The South team dominated the first round of men's field hockey at the U. S. Olympic Festival, and with good reason: Fifteen of the squad's 20 players are members of the national team.
Nine of the 15 are from Ventura County, which provided for an interesting match-up Monday at Nelson Anderson Field on the campus of Augsburg College.
The South's opponent, the West, consisted almost entirely of Ventura County players.
In one case, the competition even split a family. Jeff Horrocks played for the South, while younger brother Jason played for the West.
Nevertheless, the South won for the third time in as many matches, 3-1. But the West managed to succeed in one department where others had failed: It scored.
Forward Brian Spencer of Palmdale spoiled the shutout, scoring with less than a minute left.
The match was scoreless for a half, but the South scored twice in the first three minutes after intermission. Mohammed Barakat of Moorpark, a 1984 Olympian, and Eric Holtz of Simi Valley, each powered in shots to the left of West goalie Robbie Ryan.
David Finkle of La Jolla had the other goal for the South.
In other events on Monday:
Kristine Quance left opponents feeling thankful that Festival rules prohibit a swimmer to enter more than three individual events. The 15-year-old from Northridge earned her second gold medal in as many days, easily winning the 200-meter individual medley in 2 minutes 20.32 seconds.
Natasha Kohne of Stanton, Calif., was second in 2:22.88.
In cycling, Scott Skellenger of Thousand Oaks upset Paul Abrahams, a four-time medalist, in the men's 200-meter sprint.
Skellenger defeated Abrahams, 2-1, in head-to-head races to take the gold medal. The final sprint was decided by less than a tire-length.
Katie Beck of Simi Valley also raced for a medal on Monday--twice. She was defeated by Kiersten Johnson of Macungie, Pa., for the bronze in the women's 3,000-meter pursuit, then lost to Crystal Waters of San Diego in the bronze-medal race of the 200-meter sprint finals.
In baseball, Coach Mel Swerdling's West team claimed a spot in Wednesday's gold-medal game with a 10-1 win over the North.
The North, which was undefeated, needed only to stay within nine runs to claim the other spot in the final. It did just that--barely.
Willie Adams, a right-hander from La Mirada, pitched a five-hitter for the West.
"I knew what Willie could do and I was saving him for the last game," Swerdling said.
Andrew Lorraine of Hart High is the West's probable starter in the gold-medal game.
In men's basketball, the West squad will play for a bronze medal today after falling to the undefeated North, 95-90.
Lucious Harris, the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year for Cal State Long Beach last season, continued his cold shooting in Monday's loss.
Harris, a former All-City player at Cleveland High, made only two of nine field-goal attempts and missed all but one of his four free-throw tries.
Dedan Thomas, formerly of Taft High and Antelope Valley College, didn't fair any better. He missed all six field goal attempts and his only free-throw try.
Shon Tarver, who sustained a bruised back in a fall on Sunday, played four minutes in the first half before leaving the game.
In rhythmic gymnastics, Jennifer Haase of Valencia, a fourth-place finisher at the 1989 Festival, is in a four-way tie for sixth after the first day of competition. She has 35.70 points.
Polina Friedland of Van Nuys is 13th with 35.20. Diane Simpson, a 1988 Olympian, is the leader with 36.95 points.
In women's tennis, Natasha Pospich of Woodland Hills dropped her second-round singles match, falling to Christine Neuman of Downers Grove, Ill., 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.