Aug. 1, 2012
With a group that includes the American junior record-holder in the women's hammer in addition to seven state champions, Cal Director of Track & Field Tony Sandoval and his staff have signed one of the strongest recruiting classes in recent school history.
"This year's recruiting class has to be one of our best, especially when considering the quality and breadth of freshmen and transfers," Sandoval said. "The entire coaching staff was fantastic throughout year in recruiting in California and scored big with recruits from Texas, Georgia and Illinois. We expect immediate contributions next year in cross country and indoor and outdoor track."
The seven state champions own 14 titles between them. Leading the group is Shelby Ashe of Stone Mountain, Ga., who broke the U.S. junior record in the girls' hammer (223-6) and competed at both the U.S. Olympic Trials and the IAAF World Junior Championships this past summer.
Randy Bermea, out of Harlingen, Texas, captured the state 5A title in the 300m hurdles and later took fourth at junior nationals with a time of 51.75 in the 400m hurdles in his first meet at the longer distance.
Bermea was one of three recruits named to the USA Today All-USA track & field team, with the others being throwers Torie Owers from Athens, Ga., and Ethan Cochran out of Costa Mesa, Calif.
Owers was the national prep leader in the girls' shot put with a best of 52-6.00 as a senior. She was a three-time state champion in the shot put and two-time winner in the discus, and she also competed at the World Junior meet alongside Ashe. Cochran dominated shot put and discus in California, winning CIF titles in both events. He will add the hammer to his events in 2013.
Noel Frazier (San Ramon, Calif.) was California's top high jumper throughout the year and won numerous meets, including the Arcadia Invitational.
Leland Later was the state champion in both cross country and the 1600m in Illinois. He also ranked second in the state and 13th nationally in the 3200m with a best time of 8:55.61.
Several other incoming student-athletes also placed high at the California state meet, including Xochi Navarrete (3rd, 1600m; 2nd, 3200m); Eric McDaniel (3rd, 100m; 1st, 4x100m relay); Victoria Rische (3rd, pole vault); and Thomas Joyce (8th, 3200m).
Two notable transfers are Anna Corrigan, an Academic All-American who was All-ACC in track & field and all-region in cross country at Virginia, and Rukayah Bent-Mikail, a two-time state JC champion in the triple jump at El Camino College.
2012 California Track & Field Recruiting Class
Shelby Ashe - Throws
Stone Mountain, Ga. (St. Pius X Catholic HS)
Graduated from high school in 2011 and spent 2011-12 training in track & field ... the U.S. prep record-holder in the 20-pound weight throw indoors (65-4.25) ... the 2010 National Scholastic Indoor champion in the weight throw ... set an American junior record in the hammer throw to win the USA Junior Championships title on June 16, 2012 (223-6) to earn a berth at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona, where she took 10th (192-4) ... a two-time Georgia state AAA champion in the shot put ... also state runner-up in the discus in 2011.
Molly Babcock - Distance
Irvine, Calif. (Woodbridge HS)
Enters Cal with high school PRs of 10:56.58 in the 3200m, 4:55.96 in the mile, 4:52.99 in the 1600m and 2:18.66 in the 800m - all from the 2012 season ... ranked fifth in the state in the mile ... took fourth in the 1600m at the CIF-Southern Section Division III meet ... won Pacific Coast League titles in the 1600m and 3200m ... finished fourth in the state Division II cross country meet in the fall of 2011, covering the 5000m course in 17:45.
Rukayah Bent-Mikail - Triple Jump
Gardena, Calif. (El Camino College)
A two-time state JC champion in the triple jump who has a best of 40-5 in the event ... also won conference and Southern California titles in both 2011 and '12 ... went to high school at St. Mary's Academy, where she won the CIF Division IV state title in the triple jump as a junior in 2009.
Sarah Cline - Sprints
Los Gatos, Calif. (Leigh HS)
Recorded bests as a senior of 11.92 in the 100m and 24.13 in the 200m ... 200m time ranked 11th in the state for 2012 ... competed at the New Balance Boise Indoor meet and covered 60m in 7.74.
