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Vujic Goes the Distance as CSUN Claims Meet


Having set school freshman records in the 5,000 and the 10,000 meters for Cal State Northridge last year, Sasha Vujic is stalking bigger game this season.

Ranked sixth, 11th and eighth on the all-time Northridge lists in the 1,500, the 5,000 and the 10,000, respectively, Vujic has set his sights on Mike Flint's 5,000 record of 14 minutes 11.54 seconds, set in 1978.

In pursuit of that quarry, Vujic concentrated on the 1,500 early this season to sharpen his speed. But in Saturday's quadrangular track and field meet at Northridge, he worked on his speed and his strength, winning the 1,500 and the 5,000, and placing second in the 800.

Powered by Vujic's 13 points (the meet was scored on a 5-3-2-1 basis), the Matadors won the men's competition with 72 points, followed by NCAA Division I teams San Diego State (51), Long Beach State (50) and Weber State (31).

San Diego State, led by multi-talented Gaylen Ames, totaled 94 1/2 points to win the five-team women's meet. Northridge placed second with 59 1/2 points, followed by Weber State (57 1/2), Long Beach State (43 1/2) and Mankato State of Minnesota (11 1/2).

"I planned to run the 800 and 1,500," said Vujic, who placed eighth in last year's NCAA Division II cross-country championships. "I wasn't sure about the 5,000, but (Coach Don Strametz) came up to me before the race and said, 'We need the points.' "

Vujic, who has a personal best of 14:30.14 in the 5,000, didn't disappoint Strametz, swooping past Brian Barton of Weber State with 50 meters left to win in 15:09.06.

Vujic began the day with an impressive 3:53.98 victory in the 1,500, running the last 300 meters in 41.7 seconds. He followed that with a personal best of 1:54.5 in the 800 to place second.

But Vujic wasn't the only Matador to stand out Saturday.

Chris Pippins and Kevin Hendrix went one-two in the 100 (10.52-10.55) and two-one in the 200 (21.61-21.59).

Paul Albers, sixth in the hammer throw in last year's Division II championships, placed second in that event with a personal best of 186-10.

Charlotte Vines and Kim Young led the Northridge women, qualifying for the Division II meet in their respective events.

Vines, a freshman from San Marcos High in Santa Barbara, won the 100 in 11.83, and Young placed second in the 100-meter low hurdles in 14.10.

Lolita Pile, runner-up in the triple jump at last year's Division II meet, bounded a season-best 41-3 in that event, but lost to Ames, who went 41-5. Ames also won the long jump (19-5 1/4) and placed third in the 100 hurdles (14.52).

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