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Cal Track & Field add 33 athletes for 2020-21

The Golden Bears add an incredible set of talented student-athletes for the 2020-21 school year

Sanfranman59 on Wikipedia

The California Golden Bears are hard at work on the virtual recruiting trail and have announced the addition of 33 student-athletes to the track and field team for the 2020-21 school year. This is the first recruiting class of Robyne Johnson’s tenure as the leader of the Cal track and field program.

“This class is a testament to hard work by our staff to find a group of student-athletes that reflect the direction and vision of our program,” Johnson said. “We foresee many of these young men and women reaching the podium of the Pac-12 and on to a national level. We look forward to watching these student-athletes make their mark at Cal for years to come. Go Bears!”

Johnson is bringing in a slew of distance runners, as that clearly was a point of emphasis. Another point of emphasis also seems to be keeping great local talent on the west coast as of the distance runner additions, only one of them hails from out of state, and he’s a transfer from Penn State.

Gabriel Abbes | Temecula, Calif. | Great Oak HS
James Abrahams | Havertown, Pa. | Penn State | Havertown Township
Gianna Beasley | Pasadena, Calif. | South Pasadena HS
Carrick Denker | Dana Point, Calif. | Dana Hills HS
JP Garcia | Mountain View, Calif. | St. Francis HS
Arianna Griffiths | Temecula, Calif. | Great Oak HS
Garrett MacQuiddy | Campbell, Calif. | Westmont HS
Aric Reza | Temecula, Calif. | Great Oak HS
Haley Silva | Mountain View, Calif. | St. Francis HS
Piper Wilson | Doylestown, Pa. | Central Bucks West HS
Cole Sawires Yager | Temecula, Calif. | Great Oak HS
Claire Yerby | Half Moon Bay, Calif. | Half Moon Bay HS

Distance coach Bobby Lockhart had this to say about the additions:

“What a wonderful group of newcomers we have joining us in Berkeley. This class has promise and the ability to help us in a lot of areas over the next few years. I can’t wait to get started with them.”

Abrahams has a personal record of 15:10:34 in the 5,000-meter, a time he scored at the 2019 Big Ten Championships a year ago.

Three different athletes were added in the jumping circuit:

Busola Akinduro | Toronto, Ontario, Canada | North Albion HS
Kamau Carlisle | Mountain View, Calif. | Biola University | The King’s Academy
Abibat Rahman-Davies | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | Cal Poly | Los Osos HS

And three student-athletes were added for multiple events:

Toby Lai | Hong Kong | Good Hope School
Paige Martin | Bozrah, Conn. | Norwich HS
Hawa Wague | Sugar Land, Tex. |University of Houston |Fort Bend Austin HS

“I’m excited about this class of jumpers we have coming to Berkeley,” Johnson said. “I believe they will make an immediate impact on our program, compete for top spots in the Pac-12 and beyond.”

And multi-events coach Dan Lefever said of his additions:

“I’m excited to add Toby, Hawa and Paige to round out our group for the upcoming year. I believe in each athlete’s capability as a student, person and Cal track & field athlete. I always work to find great fits with the university and track & field program, and these three ladies are outstanding representatives. Adding them to our young roster is going to be fun going forward.”

In the sprinting/power circuit, Cal added another nine student-athletes:

Christian Catlin | Sacramento, Calif. | American River College
Kyle Johnston | Antioch, Calif. | Cal Poly Pomona
Ryan Lacefield | Carson, Calif. | Carson HS
Henry Larkin | Oakland, Calif. | DePaul | Oakland Tech HS
George Monroe | Columbia, Mo. | Hickman HS
Jenea Spinks | Trinidad & Tobago | TCU
Samir Thota | Coppell, Tex. | Coppell HS
Marcello Watson | Upland, Calif. | Upland HS
Naseem Woods | El Cerrito, Calif. | Arizona | El Cerrito HS

Spinks has a personal record of 11.67 in the 100-meters while Johnston and Woods return home to the Bay Area after beginning their careers at Cal Poly Pomona and Arizona.

Sprinting coach Charles Ryan had this to say about his additions:

“In today’s landscape it’s extremely tough to compete for an NCAA or Pac-12 Championship without a high-quality sprint/hurdle/relay group. I’m proud of the talent we have accumulated in our first class and look forward to the evolution continuing.”

The final additions were on the throws team, adding six student-athletes:

Jeff Duensing | Anaheim, Calif. | Esperanza HS
Michael Gupta | Lexington, Mass. | Lexington HS
Shiqi Liu | Beijing, China | Tsinghua University HS
Jake Porter | Anaheim, Calif. | Canyon HS
Anna Purchase | Nottingham, England | Nebraska
Justin Wirtz | Avon Lake, Ohio | Avon Lake HS

Mohamad Saatara, Cal’s throwing coach, had this to say:

“I’m very excited for our incoming freshmen class. They are exceptionally talented, motivated and focused. It will be very exciting to see how they develop and compliment our group and team in the future.”

Welcome to all the new student-athletes on the Cal Track & Field Team!