Two of the nation's top prep track and field stars, sprinter Henry Thomas of Hawthorne High and shot putter-discus thrower Brian Blutreich of Capistrano Valley High, have signed letters of intent with UCLA.
Thomas has posted the fifth-best time in the nation this year in the 100 meters (10.25) and fourth-best in the 200 (20.73) and recently ran a 44.5 anchor leg as Hawthorne's 1,600 relay team set a national record of 3:07.40 at the Texas Relays.
Blutreich had the best discus throw (210-8) in the nation and was third-best in the shot put with a mark of 62-3 as of March 28.
Basketball players Mike Burns, a 6-11, 235-pound center from Mesa Community College in Arizona, and Casey Crawford, a 6-10, 210-pounder from Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, have signed letters of intent with Pepperdine.
Burns, from Englewood, Colo., played a season at Arizona State before transferring to Mesa where he averaged seven points and six rebounds last season. Crawford averaged 18 points and 13 rebounds as a senior.
Pepperdine Coach Jim Harrick said, "Like many other programs, we are looking for a big man, and I think that Burns and Crawford will be the answer at Pepperdine. We have a good group returning next season, but, after a year of development, (the newcomers) will be prepared to step in and make an immediate contribution."
Michael Zapolski, part-time student sports information director for Pepperdine University for 18 months, has been appointed to the post on a full-time basis, announced athletic director Wayne Wright.
Zapolski recently received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Pepperdine and is studying for a degree in history.