Anna Corrigan - Distance
Burke, Va. (Univ. of Virginia)
A transfer from the University of Virginia ... did not compete outdoors in 2012, but was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America third team ... placed second in the 5000m (PR 16:25.81) and fifth in the 3000m at the ACC indoor championships ... earned all-region honors in cross country in 2011 after taking 10th at the regional meet ... placed 87th at the NCAA Championships ... owns additional PRs of 4:55.03 (mile), 9:30.86 (3000m) and 16:25.81 (5000m) indoors and 34:45.80 in the outdoor 10,000m.
Ashlyn Dadkhah - Distance
San Diego, Calif. (Torrey Pines HS)
Arrives in Berkeley with high school bests of 10:45.41 in the 3200m, 4:54.44 in the mile, 4:55.13 in the 1600m and 2:13.10 in the 800m ... ranked third in the state and 27th nationally in the mile in 2012, as well as ninth in the 1500m (4:52.19) ... captured the CIF San Diego Section title in the 1600m with her lifetime-best performance, while she was also third in the 3200m ... took 12th in the 1600m at the state meet ... league champion in the 1600m and 3200m as a senior ... qualified for the CIF state meet as a sophomore and placed 11th in the 800m (2:14.34) ... in cross country, competed in the CIF state Division meet four times and placed among the top 15 on three occasions - eighth as a sophomore and 14th as a senior and freshman.
Esther Higgwe - Sprints
Sacramento, Calif. (Monterey Trail HS)
Owns lifetime-best marks of 11.86 in the 100m and 24.50 in the 200m ... 100m time was 14th-best in the state for 2012 ... set both PR times while winning two events at the Sacramento Meet of Champions as a senior ... also won the 100m and 200m at the Sac-Joaquin Division I meet ... captured league titles in the 100m and 200m, as well as helped her school's 4x100m and 4x400m relays earn crowns.
Mariel Mendoza - Distance
Riverside, Calif. (J.W. North HS)
Placed 11th at the state championships in the 3200m as a senior (10:41.17) ... set a PR of 10:37.64 at the CIF Southern Section Division II finals, where she was fifth in 10:37.64 ... also owns a best of 4:51.98 in the 1600m ... captured her league title in the 3200m (10:50.06) and was runner-up in the 1600m (5:00.30).
Xochitl "Xochi" Navarrete - Distance
Ontario, Calif. (Colony HS)
As a senior, established PRs in the 800m (2:11.95), 1600m (4:47.19) and 3200m (10:22.49) ... 1600m time was third-fastest in the state in 2012, while she ranked fifth in the 3200m ... also ranked 13th and 15th, respectively, on the national list as a senior ... the state runner-up in the 3200m (10:25.85) and placed third in the 1600m (4:48.73) ... the Southern Section champion in the 1600m as a senior ... won three titles - 800m, 1600m and 3200m - at the Mt. Baldy League Championships ... ran the anchor leg on winning 4x100m and 4x400m relays at the Sacramento Meet of Champions ... also claimed first place in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters meet ... in cross country, finished 11th at the state Division II meet her senior year.
Victoria "Torie" Owers - Throws
Athens, Ga. (Athens Academy)
Led the nation with a throw of 52-6.00 in the shot put as a senior ... also ninth in the country in the discus with a best of 159-6 ... member of the 2012 USA Today All-USA track & field team ... finished second in the shot put at the USA Junior Championships in June 2012 (50-4.75) ... took seventh at the World Junior Championships in the shot (52-1.25) ... a three-time Georgia state class A champion in the shot put and two-time winner in the discus ... also won region titles as a junior and senior in the shot and discus ... captured the shot and discus at the Florida Relays her senior year.
Victoria Rische - Pole Vault
Santa Ana, Calif. (Foothill HS)
Tied for third in the state meet in the pole vault as a senior, where she set a lifetime best of 13-0.25 ... PV mark put her 14th nationally for 2012 ... took second in the state as a junior (12-4.00), sixth as a sophomore (11.9.00) and ninth as a freshman (11-4.00) ... won the league title her junior and senior years.
