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Kuechler takes 11th at Pac-10 Multi-Events

Redshirt junior Kevin Kuechler was the lone athlete representing the Cal track and field team at his final meet of the season and collegiate career, the Pac-10 Multi-Event Championships.

His teammate Mike Morrison, who leads the nation in the decathlon after posting a score of 7,921 points at the Texas Relays, opted to rest this week as he prepares for the NCAA championships.

Kuechler, however, did not qualify for NCAAs. As a result, this weekend's meet, held at Arizona's Roy P. Drachman Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., was the last one of his season as well as his collegiate career.

He finished in 11th out of the 15 participating athletes with a score of 6,507. After the first five events on the first day of competition, his 11th place position was a mere 34 points out of eighth place, but the gap grew on the second day and he finished with the same ranking.

Despite hurting his foot a couple weeks ago, Kuechler set season bests in the long jump and shot put with marks of 22-7.00 and 40-9.75, respectively. He also set a season best with a throw of 124-8 in the discus, the third furthest among all competitors.

- Byron Atashian

Durante named women's gymnastics coach

The Cal women's gymnastics team will start the 2012 season , its first after being reinstated by the campus, with a new face at the helm.

Danna Durante was officially hired as the program's new head coach on Thursday, and will take over for Cari Dubois, who retired from coaching after this past season. Durante, who competed collegiately at Arizona State from 1992 to 1995, arrives in Berkeley after a nine-season stint as an assistant and associate coach at the University of Nebraska. She also spent five years as an assistant at the University of Washington.

"I am grateful to Chancellor Birgeneau and Sandy Barbour for giving me this opportunity," Durante told "Seeing the support from within the athletics department, I am very excited for the future of the program.

She takes over a team that finished in sixth place - out of seven teams - at the Pac-10 Championships and sent a trio of gymnasts to NCAA Regionals this past season. As a team, however, the Bears have not qualified for Regionals since the 2007 campaign.

- Ed Yevelev


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