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U.S. Olympic Festival : County Will Be Well Represented in Oklahoma

Times Staff Writer

The U.S. Olympic Festival this week at Oklahoma City will provide different opportunities for the 75 or so Orange County athletes who will participate.

For athletes such as 1988 Olympic shotputters Jim Doehring and Bonnie Dasse and Peter Campbell, a two-time Olympic water polo player, the Olympic Festival represents a chance to get together with friends--and rivals--while competing largely free of high stakes and pressure.

Then there are talented athletes such as recent Mater Dei High School graduate Tony Pena, an all-county baseball selection this year with a pitching record of 12-2.

The Olympic Festival will offer Pena, like most of the younger athletes, valuable experience in national-class competition. In many ways, the Olympic Festival is a steppingstone to bigger and better competitions, namely the Olympic Games.

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The Olympic Festival officially opens Friday with ceremonies at the University of Oklahoma’s Owen Field in Norman. Swimming events, however, begin Tuesday.

Thirty-seven medal sports--from athletics (track and field) to yachting--will be contested.

Athletes are grouped into one of four teams: North, South, East or West. Most of the sports, including track and field, base team designation on the region in which the athlete attended his or her senior year of high school.

Other sports, such as volleyball and ice hockey, which are stronger in certain regions of the country, do not use this criterion. Instead, the athletes are placed on teams irrespective of their hometown in order to balance the power.

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Here’s a look at some of the Orange County athletes expected to compete:

--Peter Campbell: A graduate of University High School and UC Irvine, Campbell, 29, helped lead the U.S. water polo team to a silver medal in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. Campbell played in his first Olympic Festival in 1985.

“I’ve basically retired from international competition,” said Campbell, who will play defense for the West, “but I still have a bit of the bug. Besides, I had fun last time.”

--Bonnie Dasse: This will be the fourth Olympic Festival for Dasse, a graduate of Costa Mesa High, Orange Coast College and San Diego State.

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Dasse, 29, and a resident of Costa Mesa, was the No. 2 women’s shotputter in the nation from 1985-88 behind former SDSU teammate Ramona Pagel. Last year, Dasse reached the final at the Seoul Olympics. Dasse, an accountant in a Newport Beach development firm, said 1989 will be a rest year for her, involving very little training and competition.

“One of the reasons I’m going (to the Olympic Festival) is I really like their medals,” said Dasse, a silver medalist in 1983 and a gold medalist in 1986 and 1987. “Every medal I have from there is my favorite.”

--Jim Doehring: Although he has regularly finished among the top 10 in national open and collegiate competition since 1984, Doehring, 27, was not very well-known until he made the Olympic team last year. Doehring is now a 70-foot-plus shot putter.

Doehring grew up in Newport Beach, but moved to San Clemente in his sophomore year. Although Doehring suffered serious back injuries in a motorcycle crash, he recovered and went on to a successful career at San Jose State, placing third in the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. final in 1985.

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--Arlise Emerson: While at Westminster High School in 1978, Emerson set the Orange County prep record in the 400-meter dash at 53.42 seconds. That record still stands.

After a four-year break from competition, Emerson, 27, and a resident of Everett, Wash., has been on the comeback trail for the past six months. Her results have been impressive. At the Irvine Elite Invitational in June, Emerson clocked a 53.52, fast enough to gain her entry into The Athletics Congress national championships a week later.

Although she was ill and not able to break 54 seconds at the TAC nationals, Emerson was encouraged. Her biggest goal is to better her personal best of 51.69 set in 1983.

--Jenny Evans: The Times’ Orange County girls’ volleyball player of the year in 1987 led Newport Harbor High to a Southern Section championship and to the State finals. Now entering her sophomore year at UCLA, Evans, a 5-11 outside hitter, is following in the steps of her older sister, Julie, a volleyball player who went to the Olympic Festival in 1986 and 1987.

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--Julie Foudy: The three-time Times’ Orange County player of the year in soccer led Mission Viejo High to three consecutive Southern Section titles. Foudy, who will represent the West, is the youngest player on the U.S. senior national team.

--Michele Granger: The Valencia High graduate now at California is no stranger to international competition. Granger, a left-handed pitcher, has played in tournaments worldwide, including the Pan-American Games. She will represent the North.

