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www.claremont-hotel.com 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA 94705
FEATURES A Bond Nearly a Decade in the Making What began in the hallways of Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, Calif., outside of Los Angeles nearly nine years ago has evolved to a special bond on and off the basketball court in Berkeley today. Seniors Justin Cobbs and Richard Solomon first met early in their prep careers and have evolved into leaders for the Golden Bears.
One Cool Competitor
Sophomore swimmer Elizabeth Pelton understands how to perform under pressure. She’s gained places on three different World Championships teams, been named the 2013 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year and set an American record in the 200-yard backstroke. But there was one painful instance where her coolness got away that has shaped who she is today.
Alan Mendelson: All In for Cal
A grandson of immigrants who was born and raised in San Francisco and became a successful Silicon Valley attorney on the strength of his degree from the University of California, Alan Mendelson in some ways fits the classic profile of an alumnus from the 1960s. But his devotion to his alma mater, in Intercollegiate Athletics and other areas, has been close to unparalleled.
Thriving in the Team Concept
Super sophomore record-holders Josh Prenot and Jacob Pebley took unconventional routes to become Golden Bears, but both are now on straight ahead paths to lead the Cal men’s swimming & diving team to another run at an NCAA title … and to compete for a spot on the 2016 Olympic Team.
WInter 2013-14 ON THE COVER Creative Processing
Lindsay Gottlieb is a film junkie. The Cal women’s basketball coach watches countless hours of games, analyzing, learning and critiquing plays, sets and tendencies. But when she breaks down and watches film of her Golden Bears, she hears another voice yelling out instructions or encouragement other than the one in her head – the one belonging to senior Mikayla Lyles.
Sophomore Serena Leong describes her first preseason as a Cal women’s gymnast as pathetic. But after huffing and puffing her way through training while battling self-doubt and uncertainty last fall, she eventually smiled and flipped her way to Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors with a standout year in the classroom, as well.
DEPARTMENTS LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS...................................2 SIDELINE REPORT................................................................................4 WHERE ARE THEY NOW?..................................................................16 SEASON PREVIEWS...........................................................................18 FACES IN THE CROWD......................................................................27 ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT................................................................34
from Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour
Dear Friend of Cal Athletics:
ithin intercollegiate athletics, things can appear easy on the outside when the wins pile up and championships are won, when graduation rates are soaring and when the financial coffers are full. We have certainly seen our share of success in all three areas recently – a combined 34 medals in the last two Olympics, regular top-10 finishes in the Directors’ Cup, nine teams above 90 percent in the latest Graduation Success Rate figures, and generous contributions that enable us to support the total student-athlete experience at Cal.
As we all know, the ebb and flow of daily life doesn’t always go the way we want. In those moments, there is one word that comes to my mind: Resolve. Putting student-athletes at the forefront of our attention every day, we are resolved to provide the conditions they need for success. That principle never wavers. Within that philosophy, we also must be good stewards of our resources and serve our many stakeholders in a variety of ways. At times, we make decisions that may not always be popular, but they are done in the best interest of Cal and Cal Athletics.
There is no doubt that we have just completed a challenging fall semester. In particular, wins didn’t come as expected on the football field, and graduation rates for a few of our programs did not meet our expectations. We have listened to your voices and we have seen and heard what has been reported in the media. However, we are not shying away from such news. Instead, we are as determined as ever to bring each and every deficiency back up to our high standards. To help us reach that end, in November, I called for a special faculty-led task force that will identify and examine key factors that impact the total student-athlete experience at Cal and offer actionable recommendations to our policies and practices by June of 2014.
Within our football program, Sonny Dykes has shown that he is an educator at heart. He and his staff are creating a culture to allow their student-athletes to connect to the University and be enthusiastic and proud to be Golden Bears. I am absolutely convinced that we have the right man leading the program and that we are on the path to success. Although change can take time, positive outcomes are starting to show, particularly in the academic area.
When the NCAA releases the next set of graduation results, football’s rate is expected to be 65 percent for freshmen who entered in 2007 – a more than 50 percent year-over-year improvement – while the team’s Academic Progress Rate is estimated to be 969 for the 2012-13 academic year, which projects to a nearly 85 percent graduation rate. Progress indeed, and we still have further to go. The clearest indication that we share a community that believes in our overall mission came just this past Dec. 3 when we participated in #GivingTuesday, the new nationwide initiative that kicks off the end-of-the-year giving season. Current and former student-athletes across the spectrum of sports expressed their compassion by volunteering their time to serve others in the Bay Area, while our Golden Bear fans and alumni contributed nearly half a million dollars in one day to Cal Athletics. Your support empowers us to strive for the high ideals expected at the world’s No. 1 public university. Together, we should hold out for nothing less.
Issue 46 – Winter 2013-14 ATHLETIC ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS: Sandy Barbour DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS/CHIEF OF STAFF: Teresa Kuehn Gould DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF ATHLETICS/COO: Solly Fulp EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE AD/DIRECTOR OF ADVANCEMENT: Phil Esten SENIOR ASSOCIATE AD/INTERCOLLEGIATE SERVICES: Foti Mellis SENIOR ASSOCIATE AD/CFO: David Secor
EDITORIAL STAFF 349 Haas Pavilion Berkeley, CA 94720 EDITOR: Herb Benenson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Scott Ball, Dean Caparaz, Doug Drabik, Miquel Jacobs, Nicole Loscavio, Anton Malko, Kyle McRae, Tim Miguel, Jonathan Okanes, Mara Rudolph, Jordan Stepp DESIGN: Evan Kerr PHOTOGRAPHY: John Todd (GoldenBearSports.com), Michael Pimentel, Michael Burns, Richard Ersted, Don Feria, Evan Kerr, Mollie McClure, Nathan Phillips, among others
ATHLETIC DEVELOPMENT OFFICE 195 Haas Pavilion Berkeley, CA 94720 (510) 642-2427 firstname.lastname@example.org
ATHLETIC TICKET OFFICE (800) GO BEARS For daily updates on Cal Athletics, including schedules, press releases and player profiles, visit the department’s official website at CalBears.com.
ON THE COVER Mikayla Lyles has enhanced her creative skills by working on websites, videos and photography with the Cal women’s basketball team.
Director of Athletics
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General Manager: Mike Kohler (510) 643-4825 email@example.com The Cal Sports Quarterly is published four times per year by the University of California Athletic Department.
www.bigotires.com • 1.800.NEWTIRE winter 2013-14
Cal Holds Special Place for Kabam Leadership
hen Kabam co-founder and CEO Kevin Chou addressed the crowd gathered to hear the announcement that his company had secured field naming rights to California Memorial Stadium, his words came from the heart. Growing up in Moorpark, Calif., as the son of immigrants to the United States, Chou spoke of his journey to Berkeley and meeting incredible people from all walks of life on campus. “A confluence of ideas, of cultures, of people, of innovation,” Chou said. “It was such an awakening Kevin Chou for me in terms of learning about the world and learning about myself and having an incredible education at the same time.” Now, Cal and Kabam have formed a 15-year partnership renaming the field “Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium.” Valued at nearly $18 million, it is the largest field naming rights deal in college sports. However, the contract extends well beyond two logos that will be placed on the field. It includes scholarship and internship programs for students, the donation of 500 tickets to veterans and their families to attend Cal football games annually, and the creation of an interactive zone for fans at Memorial Stadium. In addition, Cal Athletics will donate $25,000 each year to the University Library.
Kabam staff who are Cal graduates pose on Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium.
“From the beginning, it was essential that we find a naming rights partner that would promote a meaningful association with our department and the campus as a whole, as well as value the academic and athletic excellence of our University,” Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. “As a company, Kabam projects innovation and high performance, two characteristics we value highly in Cal Athletics. Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium recognizes the important new partnership and keeps the stadium’s cherished name, now and forever.” Mike Li, one of three co-founders who graduated from Cal, originated the business plan for what eventually would become Kabam in Engineering 110, a class he took in Bechtel Hall. Today, Kabam has been recognized as the fastest growing internet media company in the Bay Area the past two years. “To be here a decade after graduating and having the opportunity to name the field at California Memorial Stadium after the company that I started is such an incredible honor,” Chou said. “I can’t imagine a closer tie that a CEO can have with the alma mater that he loves. It’s just a really, really special moment for me.”
