GOING THE DISTANCE
One of the year's most impressive track performances was given two weeks ago by Santa Monica High distance runner Kirsten Jensen.
Jensen ran a personal best 2 minutes 27 seconds to win her heat of the 800 meters and 5:21.1 to take first place in the 1,600 in the Channel Coast Invitational March 18 at Camarillo High.
On March 23, Jensen was a triple winner in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 during a Bay League dual meet against North Torrance. She ran a personal best 12:32 in the 3,200.
"She had a burst of energy during the final mile of the 3,200," Santa Monica Coach Patrick Cady said. "She held back in the other races."
Jensen, who has a 4.0 grade-point average, was the Vikings' No. 1 singles player in tennis as a freshman and sophomore. During the fall, Jensen competed in cross-country for the first time, in addition to playing on the volleyball team.
Jensen, who aspires to be a doctor, has been accepted to three University of California schools and to Williams College and Dartmouth.
Cady compares Jensen to another former volleyball player, Lisa Scaduto, who won the state championship in the 3,200 in 1979. Scaduto holds the school record in the 1,600 (4:57.9) and 3,200 (10:35).
"Kirsten needs to run against better competition," Cady said. "I don't think she has really been pushed to perform her best."
Cady hopes that Jensen will get that opportunity during the Arcadia Invitational on April 8 and Mt. San Antonio College Relays the following week.
"I want her to run in seeded races," Cady said. "I'm not interested in races where they run 5:20 or slower."
In addition to Jensen, Cady has several talented female runners. The top newcomers are freshmen Camille Roberts and Sara Cruse.
Roberts has run 13.1 in the 100 and 48.7 in the 300 hurdles. Cruse excels in the long jump (15 feet 10 inches) and in the triple jump (30-3).
Sophomore Tiffany Everett has personal bests of 32-3 in the triple jump and 4-10 in high jump.
ONE MORE LAP
Palisades middle distance runner Peter Gilmore ran a personal best 9:15.42 to finish third during the 3,200 meters at the Pasadena Games Saturday at Occidental College.
Antonio Arce of Palmdale, runner-up in the 3,200 in last year's state meet, won the race in 9:08.99 and Keith O'Doherty of Thousand Oaks, sixth in the 1994 state Division I cross-country championships, took second at 9:10.91.
Arce's time in the 3,200 is the fastest in the nation this year.
In the fall, Gilmore finished second behind Arce in the State Division II cross-country championships.
Last week, St. Bernard's Brandon Pernell was Mr. Impact, with two brilliant hitting performances and a solid pitching outing in victories over St. John Bosco, 4-3, and Bishop Montgomery, 10-0.
Pernell, who has signed a baseball scholarship with Miami, had five hits in eight at-bats with a home run, two doubles, four runs batted in, five runs and three stolen bases.
On Saturday, Pernell pitched a one-hitter with four strikeouts against Bishop Montgomery.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
In a three-game series featuring the sons of two former Southland major league third basemen, Cal won two games of a three-game series in SixPac competition.
On Saturday, Dan Cey, the son of former Dodger Ron Cey, hit a two-run home run to highlight a three-run eighth inning as the Golden Bears beat UCLA, 3-1.
Bear pitcher Keith Evans pitched a five-hitter, striking out a career-high 10 batters and walking one. He was later selected SixPac pitcher of the week.
The series also featured catcher Tim DeCinces, the son of former Angel Doug DeCinces. The UCLA sophomore catcher had his best game of the series Monday. He went two for three with a run scored and a run batted in. The Bruins defeated Cal, 10-3, in that game after being humiliated Sunday, 16-3.
The Bruins (16-13) will play a three-game series this weekend at Arizona State.
Stu Blumkin returned to his alma mater this week to coach the Santa Monica Vikings in the Beverly Hills invitational swimming meet.
Blumkin, who was a standout backstroker for Beverly Hills during the late '60s, is making his second coaching stint at Santa Monica. He coached the Vikings in the mid '70s before becoming an assistant coach at Santa Monica College. He was an assistant for 16 seasons under John Joseph before he became the Corsair men's swimming coach the past two seasons.
Blumkin left Santa Monica College after the school combined the two swimming coaching positions and made it a part-time job.
Under Blumkin, the Vikings are off to a 7-0 nonleague start. Junior John Mitchell swam Southern Section qualifying times of 56.5 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke, 2:00 in the 200 individual medley and 5:04 in the 500 freestyle.
Senior D.J. Davis has excelled in the 200 freestyle (1:50) and 100 backstroke (58.2), and should qualify in the 50 freestyle.
Junior David Mason swam a qualifying time of 22.5 in the 50 freestyle.
Tariq Bruno, a transfer from Loyola, has been outstanding in the 100 butterfly (54.5) and the 100 breaststroke (1:00).
The Vikings' top woman is Diana Follette, who swam a qualifying time of 1:05.5 in the backstroke.
Beverly Hills invitational finals are scheduled to begin at 6 Friday night.
The Culver City softball team had a tough time trying to replace ace Kimberlee Johnston, who is now pitching for Texas-Arlington. So the Centaurs have relied more on their hitting than pitching to carry them through the nonleague schedule.
On March 22, they put both facets of the game together. Pitchers Chelo Diaz and Kelly Harrison combined for a no-hitter and the Centaurs pounded out 13 hits for an 18-0 win over Morningside in an Ocean League opening game.
Regan Santos and Megan Fahey had home runs, Jessica Ottenbein had three hits and Sara Cueva had a double and triple to lead the Centaurs' attack.
The Centaurs (3-3) have three returning all-Ocean League players in junior Ottenbein, junior shortstop Traci Carr and sophomore catcher Cueva.
Pitching, however, is the most important part of softball, and the Centaurs' quest for an Ocean League title depends on the success of Harrison, who has a 3-1 record.
"Kelly has to mature really fast for us to be successful," Coach John Sargent said. "The Ocean League is a lot tougher than it has been in the past."
Pepperdine seniors Chip McCaw, Greg Vernovage, Lee Bradford, Kelvin Lee, Nathan Owens and Todd Beebe will be playing their final home match when the Waves play host to second-ranked UCLA at 7 p.m. Friday at the Firestone Fieldhouse.
Admission is free for high school volleyball team members.