Swimmer Answers the Call of Duty

Gerardo Salcedo was scheduled to compete in five events at last week's state community college swim meet, but he left his teammates behind on Friday.

Salcedo, 21, is a member of the National Guard. He was ordered to report to his unit, Company A 30th Support Battalion, in Lynwood shortly after the rioting started.

On Friday, Salcedo was scheduled to compete in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly, the 4x100 relay and 200 medley relay. The Warriors finished eighth in the only event he competed in--the 400 relay--in 3 minutes 38.88 seconds. The Warriors had to forfeit the other relays because substitutions were not allowed.

"He kept calling his unit to see what was going on," Coach Corey Stanbury said. "He was disappointed when he had to leave, but he was real conscientious of what was going on and what had to be done."

Salcedo's younger brother, Tomas Salcedo, also was a member of the three relay teams. He said his brother is stationed near the L.A. Coliseum.

"They called him Wednesday night and they said to stand by," Tomas said. "On Thursday he had to check in every hour. He'd check in between breaks at the meet.

"He's in a rough area and we don't know when he's coming home. We were really concerned because he said a guy got shot nearby. But it's calming down."

Salcedo's father, Gildardo, said his son called immediately to let the family know he was safe. He tries to call during every break.

"The first day we were really worried," Gildardo said. "We watch TV all the time to see what's going on. Now we're more relaxed."

Despite worrying about his brother's safety, Tomas set three school records.

The 18-year-old freshman placed second in the 100 (58.31) and 200-yard (2:05.61) breast stroke and ninth in the 200 individual medley (1:56.18).

"Tomas went crazy," Stanbury said. "He dropped all of his times. I was really pleased."

Tomas says concentrating wasn't easy after watching coverage of the riots between events.

"My brother was always on my mind," Tomas said. "But somehow I was able to visualize the races. I was shocked I did so well. I thought, 'Where is all this coming from?' I was pumped up."

Harbor College's Rene Lopez was one of 40 players selected by U.S. Olympic baseball Coach Ron Fraser to participate in the Olympic Trials in Millington, Tenn., June 8-14.

Lopez, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound catcher, was one of only two community college players invited.

He leads the Seahawks in batting with a .409 average. Lopez, who has signed with Pepperdine, is likely to be selected in the June amateur draft.

Lopez, 21, said he first heard of his invitation to the trials from two scouts.

"I got a phone call from a couple of scouts and they asked, 'Is it true?' " Lopez said. "I had no idea about it at all. Another scout called and congratulated me on Sunday.

"It's an honor. It's always been a dream for me to be in the Olympics and an honor for my mom and my dad. I'm really excited."

Lopez will leave June 7 for Tennessee. Four catchers have been invited to the Trials and only three will make the cut. They include Charles Johnson (University of Miami), Jason Moler (Cal State Fullerton) and Jason Veritek (Georgia Tech).

Chris Mims, a member of the 1989 L.A. Southwest College football team, was picked by the San Diego Chargers in the recent NFL draft.

The 6-6 Mims was an all-league defensive end at Southwest and helped the Cougars to a 7-3-1 record and their first-ever postseason bowl in 1989.

Mims earned a scholarship to Tennessee and was the sixth defensive lineman chosen in the first round and 23rd selection overall.

"I think he has to get stronger," Charger Coach Bobby Ross said. "I don't think there's any question about that. But he has that explosion, that quickness up the field, that you can't get from everyone. We want to get him down here as soon as we're legally able to do so and have him live in the weight room and develop strength."

General Manager Bobby Beathard, a native of El Segundo, said: "He's an awfully good player; he has loads of ability. He's not a kid that plays hard for four downs then takes two off. . . . What sold us on Chris Mims was his ability to rush the passer. He's got that radar to the quarterback."

For the first time in school history, the El Camino women's tennis team will compete in the final of the Southern California playoffs.

The Warriors will meet Grossmont College, the state's top-ranked team, on Tuesday at a site to be determined.

A victory would give El Camino an opportunity to play the top team in Northern California in the state final on May 14 at Grossmont. Before the season, the Warriors' best playoff finish was in 1986 when they reached the regional semifinals.

Coach Carol Dennis, in her 11th year, says she had a good feeling about this team from the start.

"We're playing so well," she said. "We're just in the right frame of mind. We're having good days when we need them and bad days when we're practicing."

The Warriors (19-1) won the South Coast Conference title by going undefeated in the seven-member league. They only lost two individual matches through two rounds of SCC play. The team's loss was against Riverside College.

"It's really neat because now we're in the playoffs and we're being challenged and we're still doing well," Dennis said. "I was concerned that once we were challenged, we'd be overconfident because league was so easy that it was kind of frustrating."

El Camino's top player, freshman Debbie Yoo (West Torrance High), is ranked seventh in the state, and Justine Sauls (South Torrance), who plays No. 5 singles, is 20-0.

Notes

The Loyola Marymount women's basketball team signed 5-foot-7 guard Marlee Webb from El Paso, Tex. Webb averaged 19.2 points, six rebounds and seven assists as a senior at Hanks High last season. She was an all-city selection as a senior and the most valuable defensive player in the city. . . . El Camino pitcher Jason Wayt (El Segundo High) and outfielder Andre LeVias were named to the South Coast Conference first team. Catcher James Quaintance (El Segundo), pitcher Octavio Lopez (Leuzinger), infielder Mike Aguallo (North Torrance), outfielder Tony Pruett (North Torrance) and utility player Tom Dallen (West Torrance) made the second team. . . . El Camino's Amy Baer placed fourth in the 50-yard breast stroke (32.82) and fifth in the 100 breast (1:11.14) at last week's state meet.

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