Northridge Women 5th in National Track Meet

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Darcy Arreola ran a long-awaited personal best in the 1,500 meters, Lolita Pile jumped farther in the triple jump then she had ever jumped before and Laural Isles earned her first All-American certificate in the 100 as the Cal State Northridge women’s team rallied to finish fifth in the NCAA Division II track and field championships at Hampton University on Saturday.

Northridge, powered by the second-place efforts of Arreola, Pile and Isles, scored 44 points in the three-day meet to finish behind Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (103), four-time defending champion Abilene Christian (70), Seattle Pacific (62) and Hampton (48).

It was San Luis Obispo’s fourth Division II title--and first since 1984. The Lady Mustangs and Abilene Christian, with four titles each, are the only schools to win championships since the women’s Division II meet began in 1982.


Tyrone Jeffries led Northridge to a tie for ninth with Cal Poly Pomona in the men’s meet. Jeffries placed third in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and fifth in the 110-high hurdles and also ran a leg on the Matadors’ 400 relay, which finished seventh. Northridge garnered 25 points.

St. Augustine’s (Raleigh, N. C.) won its first team title with 107 1/2 points, followed by Angelo State (84), Cal State Los Angeles (39) and seven-time defending champion Abilene Christian (37).

Although Arreola failed to successfully defend her Division II 1,500 title, she did lower her personal best to 4 minutes, 14.15 seconds. Teena Colebrook of Great Britain and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo won in a Division II meet record of 4:13.00.

Knowing that Colebrook possessed superior last-lap speed, Arreola tried to force the early pace. But after clocking 68 seconds for the first 400, 2:15 for the 800 and 3:22.5 for the 1,200, Colebrook remained poised off Arreola’s shoulder, ready to strike.

“I still felt like I had a chance at winning with a lap to go,” Arreola said. “I felt pretty good. But I couldn’t get away from her.”

Colebrook pulled alongside Arreola with 250 meters left, then blew the race open with 200 meters to go, quickly opening a seven-meter lead.


Although Arreola closed slightly in the final straightaway, the deficit was too great to overcome.

“I tried to kick her down,” said Arreola, who ran her previous best of 4:15.35 to finished 10th in The Athletics Congress championships in 1987. “But my legs just wouldn’t go any faster.”

Saturday’s race marked the fourth time that Colebrook and Arreola have met in the Division II track championships.

Colebrook, who also won the 800 (2:05.34) on Saturday, defeated Arreola in both the 800 and 1,500 in the 1987 Division II meet before Arreola won the 1,500 last year with Colebrook third.

“I was a little disappointed (with finishing second) at first,” Arreola said. “But when I thought about it, I didn’t feel too bad. I mean, 4:14 is the fastest I’ve ever run.”

Behind Arreola, Gena Jauregui and Tina Cheney were finishing sixth and eighth, respectively, to give the Lady Matadors three Division II All-Americans and 12 points in the event.


Jauregui ran a personal best of 4:26.79 and Cheney clocked 4:28.06.

The top eight finishers score points on a 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis and all scorers earn All-American honors.

Pile earned her third consecutive All-American certificate in the triple jump, bounding a wind-aided 42 feet, 4 3/4 inches on her sixth and final jump.

Second to Diana Wills (wind-aided 43-5) of Army after the first three rounds, Pile dropped to third in the fourth round when Mazel Thomas of Abilene Christian jumped 42-2 1/4. But Pile was unaware of the change.

“I heard a bunch of people cheering after her jump, but I still thought I was in second,” said Pile, who finished eighth in the national meet in 1987 and fourth in ’88. “I didn’t know I was trailing her until afterward.”

Wills had the five longest jumps of the competition to easily win her second consecutive title.

In the women’s 100, Alesia Turner of Abilene Christian (11.99) and Isles (12.05) finished 1-2 as defending champion Vivenne Spence of Hampton came in a well-beaten fifth (12.31).


Isles, a sophomore, came out of the blocks quickly but was overtaken by Turner at the 50-meter mark.

“I just wanted to get out fast and run,” said Isles, who has a personal best of 11.82. “That was the key to it.”

Jeffries ran an almost flawless race to place fifth in the high hurdles with a personal best of 14.07 and was battling for the lead in the 400 intermediates before smacking the eighth barrier and fading to third in 51.36.

Jeffries, a junior, has now finished sixth, sixth and third in the intermediates in the past three Division II meets to go with consecutive fifth-place efforts in the high hurdles.

The Northridge 400 relay team of Melvin Jones, Jeffries, Tyrone Harlow and Chris Pippins ran a disappointing 41.17. The Matadors ran 40.90 in their heat Friday, but two sloppy handoffs Saturday cost them.

In other events, Mary Coleman finished eighth in the women’s 400 (55.45), Garrett Noel placed ninth in the men’s javelin (196-7) and Sean Rapp was ninth in the pole vault (15-8).


The Northridge women have finished in the top 10 in five consecutive Division II championships. The Northridge men have finished in the top 10 three consecutive times.