Valley Might Hit Bottom at JC Finals : Long Beach and Taft Expected to Dominate Southland Track Championships

Times Staff Writer

If Taft College and Long Beach City College dominate the Southern California Community College track and field championships today at Bakersfield College as expected, there won’t be many points left for Valley schools.

Taft, which qualified a record 38 athletes, figures to score 173 points according to a dope sheet compiled by Bill Tisdale, who keeps track of marks for the rules committee of the Southern California Community College Track Coaches Assn.

Long Beach is picked second with 143 3/4 points, followed by Glendale with 48, El Camino (37), Pasadena (35), Mt. SAC (32) and Valley (20).

“Taft is the best team I have ever seen,” Valley Coach Mark Covert said. “They have somebody strong in every running event.”


Eugene Cruz has already moved Valley halfway to its projected point total. He earned 10 when he won the 10,000 meters on May 4. The Valley women got on the scoreboard with two points from Gretchen Lohr’s fifth-place finish in the 5,000 on May 3.

The Monarchs’ strongest contender is Dave Silberberg, whose 15-8 3/4 pole vault is the best in the Southland. Valley can also score in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and the 4 x 400-meter relay.

Raymond Brooks recorded the third-fastest qualifying time in the intermediate hurdles (52.52) and ran a 49.0 anchor leg on the relay team that posted a 3:14.47. Also on the school-record relay team were Alvin Thomas (49.6), John Kilson (48.7), and Emmett Gaines (47.2). It may have been the fastest time in Valley history, but it was the seventh-fastest qualifying time. Valley will have to place sixth to score and fourth to advance to the state meet May 18 at Modesto.

Things will be tougher for the women’s team, which has been plagued with illness.


LaTonda Hardy, a member of the 4 x 100-meter relay team that had the sixth-fastest qualifying time (49.53), had a bout with chicken pox this week but plans to run.

Kim Stewart was sick last week but was still able to run the fifth-fastest 1,500 meters at 4:41.18. Covert reports that she has run well in practice this week and should be in the top three or four.

Moorpark has a definite scorer in triple jumper Stan Oporski. The refugee from Poland was the top qualifier at 52-6. At the Mt. SAC Invitational two weeks ago, he was second to Olympian Willie Banks with a wind-aided 55-0.

The Raiders also can score with pole vaulter Chuck Hood and with the 4 x 400-meter relay team of Dorian Petty, Joe Tschirhart, Austin Linford, and Benjie Green, which clocked 3:13.43.

Moorpark’s women are strongest in field events. Terri Davidson was the No. 4 qualifier in the triple jump at 36-1 and No. 7 in the long jump at 17-8 3/4. Sally Bolda, the Western State Conference javelin champion from Royal High, was the No. 3 qualifier with a toss of 128 feet.

Moorpark’s 4 x 400-meter relay team of Tracy Edwards (61.9), Karin Cartwood (60.0), Davidson (59.3) and Susan Borup (59.5) had the seventh-fastest qualifying time at 4:01.27. Glendale’s men will be a big factor in the field events, where they will be going head-to-head with Long Beach’s strength.

Antonio Dobbins was the No. 1 qualifier in the discus at 161-11 and No. 2 in the shotput at 51-9. Joe Richardson, who was fifth in the triple jump at Mt. SAC with a 53-4, qualified second behind Oporski with a 51-11 3/4. Richardson also qualified in the long jump with a 23-9 1/2.

The Vaqueros also have a 7-0 high jumper in Brian Patchett. Patchett will be facing Long Beach’s Dennis Lewis, the co-American record holder (with Dwight Stones) at 7-8.


Pete McGill and Brian Mitchell were Glendale’s top track qualifiers. McGill was second in his heat of the 1,500 meters with a 3:56:33, and came back to take second in his 5,000-meter heat in 15:05.31. Mitchell was second in the other heat of the 5,000 meters with a 14:55.78.