NOTEBOOK / GARY KLEIN : San Gabriel Runner Wins Title at State Meet
Angel Martinez of San Gabriel High, the Division I state cross-country champion, will participate in the Kinney Western regional championships Saturday in Fresno.
Martinez, the nation’s top returning 3,200-meter runner, won the state cross-country title last weekend at Woodward Park Fresno when he ran past Margarito Casillas of Hoover with 500 meters left in the 5,000-meter race. Martinez finished in 15 minutes 6 seconds, eight seconds ahead of Casillas.
“I stood behind (Casillas) most of the way,” Martinez said. “I felt pretty strong, and I knew when I made a strong move that I would have enough left to hold off any further advances.”
Martinez’s performance spurred San Gabriel to a fourth-place finish in its first state meet appearance.
Hart, ranked No. 1 in the nation by The Harrier magazine, won its second consecutive team title with 43 points. Peninsula was second with 88, followed by Madera (90) and San Gabriel (123).
San Gabriel senior Valentin Pingarron and junior Edwin Padilla were 31st and 46th in 16:18 and 16:27. Seniors Lee Abbott and Ray Olivas also scored for the Matadors, finishing 63rd and 73rd, respectively, in 16:40 and 16:48.
Sophomore Oscar Estrada (17:05) and senior Davis Copeland (17:58) were 96th and 130th.
The top eight girls and boys at the Kinney Regionals will advance to the national meet Dec. 14 at Balboa Park in San Diego.
Cross-country continued: Mark Hamer of Covina finished second in Division III in 15:33, 18 seconds behind Jeff Wilson of Newbury Park. Joel Montes de Oca of Azusa finished eighth in Division III in 15:56.
Anthony Fisher of Maranatha was fourth in Division IV in 15:59, and Marjorie Hsu of San Marino finished fifth in the girls Division III race in 19:01.
End of the road: The Cal Poly Pomona volleyball team concluded its season with a four-game loss to Cal State Bakersfield in the finals of the NCAA Division II Southwest Regional at UC Riverside.
Fourth-ranked Bakersfield (26-9) advanced to the Elite Eight tournament with a 15-9, 6-15, 15-6, 15-0 victory over the No. 10 Broncos.
Mitsue Tomoyasu, who had 25 kills in Pomona’s first-round victory over Riverside, had six kills against Bakersfield. She and teammate Amy Sodek were selected to the all-tournament team.
Pomona finished 25-8.
Getting bullish: Scott Williams proved doubters wrong last season by making the Chicago Bulls’ NBA championship team after going undrafted out of North Carolina.
Although Williams’ contributions were minimal, the former Hacienda Heights Wilson High standout is getting more of a chance to play this season.
Off-season shoulder surgery and stalled contract negotiations kept Williams off the court until Nov. 23. But with starting center Bill Cartwright on the injured list, the 6-foot-10 Williams is being utilized more by Coach Phil Jackson.
Williams scored eight points in 13 minutes against the Clippers Nov. 26; two points in a career-high 22 minutes in a 116-114 double-overtime victory over the Portland Trail Blazers Friday, and six points in 18 minutes against the Sacramento Kings Saturday.
“I’m a little bit more mature,” said Williams, 23. “I realize that I can just go out there and play a role. I don’t have to worry about my shots or making big plays, just go out there and do little things that help us win. As long as we get the W, I’m satisfied.”
Williams’ 51 games, 337 minutes and 2.5 scoring average were the lowest stats among the Bulls last season, but Coach Phil Jackson called Williams’ rookie season a success.
“A lot of 12th men in this league don’t get a chance to play,” Jackson said. “He got a chance to play, and play in critical situations, and produced. He gained confidence over the year and showed his value.”
Said guard Michael Jordan: “I think he’s going to be a very good pro. He’s got all the right fundamentals to progress in this league. It’s just a matter of getting time to play and getting himself back into shape.”
Honor roll: La Verne quarterback Willie Reyna, who passed for 2,543 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight games, was named offensive player of the year in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Several players from San Gabriel Valley-area colleges were selected first-team all-conference.
Senior lineman Larry Hatley, senior wide receiver Rod Zerbel and junior wide receiver David Morales of La Verne joined Reyna on offense along with senior lineman Greg Chang and senior kicker Mike Cass of Pomona-Pitzer.
Senior lineman Chris Kent, senior defensive back John Yull and senior punter Sean McQuown of Claremont-Mudd were named to the first-team defense along with senior lineman Ray Austin and senior defensive back Jeff Eckler of La Verne.
Staff writer Steven Herbert contributed to this notebook.