Randy Bermea - Hurdles
Harlingen, Texas (Harlingen HS)
Captured the Texas Class 5A state title in the 300m hurdles as a senior, running 36.87 ... also placed third in the 110m hurdles in 14.00 ... PR in the 300m hurdles of 36.46 from his junior season ranked fifth-best in the United States ... member of the 2012 USA Today All-USA track & field team ... owns a lifetime best of 13.79 in the 110mH, also from his junior year, which was No. 13 in the country ... won regional 5A crowns in the 110m and 300m hurdles as a senior and district titles in both events as a junior ... placed third in the 400m hurdles at the 2011 New Balance Outdoor National Championships and was fourth in the event at the 2011 USATF Junior Nationals with a PR time of 51.75.
Cody Bickham - Throws
Half Moon Bay, Calif. (St. Francis HS)
Finished seventh in the discus at the state meet as a senior with a mark of 176-11 ... set a PR with an effort of 184-6 at the St. Francis Invitational (#10 in California) ... best in the shot put is 56-0.60 from his junior season.
Andrew Bland - Distance
Pacific Palisades, Calif. (Loyola HS)
Enters Cal with best marks of 1:56.83 in the 800m and 4:13.95 in the 1600m ... finished second in the 1600m at the Mission League meet as a senior, while he was third in the race as a junior ... placed 40th in the state cross division II country meet his senior year.
Ethan Cochran - Throws
Costa Mesa, Calif. (Newport Harbor HS)
Captured CIF titles in the shot put (62-5.25) and discus (196-4) as a senior ... set his PR of 64-6.50 the shot put in qualifying (#1 in California and #9 in U.S.) ... member of the 2012 USA Today All-USA track & field team ... also won the CIF championship in the discus his junior year (185-9) ... best distance in the discus came during a victory at the Arcadia Invitational (209-8) ... mark ranked second in the country and first in California among preps for 2012.
Andrew Cruikshank - Multi-Events
Santa Ana, Calif. (Foothill College)
The 2012 California state JC champion in the decathlon with a score of 6,671 points ... finished third in the Orange Empire Conference finals as a freshman in 2011... primarily a discus thrower at Football HS, where he posted a top mark of 173-9.
Kyle Ezold - Sprints
San Marino, Calif. (San Marino HS)
An accomplished sprinter who enters Cal with a PR of 48.12 in the 400m ... placed eighth in the CIF state final in the 400m as a senior ... captured both the Rio Honda League titles in the 200m and 400m in 2012.
Noel Frazier - High Jump
San Ramon, Calif. (California HS)
The 2012 state champion in the high jump when he cleared 6-10.75 ... took first place in six of seven meets as a senior ... set his PR of 6-11.00 as a junior at the Sacramento Meet of Champions ... height ranked No. 2 in the state and No. 20 in the country among preps ... took second at the state meet as a junior and fifth as a sophomore (behind future Cal teammates Nick Ridge and Harrison Steed).
Juan David Garcia - Distance
Canyon Country, Calif. (Golden Valley HS)
The Foothill League runner-up at 3200m as a senior (9:17.74) ... PR effort in the 3200m of 9:16.15 came at the Distance Meet of Champions ... has a best time of 4:19.58 in the 1600m ... in cross country, placed seventh in the CIF state Division II meet in 2011 ... also 62nd at Nike Team Nationals ... took 20th in the CIF Division III division as a junior.
Joe Greenspun - Distance
Orange, Conn. (Boston Univ.)
Transfer is a three-time member of the America East All-Academic team in cross country as an electrical engineering major ... placed 16th at the America East Championships in 25:09.71 and was 81st at the NCAA Northeast Regional ... ran 3:55.33 in the 1500m prelims at the 2012 America East Championships before taking 11th in the final ... also a member of BU's third-place 4x800m relay.
