Sports Brief: Guangul Heads Off For NCAAs

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Girmay Guangul will be Cal's lone representative at today's NCAA Cross Country Championships in Ames, Iowa. The race begins at 11 a.m.

Guangul, a freshman from San Jose, earned a spot at the NCAAs after finishing ninth at the NCAA Pacific Regionals Nov. 11 in Fresno, Calif.

The ninth place finish was the highest of any freshman at Regionals in Bears' history. Guangul was also the top finisher among all first-year runners at Regionals this season.

Guangul has emerged as Cal's leader for the men's cross country team this season in the absence of Bolota Asmerom, becoming the steady No. 1 runner the Bears needed with Asmerom redshirting this year and the loss of Peter Gilmore to graduation.

This season, Guangul has three top-5 finishes to his credit, including two second place finishes coming at the Aggie Invitational and the Cal Poly Invitational.

At the Pac-10 Championships, Guangul was the pacesetter for the men, finishing 20th in his first 10,000 meter race before rebounding for his top-10 finish at Regionals. The Pac-10 race was Guangul's lowest finish this season.

Guangul's finish at Regionals was the highest for a Cal harrier since Gilmore crossed the finish line sixth in 1997.

Last year, Asmerom and Gilmore finished 10th and 13th respectively at Regionals.

The duo didn't fare as well at NCAAs with Gilmore finishing 90th and Asmerom 103rd.


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