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SportsScope : Eight Olympians in Field for Meet of Champions Saturday

April 13, 1989

Eight Olympic track and field performers will be among the athletes competing in the third annual Meet of Champions at 10 a.m. Saturday at Azusa Pacific University.

About 500 are expected to compete in the event, which has attracted many of the top college track athletes in Southern California.

Among the Olympians are sprinters Innocent Egbunike and Chidi Imoh of Nigeria, Gabriel Tiacoh of the Ivory Coast, Derek Redmond of Great Britain and Grace Jackson of Jamaica, Ade Olukoju of Nigeria in the discus and shot put and Larry Myricks of the U.S. in the long jump.

There will be several former NAIA All-Americans from Azusa Pacific competing, including Mike Barnett in the javelin, Jack Nance in the high jump and Tim Lomheim in the pole vault.

In addition, Kansas City Chiefs running back Christian Okoye--a former All-America weight thrower at Azusa Pacific--will compete in a 60-meter celebrity sprint.

Azusa Pacific will have a strong contingent competing in the men's division, including Olukoju, hurdler Herby Akpom, sprinter Patrick Nwankwo and middle-distance runner Paul Dennis.

Among the top women's performers for the Cougars are Joey Classen in the shot put and discus, Latrese Johnson in the high jump and distance runner Janee Ellis.

The Cal Poly baseball team doesn't have an impressive record in non-conference competition.

But things have picked up for the Broncos since the start of California Collegiate Athletic Assn. play. They're in first place in the conference and have a four-game winning streak going into a three-game series against Chapman on Friday and Saturday.

Pomona, which swept a two-game series from Division I U.S. International last week in San Diego, visits Chapman for a single game at 3 p.m. Friday and plays host to the Panthers in a double-header at noon Saturday.

The Broncos enter the series with a record of 9-6 in the CCAA and 15-21 overall. Chapman is 8-10 in the conference and 16-20 overall.

Chapman, which lost two of its three games against Cal State Los Angeles last week, has been led by the pitching of David Bird and Matt Patuano.

Pomona has received outstanding pitching from Dan Mead, Bret Lachemann and Wayne Koklys. The Broncos have produced a solid attack led by catcher Chris Goldbach and outfielder Chris Butterfield.

Goldbach, who has a 28-game hitting streak, leads the conference with a .432 batting average and 44 runs batted in. Butterfield is among the conference hitting leaders at .395.

The Cal State Los Angeles baseball team started last week in last place in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn. But that was before the Golden Eagles won three of four games against Chapman and clawed back into contention.

Cal State L.A., which is two games behind first-place Cal Poly Pomona at 7-8 and 17-20 overall, hopes to maintain its momentum against second-place Cal State Northridge in a two-game series Friday and Saturday. The games are at 3 p.m. Friday at Northridge and 2 p.m. Saturday at Cal State L.A.

Coach John Herbold said the Golden Eagles are starting to perform to their potential.

"This is the way we should have been playing all year," he said. "We're learning how to win."

The Golden Eagles have been successful behind strong pitching from freshman Paul Spere and senior Mike Utke. Spere, who helped Diamond Bar High to the CIF Southern Section 4-A Division title last season, has a 3-1 record and 2.46 earned-run average. Utke is 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA.

Offensively, the Golden Eagles have been led by outfielders Rex De La Nuez and Frank James. De La Nuez is batting .374 and James .339. Second baseman Ed Pimental has a team-leading nine home runs and 25 RBIs.

Northridge, which won two of three conference games against Cal Poly San Luis Obispo last week, is 9-7 in the CCAA. The Matadors have been headed by the pitching of Fili Martinez.

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