THE HIGH SCHOOLS / JOHN ORTEGA : 20-Second Difference an Eternity in the 1,600

The time that sent shock waves through the Marmonte League on Thursday was a false alarm.

Royal High freshman Kim Crosse was reported by a Camarillo team statistician to have run 5 minutes 4.7 seconds to win the 1,600 meters in a dual meet at Camarillo, a superb time this early in the season. Her real time, however, was 5:25.0, Royal boys' Coach Don Reyes said Saturday.

According to Charlie Carranza, the girls' distance coach at Camarillo, the official scorebook incorrectly listed Crosse's time as 5:04.7. The scorebook also listed the Scorpions' winning time in the boys' 1,600-meter relay as 3:26.8 when they ran 3:34.

"I was talking to (Camarillo boys' coach) Mike Smith the other night and I said, 'Wow, that must have been some race you guys had,' " Agoura Coach Bill Duley said. "And he looked at me kind of funny and said, 'What are you talking about?' "

The fact that Duley initially believed Crosse's reported time is an indication of her potential.

She ran 2:26.02 in the 800 and 4:55.57 in the 1,500 as an eighth-grader at Sinaloa Junior High in Simi Valley last year, but she is probably six to eight weeks away from running 5:04.7.

"That time would have been phenomenally quick this early in the season," Duley said. "Especially for a freshman."

Add Duley: Questions might have surrounded Crosse's 1,600 time Thursday, but there was no doubt about the 200/400 double turned in by Westlake junior Erik Holcomb against Agoura.

Holcomb, who caught 32 passes for 682 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Warriors' football team last season, lowered his personal bests to 21.8 seconds in the 200 and 49.1 in the 400.

Countdown to a showdown: Rio Mesa sophomore Marion Jones and Cocoa (Fla.) senior Zundra Feagin will race each other for the first time this season in the National Scholastic Indoor championships at Syracuse University today.

Feagin, Track & Field News' 1990 high school girls' athlete of the year, set a national indoor record in the first qualifying heat Saturday, running 23.67.

Jones, the defending state champion in the 100 and 200, won the third heat in 23.93, a national indoor sophomore record.

The defending indoor champion in the 200, Jones also is expected to meet Feagin in the 55-meter dash.

The heats, semifinals and finals of the 55 will be held before the final of the 200.

Straight shooter: Simi Valley's Mike Scyphers has not endeared himself to opposing baseball coaches with some of his team's actions on the field or his comments off it, yet his pull-no-punches attitude is refreshingly honest.

In a profession in which people often are afraid to say what's on their minds because of how it might look in print, Scyphers doesn't seem to care.

Take Simi Valley's 7-1 victory over Long Beach Jordan--the No. 1-ranked team in USA Today's national poll--on Friday.

"We played an outstanding ballgame in all facets and they were overrated," Scyphers said. "No way do they compare with some of the other teams that have been rated in the top 10 in the past."

Revision needed: The Southern Section did the right things when it restructured its divisions in basketball in 1989 to mirror those used in the state playoffs, but the section went too far by further dividing the divisions into AA and A classifications.

Championships have become too cheap and diluted in the current setup. Ten boys' and 10 girls' Southern Section champions were crowned last week. The state playoffs will have five of each.

If the section wants to mirror the state, it should award titles in the same number of divisions, not twice as many.

It is understandable that a team from a school with more than 2,000 students (Division I in the state playoffs) has a numerical advantage playing against a school of only 1,400 (Division III).

Yet is there really much difference between a school with 1,800 students (Division II-AA in the Southern Section playoffs) and 1,700 (II-A)?

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