Small Colleges / Alan Drooz : When It Comes to SCIAC Track, Occidental Is Way Ahead of the Field
There’s rarely much drama in finding a winner in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference track meet.
Bill Harvey and Occidental have won every men’s and women’s title except one since Harvey began coaching in 1979, so the SCIAC meet starting today and running through Saturday at Claremont is probably predictable.
The men, who finished fourth nationally last year, have already qualified 11 people for the Division III national meet, several in multiple events, and the women have qualified nine. Harvey said that the men will qualify “at least two more for sure, possibly others,” and he expects at least one more woman to qualify.
The Oxy men are particularly strong in the sprints, where Malcom Hardy is the defending national champion in 100 meters as well as the anchor on the top 400-meter relay team. Harvey said that Hardy is in the best shape of his career and may qualify in the 200 as well.
Right behind is football star Vance Mueller, who was drafted Tuesday by the Raiders. He is a good sprinter and a 24-foot long jumper. He won the long jump title as a sophomore and placed third last year. Hardy and Mueller team with Bob Brown and Todd Stoney for the relay.
“Hardy had hamstring problems in the past because he played basketball, and he still won the 100 and relay,” Harvey said. “This year he didn’t play basketball. His times are more consistent. He’ll be physically whole, rested and strong (at the national meet) for the first time.
“Mueller won the long jump as a sophomore. Last year the relay broke up his jumps and he felt the obligation to the relay team. This year the schedule is better and the relay won’t interfere with his jumping. I think he’ll repeat.”
Distance runner Brian Butterfield is nursing a sprained ankle, but Harvey expects him to qualify and score in the national meet.
The women depend more on two individuals, senior Shawn Lawson and freshman Michele Trimble. Lawson has been national champion in the heptathlon and set a personal best in the shotput last weekend at 42-11. Trimble placed third in the 1,500 at the Mt. SAC Relays.
Harvey expects them to score well at the national meet May 21-24 at the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse. “The men have more potential point-getters, so we don’t rely on a particular individual as much,” Harvey said. “The women count heavily on Lawson and Trimble. If one of them has an off-meet, we’re not in the meet.”
According to Harvey, the Division III meet has become very competitive since it was begun in the late 1970s, and he said that any of four of five teams could win.
“When it started, the marks were very good on top, then there wasn’t much depth,” he said. “The depth of the meet has gotten better and better every year. You used to be able to win with four good guys. Now you need 8 or 10.”
Harvey said that there is no clear favorite, but that Oxy is in the running. “We’re in there,” he said. “It’s nice to know that going back there. I’m real excited. It’s going to be fun.”
Oxy will hold an invitational May 10 as a final qualifier. The field will include athletes from USC and UCLA as well as Arizona. “For the discriminating track fan, it will be the place to be,” Harvey said.
Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State Northridge will compete in the Division II golf Western Regionals this weekend at Lake Shastina Country Club near Weed. Dominguez Hills is defending regional titlist, but Northridge has been rated higher most of the season. Dominguez Hills junior Pat Burke is the defending medalist.
Small College Notes The University of Redlands won its sixth consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference golf title, led by Rudy Regalado’s 69-75--144 in the conference match at Annandale Country Club. Regalado, a sophomore, was named SCIAC most valuable golfer. . . . Ron Lee, Cal State Bakersfield high jumper, won last week’s Jenner meet with a personal best of 7 feet 5 inches, good enough to qualify him automatically for the Division I national meet. The jump was an all-time Division II best. . . . Bakersfield heptathlete, Shann Kern, set two school records in the same meet, totaling 5,263 points in the heptathlon and running the 100-meter hurdles in 14.53.
Two Cal State Los Angeles athletes set school track records at Mt. SAC. Junior Steve Jones high jumped 7-2 and triple jumper Stan Oporski went 53-9. . . . Cindy DeYoung, Azusa Pacific’s basketball career scoring leader with 1,929 points, was named to the NAIA All-American third team and to the NAIA Academic All-American team, both for the second time. Teammate Linda Kading was also named to the academic team. . . . The Westmont College baseball team established a school record with 20 home runs, breaking a mark that had stood since 1962. Westmont’s home field, Warrior Canyon, has a 450-foot center field.
Occidental’s Shawn Lawson placed in seven events in a track meet against UC Santa Barbara. She was first in the shotput and 100-meter dash, second in the long jump, triple jump and 200, and third in the 100 hurdles and javelin. . . . Cal Poly Pomona heptathlete Janet Nicolls totaled a personal best and school-record 5,766 points to win the Lady Bronco track meet. Teammate Joann Howard set a school record in the 1,500 in 4:25.45.