The task was well understood by Isaiah Mustafa of Moorpark College, heading into the final event of the decathlon in the state junior college championships at Cerritos College Saturday night.
Mustafa had to stay within five seconds of Jon Parry of Taft in the 1,500 meters to win the state title. Mustafa held a 32-point over Parry after nine events.
Mustafa shadowed Parry for the first 800 meters but fell behind by six seconds at the 1,200-meter mark in 3:59. Parry pulled away to finish in 4:48.46. Mustafa slowed considerably and finished in 5:21.32.
Parry picked up 622 points to Mustafa's 443 to overtake the Moorpark College sophomore, who led the two-day competition through all but the first event, and win with 6,875 points.
Mustafa finished with 6,722 points, smashing his previous best of 6,417 points set at the Southern California championships but finished in the runner-up spot for the second year in a row.
Dan Bigham of Fresno City College was third with 6,646 points and Chris Kanowsky of Long Beach City, the Southern California champion, was fourth at 6,326.
"I just pushed it as far as I could go," Mustafa said. "My legs just cramped up and I could barely move when I finished. I came in second last year and I didn't like the feeling and I still don't like the feeling. It doesn't leave a good taste in your mouth."
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Mustafa started Saturday's competition with an 87-point lead over Parry--3,791 to 3,704. He timed 15.08 in the 110 high hurdles and opened a lead of 262 points in the discus, by winning with a toss of 124-3.
Mustafa cleared 12-5 1/2 in the pole vault, but Parry closed to within 151 points by clearing 13-9 1/4. Parry, who scored 6,379 points to place third in the Northern California championships, gained 119 points in the javelin with a throw of 162-10 to Mustafa's 136-1.
"I thought it would take a score of 7,000 to win and I know I'm capable of it," Mustafa said. "In this event, you can't think you're going to win just because you have one good event. Anything can happen. You have to pull together all at one time and I haven't mastered that."
Sean McKeown of Moorpark broke his school record in the discus with a toss of 164-11 to place second, and was third in the shotput with a personal-best of 53-2 3/4. McKeown led the discus until David Dumble of Bakersfield, the final thrower of the competition, passed him with a throw of 168-1.
Moorpark was sixth in the team competition with 27 points. Long Beach tied Riverside for the title with 100 points--its 11th title in 16 years under Coach Ron Allice.
The Riverside women, bolstered by Astia Walker's victories in the 100 (11.66), 200 (23.41) and 100 hurdles (13.76), and a meet record by Dawn Williams in the 800 (2:06.30), outdistanced Long Beach by 15 points to win its second consecutive title with 110 points.
Amy Blackburn of Ventura finished second in the discus at 139-4.
Issac Turner of Glendale was fourth in the women's 800 in 1:51.58, and teammate Auria Roberto was sixth in the 1,500 in 4:45.10. Yeko Ladzepko of Canyons was fourth in the women's 400 hurdles in 1:06.32 and teammate Robert Landtiser was sixth in the 400 intermediate hurdles in 53.60.