Bakersfield . . . home of champions?
Cal State Bakersfield lately has been standing up for the city that is so often the butt of insults and jokes. For those who aren't sure where Bakersfield is, it's where you will find the trophies of the NCAA Division II wrestling and swimming champions.
What's more, five wrestlers will be competing for Division I titles this weekend, and the women's tennis and softball teams are off to their best starts in years.
The swimmers made it look easy. Ranked only fourth going into the Division II meet in Long Beach, the Roadrunners had the four-day meet won by the end of the third day, winning every final and all but one consolation race Friday. They came back Saturday to win all three relays and pile up a record 479.5 points, pulling away from top-seeded Oakland of Michigan, 246, and Cal State Northridge, 237.5.
Coach Ernie Maglischo, Division II Coach of the Year for the second straight season, juggled his swimmers so that Bakersfield had depth in nearly every event but diving.
In fact, the Roadrunners had a tougher time with the celebration around the pool, during which swimmer Richard Root suffered a broken arm and dislocated elbow.
Individual champions for Bakersfield included Bartt Frey in the 200-yard freestyle, Todd McMurdo in the 100 butterfly and Rick Graves in the 400 individual medley. Relay teams won the 400 and 800 freestyles and the 400 medley relay.
"We had 17 people score," Maglischo said, adding that he hadn't been worried about not having a diver qualify. "This was the first year I can ever remember where we had the meet won--on paper--going in. If anything I was worried about us being overconfident."
Bakersfield should put up a strong defense of its title next year, too. The team has only three seniors. "They're three good ones, but we've got some redshirts on campus right now who can take their place," Maglischo said.
Northridge won the women's swimming title, led by its standout trio of sophomores--Jude Kylander, Tina Schnare and Stacy Mettam. They scored 107 points in individual races and were on winning relays as well. Northridge outdistanced runner-up Clarion University of Pennsylvania, 349-274.
For the Northridge men there was also some consolation in the performance of Jeff Kubiak, who was named the meet's outstanding swimmer for the second straight year. Kubiak won two events and broke his own record in the 200 breaststroke at 1:59.84 in what was considered a slow pool at Belmont Shore in Long Beach. Kubiak has won five titles in the last two national meets.
Cal Poly Pomona is favored to win its third straight Division II women's basketball title when it returns to the final four Thursday in Springfield, Mass. The defending champion Broncos (28-2), will play the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown (25-4) at 5:35 PST Thursday. In the other semifinal, Northern Kentucky (25-4) will face New Haven (27-2). The winners will play Saturday for the championship.
Pomona, ranked second nationally, ousted North Dakota State, last year's other finalist, in the regional final last week, 77-67. With star forward Debra Larsen slowed by an ankle injury, guard Michele McCoy came to the fore last week. She had 24 points and 13 assists against North Dakota State, setting a school record for assists in a season with 236, and was voted outstanding player of the regional.
Another player who came through was guard Paula Tezak, who had 27 rebounds in two regional games, 16 against Cal State Chico.
Larsen is averaging 16.6 points and 11.3 rebounds, and McCoy is chipping in 14.8 points and 7.6 assists a game. Tezak averages 7.8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Pitt Johnstown, ranked ninth in the last poll, upset top-rated Delta State in the regional final, 68-63. The Mountain Cats are led by 6-foot junior forward Jill Halapin, averaging 19 points and 6 rebounds.
In the latest poll, New Haven was ranked fifth and Northern Kentucky seventh.
ESPN is scheduled to show Saturday's championship game on tape delay at midnight.
Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference basketball Players of the Year were Claremont-Mudd guard Todd Thomas and Whittier center Dave Weida, who shared the men's award, and Pomona-Pitzer forward Regina Juniel.
Weida, a senior who also earned all-district honors, led the SCIAC in scoring with a 25.3-point average and was second in rebounds at 9.3 a game. Thomas, a junior, averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 assists and 6.3 rebounds and set school records for season and career assists.
Juniel, a senior who led Pomona-Pitzer to its sixth straight conference title, averaged 20.3 points and led the SCIAC in rebounds with a 10.0 average, and in shooting with 56.4%.
Small College Notes Cal State Bakersfield, Division II wrestling champion, plans to move up to Division I for the 1987-88 season. Five Roadrunners are competing in this week's Division I tournament. Four wrestlers for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, which wrestles as a Division I entry, also qualified. . . . John Balfanz set two hitting records recently at Cal State Northridge. He hit the 30th home run of his career against Santa Clara, then, in the next game against Cal State Long Beach, was hit by pitches four times. . . . Claremont-Mudd's Larry Schmedeka had five straight hits in a doubleheader before being retired and has had five games in which he made no outs. . . . Softball pitcher Rhonda Wheatley of Cal Poly Pomona has opened the season at 12-1 with an 0.12 earned-run average. She has eight shutouts including a perfect game and another no-hitter and has allowed one earned run in 78 innings.