So, we lied. We’re back for another Wide World of Cal Sports. A lot has happened, especially in the last few weeks. We never thought it’d get this busy during the lazy, dog days of summer.

*Leading Off…Braun Gets His Extension*
Yes, we get to suffer through two more years of Ben Braun. That means two more years of stagnant offenses, so-so defenses and more mediocrity.

Braun’s original contract was slated to go to the 2008-09 season, but the university agreed to a contract extension in June, which was pending approval from the UC Regents.

Well, at least Braun will have his hands full if his players don’t stop acting up.

*More Coaching News*
Cal has found replacements for its women’s tennis and lacrosse teams.

Jan Brogan left the Bears after 29 years and a semifinal appearance in the NCAA tournament. We thought it was dumb to leave, but one of Brogan’s pupils is going to take the helm.

Amanda Augustus, who won two NCAA doubles-titles with Cal in the mid-1990s is going to be the new head coach.

On the lacrosse front, assistant coach Theresa Sherry has been elevated to head coach. She was a three-time All-American at Princeton.

Let’s hope she can bring that east coast flair to the Bears and help Cal crack that east coast bias.

*Tyson Ross: Silver Medalist*
We know Tyson Ross is awesome. He’s going to be Esquer’s only hope of keeping his job after next year (we keep saying that, but it might be true).

Add to Ross’ list of accomplishments a silver medal from the Pan American games. He was on the mound for Team USA in the tourney-opener, defeating the Dominican Republic 5-1. He also pitched two innings of relief for Team America in the gold medal game.

Can Cal have Ross pitch every game, please?

*More Pan-Am Athletes*
Our Cal Athlete of the Year, Alysia Johnson, began representing Team USA today with a second place finish in the 800 meter at the Pan-Am games in Brazil.

That finish gets her into the final. Maybe she can add “world champ” to this impressive list of accomplishments: NCAA indoor champ, NCAA outdoor champ and United States champ.

We’re sure she’s going to be in Beijing next summer of the Olympics. Just you wait and see.

Image source: Salgu Wissmath, Daily Cal

We’re just going to say it, even though we’ve said it before—Alysia Johnson has got to be the Cal athlete of the year.

No one person has dominated her sport (actually event) like Johnson has this year. Sure Marshawn Lynch will make the big bucks playing for the Buffalo Bills and sure John Mann is the country’s top water polo player, but Johnson just defeated a bunch of pros—and no other athlete on this campus can say they’ve done that this year.

After winning the NCAA indoor and outdoor championship in the 800, Johnson went to the U.S. Track and Field Championships and took home a national title as well. So, the All-American can be called a three-time national champion.

And remember Johnson out-ran a bunch of professional athletes. We can’t stress that enough.

So now it’s off to Osaka, Japan in August for Johnson—as a member of the U.S. National Team. If she keeps this up, we think that Johnson will be wearing the red, white and blue once again next summer—but this time in the Olympics.

Image Source: David Belford, Daily Cal
Johnson Keeps Rolling With Another Championship [Daily Cal]

*Leading Off…No Postseason For Cal, Again*
The Cal baseball team was the ultimate bubble team for a berth to the NCAA tournament. Heading up to Seattle for the last series of the regular season, the Bears probably needed to win two of three games to possibly nab a postseason berth.

They didn’t. Instead Esquer’s Bears’ miracle run at the end of the season ended in dismay, with Cal losing two of three to Washington. Even worse is that our friends at UCLA were probably the last Pac-10 team selected to the tournament, with a 30-26 record.

What’s our Bears’ record you ask? 29-26. Ouch. Let’s make that six straight seasons that Cal hasn’t made the postseason.

*Slow Start Dooms Bears*
We’re going to try to explain to you why the women’s crew team failed to three-peat as NCAA champions this year.

1) There are three boats at the NCAA regatta.

2) The varsity eight boat is considered the best boat and its grand final race is given three-times as many points as any of the other grand finals.

3) Cal’s varsity eight boat failed to even reach the semifinals of the event.

4) The second varsity eight boat and the varsity four boat both did pretty well in their respective events.

5) No varsity eight boat in the final means you’re not going to win the NCAA title, no matter how well the other boats did.

*Tennis Players Fall at Individual NCAAs*
Susie Babos was the defending NCAA singles champ. Keyword in that sentence is WAS. Babos was ousted in the second-round in her bid as a repeat champion. The other Bears in the singles draw lost in the round of 16.

Babos’s second round troubles didn’t end there, losing in the second round of the doubles bracket with teammate Zsuzsanna Fodor.

Wow, for a team that made the NCAA semis last weekend, all that most of these ladies could muster was a berth to the round of 16? What happened? Maybe their lone male counterpart can do better?


On the men’s side Pierre Mouillon was also given an early exit in the second round.

Well, at least we don’t have to talk about tennis for awhile.

*Golden Bears*
1) Alysia Johnson – Track and Field
This sounds like a broken record, but Johnson just broke another record at the NCAA West Regional. Cal -female- athlete of the year? We’d say so.

2) Ed Wright – Track and Field
Along with Johnson, won Cal’s only two individual titles at the NCAA West Regional.

3) The other 11 track and field athletes who qualified for the NCAAs over the weekend. At least one team fared well.