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TRACK AND FIELD : Meet Brings Together Best in California, Nevada

TIMES STAFF WRITER

UCLA discus thrower John Godina, USC hammer thrower Balazs Kiss and Fresno State javelin thrower Todd Reich are among the national collegiate leaders expected to compete in the first California-Nevada Collegiate track championship meet this weekend at UCLA.

Godina, the defending Pacific 10 Conference champion in the shotput and discus, has the nation’s second-best collegiate mark in the shot this season, 64 feet 5 3/4 inches, and is the national leader in the discus at 204-2.

UCLA has three other shotputters who have surpassed the 60-foot mark this season--senior Joe Bailey, sophomore Jonathan Ogden and sophomore Mark Palin.

Kiss, the defending NCAA hammer champion, has a season best of 248-10, although he regularly throws beyond 260 feet in practice.

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“I think he’s trying too hard,” USC Coach Jim Bush said. “If he can just break the national record (257), then I think he’ll start relaxing. He’s capable of approaching 270. I think he’s going to be one of the world’s great throwers by 1996.”

Reich is the national leader in the javelin at 258-5.

USC sprinter Inger Miller, the national collegiate leader at 100 and 200 meters, and UCLA high jumper Amy Acuff, the national collegiate leader, are expected to compete among the women.

Miller, who suffered a season-ending foot injury in the Pac-10 meet last season, has a wind-aided best of 10.99 in the 100 and a wind-aided best of 22.47 in the 200.

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Acuff, who cleared 6-2 1/4 to win the NCAA indoor championship last month at Indianapolis, hopes to clear 6-6 this season.

Every men’s and women’s track team in the state will compete at Drake Stadium. Field events begin today at 10 a.m., with the first running event at 11:15.

UCLA Coach Bob Larsen hopes the meet will revive local interest in the sport. UCLA regularly drew large crowds 15 years ago for dual meets, but interest has waned in recent years.

“I think this is a concept that will appeal to people because it’s a meaningful championship where you win a collegiate championship and you can say you’re the best in this two-state region,” Larsen said.

Competition today will consist mostly of preliminary heats, except for the men’s and women’s 5,000.

On Sunday, field events begin at 10:45 a.m., with the first running event at 12:15. Team and individual championships will be determined, with awards to the top three teams and finishers in each event.


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