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Of Nicknames, Diets and Off-the-Field Episodes

April 30, 1993|BARBIE LUDOVISE

A fortune cookie once informed me: "Deep thoughts are for bottom dwellers." With that in mind, we now dip into the shallows . . .

* Sure, Bob Johnson withdrew his name from consideration for the football coaching position at Mission Viejo High. What did you expect? That new devil mascot gave Bob the willies.

* Next time you think about quitting sports, consider this: a University of Helsinki study shows athletes live 5 1/2 years longer than non-athletes.

* Somebody give Lisa Dacquisto a rest. The Ocean View senior was an All-Sunset League selection in volleyball. Now she's batting a county-leading .569 in softball, plus competing in the long jump and relays in track. She has softball games Tuesdays and Fridays; track meets Thursdays and Saturdays, and practices in between.

Sunday is Dacquisto's easy day. She merely trains with a private sprint coach.

* Sonora's Jay Lim doesn't want to toot his own horn, but besides being a standout high jumper and a straight-A student, Lim plays trumpet in the Fullerton Union School District honor band.

* Two weird: It was the second inning. The score was tied, 2-2. There were two outs. The count was 2-0. Mater Dei's Mike McDonald (No. 22) was facing Dana Hills pitcher Scott Maynard (No. 22). But the inning came to an end when Brian Barajas got picked off . . . at second.

Oh. Mater Dei won--to take a two-game lead in the league.

* A month ago, University water polo player Brad Gallagher was thrilled at being selected to compete in the World Games for the Deaf this summer in Sofia, Bulgaria--even though he was doubtful that he could raise the $3,800 required to make the trip.

But thanks to a fund-raising effort last weekend by Los Alamitos Race Course, Gallagher will be Bulgaria-bound. The race course donated $1 from each paid admission last Friday night, giving Gallagher $1,100 and putting him over the top.

* You know the Pole Vault/Surf Camp June 20-24 in San Luis Obispo was a natural for Woodbridge vaulter Jeff Clark. When Clark comes to practice, it's often with salt in his hair.

* Cypress freshman Bobby Brito may be batting .537 with 26 runs batted in, but it has been a quiet season compared to the summer of 1990.

That year, during the last week of August, Brito was hounded by reporters and autograph seekers. Female groupies screamed his name. Broadcaster Brent Musburger described Brito on TV as "one tough young man."

What was Brito doing? Playing in the 1990 Little League World Series with the Cypress All-Stars. Brito struck out 10, gave up three hits and five runs (all unearned) in Cypress' 5-4 semifinal loss to Shippensburg, Pa.

* If nothing else, Brito's presence this year ought to take the pressure off the players at Irvine High. Several of the Vaqueros lost in the title game of the 1987 Little League World Series. And they're sick and tired of hearing about it.

Tustin third baseman Derek Baker, batting .464 with a county-leading 31 RBIs, attributes his turnaround at the plate this year to better focus and increased relaxation. Actually, teammate Ronnie Hall says, it was more of an ego adjustment.

"Derek's head was just more swollen last year," Hall says.

* Foothill's 1,600-meter relay team, winner of the event at last Saturday's Orange County Championships, put in some unusual training a couple months ago. Not that the team of Donald Oliver, Mike Lynch, Tad Heath and Ethan Taub had much choice.

The foursome was in Syracuse, N.Y., for the national high school indoor championships, which coincided with one of the worst East Coast snowstorms in history. The meet was postponed for four days, so the Foothill runners kept in shape--by sprinting through a snowdrift to a Denny's next door.

* Cypress catcher Nikki Espriu has thrown out 12 of 17 runners this season, but her aggressiveness shouldn't surprise anyone. Espriu was nicknamed "Unicorn" as a kid because, thanks to many mishaps, she always had a big bump on her head.

* Rick Foster wants to start a co-op. No, not the organic fruit and veggie variety, but a swap meet of sorts for track and field equipment.

The assistant coach at Newport Harbor has been running a "pole bank" for the last seven or eight years, collecting unused or unwanted pole vault poles so schools can trade or buy them at reduced prices. He wants to do the same with starting blocks, hurdles, high jump standards and more.

* Foster's search led to a few unusual discoveries. He found aluminum poles (outdated for 30 years) in the Garden Grove High equipment shed. At Sunny Hills, where the vault was discontinued several years ago, the baseball team was using different pieces of the pole vault pit for a backstop.

"They were throwing baseballs at the thing," Foster says. "I'm going, 'Hey! You could have sold that thing for 500 bucks!' "

* Esperanza setter Chris Pitzak says the Aztec players rarely get together for a pre-match meal--no one can agree on what to eat.

No wonder. Pitzak's preference is pasta with carrots, broccoli and garbanzo beans.

* Forget all the talk about Corona del Mar freshman Kelly Campbell having to decide between volleyball and distance running. Since kindergarten, Campbell has wanted to be a film and stage director.

"I was a very bossy kid," she says.

* Campbell's only disappointment came in kindergarten when she directed "The Ugly Duckling." The ugly duckling, Campbell says, tripped over a fake fence on stage.

A flop, yes. But a memorable one indeed.

Barbie Ludovise's column appears Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Readers can reach Ludovise either by writing her at The Times Orange County Edition, 1375 Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, 92626, by calling (714) 966-5847 or by fax at 966-5663.

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