoor racing, Torrence helped the distance medley relay to a runner-up finish at the 2007 NCAA Championships with a time of 9:33.77.
Torrence also competed in cross country, earning all-region honors and leading the Bears to an 18th-place national finish his senior season.
Torrence represented Peru, where his mother was born, at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. He ran the 5000 meters and qualified for the final, placing 15th. He also competed at the World Championships in London earlier this month in the 1500 meters.
In 2015, Torrence, running for the United States, won a silver medal in the 5000 meters at the Pan American games in Toronto, while in 2014, he set an American record in the indoor 1000 meters (2:16.76).
Torrence owns personal bests of 3:52.01 in the mile, 3:33.23 in the 1500 meters and 13:16.53 in the 5000 meters.
From Reseda, Calif., Torrence arrived at Cal from Loyola High School, where he was a member of the school's cross country state and CIF championship team. He also excelled on the track and placed third in the 1600 meters as a senior at the state meet.
According to a police report, Torrence was found unconscious in a pool at a condominium complex in Phoenix early Monday morning. A cause of death was not given.