--Adam Keefe: During the 1987-88 season, Keefe, then playing for Woodbridge High’s basketball team, was second in the county in scoring (26.3), fourth in rebounds (13.8) and eighth in field goal percentage (61.7%). Now, going into his sophomore year at Stanford, the 6-10 Keefe has already made an impact with the Cardinal, both on its basketball and volleyball teams.

This is the first Olympic Festival for Keefe, who will represent the West in basketball. --Elaine Youngs: A standout basketball and volleyball player while at El Toro High School, from which she graduated in 1988. Like Evans, Youngs is now at UCLA. She was one of only two freshmen to be named an NCAA volleyball All-American. Youngs will represent the North.

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ORANGE COUNTY CONNECTION

A list of local competitors at the U.S. Olympic Festival in Oklahoma City with their hometown or school affiliation with Orange County.

ARCHERY Valente Rosas Buena Park ATHLETICS (TRACK AND FIELD) Mark Junkerman Los Alamitos High 1,500 meters Jim Doehring San Clemente High Shotput Steve Odgers UC Irvine Decathlon Jay Thorson Laguna Beach Decathlon Arlise Emerson Westminster High 400 meters, 4 x 400 relay Beth McGrann UC Irvine 10,000 meters Kathleen Smith Orange 10,000 meters Bonnie Dasse Costa Mesa Shotput BADMINTON Erika von Heiland Anaheim BASEBALL Tony Pena Santa Ana Chris Sheff Laguna Hills BASKETBALL Adam Keefe Irvine BOWLING Steve Kiss Santa Ana CANOE/KAYAK Kirsten Conklin Newport Beach Mitch Kahn San Clemente Sharon Attlesey Newport Beach Cathy Marino Huntington Beach Jim Terrell Costa Mesa Dru Vanhinkle Newport Beach DIVING Karla Goldman Mission Viejo FENCING Mark Elvin Huntington Beach FIGURE SKATING Kellie Creel Orange Pairs Ron Kravette Costa Mesa GYMNASTICS Brad Hayashi Irvine RACQUETBALL Brian Hawkes Fountain Valley Bill Sell Huntington Beach ROLLER SKATING Ken Sutton Costa Mesa Speedskating ROWING Mike Burke Fountain Valley Junior men SHOOTING Brian Ballard Coto de Caza Trap Shawn Boss Westminster Skeet Shawn Brack Garden Grove Trap SOCCER Daniel Barber Garden Grove Joe-Max Moore Irvine Joy Biefeld Huntington Beach Julie Foudy Mission Viejo Laura Jones Yorba Linda Heather McIntyre Laguna Hills FAST-PITCH SOFTBALL Suzy Brazney Fullerton Michele Granger Placentia Jill Matyuch Placentia Kim Nutter Huntington Beach Julie Parmenter Fountain Valley Laura Janzen Santa Ana Julie Standering Newport Beach SWIMMING Frank Wattles Mission Viejo Betsi Hugh Huntington Beach Suzi Burt Mission Viejo TEAM HANDBALL Kelsey Kline Garden Grove Sara Toomey Mission Viejo Rhonda Weyer Cal State Fullerton TENNIS Carlos Bustos Coto de Caza Anne Mall Laguna Niguel VOLLEYBALL Kurt Dumm San Clemente Alan Knipe Huntington Beach Brian Boone Huntington Beach Todd Brooks Costa Mesa Duane Cameron Huntington Beach Matt Lyles Tustin Mike Whitcomb Westminster Elaine Youngs El Toro Dawn Charroin Huntington Beach Bev Oden Irvine Jenny Evans Newport Beach WATER POLO Zoltan Berty Tustin Dan O’Connell Huntington Beach Peter Campbell Costa Mesa Steve Schroeder Newport Beach Kirsten Larsen Capistrano Beach Susie McIntyre Santa Ana Suzanne Shriner Newport Beach YACHTING Lanee Butler Dana Point COACHES Vince O’Boyle Irvine Track and Field Dave McMichael Corona del Mar Field Hockey Keith Calkins Mission Viejo Racquetball Carol Spanks Tustin Softball Lucky Foreman Mission Viejo Swimming

Source: U.S. Olympic Committee

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