Annual Battle of the Bay Set for Feb. 2 in Berkeley
al women’s basketball is back in full force for the 2013-14 season. Coming off a historic Final Four appearance and Pac-12 title last year, the Bears are back in the top 25 and have their sights set on another long run in the NCAA Tournament. Cal begins the Pac-12 slate with back-to-back home games vs. Oregon State and Oregon Jan. 3-5. The Bears then host USC and UCLA Jan. 24 and 26 before heading into a big week vs. Stanford. Following a Jan. 30 matchup at Stanford, the Cardinal visits Haas Pavilion on Sunday, Feb. 2 for the Berkeley version of Battle of the Bay. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN2. To help fill Haas for the important contest that could have national implications, the first 500 kids in attendance for the Stanford home game will receive a replica Cal jersey, and tickets are free for all youth grades 12 and under. For more information about Battle of the Bay and the full women’s basketball schedule, visit CalBears.com/wbasketball.
cal sports quarterly
Giving Back to the Community: Cal’s First #GivingTuesday a Big Success
al’s first year of participation in the national Cal donors also answered the call to show their support for #GivingTuesday initiative Dec. 3 can be certified as an Cal Athletics, contributing more than $470,000 in online gifts unqualified success, with student-athletes volunteering to various Cal Athletics teams and programs. their time to support those less fortunate and Golden Bear fans “GivingTuesday was a wonderful way to make a difference at and alumni contributing nearly $500,000 to Cal Athletics. Now in its second year, #GivingTuesday coincides with the Thanksgiving Holiday and days such as “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” and serves as a celebratory, fully connected day to kick off the giving season, when many make their holiday and end-of-year charitable gifts or volunteer their time in the community. As an outreach effort with the student-athlete-driven BearTracks initiative, members of the Golden Bear Advisory Committee (GBAC) visited the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland to help with homework, play games and promote physical activity and mentor the young children as positive role models. “Engagement of youth at the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland by student-athletes is shaping both Cal leaders and the future of underserved populations in the very communities that we live, learn and compete in,” said Director of Student-Athlete Affairs Paul Savage. Current and former Cal student-athletes also Golden Bears student-athletes volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of Oakland on #GivingTuesday. visited Sliver, a Berkeley restaurant that promotes human health and aims to fight human trafficking, to prepare and then deliver pizzas. Many stu- Cal with a gift that supports the players, coaches and staff who dent-athletes took to Twitter and Facebook posting #UNselfie dedicate their lives to making Cal the best place in the world to pictures of acts of kindness or philanthropy they planned to receive an education,” said Cal men’s tennis head coach Peter show throughout #GivingTuesday. Wright.
Roll on with Men’s Basketball in Pac-12 Action
ith the Cal men’s basketball program well on its way to a sixth consecutive postseason berth under head coach Mike Montgomery, Golden Bear fans should have plenty of reasons to come out and watch the team inside Haas Pavilion. Cal has four starters back from last year’s squad that defeated UNLV in the NCAA Tournament, including All-Pac-12 senior guard Justin Cobbs. The Bears also feature a top-20 recruiting class led by McDonald’s All-American Jabari Bird. Tickets for all conference games are now on sale, and special partial season-ticket plans, which include Washington, Arizona, UCLA and USC, start for as little as $36 for youth and seniors. Visit CalBears.com and click on Tickets or call (800) GO BEARS (462-3277) for more information.
REPORT Cal to Face Oregon on Friday Night at Levi’s Stadium
acing the challenge of navigating the difficult logistics of hosting a Friday night football game in Berkeley and with the prospect of earning up to a seven-figure increase in incremental net revenue over a typical home contest, Cal will play Oregon on Oct. 24 in the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara next fall. The matchup provides the Golden Bears and their fans the chance to take part in the first college football game at a facility that will play host to the San Francisco 49ers as well as Super Bowl L in 2016. At the same time, moving the contest away from California Memorial Stadium allows new Chancellor Nicholas Dirks sufficient time to develop solutions that minimize the impact for future weeknight games when more than 35,000 students are on campus for classes and 60,000 football fans are arriving for the game. As many football fans should recall from the 2012 campaign when Cal hosted Washington on a Friday night, weeknight games in Berkeley create various issues for the University when school is in session, particularly around parking and transportation. Under the current Pac-12 media rights agreement, each conference school will host a weeknight game two times in a three-year period on average. In all, Cal will host six games on campus in 2014, including Stanford, UCLA and Washington, with five away contests and the one home game in Santa Clara. Cal season-ticket holders will have the opportunity to opt-in to purchase seats to the Cal-Oregon game in addition to the six-game Memorial Stadium package. The entire schedule will be released by the Pac-12 Conference shortly after the New Year. Full season-ticket holders will be able to buy tickets to the Cal-Oregon game at a special discounted rate, and ESP members will receive complimentary tickets and parking equivalent to their normal allocation. Cal students will have access to tickets at a significant discount and complimentary transportation to the game. Additional information regarding tickets, suite availability, parking and transportation will be available after details are finalized. For questions, fans are encouraged to contact the Cal customer service team at (800) GO BEARS (462-3277).
cal sports quarterly
Football Ticket Renewals Underway
pportunities for football season-ticket holders to renew their tickets for the 2014 season are underway now, with special discounts available to those who sign up before Sunday, Feb. 2. Ticket holders who renew before the early bird deadline of Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. PT will receive a discount of $25-45 off each season-ticket owned depending on section (not applicable to already discounted faculty, staff and RSF season tickets). In addition, early bird participants will be automatically entered to win 20 prizes in 20 days, including men’s basketball courtside seats, $250 in concessions vouchers, a trip for four to the Aug. 30 Cal-Northwestern game in Evanston, Ill., pregame field passes to a home game, and much more. To make it easier to pay for tickets, all season-ticket holders have the option to divide payments into three interest-free installments: 33% at the time of renewal, 33% on March 14, 2014, and the balance on April 30, 2014. For questions regarding the 2014 season-ticket renewals and pricing, visit CalBears.com/tickets, call (800) GO BEARS (462-3277) or contact your Gold Standard service rep. Renewals Begin – Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 Early Bird Renewal Deadline – Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 Final Renewal Deadline – Friday, Feb. 21, 2014
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Creative Processing Senior Mikayla Lyles Displays Her Talent on the Court and Behind the Scenes By Miquel Jacobs
indsay Gottlieb is a film junkie. The California head women’s basketball coach watches countless hours of basketball games, analyzing, learning and critiquing plays, sets and tendencies. But when she breaks down and watches film of her Golden Bears, she hears another voice yelling out instructions or encouragement other than the voice in her head.
bigger audience than four coaches and 13 student-athletes in a team film room. Anyone familiar with the Cal women’s basketball website, ThisIsCalBasketball.com, may also be aware that Lyles has had a big hand in the overall production of it the past two seasons. Under the daily direction of video coordinator Erik Williams, ThisIsCalBasketball. com has served as a multimedia experience of videos profiles, photo galleries and webisodes that tell a specific story relating to Gottlieb’s program. Three years ago, Lyles decided that she wanted to become a part of the process. “I’ve always been interested in photography,” Lyles said. “I’m a huge film buff, so I think that that’s where my interest stemmed from. As far as editing goes, I think it was Erik’s willingness to teach
“(There’s) fulfillment (in) succeeding and doing something from start to finish - from an idea to an actual product and having your entire input and influence in creativity as a part of that project.” – Mikayla Lyles
“( The voice she hears belongs to senior Mikayla Lyles. “I’ve said to a lot of people, Mikayla is my soundtrack of the game,” Gottlieb said. “During the game on film, I can hear her; she really understands the scouting report. It’s neat to hear. Her basketball IQ is very high.” With that form of endorsement from her successful coach, one might expect that a future in coaching is what’s next for Lyles after her final season in Berkeley. Sure, Lyles may one day spend a lot of time in front of a computer watching film and critiquing what sits on the monitor in front of her, but chances are it will not be game film of that weekend’s opponents. Instead, she’ll be editing videos on a wider scale that will be seen by a much 8
cal sports quarterly
me when I told him I was semi-interested. When he offered to let me shadow him, I bought in more to the interest from there. It just kept growing.” Most creative directors enter the business with backgrounds in either photography, film editing or layout design. Lyles, who doesn’t credit herself as being artistic as a kid, didn’t have that specific background out of Bishop O’Dowd High School. She did, however, have an affinity for Do-It-Yourself books and projects. Along with her growing passion in media, problem-solving and trial-and-error methodology helped lead her down the path to decide on media studies as a potential major at Cal. Once enrolling, she received her first glimpse at the creative work done behind the scenes in an athletic department. Mollie McClure, a former assistant basketball coach at Kentucky and William & Mary before beginning her own multimedia company in 2002, began working on SoBerkeley.com – the predecessor to ThisIsCalBasketball.com
– and provided Lyles with a new prospective on potential courses of study. “I anticipated doing media studies at Cal, but I switched before my junior year to ISF (interdisciplinary studies) because it allowed (me to branch out),” Lyles said of her academic pursuits. “I always wanted to do something media related. I was interested in what Mollie did before Erik got there because Mollie was around my freshman year. I joked around that she should let me intern with her, and eventually the joke got real after I started working with Erik and doing real work. She let me shadow her a bit and is teaching me what she knows.” The collaborations among the trio has grown each year and reached a high point during Cal’s overseas visit to China in August 2013. Lyles spent the trip filming footage, along with Williams and teammate Justine Hartman, as the Bears visited the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Yu Garden and other Chinese cultural and social landmarks.
