Trojans Will Battle Bruins on Track : In Field Portion of Meet, However, It Will Be No Contest

Times Staff Writer

If UCLA and USC were merely engaged in a track meet today, it would be a dandy, reminiscent of their stirring rivalry in the 1970s.

Unfortunately, for the Trojans, there is the field portion of the dual meet today at Drake Stadium.

USC is competitive on the track, but not in the field events. For example, the Trojans spot the Bruins 27 points before the meet even begins.

The Trojans have only token entries in the shotput, discus and hammer throw, events the Bruins will sweep.

Even so, UCLA Coach Bob Larsen says that the meet will be competitive.

"USC has the potential to outscore us on the track and we have some injuries to our field event athletes," he said. "I think people will pay attention to the score more than they have in other years."

UCLA has won the last 10 dual meets against USC and 14 of 16.

"We got a track team, but not a field team to go with it," USC Coach Ernie Bullard said. "We also have two fine relay teams, but no spare parts."

Bullard conceded, though, that the Trojans have a chance to win if everything breaks right for them. However, UCLA, with more depth, would have to falter in several events, and that isn't likely.

The Bruins figure to win the sprints with Mike Marsh, the school record-holder in the 100 meters at 10.07 seconds, and Steve Lewis, the Olympic gold medalist in the 400.

The Trojans have the edge in the hurdles with Robert Reading in the 110-meter event and George Porter at 400 meters.

USC's Ibrahim Okash is expected to win the 800, and the 1,500 is anticipated as a competitive race between UCLA's Christian Cushing-Murray and the Trojans' Ray Griffin, who beat Cushing-Murray last year in the dual meet.

UCLA lost an advantage in the 5,000 when favored Mark Dani injured his heel. The 3,000-meter run is another pivotal event, matching UCLA's Beat Ammann and Jim Ortiz against USC's Dreux Valenti.

The relays, 400 and 1,600 meters, could be the best races of the day. Lewis is scheduled to run only in the longer relay.

The women's competition figures to mirror the men's meet. The Bruins, with more depth, are substantially favored.

Some USC women are injured, or coming off injuries, but USC Coach Mike Bailey says it could be a tight meet if his team can steal a few second and third places.

Bob Kersee's Bruins are led by sprinter-hurdler Janeene Vickers, middle distance runner Laura Chapel, Laurie Chapman in the 3,000 and Tracie Millett, who excels in the shotput, javelin and discus throw.

The Trojans will counter with versatile Michelle Taylor, who is expected to compete in the 200, 800 and sprint relay. She set a Pacific 10 and school record in the 800 of 2:02.70 last week in the Mt. San Antonio Relays.

Since the UCLA and USC women began dual meet competition in 1984, the Bruins have won three of the five meets.

Women's events will begin at 11:15 a.m., the men starting at 1:15 p.m.

Track Notes

Of interest today will be the reception accorded Jim Bush, the former UCLA coach, who is now a USC assistant. . . . UCLA football Fan Appreciation Day will be held today at 10:30 a.m. on Spaulding Field, ending spring practice. That session is free to the public and those in attendance will receive a two-for-one coupon for admission to the track meet. . . . The hammer throw will be held at West Los Angeles College starting at 10 a.m.

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