Oct. 30, 2010
SEATTLE, Wash. - Cal's 22nd-ranked men's cross country team placed third and the Bears' No. 22 women's squad was fifth at the Pac-10 Championship Saturday run at the Jefferson County Golf Course. The men matched their highest finish ever, while the women tied for their best result since 1988.
"We were very pleased with our performances today," head coach Tony Sandoval said. "Michael Coe and Deborah Maier were outstanding in a very deep field in both races. We're excited about our chances at regionals to earn bids to the NCAA Championships for both teams."
No. 1 Stanford runners finished 1-2-3 en route to the men's title with 25 points, followed by No. 3 Oregon with 56 points and Cal with 86. UCLA was fourth with 101 points. The Bears improved from seventh last year and were third for the fourth time in the last six years (also 2005, '07 and '08 (tie)).
Coe, who redshirted last fall, placed quite a bit better than in his last appearance at the conference championships when he was 21st in 2008. He covered the 8000-meter distance in 23:12.33, and his result was the highest for a Cal runner since Yosef Ghebray was also sixth two years ago. No Cal runner has finished higher than sixth since 1997.
Senior Steve Sodaro was the second Bear runner on the day, taking 12th in 23:50.29. Last season, Sodaro paced Cal when he was 18th at the meet.
Junior Maxime Chevee had perhaps the most surprisingly strong finish for the Bears by being the third Cal runner and taking 19th overall in 24:01.68. He didn't make the trip to Cal's previous meet to the Pre-NCAA Invitational and wasn't a member of the Bears' Pac-10 lineup last season.
Collin Jarvis (22nd, 24:05.22) and Cody Schmidt (28th, 24:16.97) rounded out Cal's scorers, with Kari Karlsson (38th, 24:31.91) and Simon Schmidt (60th, 25:14.23) completing the Bears' list of competitors.
On the women's side, Maier moved up three spots from her sixth-place finish a year ago when she became the first Cal woman to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors. This season, she covered 6000 meters in 20:01.85 and had the highest placing for a Bear woman since Sabrina Han was also third in 1990.
Cal's next four runners were bundled within 10 spots of each other, led by Chelsea Reilly, who was 28th in 20:49.17. Rowena Tam was 30th in 20:50.26, followed by Laurynne Chetelat (33rd, 21:01.92) and Heather Cerney (38th, 21:07.56). Cerney, a freshman, had run only twice earlier this year and was 40th in her most recent race at the Stanford Invitational in late September.
The women's team race evolved into a battle that saw four teams separated by just six points. No. 9 Stanford prevailed with 62 points, followed by No. 6 Arizona (65), with No. 2 Oregon and No. 20 Washington tying for third (68). The Bears were fifth with 132 points.
Cal also placed fifth last year and has not been higher than No. 5 in the conference since the Bears were third in 1988, the last time they qualified for the NCAA Championships.
Cal returns to action Nov. 13 for the NCAA West Regional held at Springfield, Ore.
Men's Results - 8000 meters
Individual Winner: Elliott Heath (Stanford) 23:00.46. Cal Finishers: 6. Michael Coe 23:12.33; 12. Steve Sodaro 23:50.29; 19. Maxime Chevee 24:01.68; 22. Collin Jarvis 24:05.22; 28. Cody Schmidt 24:16.97; 38. Kari Karlsson 24:31.91; 60. Simon Schmidt 25:14.23.
Women's Results - 6000 meters
Individual Winner: Jordan Hasay (Oregon) 19:55.95. Cal Finishers: 3. Deborah Maier 20:01.85; 28. Chelsea Reilly 20:49.17; 30. Rowena Tam 20:50.26; 33. Laurynne Chetelat 21:01.92; 38. Heather Cerney 21:07.56; 44. Taylor Dutch 21:22.76; 49. Sofia Oberg 21:31.86.