On the team’s departure from Hong editing the entire piece,” Lyles said. Kong for San Francisco, Lyles spent a por- “They pushed me in a direction I didn’t tion of the flight sitting beside McClure think I would be ready to do, but I comtalking about video and photo shoots pletely was. It was awesome and I’m rethat would take place over the next two ally glad I did it.” Based on the experience, Lyles now weeks to create content for the re-launch of ThisIsCalBasketball.com. It was in this appreciates the rewards that can come conversation that Lyles thought back to from working creatively behind the the fun that her team had the previous scenes. From taking pictures to filming to editing, everything takes her back season and came up with an idea. The Cal women’s basketball squad to her days of Do-It-Yourself projects, made a mark nationally in the 2012-13 where she began with the raw materials season as a team that was creative and and transformed them into something had fun at the same time. Prior to the spectacular. While her post-graduation plans are year, the intro video for the team website included a team dance portion clip. still being decided, Lyles knows that she Midway through the team’s NCAA Final wants it to include some combination of Four run, Lyles co-produced and starred photography and film. For now, Lyles will continue to asin a Cal-themed “Started from The Bottom” music video that received national sist Williams in content for the website while doing her job on attention. the basketball court – Sitting beside Mcwhether it be the role Clure on the plane back of a cheerleader to to SFO, Lyles put those her teammates during memories together to a break in action or suggest a segment for one as the hero, like the website that beher 14-point, 7-recame known as “One bound performance at Beat.” Maples Pavilion last “ThisIsCalBasketball season when Cal endwas Mollie’s whole creed Stanford’s 81-game ation, but she would alconference winning low me to give my opinstreak. ion every now and then While Lyles has the when she was stuck on opportunity to do something or needed both, she’ll definitely more options,” Lyles rerelish every moment called. “She was trying and opportunity that to figure out all of the comes her way on and segments to go along off the court. with the website. I just “They’re equally kept thinking back to fulfilling for different all the times our team would make random reasons,” Lyles said of beats together and being a part of a wintried to think of how to ning team and creatput it in a visual piece. ing her own projects. From that point for“The whole basketball ward, I started to think fulfillment comes from of the components.” capitalizing on an opUnknown to Lyles, portunity that you’ve her role in the producalways dreamt about. tion wasn’t going to The fulfillment coming end with just creating Mikayla Lyles’ high basketball IQ from the video piece makes her almost a coach on the is succeeding and doa concept. Her mento- court for the Bears. ring duo enlisted her ing something from on taking ownership of the product from start to finish – from an idea to an actual product and having your entire input beginning to end. “They totally encouraged me to do and influence in creativity as a part of the entire piece, from directing it to that project.” winter 2013-14
A Bond Nearly a Decade in the Making Richard Solomon and Justin Cobbs Have Grown Closer during their Cal Careers
By Doug Drabik
hat began in the hallways of Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, Calif., outside of Los Angeles nearly nine years ago has evolved to a special bond on and off the basketball court in Berkeley today.
When Cal seniors Justin Cobbs and Richard Solomon first met, Cobbs was a sophomore on the varsity basketball team at Bishop Montgomery and Solomon was entering his first year of high school. Bishop Montgomery head coach Doug Mitchell mentioned to Cobbs there was this freshman coming in that was pretty talented. “I remember the first time I saw Richard I was a sophomore and I saw this tall, skinny kid roaming the hallways,” Cobbs said. “I said to myself this must be the guy Coach Mitchell was talking about.” Cobbs was beginning his second year with the Knights when Solomon entered the school. “I saw this buff point guard guy who thought he was the man,” Solomon said. “He had this little swagger about him that said ‘I am Bishop Montgomery basketball.’ I got moved up to varsity my freshman season and we started playing on the same team and we have been friends ever since.” One of their top memories from their days at Bishop Montgomery was a game in early 2009 against rival Price High School, which featured their future Golden Bear teammate, Allen Crabbe. Cobbs scored 30 points and Solomon added 18 points and 16 rebounds as the duo topped Crabbe’s team in the final moments in a state playoff tournament game. As Crabbe said during his time at Cal the last three seasons, “Justin talked about it all the time.” After Cobbs and Solomon played three seasons together at Bishop Montgomery, 10
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Continued on page 13
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Cobbs signed a National Letter of Intent at the University of Minnesota, briefly separating two of the top scholastic basketball talents in the Los Angeles area. During the 2009-10 season, Cobbs played in 34 games where he averaged just over 10 minutes per contest for the Gophers. Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, Solomon transferred to Price High School where he would team up with Crabbe for his senior scholastic season. Both Solomon and Crabbe chose to continue as teammates, signing with Cal. Cobbs ultimately decided to return closer to home and transferred to Cal as well, re-uniting him with Solomon. “Having a friend on your team from back home is always good,” Cobbs explained. “It is always nice to have a different support system when you come to a new place. You make friends, but there are always people you know that have your back no matter what. We are building a program here.” Solomon was happy to re-unite with his former high school teammate. “Once I found out Justin was coming to Cal, I found his number and texted him and it was back all over again just like old times,” Solomon said. While Cobbs had to sit out due to NCAA transfer regulations during Solomon’s freshman season in 2010-11, the two are now in their third season playing together in Berkeley. The pair has helped lead Cal to a 50-24 overall record through the November slate of games this season. Cal has earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament each of the first two seasons Cobbs and Solomon have suited up for the Bears. Cobbs recently became the 43rd Golden Bear in school history to score 1,000 points in his career and ranks in the top-10 all-time in assists. He came into the season as the Pac-12’s active career assist leader. “Justin has worked very hard to put himself into position to be a premier player,” head coach Mike Montgomery said. “He has improved ever year and he has done a lot of very good things for us. He handles the ball; he is strong. He is very important for us to win at the level we want to.” One of the nation’s leading rebounders at 11.4 rpg through the early part of this season, Solomon has developed into one of the top post players in the league. He
Justin Cobbs “Having a friend on your team from back home is always good. You make friends, but there are always people you know that have your back no matter what.” – Justin Cobbs on Richard Solomon Richard solomon
ranks among the top seven Golden Bears in school history in blocks. “Richard has probably grown up as much as anybody in his four years here,” Montgomery said. “He is very focused on trying to lead the league in rebounding, average double figures in rebounds. He is a go-to guy in the paint with great shot-blocking ability. We want him to have a breakout year.” Now in their final year in college along with fellow senior Jeff Powers, Cobbs and Solomon are focused on leading the Bears to a conference title and a third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. “We can take this team as far as possible,” Cobbs said. “A Pac-12 Championship is a goal we can achieve. We have a lot of talent here. The NCAA Tournament is all about the momentum and confidence you take in from conference season and tournament. If we can peak at the right time, the sky is the limit for this team, especially with the talent we have. Coach Montgomery knows what he is doing with this team. We believe in coach and believe in this team.” Their families are enjoying their final collegiate season, too. Located five minutes from each other, their fathers often carpool, driving up together from Los Angeles for the home games. While the 6-3, 190-pound Cobbs and the 6-10, 235-pound Solomon continue to develop as players on the court, the duo has also taken on a role as leaders in the program and in school. “Richard has matured a lot since his freshman year of high school,” Cobbs said. “Back in high school, he was goofy and always getting into trouble. To see the person he has become today is tremendous. I have been blessed to grow up along with him here at Cal.” Saturday, March 8, 2014, will be another special moment in their careers. The date marks Senior Day for the Bears and Cobbs’ and Solomon’s final regular-season home game at Haas Pavilion. It will be an emotional one for the two friends who have become close throughout the years. “We basically watched each other grow up and mature into grown men,” Cobbs explained. “He has known me since I was 15 and I have known him since he was 14.” “We talk about it all the time,” Solomon added. “Just yesterday, we were in the dorms experiencing college. Allen is gone and now it is Justin and I. We are the old dudes now.” winter 2013-14
one Cool Competitor
Elizabeth Pelton Motivated by Missing Out on 2012 Olympics
alk with Cal swimmer Elizabeth Pelton for any length of time, and one word seems to find its way into her sentences and phrases more than any other: cool. On being the youngest member of 2009 U.S. World Championships team at age 15: “It was the coolest thing ever.” On the strength of the current Cal roster: “It’s the coolest and most competitive environment I’ve ever been in.” Pelton, now a sophomore for the top-ranked Golden Bears, understands the meaning of cool. She’s used it to gain places on three different World Championships teams, Elizabeth Pelton earn the 2013 Pac-12 Swimmer of the Year honor, and set an American record in the 200-yard backstroke, a feat that produced 2013 NCAA Swimmer of the Meet recognition last March. For all of the times Pelton has shown composure under pressure, there was one painful instance where coolness got away that has shaped who she is today. Pelton helped build her resume at the trials for the 2009 World Championships, where she took second cal sports quarterly
By Herb Benenson
place in the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke and 200-meter individual medley. Two years later, she was back on the Worlds squad following another runner-up showing in the 200 back at nationals, and she secured a gold medal at the international meet for her role on the 400 medley relay. So with berths on the Olympic team on the line in 2012, Pelton had early thoughts of traveling to London on her mind. But when the trials were over, she found herself on the outside after taking third place in both the 100 and 200 back. Only the top two finishers advanced to the Games. “Everyone expected me to make the team,” Pelton admitted. “Getting third is good, but I definitely let the pressure get to me.” Less than two months later, Pelton had left her hometown in Towson, Md., and was enrolled for her freshman year at Cal. She has since turned the Olympic team disappointment into a passionate desire to erase the bad memories from the trials. “I was this close,” Pelton said. “I basically got to start over. I came to school. I had nothing to lose. I was the one who could get better. It’s an undying motivation to constantly beat people. I constantly think that I didn’t make the team. I really do. It really never goes away.”
