Lolita Pile of Cal State Northridge is reluctant to concern herself with statistics because pressure tends to increase along with the numbers.
Asked her personal bests, she answers in estimates.
But her attitude may change--whether she likes it or not--after she won the women’s triple jump with a personal best of 42 feet at a quadrangular track meet Saturday at UCLA.
After all, it’s not often that a Northridge athlete produces a national-best outdoor mark--Sylvia Dyer of Abilene Christian jumped 42-8 1/2 indoors--but that’s what Pile, a diminutive (5-4 1/2, 110-pound) junior dynamo, did at Drake Stadium, helping the Lady Matadors to a third-place finish.
UCLA, the defending NCAA champion, scored 96 points to win the women’s meet, followed by Cal (38), Northridge (34) and Azusa Pacific (2).
Janeene Vickers, a UCLA sophomore, won three events (100-meter low hurdles, 400 meters and 400 low hurdles) and ran legs on the victorious 400 and 1,600 relays.
In the men’s triangular meet, the two-time defending NCAA champion Bruins scored 98 points to beat Azusa Pacific (50) and Northridge (43).
Although it’s true that many of the nation’s leading triple jumpers--such as Sheila Hudson of Cal and Wendy Brown of USC--have yet to jump outdoors this season, Pile’s mark is still noteworthy. It improved her school record (40-8 1/4) by more than a foot and qualified her for the NCAA Division II championships in Hampton, Va., in May.
“I knew it was a good jump,” said Pile, who had three jumps better than 40 feet and five jumps measuring 39-9 3/4 or better. “But I figured it was a 40-foot jump, 41 tops. . . . I was really surprised when they said 42. It just felt so easy.”
Pile also teamed with Carol Collier, Alicia Bell and Mary Coleman to place third in the 400 relay. Northridge clocked 47.17, missing the Division II qualifying standard by 0.07 seconds.
Coleman also placed fourth in the women’s 400 in 56.00 seconds, a tenth of a second shy of the Division II standard.
Pile’s performance overshadowed a superb double by teammate Darcy Arreola, who won the 3,000 meters in 9 minutes, 27.9 seconds, and came back 35 minutes later to win the 1,500 in 4:20.36.
Both times were season bests for Arreola, the defending Division II champion in both races. She displayed strong finishing kicks in each race.
In the 3,000, Arreola ran the final 400 in 68.3, surging past runner-up Laurie Chapman of UCLA with 300 meters left. In the 1,500, she sped past UCLA’s Laura Chapel with 250 meters to go, running a 64-second last lap.
“She’s really running well right now,” CSUN Coach Don Strametz said. “Her 1,500 was really impressive when you consider that it started 30 minutes after she finished the 3,000.”
Tyrone Jeffries, Walt Stewart and Jerry Gilmore led Northridge in the men’s meet.
Jeffries won the 400-meter intermediate hurdles in 52.73, placed third in the 110-meter high hurdles in 14.49 and ran a 47.1 anchor leg in the 1,600 relay as Northridge placed third (3:15.3).
Jeffries’ efforts in the hurdles missed the Division II qualifying standards by 0.07 and 0.13 seconds, respectively.
Gilmore won the long jump with a personal best of 24-5 1/2 but missed the Division II standard of 24-7 1/4.
Stewart, who jumped a personal best of 7-0 1/4 last week, won the high jump at 7-0.