Jared Hazlett - Distance
Trabuco Canyon, Calif. (Trabuco Canyon HS)
Enters Cal with high school best times of 9:13.62 in the 3200m and 4:22.05 in the 1600m ... placed ninth in the CIF Division I state championships in cross country in 2011 ... finished 77th at Nike Team Nationals.
Thomas Joyce - Distance
Moraga, Calif. (Campolindo HS)
Finished eighth in the 3200m at the CIF state meet in 9:11.07 ... PR of 9:03.23 came at the Arcadia Invitational ... owns a best of 4:10.35 in the 1600m from a victory at the Distance Meet of Champions ... has run the mile in 4:11.77 ... in cross country, took third at the CIF state Division III meet as a senior, improving from fifth place his junior year.
Wilmette, Ill. (Winnetka HS)
Set high school bests of 8:55.61 in the 3200m and 4:09.95 in the 1600m ... the 2012 Illinois state champion on the 1600m ... ranked second in the state and 13th nationally in the 3200m ... also 35th in the country in the 1600m ... finished fourth in the Illinois state AAA meet in the 1600m as a junior ... the Illinois state cross country champion his senior year, up from 44th as a junior ... took 10th at the Nike Cross Midwest Regional in 2011.
Kristian Martinez - Distance
Santa Clarita, Calif. (Golden Valley HS)
Captured the Foothill League title in the 800m (1:54.72) and was runner-up in the 1600m (PR 4:14.24) as a senior ... reached the CIF Southern Section finals in both events, taking fifth in the 800m and ninth in the 1600m ... best time in the 800m came as a junior at the Mt. SAC Relays (1:54.55) ... took 15th in the Division II race at the state cross country championships in 2011 ... also 83rd at Nike Team Nationals.
Eric McDaniel - Sprints
Palmdale, Calif. (Notre Dame HS)
Finished third in the state CIF meet in the 100m his senior year, running 10.67w ... also ran on the victorious 4x100m which helped propel Notre Dame HS to the team title ... PR of 10.56 in the 100m came in the preliminary rounds of the state meet ... second in the CCS 200m with a PR 21.46 ... a section finalist in the 100m (4th) and 200m (9th) as a junior ... the California indoor champion in the 55m (6.57).
Konstantine "Nikka" Piterman - Jumps
Oakland, Calif. (Piedmont HS)
Posted a high school best of 46-0.00w in the triple jump from his junior year ... fifth in the triple jump at the NCS Meet of Champions in 2012 ... won the TJ title at the Sacramento Meet of Champions as a junior when he registered his PR.
Cameron Roach - Sprints
Camarillo, Calif. (Rio Mesa HS)
Has run a PR 10.90 in the 100m ... finished sixth in the Southern Section Division III final with a time of 10.79w after going 10.74w in the prelims ... took third in the 200m at the section meet (21.59) ... anchored his school's 4x100m relay to league and section victories.
Elliott Surovell - Sprints
San Carlos, Calif. (Carlmont HS)
A state finalist in the 400m as a senior, finishing ninth in 49.51 ... ran a PR 47.73 in the prelims ... league champion in the 100m and 200m races, as well as the long jump ... the Central Coast section champion in the 400m.
Julius Travis - Sprints
Gilroy, Calif. (Gilroy HS)
League runner-up in both the 100m and 200m as a senior ... helped his school's 4x100m relay place seventh at the state meet ... qualified for the state meet in the 100m and 200m his junior year ... won the CCS title in the 200m in a PR 21.83 and was second in the 100m in a PR 10.67w.
Darion Williams - Hurdles/Multi-Events
Murrieta, Calif. (Vista Murrieta HS)
A multi-event athlete who competed in the long jump, high jump, hurdles and shot put in high school ... sixth in the 110m hurdles at the state meet after winning league and CCS Division I titles, including a PR 14.21 in the section meet ... also set best of 38.40 in the 300m hurdles, 6-6 in the high jump and 20-3.75 in the long jump as a senior.