When Leo Garand finished competing in track and field at Southern Utah University in the spring of 1987, he figured his college athletic career was over.
After all, Garland had wrestled for a year at Cypress College, played football for 2 more at Fullerton College and competed in both football and track and field at Southern Utah.
“I was tired of it all,” Garand said. “I was ready to have a relaxed life style for a while.”
So much for the vacation.
Garland, who is working toward a degree in biology, returned to Cypress this fall to complete some undergraduate classes. When Mike Flook, Cypress wrestling coach, found out Garand was returning, he talked him into taking enough units to be eligible for wrestling.
Garand, 23, first wrestled at Cypress in the fall of 1982. Now, after stints as a starting running back at Fullerton and Southern Utah and a track and field career that included throwing the javelin and running on Southern Utah’s 4x100 relay team, he has come full circle.
Garland has a year of wrestling eligibility remaining. Several of the top community college wrestlers in his weight class (190 pounds) at last year’s state meet were sophomores, so Flook figured Garland, who coached at Cypress High School last year, could have an impact as a competitor again.
“We looked around at the competition in his weight class and figured that he could contend for a state title if he has a good year,” Flook said. “He was going here (Cypress) anyway. Once we checked with the state to make sure he was eligible, then we talked him into coming out.”
Garand is undefeated in his first 6 matches this season. He was 4-0 and named to the all-tournament team at the Palomar dual meet last Saturday.
Fullerton plays host to Golden West in an Orange Empire Conference volleyball showdown at Fullerton at 7 p.m. Friday.
Fullerton (8-1 overall, 4-0 in conference play) plays at Saddleback Wednesday before playing Golden West, which won the South Coast Conference last season. Golden West (5-1, 4-0), the top-ranked team in the state, has a bye Wednesday.
The top water polo teams in Southern California will take part in the 15th annual Cypress water polo tournament Saturday.
Defending state champion Long Beach and state runner-up Golden West head the 8-team field. In the first round: Saddleback plays Cuesta at 7 a.m., San Diego Mesa plays Long Beach at 8 a.m., Cypress plays Golden West at 9 a.m and Citrus plays Orange Coast at 10 a.m.
The tournament continues all day with the championship at 6 p.m.
Community College Notes
Marcial Beltran of Fullerton and Alfredo Viguras of Orange Coast have become the best cross-country runners in Orange County. Beltran defeated Vigeras in the Irvine Invitational Oct. 7, but Viguras won the Santa Barbara Invitational Saturday in 20 minutes 45 seconds over the hilly 4-mile course. Beltran was second in 20:47. They will next race in the conference finals Nov. 4 at Central Park in Huntington Beach. . . . The top running backs in the state meet Saturday night when Golden West, led by Blaise Bryant, plays host to Fullerton and Jeff Andrews in a 7 p.m. game at Orange Coast.