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CSUN Wins Team Title at Long Beach : College track: Victory comes despite scoring method that fails to reflect the Matador men’s superior depth.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

As it turns out, Cal State Northridge track and field Coach Don Strametz made much ado about nothing.

Strametz had fretted all week that the scoring system used in Saturday’s Long Beach State Collegiate Classic might prevent the Matadors from winning the men’s team title.

The system, similar to the one used in the World Cup, awards points only to the top finisher from each team in each event on a 10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

For example, if a team finished first and second in an event--as Northridge did in the men’s discus--it was awarded only 10 points, compared to the 18 it would have received under more conventional scoring.

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“It doesn’t award depth,” Strametz said earlier this week. “That hurts us.”

One never would have known it judging by the final score; Northridge totaled 149 points to win the eight-team meet.

Air Force was second with 130 points, followed by host Cal State Long Beach (126), Idaho State (120) and San Diego State (101). Weber State (96), Cornell (90) and Wisconsin-Stout (34) rounded out the scoring.

Northridge finished fifth in the women’s meet with 96 points.

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San Diego State narrowly defeated Long Beach, 115-112, for the team title. Idaho State finished third with 100, followed by Wisconsin-Madison with 97. Cornell (76 points), Weber State (74), Air Force (73) and Mankato State (53) completed the scoring.

The Northridge men won nine of 20 events, including five of eight field events. Yet Derik Vett, who finished fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and fifth in the 5,000 meters, turned in the Matadors’ most astounding effort.

Vett, who has been hampered by injuries or illness during much of his collegiate career, ran personal bests in both the steeplechase (9 minutes 8.66 seconds) and the 5,000 (14:53.24).

His time in the steeplechase was nearly 25 seconds better than his previous best and moved him to fifth on the all-time Northridge performer list, and his clocking in the 5,000 was a personal best by nearly four seconds.

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“I’m as surprised as anyone,” said Vett, who had been battling a chest cold for much of the past two months. “I came into this meet just looking to run some quality races. I wasn’t really thinking about particular times. They just kind of happened.”

CSUN swept the weight events. Jeff Dunn won the shotput (53 feet 1 1/2 inches), John Gallagher took the discus (163-1), Ryan Vierra won the hammer throw (183-5) and Garrett Noel (215-1) took the javelin. Dave Swanson and Sherdrick Bonner tied for first in the high jump at 6-10 3/4.

The Matadors’ other victories came from Kevin Hendrix in the 100 (10.74), Mike Lewis in the 200 (21.40), Tyrone Jeffries in the 400 intermediate hurdles (52.02), and in the 400-meter relay (41.90).

Kim Young was the lone individual winner for the Northridge women, running 14.27 to win the 100-meter low hurdles. The Matadors also won the 400- (47.35) and 1,600-meter (3:50.39) relays.

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