Before her first year in Berkeley was ever been on,” she said. “I had a complete, Pelton clearly exhibited the blast just soaking up the atmo‘‘We’re all helping sphere. It wasn’t as much about results of her newfound attitude and the benefits of training under Cal head each other get bet- the swimming as it was just the coach Teri McKeever. whole process and letting the In her first home meet vs. Texas at ter. I’ve never been swimming just come to me.” Spieker Aquatics Center, Pelton blazed Adding to Pelton’s enjoypushed like this to a pool record in the 200-yard back. ment was the success she had, before. I’ve never coming home with a pair of The result prompted McKeever to state: “She’s a fierce competitor. She brings a been challenged gold medals from the 400 free lot of determination, and that’s contarelay and 400 medley relay. like this before, gious for everybody.” She also reached the finals in Pelton continued to roll throughout and it’s the great- two individual events, placing the season. In early March, she reset fourth in the 100 back and fifth est feeling. It’s the American record in the 200 back in the 200 back. at the Pac-12 Championships. A short As the 2013-14 swimming already paying off while later, she added Pac-12 Freshseason unfolds for the Bears, because you have Pelton finds herself among perman/Newcomer of the Year and Pac12 Swimmer of the Year awards to her to be on your game haps the most talented corps of collection. backstrokers ever assembled every time.” At the NCAA Championships, Pelton on one collegiate squad. Senior claimed the Swimmer of the Meet title - Elizabeth Pelton Cindy Tran was the NCAA 100 after another American record in the back champion in 2011 and 200 back along with run’12, while sophomore Rachel ner-up finishes in the 200 Bootsma claimed the 100 title IM and 200 free. last spring. Of course, Pelton “I’ve had times when my has her own NCAA crown in performance has suffered,” the 200 back. And then there’s Pelton said. “But at NCAAs, Franklin, the reigning Olympic I just thought, ‘let’s go for and world champion in the 100 it like when I was younger.’ and 200 back. That’s when the best things “My motivation and level of happen. That’s what Teri expectation for myself are highhas been stressing a lot lateer than ever,” Pelton said. “If ly. Why don’t you just swim like you they beat me (in practice), then were a little kid and you’re so excitshoot, they might beat me in ed about swimming? That’s what I a meet. We’re all helping each love about the sport, the excitement other get better. I’ve never been of competing. It’s like you are going pushed like this before. I’ve nevback to your roots.” er been challenged like this beThe NCAA results set the stage for fore, and it’s the greatest feeling. this past summer’s World ChampiIt’s already paying off because onships trials. With her rising conyou have to be on your game evfidence and underdog mentality, ery time. It’s preparing you for Pelton entered the meet relaxed and Elizabeth Pelton set an American record in competition down the road.” the 200 backstroke as a freshman in 2013. ready. Pelton relishes the tests she “If I make the team, I’m the one receives from her teammates that’s going to defy the odds,” she thought. “I’m the daily and is already seeing results. Many of the returnone that’s going to make a headline. It was super-mo- ing swimmers are well ahead of where they were at tivating to go into that meet and try to make a name the same point last season. But Pelton believes it’s far for myself.” too early to make any predictions for the end of the By the end of the competition, Pelton had done just year when Cal will be aiming for its fourth NCAA team that. She took second in the 100 and 200 back (to crown in the past six years. For now, she just want to soon-to-be Cal teammate Missy Franklin in both cas- come prepared to swim at each and every practice. es), as well as fifth in the 200 IM and sixth in the 100 “If I’m not mentally into it, I’ll have to get myself into it,” free. When time for the world meet in Barcelona came she said. “It’s good competition in practice with no hard around at the end of July, Pelton relied on her past feelings. We’re having a blast. The atmosphere of the experience and brought a broader perspective to the team is really cool. I don’t know how much we’re going championships. to accomplish or how well we’re going to do. But I feel “It was amazing, the most fun national team trip I’ve the opportunities are kind of endless these days.”
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Toody Maher Helping to Transform Neighborhoods By Jonathan Okanes
ormer Cal volleyball player Toody Maher never set out to help resurrect an underprivileged community. She was just looking for a place for children to play.
But because of her steadfast belief that kids should have the opportunity for healthy outdoor activity, Maher ended up breathing life into an entire community, infusing it with hope and a brand new way of thinking. Maher, a three-time all-conference player during the late ’70s and early ’80s at Cal, spent part of her childhood in Toronto and the rest in Santa Monica. In both places, she and her family filled countless hours at parks and recreational facilities. As years have gone by, Maher noticed that neighborhood parks just aren’t what they should be, and set out to do something about it. In January, 2007, the current Richmond resident decided to visit all 56 parks in her city. She was particularly drawn to Richmond’s playlots, smaller parks in the middle of a community that are designed for younger children. She immediately started attending city meetings and learning different ways to earn money and resources to rebuild the city’s parks. Maher started out trying to transform Elm Playlot, a half-acre park in Richmond’s impoverished Iron Triangle neighborhood. She was able to get the city’s redevelopment agency to pledge $400,000 to the cause, and the park is currently undergoing renovation. “When I started this journey, I set sail on my ship and the wind blew my ship to the Elm Playlot,” Maher said. “I never set out to work in a poor neighborhood. But that’s where I ended up. It’s a devastated, tough inner city neighborhood. I’m an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs solve problems. I wanted to figure out how to get this park built and how to finance it.” Maher, who met the inventor of the Swatch watch while playing volleyball in Switzerland and ultimately earned the right to distribute 16
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Former Cal volleyball player Toody Maher has spearheaded an effort to resurrect parks in the city of Richmond.
the watches in 11 Western United States, was not only able to get the Elm Playlot renovated, but she helped introduce a new business model to the city. Instead of hiring outside experts and consultants to oversee the renovation of the park, she worked with Richmond City Manager Bill Lindsay, who earned his MBA at Cal, to allow members of the community to get involved with the planning and construction of the playlot. That way, the park that will serve the neighborhood will end up being just what the neighborhood wants. “Rather than spending the money and hiring consultants and professional experts outside the city, it gets drilled back into the neighborhood,” Maher said. “The people in the neighborhood get to recreate the building.” Maher’s efforts have now moved beyond Elm Playlot. Her non-profit organization, Pogo Park, recently partnered with KaBoom! to install a new sandbox at Belding-Garcia Park. And there are two other parks in Richmond now also under construction. Pogo Park is using a $150,000 grant from The Trust For Public Land to convert a two-block stretch of the Richmond Greenway into Harbour-8 Park, and the California State Parks Office of Grants and Local Services awarded Richmond a $5 million grant to develop Unity Park, also along the Greenway. “Parks can totally transform the health of a community,” Maher said. “Parks can be like the watering hole of a community. They are so powerful. There are thousands of parks around the country just lying there unused and dormant. All we have to do is turn the lights on and make them functional. All great cities have great parks.”
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avid Esquer’s Golden Bears return five members from the 2011 College World Series squad – seniors Devon Rodriguez, Michael Theofanopoulos, Kyle Porter, Vince Bruno and junior Derek Campbell. Rodriguez was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2011 Houston Regional after knocking in the game-winning hit in Cal’s dramatic come-from-behind victory over Baylor to advance the Bears to the 2011 Super Regionals in Santa Clara. Theofanopoulos is a talented left-handed pitcher/utility player, Porter was a freshman All-American left-hander in 2011 and picked up Cal’s CWS victory over Texas A&M in Omaha, Bruno was an honorable mention all-conference selection in 2011, and Campbell was the starting second baseman for the Bears as a freshman at the CWS. Additionally, the Bears feature sophomore right-hander Ryan Mason and sophomore outfielder Devin Pearson, who both had stellar freshman campaigns, plus an impressive freshman class that will immediately vie for playing time.
BASEBALL al brings back a strong group from last season with the return of the majority of its roster - including All-Pac-12 rowers Cole Reiser and Jovan Jovanovic - from crews that captured podium finishes in the second varsity eight, varsity four and open four, and finished fifth overall in the varsity eight at the 2013 IRA Championships. Head coach Mike Teti begins his sixth season with the Bears in 2014. Cal competed twice in the fall, placing fourth among collegiate crews in the varsity eight at the prestigious Head of the Charles, and third overall in the varsity eight at the Princeton Chase. The 2014 racing season kicks off on April 5 with the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay. Cal will compete locally at Redwood Shores with three exciting regattas this spring – the Stanford Invitational (April 19-20), the battle for the Schoch Cup against Washington (April 26) and the Big Row against Stanford (May 3).
C men's CREW oming off an NCAA Championship in the varsity eight in 2013, Cal is re-focused for continued success this spring. Overall, the Bears placed second as a team in last season’s NCAA regatta, just two points shy of a title. Head coach Dave O’Neill begins his 16th season at the helm of the Golden Bears in 2014. Cal returns four members of its championship-winning varsity eight from last season – Kara Kohler, Paparangi Hipango, Aggie Nowinski and Kendall Chase. Kohler (first team), Nowinski (first team) and Hipango (second team) were each named Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association All-Americans last year. The Bears will begin the season in Australia where they will compete in the Sydney International Rowing Regatta March 24-29. They will race twice locally at Redwood Shores in the battle for the Simpson Cup against Washington (April 26) and the Big Row against Stanford (May 3).
al has four All-Americans – Brandon Hagy, Michael Kim, Joël Stalter and Michael Weaver – returning from a squad that won 12 of 14 stroke-play tournaments to set a modern-era NCAA single-season record a year ago. Kim earned unanimous national player of the year honors and was also the low-amateur at the U.S. Open in June, while Weaver became the first active Cal player to ever participate at the Masters. The Golden Bears head into the 2014 spring portion of their schedule ranked third nationally after winning three of five events in the fall, with Hagy (Jack Nicklaus Invitational) and Stalter (Alister MacKenzie Invitational) both picking up individual medalist honors. Hagy posted the top fall by finishing eighth or better in all five events and fourth or better four times on his way to a No. 3 individual national ranking.
