The first serious injury of Laurence Jackson's wrestling career has ended the former Santa Monica High School standout's bid at tying Michigan's Andre Metzger as the only wrestler to win five junior national titles.
Jackson, a three-time state champion, dislocated his right collarbone in the Espoir World Cup in Newfoundland, Canada, less than a week before the Junior Nationals in Iowa on July 15 to 21. He tried to wrestle in Iowa, but the injury forced his withdrawal after seven matches.
Aside from the customary bumps and bruises, Jackson's only other wrestling injury was a dislocated right baby finger eight years ago. That sidelined him less than two weeks.
Despite missing much of the summer competition, Jackson was still named the 1986 wrestler of the year.
"I'm recuperating and I should be 100% in about a month," said a disappointed Jackson, who is bound for Oklahoma State University. "Those are things that happen."
Jackson, who was representing the United States in the six-team Espoir competition, open only to 17- to 20-year-olds, injured his right shoulder with about 1 1/2 minutes left in his final match.
The 5-foot-7, 136-pounder was trailing 3-1 when his opponent from the Soviet Union used an arm throw to bring him down.
"It was a once in a lifetime mishap the way I hit the mat," said Jackson, who had lost his first match in the round-robin tournament and was going for a third-place finish. The Soviet was going for first place.
"I didn't know how badly I was hurt at the time, but I couldn't move my arm and I had to withdraw."
Jackson, who was 122-0 in his final three years at Santa Monica, re-injured the shoulder at the Junior Nationals in his seventh match, the only one he lost, and decided to quit.
"Some of my ribs starting popping out in that final match. That's when I had to hang up my wrestling shoes."
As a 115-pounder in 1984, he won the freestyle event at the Junior Nationals. Last year he won both the freestyle and the Greco-Roman events at Iowa.
Santa Monica High's Linda Escobar and Alex Haddox, who discovered they had a lot in common after they qualified for the Junior Nationals in Austin, Tex., Aug. 12-16, found more common ground at the swimming event.
Escobar and Haddox are both juniors-to-be, both played water polo for Santa Monica last year, both of their fathers are psychiatrists who teach at UCLA and both of the young swimmers would like to study medicine.
And at the nationals, similar technical problems delayed their races, which gave them time to panic, Coach John Apgar said.
Escobar, 15, who qualified for the 50-meter freestyle race, was on the starting blocks when she and the seven other swimmers in the first heat were told to step down while the starting beepers were fixed.
She sat by the pool for 12 minutes and "got very nervous just waiting," said Apgar.
He said Escobar, seeded 66th in a field of 67, won her heat by about a body length but didn't hit the wall timer hard enough to stop it. And he attributed that mistake, at least in part, to nerves.
Escobar's official time was 28.35, which placed her 42nd, but according to an official with a hand timer she registered a 27.8. Apgar said her real time was probably closer to 28 seconds, which would have meant a finish in the top 25.
Haddox, 16, the last seed in a field of 54 for the 100 backstroke, had to endure about a 30-minute delay after warming up.
"I was all ready to go in about two minutes and then had to wait while they fixed two touch pads," he said. "I got cold and lost all of my adrenalin."
Haddox said he swam a 1:02.19 and finished 33rd.
Names in the News
Robert (Skip) Stolley has been named coach of men's cross country and track and field at Santa Monica College for the 1986-87 school year.
Stolley will be replacing Tommie Smith, who was suspended from coaching for a year last June after it was learned that the track team had used an ineligible runner. Smith, also placed on coaching probation for three years, was retained as a teacher.
A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Stolley was an All-American in track and cross country in college and has coached for the PUMA Energizers Track Club and Indiana State University.
The Corsairs will begin the cross country season in the Sept. 12 Moorpark Invitational. Returning SMC harriers are expected to be Larry Gessler, Vladimir Ibanez, Paul Kilonde and Martin Ochoa.
There were ties for first place in both flights of the Rancho Golf Club's July tournament. Harold Kramer and George Memsic each had 64 points in the A flight, and Ed Schoenburg and George Rashken each scored 66 points in the B flight.
Wade Tucker took third place in A with 62 points, and Marv Lubic and Jay Marks tied for third in B, each with 64 points.
Members of the Waves, a Westside American Youth Soccer Organization team of girls ages 13 through 15, toured Australia, the Fiji Islands and New Zealand this summer.
Luis O. Rivas is head coach of the Waves. Players from Culver City are Amy Epman, Teresa Griffee, Debra Laboschin, Jackie Leavitt, Stacie London and Nicki Rivas.
Mar Vista residents on the team are Elayne Borenstin, Jill Davie, Deanna Edwards, Cynthia Mai, Kris Nemec, Andrea Prost, Stephanie Ruiz and Rebecca Wright.