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Bush Thrives in Great Outdoors

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Until Friday night, Billy Bush of Cal State Northridge wasn’t sure if he would be competing in the shot put at the Northridge Invitational track and field meet.

Even after he decided to take part in his specialty, he didn’t expect anything like this.

After all, it was his first outdoor meet of the season.

Bush came through with a winning throw of 60-0 1/4, more than two feet farther than his closest competitor in the meet Saturday at Northridge.

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It was good enough to surpass the provisional qualifying mark of 59-1 for the NCAA meet in May.

“It’s a great start to the outdoor season,” said Glenn McAtee, a Northridge assistant who coaches Bush. “We’re hoping we’ll see him improve a lot in the next six to eight weeks.”

Bush, who won the Big Sky Conference indoor title in February with a career best of 61-9 1/2 and placed 10th with a throw of 60-8 in the NCAA indoor championships two weeks ago, wasn’t overwhelmed by his performance.

“It’s all right for my first outdoor meet of the season, but [it] wasn’t close to my best performance,” Bush said.

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Bush was the only Matador to surpass a provisional qualifying mark, although there were other outstanding early season marks.

Junior Jennifer Capehart came close to setting a school record in the women’s pole vault, settling for first place at 11-6 after two near misses at 12 feet. Capehart won the Big Sky indoor title in February.

Coming off a 10th-place finish in the men’s triple jump in the NCAA indoor championships, junior Clinte Motley finished second at 51-0 3/4 in his specialty and finished first in the long jump at 23-2.

“I wasn’t trying to go for a mark,” Motley said. “I was just trying to work on some things and show some improvement.”

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It was a similar situation for Northridge All-American triple jumper Brandi Prieto.

Prieto, a senior, focused on off events, finishing second in the 100-meter intermediate hurdles in 14.38 seconds and third in the long jump at 17-11 3/4.

Quincy Watts, who won the 400 meters in the 1992 Summer Olympics, finished first in the event in 46.3 seconds.

Watts, a former Taft High and USC standout who is bidding to make the U.S. team for the Olympic Games this summer in Sydney, Australia, said he is focused again after suffering from flu and an injury to his Achilles tendon.

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“I ran well and I didn’t even run through the [finish] line,” Watts said. “It’s going to take some time to get back to where I was, but I think I can get there.”


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