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College Notebook

WAC Coaches Seek Change in Rainout Policy

May 29, 1993

In an effort to avoid a repeat of the problems Fresno State encountered in attempting to make up two rained-out Western Athletic Conference games with San Diego State, Bulldog Coach Bob Bennett and Cal State Northridge Coach Bill Kernen have written letters to the conference office. Both coaches are pushing for a policy that ensures that rainouts are made up.

Fresno State (14-8 in conference play) won the WAC West Division title by two games over second-place Northridge (13-11). However, had Northridge defeated the Bulldogs in the WAC finale May 16, Fresno State would have won the title with fewer victories than the Matadors because of the rainouts.

If problems crop up in the negotiation process between coaches, Bennett and Kernen want the WAC leadership to step in and decide where and when the games will be played.

Bennett said he went to great lengths in an attempt to make up the games rained out at San Diego State. When the Aztecs balked at playing one of the games at Fresno State's Beiden Field, Bennett offered to play the game at Fresno City College. He also agreed to fly in umpires from another part of the state.

TRACK & FIELD

Northridge senior Nate Wright equaled the provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA championships in the men's 400-meter intermediate hurdles when he ran a personal best of 51.60 seconds to finish third in the Cal State Los Angeles invitational last Saturday.

Wright set his previous best of 51.62 while finishing second in the 1991 state junior college championships for Merritt College of Oakland. He is the seventh Northridge athlete to have posted a provisional qualifying mark this season.

Senior Garrett Noel, the school record-holder in the men's javelin (247 feet), is the lone Matador to exceed the automatic qualifying standard.

JUNIOR COLLEGES

BASEBALL

Oxnard and Glendale were two of the three teams (Santa Monica was the other) in the Western State Conference whose pitchers had more walks than strikeouts. Oxnard pitchers walked 157 and struck out 153, and Glendale pitchers walked 207 and struck out 134. . . .

Moorpark had pretty much a break-even season. In conference play, the Raiders scored 191 runs and gave up 192. They were only two games under .500 in the WSC with a 14-16 record, and finished 20-21 overall. . . .

Canyons had the only two undefeated pitchers with five or more decisions in conference play: right-hander R.J. Simone (8-0) and left-hander Jason Chandler (7-0).

MISCELLANEOUS

Moorpark, Ventura and Valley finished fourth, fifth and sixth in the 1992-93 WSC athletic supremacy awards derby.

Moorpark, which won five conference titles in men's and women's sports, had 78 points. Ventura (three titles) finished with 70 points and Valley (one championship) followed with 48.5 points.

Occupying the first three spots were Cuesta, with five titles and 89 points; Bakersfield, with zero titles and 79.5 points and Santa Monica, with two titles and 78.5 points.

Glendale was eighth with 48.0 points, Canyons ninth with 42.5 and Pierce 10th with 36.5.

Canyons won three conference championships--baseball, softball and golf--but competed in only 12 sports overall. Five of the conference schools participated in at least 15 sports.

SWIMMING

Originality is not Luzmilla Ocon's strong suit. In fact, she readily admits her athletic endeavors have largely been an attempt to satisfy her three brothers' interest in sports.

"My brothers were into swimming in high school and they encouraged me to try it," said the Valley sophomore.

Following her family into the pool at Glendale High was one thing, but in January she'll trace brother Lawrence's footsteps quite a bit farther--to El Salvador--where Luzmilla has been invited to represent her father's country, Nicaragua, in the Central American Games. The games are a quadrennial multisport athletic festival modeled after the Pan American Games.

Three years ago, Lawrence Ocon--then a Valley College water polo standout--set a Central American record of 26.04 seconds in qualifying for the 50-meter freestyle final, where he finished third. He also finished sixth in the 100 freestyle and a nonqualifying ninth in his heat of the 100 butterfly.

In El Salvador, Luzmilla, 20, plans to compete in the 200 individual medley and 100 freestyle.

Staff writers Kevin Baxter, Fernando Dominguez, Theresa Munoz and John Ortega contributed to this notebook.

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