Jan. 8, 2013
BERKELEY - With All-American Deborah Maier leading the charge, the Cal women's indoor track & field team is ranked No. 9 in the country in the preseason ratings released Tuesday. The Golden Bears, who open the season Jan. 18-19 in Albuquerque, N.M., return four NCAA Championships qualifiers from last year's team that finished 15th nationally.
Among Pac-12 schools, Cal trails only Oregon, which is third in the preseason poll tabulated by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Also in the top 25 are No. 10 Washington, No. 12 Arizona and No. 13 Stanford.
Maier, a senior this season, was the national runner-up in both the 3000 and 5000 meters in 2012. Based on her times from last year, she is the top returning performer in the 5000 (15:29.24) and third in the 3000 (9:02.35). Sofia Oberg (800m, 2:05.32) and Malaina Payton (long jump, 20-5.75) are 10th in their respective events.
In addition, Cal's distance medley relay is ranked fourth based on its school-record time of 10:56.29 from 2012. Three members of the quartet - Maier, Oberg and Angelica Weaver - are back, with only Chelsea Reilly lost to graduation.
For complete information on the preseason rankings, visit the USTFCCA website.
The Bears compete for the first time in 2013 at the Cherry & Silver Invitational in Albuquerque, N.M. Jan. 18-19. The NCAA indoor meet is set for March 8-9 in Fayetteville, Ark.