C MEN'S GOLF 18
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ancy McDaniel’s team returns four of its regular five-person rotation from last year’s team that advanced to an NCAA Regional Championship for the 14th consecutive season. Senior Nicola Rossler will lead the squad as the lone senior after averaging 74.9 strokes in the spring and posting a top-25 finish at the Pac12 Championships. Junior Morgan Thompson and sophomores Carly Childs and Hannah Suh also bring extensive experience from 2013 that will make Cal a team favored to continue its NCAA streak. True freshman Lucia Gutierrez from Lima, Peru, will be looked upon as a potential lineup regular after coming into Berkeley as a member of the Peruvian Girls National Team and as the top-ranked girls’ amateur golfer in the Peruvian ranking system.
WOMEN'S GOLF fter getting a taste of the postseason last year with a semifinal appearance in the MPSF Tournament, the Cal lacrosse team returns this year with higher aspirations. The Golden Bears will miss two-time MPSF Player of the Year and All-American Megan Takacs, but still return a number of scoring threats, including seniors Amelia Burke and Paige Gasparino, and junior Gaby Christman. Burke and Christman each scored 29 points with 28 goals last season, while Gasparino totaled 30 points on 23 goals and seven assists. In addition, head coach Ginger Miles and her coaching staff are excited about the potential impact of 10 incoming freshmen, who came through with impressive efforts during fall ball. The competition will be tough, as usual, with Stanford and Denver providing big tests for Cal this season.
A LACROSSE enior All-America Seamus Kelly leads the Bears into the spring 15s season as the first three-year captain in the team’s 132year history. Other returning All-Americans include forward Alec Gletzer and backs Josh Tucker, Jake Anderson, Brad Harrington and Paul Bosco. Cal will play an exciting schedule against local rivals, fellow members of the PAC Rugby Conference and the University of British Columbia in the annual “World Cup” series, with one match at home and another in Vancouver vs. the Thunderbirds. Home events scheduled for Witter Rugby Field also feature a rare regular-season meeting with Ivy League rugby power Dartmouth. The Varsity Cup National Championships culminate the 15s slate, after which the Bears will compete once again at the 2014 Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s. Last spring, the Bears were edged in the Varsity Cup final by BYU, 27-24, before winning the program’s first-ever 7s national title.
ames against 13 teams from the 2013 NCAA Softball Tournament field and several key Pac-12 matchups at home highlight Cal softball’s competitive 2014 campaign. The Bears will be seeking their 29th consecutive postseason bid and return to the Women’s College World Series for the third time in four years. Cal is again under the direction of 27th-year head coach Diane Ninemire, who added four recruits to her lineup in the offseason -- Katie Sutherland-Finch, Kylie Reed, Alleah Laxamana and Taylor Cotton -- to help fill the void left by 2013’s departing seniors Jolene Henderson and Lindsey Ziegenhirt. The 2014 squad is also bolstered by returning All-Pac-12 standouts Danielle Henderson, Cheyenne Cordes, Victoria Jones and Vanessa Alvarez, who will help lead the charge as the team hosts crucial conference games featuring Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and Washington at Levine-Fricke Field.
al looks to build on a strong fall that saw senior Campbell Johnson claim the singles title and juniors Gregory Bayane and Chase Melton capture the doubles crown at the USTA/ITA Northwest Regional Championships. Those victories qualified the three Golden Bears for the National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships at the end of the fall semester. Last year, Cal reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament and held a final ITA ranking of 17. Four of the Bears’ top six singles players return this season, including Johnson and senior Ben McLachlan. Both Johnson and McLachlan earned individual berths to the 2013 NCAA singles tournament. For this year, McLachlan was ranked 27th in the fall preseason ratings, with Johnson at No. 44. The tandem of McLachlan and sophomore Mads Engsted also earned a preseason doubles ranking of No. 41.
men's TENNIS ll-Americans Zsofi Susanyi and Anett Schutting will lead another strong campaign for head coach Amanda Augustus. Susanyi, a junior ranked No. 4 in the ITA preseason singles poll, had a strong fall, culminating in an appearance in the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships. Freshmen Denise Starr and Maegan Manasse have also made some noise, as Starr defeated Manasse for the singles crown in the ASU Thunderbird Invitational. Four Bears claimed preseason singles rankings, with Schutting rated fifth, Klara Fabikova 23rd and Lynn Chi 44th. The doubles team of Schutting and Chi earned a No. 11 preseason ranking, while the duo of Fabikova and Susanyi was ranked 25th. As a team, Cal is coming off of a run to the NCAA round of 16 and a final No. 9 ranking last season. Susanyi, Schutting and Fabikova played in the NCAA singles tournament, with Susanyi advancing to the round of 16.
A WOmen's TENNIS al welcomes back a talented group, highlighted by senior Hammed Suleman, one of the best triple jumpers in school history and concluded his junior season as the runner-up at the Pac-12 championships. In addition to his prowess in the triple jump, he was the best in the conference at the long jump, winning the Pac-12 title with a life-time best jump of 25-11.50. The Bears also return Ethan Cochrane, who set the school record for a freshman in the discus, posting a throw of 188-8. Following the indoor season that begins in late January, Cal kicks off the outdoor season on March 8 at Edwards Stadium. Other key dates include the annual triangular meet with Virginia and Michigan in Charlottesville, Va., on April 5, the Brutus Hamilton Invitational beginning on April 25 and the Pac-12 Championships in Pullman, Wash., the weekend of May 17.
MEN'S TRACK & FIELD al returns for the 2013-14 season looking to build on last year’s campaign that saw two Golden Bears qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Long jumper Malaina Payton is one of team members who is poised for another big season. She placed 10th at NCAA’s with a mark of 20-7 and also finished third in the Pac-12 meet and won her specialty at the Big Meet. Another familiar face that will be counted on in her junior season is Kelsey Santisteban. Last year, she ran the third-best 5000-meter time in school history at 15:50.18. During the fall cross country season, she placed 10th at the NCAA Championships to earn All-American honors. Cal looks to improve on its ninthplace performance in the Pac-12 outdoor meet, and with some quality veterans in tow, things appear bright in Berkeley looking forward.
C woMEN'S TRACK & FIELD he Bears return two of their top four scorers from last year’s team that finished the season ranked No. 5 in the country. Lone senior Ashley Young was second on the squad last season with 36 goals, and junior Tiera Schroeder is also back after scoring 27 goals and helping the U.S. Junior National Team to a gold medal at the World Championships in Volos, Greece, last summer. Juniors Kelly McKee, Michelle Caron, Savanna Smith and Victoria Williams, as well as sophomores Pippa Saunders and Sierra Smiley, round out a solid returning nucleus. Head coach Richard Corso also brought in a stellar recruiting class, headlined by 2012 Olympians Roser Tarrago of Spain and Dora Antal of Hungary. The Bears will enter the pool a more experienced unit after representing the United States at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, last July.
