Sports

VAULTING TO THE TOP

It's still up in the air as to who is a better pole vaulter, but Zack Evink and Fernando Preciado will try to determine that Saturday when they compete at the Downey Relays.

At a dual meet March 29, Evink, a Paramount senior, and Preciado, a junior from Downey, each cleared 14 feet. However, since Evink did it on his second vault and Preciado on his third, the senior was awarded first place.

Downey Coach Tim Meledy, who worked with both vaulters last summer, said Preciado might have the edge Saturday.

"He has the potential of beating Zack because (Preciado) made the 14 feet by a good margin and Zack slithered over it," said Meledy, who thinks Preciado could break Downey's record of 15-2.

Meledy, who wrote his 1987 thesis on the techniques of pole vaulting while attending Cal State L.A., acknowledged his surprise about the impressive vaults of his two pupils.

"It's rare for one kid in a dual meet to go 13 feet," he said. "And then they both went on to achieve a foot higher than that."

ON TO IOWA

Timicha Kirby and Shannon Perry, future University of Iowa teammates, were named to the Southern Section girls' basketball team. Kirby, a Lynwood High senior, and Perry, a senior from Cerritos, were chosen to the team by a panel of sportswriters.

LONG BEACH STATE

Two coaches notched their 400th victory on Saturday. Baseball Coach Dave Snow accomplished his feat when the 49ers pounded No. 1 ranked Cal State Fullerton, 10-2.

Playing before a school-record crowd of 1,826 at Blair Field, the 49ers (25-8) used a 14-hit attack led by center fielder Rolando Avila. Avila had a triple, two singles, a stolen base and two runs scored. Shortstop Ryan Miller had two hits and batted in two runs.

The 49ers, who were held to three hits in a 9-1 loss to the Titans on Friday, took the third game of the series on Sunday, 4-2. Trailing 2-1 in the eighth, the 49ers turned two singles, two bunts and two errors into three unearned runs. Second baseman Eric Martins, who produced three of the 49ers' seven hits, extended his hitting streak to 12 games and is batting a team-leading .352.

The three-game series broke attendance records. The crowds of 1,638, 1,826 and 1,448 are the three largest in school history, and mark the largest three-game series ever (4,912), beating the 3,895 for Wichita State earlier this year. Also, the home attendance record of 15,313 was broken with 15 home games left.

49er softball Coach Pete Manarino earned his 400th career victory when Long Beach won the first game of a doubleheader, 1-0, over host New Mexico State on Saturday. The 49ers (20-16, 7-7 in the Big West Conference) lost the second game, 2-1.

In his 11 seasons at Long Beach, Manarino has a 400-237 record.

In the 49ers' 1-0 win, Linda Lunceford singled home Kristyn Frady in the first inning and Stacy Van Essen (7-8) gave up only one hit.

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The Long Beach State women's rowing team won the California Cup at the San Diego Crew Classic on Sunday. Finishing in 7 minutes 8.6 seconds, the 49ers won by a boat length over the University of San Diego.

COMMUNITY COLLEGES

Hilda Alfaro, third baseman on the Long Beach City College softball team, is expected to sign a letter of intent with Southwest Louisiana on Friday. Alfaro is batting .286 in South Coast Conference play this season.

Long Beach (25-4, 6-0) was scheduled to play at conference-rival Mt. San Antonio (19-6, 5-1) on Wednesday at 3 p.m.

The Viking baseball team (14-15) continued to struggle. After Thursday's 7-5 loss to Mt. San Antonio, Long Beach lost to Harbor, 13-4, on Saturday. The Vikings have a home-and-home series with Cerritos that begins today at 2:30 p.m. at Cerritos. On Saturday, the teams play at Long Beach at 1 p.m.

The Viking women's tennis team improved to 8-1 and 8-0 in conference by defeating El Camino, 7-2, on April 5.

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The Cerritos baseball team improved to 21-8 and 10-4 in South Coast Conference play by defeating El Camino, 13-4, on Saturday. Brooks Morris, Juan Rocha and Carlos Olea each had three hits. Sophomore shortstop Kaina McCallum had four RBI. Freshman right-hander Chris Hill improved to 4-0.

WHO'S WINNING

Recently, one board turned down another board.

In a 4-to-3 vote, the ABC Unified School District board turned down Gahr's request for a new scoreboard at Rants Stadium. The existing scoreboard, which has been in place since 1979, recently malfunctioned during a Southern Section soccer tournament.

According to ABC President Cecy Groom, the school board is looking for "alternative funding" for a new scoreboard, which she said would cost $9,500. If money is not found, it would have to come from the general reserve fund. There is a question of how much money is in the general reserve, but that should be resolved in the next few months, Groom said. Currently, the school district has a $2.9 million deficit.

"We're at a point where we just can't be making expenditures right now," said Groom, who voted against paying for the scoreboard with general reserve funding. "It's a matter of establishing what the priorities are. The scoreboard has to be put in. It's just a matter of where the money will come from."

Besides Gahr, Cerritos and Los Alamitos play their home games at Rants Stadium. Los Alamitos rents the field.

Gahr booster club president Greg Uttecht said that in the long run, it will cost the district more money if it doesn't install a new scoreboard. Uttecht estimated the district cleared $4,000 for renting the facility to Los Alamitos.

"Coupled with that, the district also rented out the stadium to the CIF for the soccer final," he said. "After expenses, we believe the revenue was $2,500 for the two days. That's $6,500 a year."

Uttecht also noted that without a working scoreboard, the district would have to rent a stadium for Gahr and Cerritos at about $1,000 a game. He favors taking the money from the reserve fund with a plan to replenish it over the next 19 months.

Groom contends that the deficit is already impacting the reserve fund which has to be at least 3% of the total $89 million general fund. Still, she believes the money for a new scoreboard will turn up somehow.

"From one to 10, it's a 10 there will be a new scoreboard," Groom said.

MISCELLANY

The Rams obtained former Long Beach Poly defensive back Marquez Pope from the San Diego Chargers in exchange for a sixth-round draft choice. The 5-foot-10, 193-pound Pope was a second-round draft pick by the Chargers out of Fresno State in 1992.

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Long Beach City College will play host to the Southern California Spring Basketball Spectacular on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Games, featuring many of the area's top prep seniors and underclassmen, begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

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