Henry Thomas, UCLA’s outstanding freshman sprinter, didn’t score a point. Neither did weightmen John Frazier and Jim Banich, who didn’t compete.
Nevertheless, UCLA’s track team defeated California, 90 1/2 to 72 1/2, Saturday at Drake Stadium on a day that was more suited to Oregon’s Ducks.
Athletes competed in a drizzle for most of the meet, until the rain got serious near the end of the day.
“Since we’re not going to Oregon this year, we wanted to test ourselves in Oregon weather,” UCLA track Coach Bob Larsen said.
It was UCLA’s 18th straight dual-meet victory, and it’s likely that Larsen has the best dual meet team in the country, although Washington State Coach John Chaplin would take exception. The schools can’t settle the issue because they don’t meet this year.
Thomas has a sore right foot and, after running the anchor leg in the 400-meter relay--an event that Cal won in a mild upset--he was scratched from the 100, 200 and 1,600-meter relay.
He’ll be inactive for the next two weeks, at least, as a precautionary measure.
Frazier, a senior, was held out of the meet because there is a question concerning his eligibility pending an interpretation of NCAA rules.
As a redshirt athlete in 1984, Frazier competed unattached in some collegiate meets. Larsen said an NCAA rule once allowed for a redshirt to compete, but there was a subsequent new interpretation of the rule and he was unaware of it.
“We’ve asked for a clarification of the rule, but the NCAA officers don’t meet until Thursday, and that’s why we held John out of the meet,” Larsen said. “I’m optimistic that he’ll retain his eligibility because we have some excellent people working on this at the UCLA, Pacific 10 and NCAA level.”
Banich was inactive due to a groin injury. Frazier and Banich figured to go 1-2 in the shotput; Banich was favored to win the discus, and Frazier was expected to score in the hammer throw.
Even without their points, the Bruins beat what is regarded as a strong California team--one that was hopeful of beating UCLA for the first time since 1968.
The Bears suprised the Bruins by winning the opening track event, the 400-meter relay. Sloppy baton passing on the second and third legs by UCLA gave Cal’s Atlee Mahorn a 1 1/2-yard lead over Thomas on the anchor leg, and he held that advantage to the finish.
Cal’s time of 39.43 seconds was the second fastest in the school’s history.
“I thought we had to win the 400 relay (to win the meet),” Larsen said. “At that point, it was a tight situation. But the turnaround came when Mark Junkermann won the 1,500.”
Junkermann went wire to wire to win, beating favored Jay Marden of Cal with a personal best of 3:42.7.
Marden was a double winner, in the 1,500 and the 5,000, against the Bruins last year.
The Bruins also got an unexpected lift in the high jump and long jump.
“If I had to single out any one key it would be those events,” Cal Coach Erv Hunt said. “They outscored us, 17-1. I don’t know how to explain that. If someone had told me that the high jump would be 9-0, I would have thought we would have had the 9.”
Cal had a slim chance, though, of winning the meet with two events left, the 5,000 and 1,600-meter relay. But the Bruins needed only one point from the 5,000 to clinch the meet, and they got it easily as Jon Butler and Joe Nitti finished second and third, respectively, behind Marden.
There were some creditable performances on a day that was hardly ideal for track, namely:
--UCLA’s Danny Everett was an impressive winner in the 400 with a lifetime best time of 45.49 seconds. Everett also came back to run down Mahorn in the stretch of the 1,600 relay. UCLA’s winning time was 3:07.72.
--Versatile Mike Powell was a busy and effective performer for the Bruins. He won the long jump at 25-10, was second in the high jump at 7-1 and was third in the 100. He was also entered in the triple jump but passed on some of his jumps when it was apparent that UCLA would win the meet.
UCLA recorded four personal best marks. In addition to those by Mark Junkermann and Danny Everett, Chris Sweeney won the shotput at 59-10 1/2, and John Stanich finished strongly to win the 800 in 1:49.39 . . . Cal’s Atlee Mahorn, a freshman from Toronto, was a double sprint winner. He barely held off UCLA’s Mike Marsh to win the 100 in a hand-timed 10.3 and came back to win the 200 in 20.8 . . . UCLA Coach Bob Larsen said Junkermann’s 1,500 win picked up the rest of the team. “Fortunately, we have some depth, along with talented people,” he said . . . UCLA’s Kevin Young was also a versatile performer. He was second in the long jump, the 110-meter high hurdles and the 400 intermediate hurdles.