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Alan Mendelson: All In for Cal ESP Upgrade Shows Devotion to University
By Anton Malko
grandson of immigrants who was born and raised in San Francisco and became a successful Silicon Valley attorney on the strength of his degree from the University of California, Alan Mendelson in some ways fits the classic profile of an alumnus from the 1960s. But his devotion to his alma mater, in Intercollegiate Athletics and other areas, has been close to unparalleled. Mendelson is a former UC Regent and past president of the California Alumni Association whose commitments abound on campus. He sits on the advisory board for the College of Chemistry, the Library Campaign Leadership Committee and is a trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation. A former co-chair of the Emerging Companies Practice Group at Latham & Watkins LLP, Mendelson has been a partner at the firm’s Silicon Valley office since 2000 and currently co-chairs its Life Sciences Industry Group. He is a member of the California Healthcare Institute’s Board of Directors, The Scripps Research Institute’s Board of Trustees, the Board of Advisors of the Life Sciences Foundation and the Board of Directors of the American Friends of the Rambam Medical Center. Following the launch of the Endowment Seating Program to fund the renovation of California Memorial Stadium, Mendelson committed to two seats in the Stadium Club, envisioning a future where he could “hope to influence one of my grandchildren to go to Cal games with me when each of them is little bit older.” Like so many who care about the long-term viability of Cal Athletics, Mendelson was concerned about the ESP program in an economic climate that proved challenging. But rather than pull back on his commitment, he took steps to deepen it. “I just decided that even if I wasn’t able to make up the entire gap, I could do something,” said Mendelson, who contacted the Office of Athletic Development for an ESP upgrade to the University Club. “It goes to the overall commitment I have to the University while helping the athletic department get to its goals.” Coming to Cal was seemingly always the goal for Mendelson. His mother, Rita Spindel, was born in 1925 in San Francisco to parents who emigrated from Eastern Europe, met in New York’s Lower East Side, relocated to California and opened
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a tailor shop on Balboa Street, above which her family lived in the Richmond District. Spindel attended Washington High School. Mendelson’s father, Sam, was also a native San Franciscan, born in 1925 to parents who hailed from elsewhere in Eastern Europe by way of Rochester, N.Y., and owned a grocery store in the city’s Mission District. Sam ran track at Lowell High School and did the same at Cal en route to earning his BS from the University in 1943. Mendelson’s parents met and married during the Second World War and had two additional children before divorcing, after which Alan, his brother and sister lived with their mother in the Sunset District, staying there when she remarried. With four cousins on his mother’s side also in attendance or having graduated from Cal, the family was steeped in passion for the Blue and Gold. Another cousin had already taken him to a couple of Cal basketball games when, on March 2, 1959, Mendelson went to the old Harmon Gym with cousin Ed Weiner, a fraternity brother at Sigma Alpha Mu of player Ned Averbuck. Following Cal’s 55-52 win, the last regular-season game before what became the Bears’ NCAA championship season, Mendelson enjoyed “one of the highlights of my life” when he
and Ed met Averbuck after the final whistle. “Ned got me into the locker room and I’ll never forget going up to Darrall Imhoff to get his autograph. From moments like that, I was hooked on going to Cal. I didn’t apply to any other schools.” Mendelson’s brother, Laurence Mendelson, and his sister, Debra Mendelson, also later matriculated, obtaining their Cal degrees in 1973 and 1974, respectively. Like his dad, Mendelson had attended Lowell High School. Unlike his dad, he was not a varsity-level athlete, although he loved basketball. “I wasn’t going to the NBA and couldn’t dribble with my right hand, but I still fancied myself a basketball player,” he said. Mendelson received his degree in December of 1969 having accelerated his graduation in order to enter Basic Training in the Army Reserves in fulfillment of his military obligations. He then opted to pursue a law degree and was accepted to Harvard. Having earned his JD and settled back in the Bay Area, Mendelson and his first wife had two sons, Jonathan and David, who together have given him and his wife, Agnès, four grandchildren, each of whom is sure to get a fair share of cheering done at Bears’ games with their grandfather. “I’m all in for Cal,” Mendelson said. “With the passage of time and success, I’ve looked back and realized that Berkeley was one of the seminal events of my life. If you love the University as I do and you see the challenges, it translates into my wanting to do everything I can to contribute and support it.” Alan Mendelson loved basketball as a boy growing up in San Francisco and was forever changed after getting Darrall Imhoff’s autograph during the Bears’ NCAA Championship season.
That level of commitment makes Alan Mendelson “one of the most loyal and active supporters I know,” said Stu Gordon, another important donor to Cal Athletics. “He bleeds blue and gold and is a real positive force for our University in every way he can. He is a true Bear, a brilliant lawyer and good friend.” Among other recipients of Mendelson’s devotion is the College of Chemistry, where he serves on the advisory board. Mindy Rex, assistant dean of College Relations and Development at the College of Chemistry, said of Mendelson, “You can always really count on him. He’s interested, he cares and he participates even though he’s enormously busy. He has a really strong interest in student support and wants to interact with them.” Michael Marletta was the Chairman of the College of Chemistry when Mendelson became involved, and when Marletta moved on to become president and CEO of The Scripps Research Institute, Mendelson’s support followed him there without letting up for the University. “It’s very rare to find an individual so deeply committed to so many things,” Marletta said.
“I’ve looked back and realized that Berkeley was one of the seminal events of my life.” - Alan Mendelson “His blend of biotech expertise and sense of what is right is a great equation.” In the great equation of campus life, Mendelson continues to see I n te rc o l l e g i a te Athletics as an integral part of the University community and a catalyst for donor support across the breadth of the campus. “It makes people feel good about where they went to school,” he said. “You can use athletics in a positive way to encourage people to support the University in other ways. It reinforces pivotal memories and positive feelings, which makes donors more receptive to contribute in other areas.” Today, Mendelson continues to cheer for men’s basketball, led by head coach Mike Montgomery, whom he calls “the paradigm of what you’d want in a college basketball coach in terms of commitment to the players and their academics.” He has been a donor to baseball, too, in no small part thanks to the passion of his friend Stu Gordon. The self-described “dumb poli-sci major” also remains highly devoted to academics on campus, with a Cal Alumni Association TAAP scholarship endowed by the Mendelsons in the name of his brother, Dr. Laurence E. Mendelson. It’s another case in which Alan Mendelson honors his family and his University, and another cause for admiration and gratitude from us all. winter 2013-14
how to approach a situation differently.” said junior David Kravish, a 2012 Pac-12 All-Academic selection. A graduate of De La Salle High School, Robertson began his collegiate career in 2005 and finished in 2010 with the highest three-point field goal percentage in school history (44.0% on 154of-350 shooting). Among Cal’s all-time best in three-point field goals made, three-point field goals attempted and games played, he finished with 1,315 career points scored (No. 16 at Cal). Despite missing the entire 2007-08 season after one of three hip surgeries, Robertson remained undaunted through the peaks and valleys of his injuries to finish his playing career with second-team AllPac-10 honors as a senior. The role of Director of Basketball Operations spans the entire spectrum of responsibilities that pass through the office – including travel, recruiting and Theo Robertson, Men’s Basketball Director of Operations day-to-day responsibilities – and Robertson’s foundation, built from experience on the hardwood and in the classroom, appears perfectly suited for those challenges. “Playing for Cal and getting my degree were synonymous,” he said. “Ultimately, By Anton Malko they both taught me the necessary skills to go out and feel confident that I can mong the countless Golden Bears who inspire every- achieve things.” Although he sees a future on the sideone associated with Cal Athletics, Theo Robertson is a lines as a coach, Robertson does not widespread favorite. overlook the present. “I wake up every A two-time team captain and Most day enthused and excited that I’m back here working at Cal and Valuable Player for the 2009-10 men’s pursuing my dream of becoming a collegiate coach one day,” basketball conference champions, said Robertson, who was the recipient of the Gabe Arrillaga Robertson received his BA in social Scholarship while a student. “I feel pretty fortunate, and it’s welfare from the only through the efforts and interest that University in 2010, others have taken in me and helped me graduating with a 3.10 along the way.” grade point average The gratitude Robertson has for everyTheo Robertson before joining the Pacone in the Cal community — in particular 12 Conference as an administrative fellow. the family of Arrillaga, a Bears basketball He then returned to his alma mater as grad(1955-57), football (1957) and baseuate manager for the 2012-13 season. One ball (1955) letterwinner whose untimeyear later, in August, he became the team’s ly death inspired the scholarship in his Director of Basketball Operations. name – has been sharpened to an even In short, this Bear has continued to roll. finer point in his current role. “We’re been fortunate to have Theo in “Especially in the fiscal climate that our program,” head coach Mike Montgomwe’re in now, I really see how valuable ery said. “He’s a great young, respected and fortunate I am to have been at an person who’s very thorough, just like he institution like Cal on a full scholarship,” was as a player. It’s going to be fun watchRobertson said. “It was through the efforts ing him develop in his career.” of generous people that I was able to have Current players value Robertson’s point Theo Robertson played 125 games en route my Cal experience and the ongoing efforts of view. “Theo is very knowledgeable and to setting a record for highest three-point of those donors that enable others to have gives you a realistic player-perspective on shooting percentage (44.0) in school history. that same opportunity.”
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uper sophomore record-holders Josh Prenot and Jacob Pebley took unconventional routes to become Golden Bears, but both are now on straight ahead paths to lead the Cal men’s swimming & diving team to another run at an NCAA title … and to compete for a spot on the 2016 Olympic Team. The two key members of coach David Durden’s 2013-14 squad openly praise the virtues of team dynamics after having grown up swimming on club teams where their primary focus was on themselves. As opposed to the majority of their college teammates who swam for both their high schools and their club teams, Prenot, from Orcutt, Calif., and Pebley, a native of Corvallis, Ore., trained mostly alone in route to becoming elite swimmers.
