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Track & Field Adds 33 For 2020-21

Sep 2, 2020

Berkeley – California Director of Track & Field/Cross Country Robyne Johnson announced the addition of 33 student-athletes for the 2020-21 school year on Wednesday, her first recruiting class as the leader of the program.

"This class is a testament to hard work by our staff to find a group of student-athletes that reflect the direction and vision of our program," Johnson said. "We foresee many of these young men and women reaching the podium of the Pac-12 and on to a national level. We look forward to watching these student-athletes make their mark at Cal for years to come. Go Bears!"

The class features a heavy focus on distance runners and sprinters/power runners with 12 and 10 student-athletes joining those groups, respectively. The Bears also added six throwers, three jumpers and three multi event/pole vault athletes.   
 
Distance:
Gabriel Abbes | Temecula, Calif. | Great Oak HS
James Abrahams | Havertown, Pa. | Penn State | Havertown Township
Gianna Beasley | Pasadena, Calif. | South Pasadena HS
Carrick Denker | Dana Point, Calif. | Dana Hills HS
JP Garcia | Mountain View, Calif. | St. Francis HS
Arianna Griffiths | Temecula, Calif. | Great Oak HS
Garrett MacQuiddy | Campbell, Calif. | Westmont HS
Aric Reza | Temecula, Calif. | Great Oak HS
Haley Silva | Mountain View, Calif. | St. Francis HS
Piper Wilson | Doylestown, Pa. | Central Bucks West HS
Cole Sawires Yager | Temecula, Calif. | Great Oak HS
Claire Yerby | Half Moon Bay, Calif. | Half Moon Bay HS
 
Cal adds a strong group of distance runners to the squad this year, including six men and five women. Mid-year addition and transfer from Penn State, James Abrahams set a personal record of 15:10.34 in the 5,000-meters at the 2019 Big Ten Championships. Garrett MacQuiddy arrives in Berkeley with a fourth-place finish in the 800-meters at the 2018 CIF State Track & Field Championships and Carrick Denker took third-place at the 2019 CIF DII State Cross Country Championships. Gabriel Abbes, Aric Reza and Cole Sawires Yager each boast top-15 state finishes in high school. Gianna Beasley, a product of South Pasadena High School, joins the Bears after playing three years of basketball in high school, starting on varsity her senior year.
 
Distance Coach Bobby Lockhart: "What a wonderful group of newcomers we have joining us in Berkeley. This class has promise and the ability to help us in a lot of areas over the next few years. I can't wait to get started with them."
 
Jumps:
Busola Akinduro | Toronto, Ontario, Canada | North Albion HS
Kamau Carlisle | Mountain View, Calif. | Biola University | The King's Academy
Abibat Rahman-Davies | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | Cal Poly | Los Osos HS
 
Two women and one male student-athlete join the jumps squad for the upcoming season. Busola Akinduro took first-place in the triple jump at the 2019 Nike/Rowland Games with a leap of 11.54 meters, and set a new personal record with a jump of 12.60 meters to take second-place in the event at the OFSSA Provincial Championships. Kamau Carlisle competed in two meets at Biola in 2020 before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, taking third-place at the Beach Opener with a best mark of 6.85 meters in the long jump. Abibat Rahman-Davies joins the Bears after transferring from Cal Poly, where she won the 2019 Big West Outdoor Track & Field title in the triple jump with a personal best leap of 12.72 meters.

Jumps Coach Robyne Johnson: "I'm excited about this class of jumpers we have coming to Berkeley. I believe they will make an immediate impact on our program, compete for top spots in the Pac-12 and beyond."
 
Multi Events/Pole Vault:
Toby Lai | Hong Kong | Good Hope School
Paige Martin | Bozrah, Conn. | Norwich HS
Hawa Wague | Sugar Land, Tex. |University of Houston |Fort Bend Austin HS
 
Three women add to the multi events group for 2020-21, including one transfer and two high school products. Toby Lai joins the collegiate ranks with an IAAF top-25 mark in the world at the U18 level, a clearance of 1.79 meters (5-10) in the high jump. Hawa Wague transfers in from Houston, boasting personal bests of 4,704 points in the heptathlon and 3,728 points in the pentathlon. Paige Martin comes to Cal with a personal best of 12-6 in the high jump at Norwich High School.   
 
Multi Events Coach Dan Lefever: "I'm excited to add Toby, Hawa and Paige to round out our group for the upcoming year. I believe in each athlete's capability as a student, person and Cal track & field athlete. I always work to find great fits with the university and track & field program, and these three ladies are outstanding representatives. Adding them to our young roster is going to be fun going forward."
 
Sprints/Power:
Christian Catlin | Sacramento, Calif. | American River College
Kyle Johnston | Antioch, Calif. | Cal Poly Pomona
Joshua Keller | Weston, Fla. | Cypress Bay HS
Ryan Lacefield | Carson, Calif. | Carson HS
Henry Larkin | Oakland, Calif. | DePaul | Oakland Tech HS
George Monroe | Columbia, Mo. | Hickman HS
Jenea Spinks | Trinidad & Tobago | TCU
Samir Thota | Coppell, Tex. | Coppell HS
Marcello Watson | Upland, Calif. | Upland HS
Naseem Woods | El Cerrito, Calif. | Arizona | El Cerrito HS
 
Eight men and two women student-athletes add to the sprints/power group for the 2020-21 school year. Henry Larkin arrives back home in the Bay Area after a strong start to his career at DePaul, winning two Big East 400-meter titles. On the women's side, Jenea Spinks transfers in from TCU with personal records of 11.67 seconds in the 100-meters and 24.27 seconds in the 200-meters. Kyle Johnston and Naseem Woods are both Bay Area products returning home after starting their careers at Cal Poly Pomona and Arizona, respectively.
 
Sprints Coach Charles Ryan: "In today's landscape it's extremely tough to compete for an NCAA or Pac-12 Championship without a high-quality sprint/hurdle/relay group. I'm proud of the talent we have accumulated in our first class and look forward to the evolution continuing."
 
Throws:
Jeff Duensing | Anaheim, Calif. | Esperanza HS
Michael Gupta | Lexington, Mass. | Lexington HS
Shiqi Liu | Beijing, China | Tsinghua University HS
Jake Porter | Anaheim, Calif. | Canyon HS
Anna Purchase | Nottingham, England | Nebraska
Justin Wirtz | Avon Lake, Ohio | Avon Lake HS
 
The throws group adds four men and two women student-athletes to the mix for the 2020-21 school year. Anna Purchase transfers in from Nebraska with a personal record in the hammer throw of 200-9 at the 2019 NCAA West Regional. Jeff Duensing starts his college career after claiming eight victories in 2019 and finishing as a CIF State Championship finalist. Jake Porter tallied four wins in 2019 and comes to Berkeley with a personal best of 56-9 in the shot put and 165-10 in the discus. Justin Wirtz boasts a personal best of 177-10 in the discus throw entering his freshman year at the collegiate level.
 
Throws Coach Mohamad Saatara: "I'm very excited for our incoming freshmen class. They are exceptionally talented, motivated and focused. It will be very exciting to see how they develop and compliment our group and team in the future."