For 24 years, University Coach Tom Anderson has been battling cross-town rival Palisades for tennis supremacy.
The Warriors, winners of five City Section titles, have the upper hand this season, winning the Western League title and earning the top seeding for the 4-A Division playoffs.
Wednesday, the Warriors beat to Chatsworth in the semifinals at the Racquet Centre in Studio City. The championship match will be played Tuesday.
“We have one of our deepest and best teams ever,” Anderson said. “Probably the most matured team in terms of well-rounded kids who are students and athletes.”
In a period when top tennis players are flocking to private schools, Anderson has a surplus of talent at his public school.
The Warriors are led by senior Jay Jackson, who was third in City singles last season, and Daniel Unger, a three-year varsity singles player. Although the Warriors had the talent to compete for the City title, they received a boost with the transfer of Aapo Aro from Finland. Aro is 12-0 in singles.
“He is almost equal to Jay and should be one of the top players in the City,” Anderson said. “He’s a wonderful kid.”
The Warriors are also strong in doubles, led by three-year varsity starters Jason Barkham and Matt Levin.
Valeyta Althouse and Beth Bartholomew of UCLA were selected as female track and field athletes of the meet in the inaugural California-Nevada collegiate track and field championships Saturday and Sunday at Drake Stadium. Althouse, a sophomore, set a school and Pacific 10 Conference record in winning the shotput with a put of 57 feet 9 inches--the No. 5 collegiate mark of all time.
Bartholomew, a senior, pulled away with last-lap surges to win the 1,500 and 3,000 meters in 4 minutes 24.46 seconds and 9:44.22.
The Bruin women won the meet, which featured 21 colleges from Divisions I, II and III as well as National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics schools with 168 points. Fresno State and Stanford were second and third with 93 and 75 points.
Keisha Marvin won the 400 hurdles in 57.87 and anchored the Bruin 1,600 relay team of Shelly Tochluk, Cicely Scott and Darlene Malco to victory in 3:37.71.
Scott also won the 400 in 53.97 and Karen Hecox (16:24.98), Amy Acuff (5-foot-11 1/2) and Candy Roberts (175-3) earned victories in the 5,000, high jump and discus.
Marcus Reed and John Godina won the 100 and shotput with season bests of 10.45 and 64-6 1/2 for the UCLA men, who tied for second with Fresno State with 124 points--eight points behind winner Cal.
The Bruins will play host to USC, Washington and Brigham Young in a quadrangular meet at Drake Stadium on Saturday. It is the Bruins’ final home meet of the season.
A few Morningside High baseball players apparently thought getting ready for the prom was more important than showing up for a game.
As a result, the Monarchs forfeited their Ocean League game against Beverly Hills on Friday because they didn’t have enough varsity players to field a team. Morningside’s prom was Friday night.
“Some of the guys decided to get ready for the prom,” Monarch Athletic Director Barry Slocum said. “It kind of hurts when kids put that priority before the team.”
Beverly Hills Coach Bill Erickson said his school wasn’t informed of the forfeit until half an hour before the 3 p.m. game at Beverly Hills. This was after Beverly Hills changed the starting time from 7:30, at La Cienga Park, to accommodate Morningside’s prom.
Asked how he felt about the forfeit, Erickson said: “Pretty crappy. Our kids were all there. The umpires were there. The field was all prepped. The stands were filling up. It just stinks.”
Slocum, who was not at school Friday, said first-year Morningside Coach Tom Seyler probably could have played the game by bringing up junior varsity players, but decided to play the JV game and forfeit the varsity game.
"(Seyler) has talked about disciplining the seniors who didn’t show up,” Slocum said. “If I had been here, I would have tried to see us take a team over there. I hate to see us forfeit. We definitely plan on playing the rest of our games.”
The forfeit dropped Morningside to 0-10 in league play.
Westchester’s baseball team was feeling pretty good April 27 after Scott Davis walked on four pitches to force in the winning run to give the Comets a 6-5 victory over University in eight innings. University, however, regained a share of first place as Jose Navarro pitched a three-hitter on Thursday to beat the Comets, 4-0.
After losing nine consecutive games to start the season, Venice remained in contention by winning its ninth game in a row. The Gondoliers swept two games from Palisades, 5-3 and 5-4.
“We starting to come together as a team,” Venice Coach Kirk Alexander said. “We’re a real young team. There are only six seniors out of the 18 players. We started taking our lumps early, but then just started playing better baseball.”
The Gondoliers scored two runs in the eighth inning to beat Palisades, 5-3, Friday. The win moved Venice into a three-way tie for first place with Westchester and University. The Gondoliers scored the go-ahead run when Erick Helms walked, stole second and scored on Gilbert Solis’ run-scoring single. Solis, a three-year starter at third base, is batting .333.
On Monday, the Western League race took another turn. Westchester shut out Venice, 8-0, to take sole possession of first place and Palisades upset University, 8-7.
“I think the Westchester series took something out of us,” University Coach Jon Beckerman said. “I think there will be other surprises. This will be a dogfight to the end.”
* Beverly Hills first baseman Jeremy Booth signed a letter of intent last week to play baseball at Loyola Marymount.
“I like the small school atmosphere and the direction the program is heading,” said Booth, who chose Loyola over UCLA and Arizona State on Friday.
As a junior, Booth was selected The Times’ 1993 Westside Most Valuable Player after batting .562 with five home runs and 45 runs batted in.
This season, Booth has switched from catcher to first base. In 19 games, he is batting .407 with 11 doubles, two home runs, 25 walks and five hit by pitches.
“They’re really pitching around me,” Booth said. “I’ve seen six or seven fastballs for strikes all year. I mostly get curveballs in the dirt and fastballs up and in.”
Selected as a high school All-American by Collegiate Baseball, Booth longs to earn a college degree, but will not pass up an opportunity to play professional baseball. Booth is looking forward to the June 2-4 major league draft.
“Unless I get an offer too good to turn down, I plan to play at Loyola,” Booth said. “You never know how long your baseball career will last and I don’t want to end up pumping gas for a living.”
* West Los Angeles College sprinter/jumper Lynette Christian has received a scholarship offer from USC. Christian, a former three-time City Section champion at Dorsey, set personal bests of 12.21 in the 100 meters, 24.71 in the 200 meters and a conference meet record of 18-9 3/4 in the long jump in winning all three events during the Western State Conference championships Saturday in Bakersfield.
* Former St. Bernard standout Terrill Steen, an outside linebacker from San Diego State, signed with the Sacramento Goldminers of the Canadian Football League.
* Rasheed Hazzard, a 6-foot senior guard at Venice High, has signed with George Washington. Hazzard, the son of former UCLA Coach Walt Hazzard, averaged 14.8 points a game for the Gondoliers.
Santa Monica College women’s basketball coach Traci Waites has accepted an assistant coaching position with Arizona.
Waites, 27, will be reunited with Wildcat Coach Joan Bonvicini, whom she played for when Bonvicini was coach at Long Beach State. As a junior in 1988, Waites led the 49ers to the Final Four.
The University boys’ track team defeated Venice, 71-44, to win the Coastal Conference dual meet title Friday.