Now, the two standouts are inseparable on a Cal squad that is considered one of the front-runners to capture the 2014 national championship. “They are like-minded kids,” Durden explained. “Josh and Jacob are very focused on representing Cal, as well as representing the United States internationally. They are like two peas in a pod. Their initials are the same, they laugh at the same jokes and having been rooming together every since they arrived on campus. I have never had a pair of swimmers with such a strong bond. They are very good at their respective events, but they also help each other with what they might consider their off events. They just love the sport.” With a tradition of excellence as impressive as Cal’s in men’s swimming & diving, the fact both Prenot and Pebley set school
Jacob Pebley and Josh Prenot Flourish in the Cal Environment By Scott Ball
cal sports quarterly
records during their freshman campaigns opened many eyes. look forward to. As the season progressed, I realized there are Prenot received slightly more notoriety in his first season in a lot of bigger things at stake than just what I wanted. When Berkeley when was named the 2013 Pac-12 Newcomer of the you get wrapped up in the team concept, you can accomplish Year in the spring after winning the conference title in the 400- both what you want, as well as what the team needs.” yard individual medley. He later placed fourth in the 400 IM at “The coolest thing is that Jacob and I finally have the team elthe NCAA Championships and set a new school record with a ement,” Prenot said. “It is so nice to have 30 other like-minded time of 3:40.49. He also placed fifth in the 200 IM and was fifth people on our team. We hold each other accountable, and that in the 200 breast at the NCAA meet. is what helps us succeed.” Pebley was also a major contributor on the Bears’ 2012-13 Along with helping Prenot and Pebley thrive at the collegiate squad that went undefeated in dual competitions and wres- level, the team environment has also aided them in their quest tled the conference team title away from Stanford for the first to represent Team USA in Rio de Janeiro at the 2016 Olympics. time in 31 years. One of the key Reaping the benefit of training moments was a victory by the alongside such Bear legends Bears’ 400 medley relay with as Olympic gold medalists Pebley on the leadoff backstroke Nathan Adrian and Anthony leg. After owning one of the naErvin on a regular basis at tion’s top times in the 200-yard Spieker Aquatics Complex, backstroke for the majority of both are now members of the year, he placed third in the the U.S. Men’s National Team event at the NCAA Championalong with Adrian, Ervin, reships, establishing a Cal record cent graduate Tom Shields and with a time of 1:39.71. Pebley current Cal freshman Ryan was also seventh in the 100 back Murphy. at the NCAA meet. Pebley has been on the U.S Between Prenot and Pebley, National Team for the past two the two Cal newcomers scored years and last summer capa combined 71 points in their Jacob Pebley was one of the top backstrokers in the nation as a tured bronze medals in both freshman. first NCAA competition, as the the 100-meter and 200-meBears finished as the national ter backstroke at the World runner-up after winning backUniversity Games in Kazan, to-back titles in 2011 and 2012. Russia. Prenot earned his first Given their backgrounds, neispot on the national squad ther Prenot nor Pebley were when he finished the summer used to being major contributors ranked sixth in the nation in on a championship squad. the 400-meter IM. Prenot was home schooled For Cal men’s swimming (Family Partnership Charter & diving, the drive for excelSchool) by his parents, Bill and lence extends beyond the pool Tammy, and took some commudespite all the competition nity college classes online prior between the lane lines. Both to coming to Cal. He started swim Prenot and Pebley were well lessons as an infant before beginaware what each other was ning training with the Santa Madoing during the recruiting Josh Prenot was named the 2013 Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year. ria Swim Club under coach Mike process. The combination Ashmore. of athletics and academics “In club swimming, I would have my own lane in practice, do- brought the two swimmers to Berkeley. ing long distance sets and grinding it out by myself,” Prenot said. “I couldn’t be happier with my choice to come to Cal,” said “At Cal, all the guys you are training with are going to be push- Prenot, who plans on majoring in physics. “Not only are Dave ing you to be your best every day. Without being challenged like (Durden) and Yuri (Suguiyama, assistant coach) the best this, I don’t think I would be as fast as I am right now.” coaches, they are some of the best people in the world. Also, we For Pebley, he took up swimming at age five, but lessons have the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s greatnever clicked for him. He originally started on a club team in est professors. The Cal education is so valuable to have once Albany, Ore., before his family moved to Corvallis and he joined your swimming career is over. Our goal is to have our NCAA Corvallis Aquatics under coach Rick Gunther. Pebley attended squad with a team GPA over 3.0. Coach Durden always tells us one swim team meeting at Crescent Valley High School but de- there is a straight correlation between the team’s GPA and its cided against competing for his school. success at the NCAA Championships.” “Before I came to Cal, I was always swimming for just me, “Cal is very challenging,” echoed Pebley, who is interested in me, me,” Pebley said. “And here, this is more of a ‘we’ thing. You majoring in psychology. “Not just in the pool, but in the classcan really build off of all that emotion you get from your team- room as well. It keeps you on your toes, and that can help you mates. I was accepted so well by the team that I had so much to in all aspects of your life.” fall 2013
Engineering Success Academic Whiz Serena Leong Builds Confidence in the Gym
By Mara Rudolph
athetic. That’s the only word sophomore Serena Leong cares to use to describe her first preseason as a California women’s gymnast. Leong huffed, puffed and even wheezed her way through cardio, strength and skill sessions last fall in Berkeley, all the while battling self-doubt and uncertainty about her gymnastics ability. “When I came in, I was definitely not in the shape necessary to be a college gymnast,” she said. “I thought there were so many other people there that were better than me. I didn’t think I’d make a lineup unless I’d be performing an exhibition.” To Leong, it’s no small wonder that she eventually smiled and flipped her way to Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors while having a standout year in the classroom, as well. Leong started her club gymnastics career at age 5 and advanced through the ranks. In 2006, she was a Level 7 state team member and the state floor and all-around champion before claiming the Level 8 state vault, floor and all-around titles a year later. Despite her success, Leong wasn’t sure if she was wasting her time with gymnastics and wondered if she should dedicate her focus to her academics. Before she started high school, she considered quitting.
“I was just tired. I’d always heard stories that high school was really hard and it would be really hard to do gymnastics at the same time,” Leong said. “Also, I didn’t think I was very good, so I didn’t think I wanted to continue.” Becoming the Level 9 national beam champion in 2008 helped convince Leong to stick with gymnastics for a few more years. In high school, she juggled a daily schedule of school, a onehour roundtrip to her Edge Gymnastics club, up to five hours of training and another several hours of homework. In the gym, Leong progressed as the state’s Level 10 floor champion and a national qualifier in 2011, but her doubts about her talent as a gymnast remained. In the classroom, she was far more certain of her abilities. She was a four-year earner of the Scholastic Achievement Award at Chinese Christian Schools in Alameda and a National Merit and AP scholar, and helped her school win the Science Bowl Championship in 2010. When it came time to choose a college, Leong had already decided on majoring in bioengineering, thanks to the summer Cosmos program at UC Davis she completed after her sophomore year of high school. “I applied to the biotechnology cluster at UC Davis because I thought it looked really cool,” Leong said. “Just reading the description about seeing changing cells, I was thinking ‘Oh cool!’ It was really exciting and I got to do a lot of hands-on work.” She ruled out the Ivy Leagues because they were too far from home and because she also held onto the idea of competing as a collegiate gymnast. Though Leong says she was just “one Continued on page 33
cal sports quarterly
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Continued from page 30
phone call away” from committing to UC Davis, Cal’s then-head coach Danna Durante convinced her otherwise and soon enough Leong earned herself a spot on the Cal team and in Cal’s bioengineering program. Leong is now one of less than 450 bioengineering undergraduates and part of only a handful of 2012’s 1,750 undergraduate applicants who were admitted to one of the world’s Top 10 bioengineering programs. She had very few growing pains adjusting to Cal’s academics, finishing her first year with a 3.815 grade-point average while balancing a rigorous course load. Though the academics side came easy, the transition from club gymnast to collegiate gymnast was anything but. “Serena came into our program with loads of potential, but not a lot of belief in herself and her abilities,” said Cal assistant coach Elisabeth Crandall-Howell. “There were definitely struggles in the early stages of the training when Serena doubted whether or not she could accomplish the things that we believed she could accomplish.” Early into the preseason, Leong discovered that part of the reason she had been struggling so much was because she had asthma. After adjusting to the diagnosis, things slowly started to come together. Leong blossomed under the tutelage of first-year head coach Justin Howell and Crandall-Howell, and found herself more willing to try skills she shied away from as a club gymnast. “Justin and Liz’s coaching is really different from what I grew up with in club,” Leong said. “It’s kind of a struggle for me to change my technique that much, but there are so many things I would do with Justin and Liz that I would never do in club. I trust them so much that I know that what they’re doing is to help me, and they know I can do it. The way they coach has definitely brought out a lot of trust in me so that I can make changes that help my gymnastics immensely.” By the start of the season, Leong’s gymnastics had changed immensely. She earned spots in the vault and floor lineup and added beam to her range of events by the second meet. Bolstered by the team around her, a quiet confidence started to grow. “It was really cool to be able to perform my routine and see my teammates all in that row and shouting as loud as they can,” Leong said. “Not only was my team cheering for me, but they knew that I could make it, and they were counting on me to make it. That’s why I made lineup – because I could contribute.” As the season progressed, Leong was not only making lineup – she was anchoring it. “She lights up the arena and pulls you in to every performance,” Crandall-Howell said. “It’s impossible not to be affected by her charms and electric smile while she’s on the competition floor.” Leong posted career-best 9.90s on both vault and floor twice during the season, along with posting a 9.775 on beam three times. She claimed six second-place titles and two third-place wins, including second-place on the floor exercise
against Stanford and on vault at the NCAA Corvallis Regional. “I wasn’t really looking at the scores,” Leong said. “It was just so much fun to be out there with my team.” Even with the success, Leong’s name
With the help of her teammates and coaches, Serena Leong’s gymnastics blossomed and she was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
was the last one she expected to be called as the Pac-12 announced its Freshman/Newcomer of the Year award at the conference championships last March. She became Cal’s first gymnast to receive the honor since it was introduced in 2000. “To me, that trophy represents me surviving and also thriving in my first year,” Leong said. “It feels like a great accomplishment to actually have that symbol of how far I’ve come in one year.” Now, heading into her sophomore year on the heels of one of Cal’s best seasons in program history, Leong has added one more skill to her repertoire: confidence. “Last year, I was so frustrated by my inability – no confidence, not cardiovascularly ready, no strength,” Leong said. “I’m not starting from scratch this year, and it’s refreshing to be able to do difficult routines right now and not be phased by it. I think last year I capped myself, and this year, I know I can do so many things and do so much better. It’s a lot more confidence and a lot more excitement to know where I can go from here.” winter 2013-14
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT Soccer Super Sub Adds Business to Pre-Med Load By Dean Caparaz ’90
mid Jalali is doing double duty to secure his future beyond the pitch.
