Clarke's Agenda Full for State Track Meet : Junior colleges: Valley sophomore to compete in six events, including heptathlon, over two days.


Melanie Clarke of Valley College will buck conventional wisdom and compete in six events in the state junior college track and field championships, which start today at Sacramento's Hughes Stadium.

Clarke, the defending champion in the heptathlon, will compete in that event as well as the 200 and 400 meters, the 400- and 1,600-meter relays and the high jump.

She also qualified in the long jump but dropped that event in order to conserve energy.

"I didn't want to drop anything," Clarke said. "But dropping the long jump was probably smart to do because your legs take a lot of pounding in that event."

Clarke will compete in the first four events (100-meter low hurdles, high jump, shotput and 200) of the heptathlon today, then compete in the final three events (long jump, javelin, 800) during the day Friday.

She will follow that with the 200 and 400, both relays and the high jump Friday night.

"I'm ready to go," Clarke said. "I just want to get started and go for it."

Clarke, who is favored to win the heptathlon and the 400 and is a co-favorite in the high jump, is one of four local athletes who have been picked to win their respective events.

Hugo Allan Garcia of Glendale (10,000), Larry Johnston of Antelope Valley (hammer throw) and Ken Teasley of Moorpark (javelin) are the others.

Garcia, the 1990 state junior college cross-country champion, won the 10,000 in 30 minutes 51.01 seconds in the Southern California championships May 4.

Johnston set a meet record of 192 feet 6 inches to win the Southern California meet at Bakersfield College on Saturday, and Teasley threw a personal best of 208-3 to defeat Hector Sanchez of Ventura (205-6) in the javelin.

Robert Scott of Valley is seeded second in the men's long jump, and Noelle Righter of Moorpark, Jennifer Stewart of Valley, Nicole Force of Oxnard, and Jean Harvey and Angela Arrington of Antelope Valley all will compete in two events.

Righter will run in the women's 800 and 1,500 meters, and Stewart will compete in the high jump and javelin. Force will compete in the heptathlon and javelin, and Harvey will run in the 3,000 and 5,000. Arrington will double in the shotput and discus.

Today's events include the first day of the decathlon and heptathlon, the men's 10,000 and the women's 5,000. The remaining events will be held Friday.

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