Sports Briefs: Bears' Medal Count Climbs Into Double Digits

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This year's Olympics have already proven that Cal athletes, past and present, are synonymous with medal-winners. With the Bears medal count up to 10, Cal athletes continue to impress down under.

Leading the barrage of Cal swimmers at this year's Olympics, Staciana Stitts joined fellow freshmen Anthony Ervin on the gold medal stand. While Ervin tied for gold in the 50-meter freestyle (21.98), Stitts captured gold as a member of the U.S. 400-meter medley relay. Stitts swam the breaststroke leg in an earlier heat (1:09.54) to help qualify the U.S. team for the finals, where the squad went on to capture the gold.

On dry land, former Bears track and field standout Chris Huffins claimed a bronze medal in the decathlon, finishing with 8,595 points - just 46 points behind gold medalist Erki Nool of Estonia (8,641) and 11 points shy of silver medalist Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic (8,606).

Huffins led after the first day, topping Great Britain's Dean Macey by eight points. Huffins strong first-day performance was due in large part to his success in the 100-meter dash (10.48 seconds) and the long jump (25 feet, 3.5 inches). After nine events, Huffins was still in first place, but only managed to score 688 points in the 1500 (4:38.71) and ended competition with a third-place finish.

Cal alumnas Joy Fawcett and former Bears soccer player Brandi Chastain also suffered close defeats. Both members of the U.S. women's soccer team, neither Fawcett nor Chastain could prevent Norway's overtime surge in yesterday's championship match. Fawcett and Chastain will return home with silver medals.

Bears runner Bolota Asmerom, who competed for Eritrea, placed 16th in his qualifying heat of the 5000 meters Wednesday (14:15.26) and failed to advance to the finals.

Harriers head to Stanford Invitational

The Cal men's and women's cross country teams head to Stanford Saturday to compete in the 27th annual Stanford Invitational. The race begins at 3:45 p.m. at the Stanford Golf Course and will feature approximately 4000 runners, including those running at the collegiate, high school and open competitor levels.

Building on last week's third-place finish at the Aggie Invitational, the men's team looks to continue improving its team finish and individual times. Freshman Girmay Guangul posted a team-high time of 24:46.70, good enough for second place at the Aggie Invite, and looks to be a strong contender this weekend.

On the women's side, the Bears are hoping to redeem themselves after a 17th-place finish out of 22 teams last weekend.

Both the men's and women's A teams will compete at Stanford. Kim Ramirez, who is out with a sprained ankle, and the freshmen will remain at Cal to rest for the San Francisco State Invitational Oct. 7.


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