Track Teams Win Big Meet

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It is called the Hero's Race, the last race in every track meet. The 4x400 is the tie-breaker of every competition, designed specifically for meets like the Cal-Stanford Big Meet.

Tied, 79-79, going into the 4x400-meter relay, the Cal men's track team needed someone to lead the team and be a hero.

They needed Chuck Berkeley.

Berkeley led the Bears to an 84-79 victory over Stanford at Edwards Stadium in the 106th Big Meet Saturday with a blistering sprint in the mile relay to clinch the win. In addition, Berkeley took first in the 200 and 400, making him responsible for 15 of Cal's 84 points.

The last time Stanford won the Big Meet was 1997. The Bears have taken an astounding 28 of the last 29 Big Meets dating all the way back to 1972.

"Before the meet, I really thought Stanford had the edge," Cal coach Erv Hunt said. "We pulled out some big events that we needed. Stanford really is a great program and sometimes I don't think we should be on the same field with them, but we proved we can beat them."

In addition to Berkeley's heroics, there were other athletes who pushed their limits. After undergoing an emergency appendectomy less thanthree weeks ago, sophomore Jerriod Mack leapt 51 feet, 4 1/2 inches to win the triple jump and jumped 23-7 1/2 to take second in the long jump.

"You don't know what's inside a kid," Hunt said. "You just can't measure heart. I was more concerned with him hurting himself, but he said he was ready. What he did was borderline amazing."

Meanwhile, the women's team earned some redemption in a 83 2/3-79 1/3 victory over the Cardinal. Cal had lost the previous three Big Meets.

The underdog Bears clinched their victory before the mile relay largely due to freshman April Holliverse. Holliverse took first place in three events - the 100 hurdles, 400 hurdles, and 4x100. The relay time (45.75) was the fourth-best in school history.

Jennifer Joyce continued her dominance of the Pac-10 with a 200 foot, 4 inch throw to clinch the hammer throw. The second place throw was almost 30 feet shorter.

Junior Maria Lopez took first in pole vault with a 12-10 mark. Lopez is one of several athletes who will head to the NCAA Championships held at the end of the month.

"Earlier in the season, they said we had no chance to win," Hunt said. "I told them last week at a team dinner, 'If you want it bad enough, we can win this.' They wanted it."

This weekend for the Bears, most athletes will be competing in the Modesto Relays. But senior Bevin Hart, and junior Missy Vanek will be looking to win conference crowns at the Pac-10 Multi-event Championship in Eugene, Ore. Hart will be seeking his second title after winning in 1999.


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