The Cal Poly Pomona women's basketball team, which has won or shared the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. title for seven straight years, will open its 1988-89 season when it plays host to the fourth annual Bronco Classic on Friday and Saturday at Kellogg Gym.
Pomona, which finished with a 28-4 record and reached the NCAA Division II quarterfinals last season, will face UC Davis at 5:30 p.m. Friday after Cal State Dominguez Hills meets Eastern Montana at 1:30 p.m. in the other first-round game.
The winners will meet for the title at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Pomona, coached by Darlene May, has three starters and most of its reserves from last season. The three are All-America senior guard Cathy Gooden (5-5), who averaged 18.7 points last season; 6-2 junior center Niki Bracken, who averaged 17.1 points and 7.2 rebounds, and 6-1 senior forward Marcine Edmonds, who averaged 14.7 points and 5.4 rebounds.
Several underclassmen also figure to see plenty of playing time, including sophomores Stephanie Coons and Kelly Connelly at forward and sophomore Carrie Egan and freshman Yvette Hill at guard.
"We have a good blend of experience and youth and we're hoping that this will combine into a great year," said May, who has an impressive 369-85 career record. "The tournament will provide us with some information on how this team is developing and what our staff will need to do to improve."
The Pomona men's team, which posted an 11-16 record in Dave Bollwinkel's first season as coach last year, will also make its season debut in the four-team men's division of the tournament Friday.
The Broncos, who have two starters returning, will face Biola at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Cal State Dominguez Hills meets Manitoba of Canada at 3. The championship game is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Pomona's top returning players are senior forward Forrest Barnes (6-5) and senior guard Galen Dedmon (6-0), both starters last season, and senior forward Nate Macon (6-3), a top reserve.
"Although we're pleased with the team's progress, you are never sure until you play a quality opponent, and Biola fills that role," Bollwinkel said.
Biola has two starters from a team that was 31-5 last season and defeated the Broncos in a non-conference game.
The Cal State Los Angeles men's cross-country team is expected to be one of the top contenders in the NCAA Division II championships Saturday at Mississippi College at Clinton.
Coach John Tansley thinks his team can improve over its sixth-place showing of last year.
"We may not win it, but we should be right there," he said. "I'd be happy to bring a trophy home. I'd be happy with fourth.
"We have a very confident and quiet demeanor. I'm not conceding anything to anybody."
The favorite entering the men's meet is Edinboro State of Pennsylvania, which won last season.
Cal State needs strong performances from junior Jesus Gutierrez and Division II All-American seniors Martin Sandoval and Benito Cruz. The leader is Gutierrez, who won the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. and NCAA West Regional titles.
Tansley said Gutierrez has "as good a chance as anybody at the national meet. Obviously, he's better than anybody in the West."