If the recent L.A. Games are any indication, it could be a good sports year for high schools from the Pacific League.
Teams from the Pacific League were in the spotlight, reaching the finals in water polo, girls' soccer and boys' volleyball and the semifinals in football.
Arcadia and Muir were the biggest team winners.
Muir, perennial San Gabriel Valley sports power, won the water polo championship with a 12-8 victory over North (Riverside) and reached the seven-man football semifinals before dropping a 12-6 decision to Hart--the team Muir beat for the CIF Coastal Conference title last year.
Arcadia finished second in girls' soccer and boys' volleyball. The Apaches dropped a 1-0 decision to Alemany in the soccer final and fell to Mira Costa, 15-9 and 15-12, in the volleyball title match.
The L.A. Games also produced an improved outlook for the Pasadena boys' track program, which failed to qualify an athlete in the CIF Masters Meet last season for the first time in recent years.
Pasadena produced a strong performance in the freshman-sophomore division as Anthony Daniels won the 100- and 200- meter dashes and Kevin Dallas won the 400-meter dash and the pair combined to lead Pasadena to the 400-meter relay title.
Cross-town rival Muir added further strength to the league's reputation in track as Lisa Rogers led a strong Mustang showing with a first-place finish in the girls' 100-meter low hurdles.
All in all, a pretty good display by the Pacific League.
Pomona High track standout Janeene Vickers has earned her glowing reputation largely because of her ability as a hurdler.
But recently the 5-7 junior has been making more of an impact as a sprinter.
Vickers turned in a brilliant performance in the TAC National Junior Championships at Towson, Md., two weeks ago by winning the 400-meter dash in a meet-record time of 52.39 seconds.
Then she came back with a strong effort at the international level in the 400 meters at the Pan-American Junior Championships in Orlando, Fla., last week. Vickers placed second in the event with a time of 52.66 seconds.
Her top events during the prep track season were the 100- and 300-meter low hurdles. Vickers won both events at the state track meet in June, the 100 in 13.74 seconds and the 300 in 41.32.
Vickers was among a handful of San Gabriel Valley track standouts who were recently named to the All-Southern California Board of Athletics Track and Field Team.
Vickers, selected for her success in the 100- and 200-meter hurdles, was chosen for the girls' team along with Brandi Gail of Rowland in the shot put, Tracey Williams of Mountain View in the 3,200-meter run and Lii Ili of Nogales in the discus.
The boys' division included another top performer from Pomona in long jumper Leonard Hudson, sprinters Martin Cannady of Duarte in the 100-meter dash and Corey Ealy of Muir in the 200-meter dash, Aaron Mascorro of Rosemead in the 3,200-meter run and Duarte and Muir in the 400-meter relay.
With the L.A. Games and Bosco Tech Summer Hoop Spectacular--two of the top summer prep basketball tournaments--completed, several San Gabriel Valley boys' teams have looked like the cream of the crop for next season.
Leading the way is defending CIF 4-A Division champion Muir, which finished in sixth place in the tournament at Bosco Tech. The Mustangs, who are led by 6-7 forwards Wayne Womack and Kirk Wagner, lost to Simi Valley (70-62) in the fifth-place game of the tournament in a rematch of last year's 4-A Division title game.
Other teams that figure to be strong include Pomona, led by point guard Tank Collins, Ganesha and Edgewood.
Former Ganesha High School football star Majett Whiteside of UC Berkeley has been named to the Sporting News pre-season All-America team.
Whiteside, 6-2 and 250 pounds, will be a sophomore defensive lineman for the Golden Bears. He led the Pacific 10 Conference in quarterback sacks last season and was named to the all-conference second team.
Whiteside was a Times All-San Gabriel Valley selection as a senior at Ganesha in 1983.
Two other former valley standouts are listed among the top 100 incoming freshmen in the nation by the publication. They are 6-8 quarterback Dan McGwire of Claremont and 6-1 running back J. J. Flannigan of Pomona.
McGwire, who will attend Iowa in the fall, and Flannigan, who is heading to Colorado, will both conclude their high school careers by playing in the 35th Shrine All-Star Football Game on Aug. 2 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.