Byron Keeps to Her Two Resolutions


With a fresh new diary in her hand, Beth Byron of Villa Park High School sat down at the beginning of 1990 to scribble down a few New Year’s resolutions.

Two resolutions involved her athletic specialty--the high jump.

“I wrote down that I would jump 5-8 and that I would make it to the state meet,” said Byron, a junior. “But halfway through the season, I crossed out the 5-8 part. I thought it was kind of unrealistic. But I left the state meet part in there.”

Earlier this season in a dual meet against El Modena, Byron cleared 5-8. And Friday night at the Southern Section Masters meet, Byron earned her first trip to the state meet by winning the event with a leap of 5-6.


For Byron, The Times’ Athlete of the Week, winning the Masters title was impressive as she entered the competition as the ninth-seeded entrant of nine jumpers.

“Mentally, I was scared,” she said. “Being the last to (qualify for the Masters meet), I had to jump first. It’s kind of nerve-wracking.”

Last year, Byron qualified for the Masters meet as a sophomore, and finished the season with a best jump of 5-5, a school record. Actually, Byron says she is the only girl high jumper the school has had in the last five years.

“I don’t really have a coach,” she said. “We (she and the boy high jumpers) just help each other out and say what we could do better to improve.”

Byron also has received technical advice from Olympic high jumper Doug Nordquist, a former Sonora High athlete who currently teaches music at Santa Fe Springs High.

“I met him at a track clinic last summer at Fullerton College,” Byron said. “And then I jumped with him during Christmas break at Santa Fe Springs. He helped me a lot.”

Byron, who has a 4.3 grade-point average, also ran junior varsity cross-country in the fall.

“It was great. I felt so satisfied the day I ran six miles,” she said. “I’m not that good at it, so it’s something I really have to work hard at. It really helps my confidence.”

And confidence will be an important asset if Byron is to accomplish her goal for next year.

“It would be great to jump 6 feet,” she said. “But I don’t know. . . . I’ll probably need some coaching for that.”


Tanja Brix of University was third in the 3,200 in a county-leading time of 10 minutes 50.10 seconds, Estancia’s Debbie Hargrove threw the discus a county-best 143-10 to place third, and Woodbridge’s Kaci Keffer ran a county-best 42.98 to place third in the 300 hurdles at the Masters meet.

Paige Lauby of El Toro struck out 20 in a 1-0, 14-inning shutout of Trabuco Hills in a Southern Section 3-A second-round softball playoff game Tuesday.

Cheryl Longeway of Kennedy threw a no-hitter and struck out seven in a 1-0 victory over Villa Park in a Southern Section 4-A quarterfinal softball playoff game Friday.

Janet Miyahara threw a no-hitter to lead Marina to a 5-0 victory over Lompoc in a Southern Section 5-A quarterfinal softball playoff game Thursday.

Priscilla Sarmiento hit a two-run home run in the 10th inning to give Saddleback a 3-2 victory over Bellflower in a Southern Section 3-A quarterfinal softball playoff game Thursday. Sarmiento also doubled and scored the tying run in the seventh inning.

Beth Byron

Villa Park High School

* Position: High jumper

* Height, Weight, Class: 5-9 1/2, 143, Junior.

* Last week: Byron won the girls’ high jump at the Southern Section Masters meet with a leap of 5-6, despite being the ninth-seeded jumper of nine entrants.

* Season: Byron has a best of 5-8, which she jumped during a dual meet against El Modena.