Cal Opens 2022 Campaign at USF Invite
BERKELEY – California men's and women's cross country kicks off the 2022 fall campaign Saturday at the USF Invitational in San Francisco. The men's 8,000-meter race will begin at 10 a.m. with the women's 6,000-meter race to follow at 10:45 a.m. Live results can be found here.
The Bears will toe the line on their own stomping grounds of the Bay Area this weekend, with the meet located at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The course is a 2,000-meter loop that is mostly flat with gradual elevation changes at the starting and finishing points.
Cal looks to build upon its 20-year history with the annual invitational this year. Since 2002, the Golden Bears men's team has claimed seven meet titles and five individual victories. Garrett Corcoran was the last Bear to clinch first-place when he raced for California in 2018. The most recent team title came in 2019, Bobby Lockhart's first season as the Bears' head coach.
The women's team also claimed the 2019 title, its sixth team victory since 2002. The women's side has also seen five individual first-place finishes at previous USF Invites, with the most recent victor being Bethan Knights in 2015.
At last year's USF Invite, the Cal men's team took home a second-place finish and placed two student-athletes, including 2022 returner Garrett MacQuiddy, in the top-10. Claire Yerby is the only returner for the women's side who competed in the 2021 meet. She took 48th-place in the 6,000-meter competition.
This year, the Cal men's team will be led by MacQuiddy and fellow returners Gabriel Abbes and Carrick Denker. MacQuiddy's last cross country performance was at the 2021 NCAA West Regionals where he was the top Cal-finisher and he set his personal record in the 10,000-meter race (31:18.4). He also ran his personal best in the 8,000-meter run last season at the NCAA Pre-Nationals Invite hosted by Florida State when he clocked in at 24:41.6.
Abbes and Denker both also set personal records at last year's NCAA West Regionals, with the two logging 32:33.1 and 31:54.1, respectively, in the 10,000-meter loop.
"I'm definitely ready to get back to racing and putting all the summer miles and early season tempo runs to use," MacQuiddy said. "This race will be a time to shake the rust off and get back into the grind of a long cross country race. We should have a great pack of guys together and we're all prepared."
Yerby will lead the women's team in competition this year. She set her personal best in the 6,000-meter run at last year's Sac State Invite when she clocked in at 22:33.6. Yerby competed in all five meets on the Bears' schedule in 2021, which was her first season competing on the collegiate cross country stage.
On both the men's and women's squads, new faces are expected to don the Blue & Gold at this year's season opener. The young talent that has been added to the cross country roster will surely bolster the team as it embarks on the start of its 2022 fall season this Saturday.