March 3, 2012
BERKELEY - California got its 2012 outdoor season underway on a warm day at Edwards Stadium at the Cal Outdoor Opener Saturday. A number of young Golden Bears made their collegiate debuts, while several veterans posted personal-best marks.
Senior Taylor Bryson registered a lifetime-best of 2:09.05 in the women's 800 meters, the fastest by a Cal runner in the event by someone other than Sofia Oberg since the 2008 season. Oberg, who did not compete Saturday as she prepares for next week's NCAA Indoor Championships, has a best of 2:03.99.
Bryson took second in her race, trailing only Shannon Rowbury, a 2008 Olympic finalist in the 1500 meters who captured the 800 event in 2:07.13.
Angelica Weaver won the women's 400 meters in a lifetime-best 54.65, nearly a second lower than the 55.55 she posted at last year's Pac-10 Championships. Weaver set an indoor PR of 54.84 at the MPSF Championships last weekend and will be part of Cal's distance medley relay at the upcoming NCAA indoor meet.
"We had a number of people PR, people that are critical for us," director of track & field Tony Sandoval said. "Angel Weaver, who's on our DMR, ran faster than she did indoors in the 400, so that bodes well. Taylor Bryson had a five-second PR and will join our DMR in the 800 leg. She had a nice second lap and that's significant for us."
Freshman Jonathan Berry-Smith posted Cal's leading times in both the 200 meters (4th, 22.25) and 400 meters (1st, 49.37), while fellow rookie Chris Walden took second behind former Bear standout Michael Coe in the 1500. Coe won in 3:46.07, with Walden next in 3:51.35.
On the women's side, freshmen paced the Bears in the 100 and 200 meters and the javelin. Carisma Lyday finished second in the 100 in a wind-aided 11.98, and Gia Trevisan was runner-up in the 200 in 24.48. Cheri Chan was third in the javelin, and her mark of 131-4 puts her ninth on Cal's all-time performer list.
"Alima Kamara is back running pretty well," said Sandoval, noting that she took third in the 200, second in the 400 and anchored Cal's winning 4x400 relay. "Gianna Fernandez also went 5-8 in the high jump. That's a good step for her because she struggled indoors."
The Bears are off to the NCAA indoor meet in Boise, Idaho, next week, where they have several automatic qualifiers - Deborah Maier (3000, 5000), Chelsea Reilly (3000) and the DMR (Oberg, Weaver, Bryson, Maier).
Cal's next outdoor competition is the Hornet Open in Sacramento March 17.
Cal has three remaining home meets this season - Cal Multis April 4-5, the Big Meet vs. Stanford April 14 and the Brutus Hamilton Invitational April 27-28.
Cal Outdoor Opener
400 meters - 1. Jonathan Berry-Smith 49.37
100-meter hurdles - 2. Emani Truluck 14.01w (+2.5)
Long Jump - 2. Amanda Hunter 18-10.75w (5.76m) (+3.9)
Triple Jump - 1. Amanda Hunter 39-4.00 (11.99m)