May 27, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas - Four Golden Bears advanced stayed alive in their quest to advance to the NCAA national meet by qualifying in their opening round races Thursday on the first day of the NCAA West Preliminary meet on the University of Texas campus.
Senior Mark Matusak advanced to Saturday's quarterfinals of the men's 1500 meters, qualifying 14th overall with a time of 3:44.12. Matusak has a lifetime best of 3:42.24, which he set in taking third place at the Pac-10 Championships in Berkeley earlier this month.
Senior Cherrelle Garrett saw her season continue when she took second in her heat of the women's 100 meters. Her time of 11.77 seconds was 12th overall, and she will vie for a spot at nationals during her quarterfinal Friday afternoon.
In the women's 400 meters, freshman Alima Kamara posted a time of 54.02, which was 20th-best among the competitors and allowed her to remain in the competition. Her quarterfinal race will be Friday afternoon. However, freshman JAsmine Joseph did not advance after placing 34th in 54.82.
Finally, in the women's 800 meters, freshman Sofia Oberg was third in her heat in 2:08.92 to automatically advance to the quarterfinals on Friday.
Other Bears did not fare as well on Thursday. Junior Allison Stokke cleared a season-best 13-5.25 in the pole vault, but just missed advancing to the national meet. She tied for 14th in the field, with only the top 12 moving on, after missing on all three of her tries at 13-7.25. Teammate Theresa Raub finished 23rd with a height of 12-9.50.
In the women's 400-meter hurdles, Natalya Beneby ran a PR 1:00.50 in her heat, but the time was only 28th on the afternoon and she did not advance. Freshman Angelica Weaver was 41st with a time of 1:02.16.
Junior Kari Karlsson, who ran 29:31.82 in the 10,000 meters at the Pac-10 Championships two weeks ago, finished in 30:39.35 Friday in the Texas heat, which reached the mid-90s during the day. His time put him 28th in the field, and he did not advance.
Freshman Hammed Suleman missed by a mere two inches of qualifying for nationals in the men's long jump. His best effort was 24-4.50, which put him in 15th place, while the 12th and final spot required a distance of 24-6.50. Suleman will have another opportunity to reach Eugene when he competes in the triple jump Saturday.
Junior Mike Morrison was 36th in the long jump at 22-9.00. However, he has already secured his spot at nationals in the decathlon, where he is rated seventh in the country after scoring 7,557 points at the Texas Relays March 31-April 1.
Each of the quarterfinal races will consist of three heats, with the top three finishers in each heat, plus the next three fastest times, advancing to the national semifinals in Eugene, Ore., June 9-12. In the field events, the top 12 finishers in each event qualify for nationals.
The NCAA West Preliminary meet continues through Saturday, and the Bears have a total of 32 competitors in the field. More information on Cal's complete list of entries can be found here.
NCAA West Preliminary Rounds
10,000 meters - 28. Kari Karlsson 30:39.35
Shot Put - 33. Patrick Kowalsky 53-11.25 (16.44m)
800 meters - 16. Sofia Oberg 2:08.92q
Javelin - 40. Danielle Hoolko 127-0 (38.71m)