Jan. 18, 2012
THIS WEEK IN CAL TRACK & FIELD: California opens the 2012 indoor track & field season with a trip to Albuquerque, N.M., for the Cherry & Silver Invitational Friday and Saturday. The Golden Bears will concentrate primarily on the jumps and sprints, as many of the distance runners are still revving up after their fall cross country campaigns. The meet will also provide an opportunity for many of the team's freshmen to see their first action against quality collegiate competition.
Events get underway Friday at 4 p.m. MT with the men's pole vault, while Saturday's activities begin at 9 a.m. MT with the women's pole vault, with the first running event at 11 a.m. MT.
Last year, Hammed Suleman posted the squad's most notable performance when he recorded a distance of 50-2.50 in the triple jump to become the first Bear to surpass 50 feet in seven years. Suleman later improved his PR to 52-10.75 and qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships, where he finished 12th.
The Cherry & Silver meet is the first of Cal's four regular-season indoor meets before the MPSF Championships Feb. 24-25. The Bears will make a return visit to New Mexico for the Don Kirby Invitational on Feb. 10.
RECORD-SETTERS, ALL-AMERICAN RETURN FOR 2012: Three school-record holders plus a 2011 indoor All-American return for the upcoming campaign in seniors Ray Stewart and Chelsea Reilly, as well as juniors Deborah Maier and Hammed Suleman.
Stewart established a Cal mark in the 60m hurdles with a time of 7.77 at the Husky Indoor Classic last year. He later captured the MPSF crown in 7.91 seconds. Stewart also won the Pac-10 outdoor title in the 110m hurdles in 13.48 seconds in May.
Maier, who redshirted last season, broke a pair of records in 2010, running the 3000m in 9:20.05 and the 5000m in 15:58.49. Her 3000m time is more than a second faster than Marilyn Davis' Cal outdoor mark of 9:21.43 from 1986. Maier is a two-time cross country All-American and a 2010 NCAA outdoor All-American in the 5000m who will be seeking her first indoor certificate this year.
Reilly added her name to the Cal annals last season when she covered the mile in 4:48.89 at the UW Invitational. She also claimed cross country All-America status in the fall.
Suleman, meanwhile, earned second-team indoor All-America honors for his 12th-place showing at the 2011 NCAA meet with a mark of 50-11.50 in the triple jump.
GOLDEN BEAR NOTES: Former Cal distance runners Magdalena Lewy Boulet (10th) and Brooke Wells (19th) placed in the top 20 at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston last weekend ... the Bears feature a pair of siblings on the roster in brothers Cody and Simon Schmidt and sisters Sofia and Rebecka Oberg; in addition, freshman pole vaulter Mackenzie Landry is the younger sister of former Cal pole vaulter Connor Landry ... Cal's women's cross country team finished 18th at the NCAA Championships in November, led by Deborah Maier (11th) and Chelsea Reilly (24th) ... over the summer, Angelica Weaver captured the USA junior title in the 400m hurdles with a time of 59.83, while Monte Corley won the 400m crown at the Pan Am Junior Championships in a Cal freshman-record 51.21 ... last year, the both the Cal men and women placed sixth at the MPSF Indoor Championships ... in addition to Hammed Suleman, two Bears earned first-team All-America status for their performances at the 2011 NCAA indoor meet - Mike Morrison (5th, heptathlon) and Allison Stokke (8th, pole vault).