The 5-9 midfielder/forward is a key reserve – and occasional starter – on the national powerhouse Cal men’s soccer team. He earned the first start of his college career at Oregon State on Nov. 8, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory. Like many college soccer players, Jalali hopes to play at the professional level. But if that doesn’t happen, the junior from Irvine, Calif., is making sure he is fully prepared for a career after he graduates. The busy Bear is majoring in business administration and a preOmid Jalali med student. The industrious Jalali earned a coveted spot on the Pac12 All-Academic first team as a sophomore in 2012. In the fall of 2013, he carried the team’s top grade-point average at 3.85 and claimed a berth on the Capital One All-Academic District 8 first team. “Coming out of high school he was practically a straight-A student, and his SAT scores were extremely high,” head coach Kevin Grimes said. “Since he’s been at Cal, he’s had almost straight As all the way through, and he’s also done well to earn admission to the Haas School of Business.” Following medical school, Omid Jalali aspires to help disadvantaged youth around Jalali’s grandfather was a doctor, and he has a cousin the world. pursuing medicine as a collegian in Houston. But the “They go on missions, over a 100 so far, in Third World counBear has his own reasons for being pre-med. “What really prompted to me to try to go into medicine was tries and do reconstructive surgeries on burn victims, kids to gain the opportunity to help people and have ambition in with cleft palates,” Jalali said. “They do these surgeries for my work,” Jalali said. “Having the opportunity to make a good $250; normally these types of surgeries cost $10,000.” He could have gone on such a trip to India last summer, but living while being able to give to others were the main things instead devoted part of his summer to training with his teamthat attracted me to medicine.” Jalali needed to find an undergraduate degree to go along mates in Berkeley. The squad’s devotion has paid off in a strong with his pre-med studies, and the aspiring plastic surgeon de- season, including earning the No. 1 ranking for the first time in cided that a business degree would help realize his dreams of program history for much of the fall. After spending his first two years at Cal out of the postseastarting a private practice. Jalali saw the business side of the medical field firsthand when he worked for a pair of plastic son, Jalali has enjoyed the success. With one more year to go, Jalali would love his on-field success to spur a pro career. But surgeons at a private practice last summer. Jalali has witnessed his mentors perform about 20 surger- the pragmatic Bear is ready for whatever life throws him. “If the opportunity comes around, I’ll definitely consider it ies. In the future he hopes to travel with them as they perform reconstructive surgeries for disadvantaged youth around the because it’s always been my dream,” he said. “But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve had new dreams as well.” world. 34
cal sports quarterly
Rugby’s Spencer Morris Is Known By His Deeds
By Nicole Loscavio
pectemur Agendo. It’s a Latin phrase with the English translation: “to be known by your deeds.”
It’s the motto Cal rugby head coach Jack Clark tries to instill in his players, so much so that he has it posted above the doorway to the great room at the Doc Hudson Fieldhouse. Clark believes that it’s less about having an explanation for everything, and more about what you’re actually able to get done. Spencer Morris, according to Clark, is the epitome of being known by one’s deeds. The junior from Vancouver, British Colombia, works hard on the rugby field “Spencer exemplifies the ideal balance between student and in the classroom, and his commitand athlete,” said Nick McNeil, an academic advisor in the ment hasn’t gone unnoticed. Morris curAthletic Study Center. “Over the last two years, I feel privirently has the highest GPA among all Cal leged to be able to work with a student who puts forth this student-athletes with a 3.984 overall. That Spencer Morris much effort into the classroom, with his tutors, and on Witter figure includes a perfect 4.0 in his seven Rugby Field.” prerequisite courses for the Haas School of Business. Morris spent last summer interning with Pricewaterhouse“It’s pretty rare to juggle the demands of being a varsity athCoopers, as a summer associate in the audit/assurance group, lete and do as well academically as he does,” shared coach Tom and he is considering an opportunity to join PwC again next Billups. “Spencer is reaching his potential in an athletic way summer. “As for the next two years, I and I think that goes hand in hand want to explore more classes in Haas, with what he’s doing in the classand hopefully do well in them,” Morroom.” ris said. “I’ll try to branch out and Clark added that pound for pound, gain connections, hopefully figure out Morris one of the fittest guys on what I want to do when my time at Cal the team. “Similar to his academic is done.” achievements, that’s not easy to be On Witter Rugby Field, Morris also our fittest, strongest guy,” he said. hopes to assume more of a leadership Morris first learned to balance role as an upperclassman, and wants school work with the demands of to positively contribute to the team a competitive sport in high school, in any way that he can. “We challenge when downhill Alpine skiing was every young man on our squad to his main athletic endeavor. He was put the team before themselves, and on the BC ski team for three years that’s easy to say and hard to do,” Bilduring high school and missed nearly lups stated. “There have been count70 days of classes a year due to the less examples during Spencer’s career intense travel schedule. Not only did here where he’s been able to do that.” Morris come out of that experience Clark summarized Spencer Morris with a few great stories – like getting with one word: “excellent.” to forerun the downhill alpine ski Morris understands the true sencourse at the 2010 Olympics in Vantiment behind “Spectemur Agendo,” couver – but he was also able to deand his academic rigor exemplifies velop the time management and or- Spencer Morris arrived at Cal as an accomplished it. He’s not just talking about it, he’s ganizational skills that have allowed skier and today represents rugby with the highest GPA doing it. among all student-athletes. him to thrive here in Berkeley. winter 2013-14
home events 2013-14 WINTER calendar
WBB vs. Pacific
MSD vs. Arizona WSD vs. Arizona WTN in ITA Kickoff Weekend
WBB vs. UCLA
MBB vs. Nevada
MBB vs. Fresno State
WBB vs. CSU Bakersfield
MBB vs. Furman
WTN vs. San Francisco WGYM vs. UCLA
WBB vs. Lafayette
WBB vs. Oregon State
MTN vs. Saint Mary’s MBB vs. Arizona RUG vs. Oregon State
WBB vs. Stanford
WBB vs. Oregon
MBB vs. Stanford
MGYM vs. Stanford WWP in California Speedo Cup
MBB vs. Washington
WTN in Cal Winter Invitational WGYM vs. Utah
MGYM vs. Arizona State
WBB vs. Washington State LAX vs. San Diego State
WTN vs. Stanford WBB vs. Washington
MTN vs. San Francisco MSD vs. Arizona State WSD vs. Arizona State WTN vs. Santa Clara WBB vs. USC
WTN vs. San Diego State BASE vs. Tulane
MBB vs. Colorado BASE vs. San Francisco T&F in California Outdoor Opener WWP vs. San Jose State
BASE vs. Texas WBB vs. Arizona State
LAX vs. Towson T&F in Cal Multi’s Meet
T&F in Cal Multi’s Meet
WGYM in Pac-12 Championships
WWP vs. CSU Bakersfield
SB vs. Sacramento State
BASE vs. Utah WTN vs. Arizona State WWP vs. UCLA
BASE vs. Utah WTN vs. Arizona WWP vs. CSU Northridge
BASE vs. Utah
BASE vs. UCLA
cal sports quarterly
WTN vs. Tulsa
SB vs. Ohio State LAX vs. Sienna
MBB vs. UCLA WGYM vs. Washington & Sac St RUG vs. UCLA
RUG vs. Dartmouth
MTN vs. TCU
BASE vs. UCLA WTN vs. Washington WGYM vs. UC Davis MGYM vs. Washington
Softball (Levine-Fricke Field) Men’s Swimming & Diving (Spieker Pool) Women’s Swimming & Diving (Spieker Pool) Men’s Tennis (Hellman Courts) Women’s Tennis (Hellman Courts) Track & Field (Edwards Stadium) Women’s Water Polo (Spieker Pool)
BASE vs. Arkansas (DH)
WTN in Cal Winter Invitational
MBB vs. Utah RUG vs. Santa Rosa JC
WTN in Cal Winter Invitational MBB vs. Washington State
BASE vs. Texas WBB vs. Arizona BASE vs. Texas (DH) RUG vs. British Columbia WWP vs. Long Beach State WWP vs. Santa Clara
BASE vs. Stanford
SB MSD WSD MTN WTN T&F WWP
MBB vs. USC
MTN vs. Hawaii
Baseball (Evans Diamond) Men’s Basketball (Haas Pavilion) Women’s Basketball (Haas Pavilion) Men’s Gymnastics (Haas Pavilion) Women’s Gymnastics (Haas Pavilion) Lacrosse (Memorial Stadium) Rugby (Witter Rugby Field)
MBB vs. Arizona State
BASE MBB WBB MGYM WGYM LAX RUG
BASE vs. UCLA
For a complete schedule, pick up a Cal schedule card at any home event or visit the official Cal website at CalBears.com.
The Open Lay-Up With :00.1 On The Clock. That’s Logistics. The forward sets a pick. The guard curls around, streaking towards the hoop. The center lobs the ball to the guard, who banks the winning basket into the net. The coordination of personnel and equipment designed to achieve the best possible results. That’s logistics. At UPS, we understand logistics. We live logistics. We love logistics.
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