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UC IRVINE NOTEBOOK / MIKE REILLEY : Cross-Country Runner Doesn't Let a Little Injury Sideline Her

September 14, 1993|MIKE REILLEY

Anyone who dares question Tiffany York's toughness as a cross-country runner should first take a close look at the right shoe she wore part of last season.

After breaking her small right toe, York cut out the side of her shoe. It relieved the pressure on her swollen toe and allowed her to continue running for UC Irvine.

A broken toe isn't as serious as knee and ankle injuries, but try running 5,000 meters on one and you'll have a good idea of what York went through.

Her times increased by about a minute, from the low 18-minute range to the low 19s, but she still helped the Anteaters to the Big West championship last October.

"When I first broke it, I figured I could run on it and not do much harm," she said. "It was only my baby toe.

"The doctor told me the worst thing that could happen would be a stress fracture, and that's what I got."

Breaking it was almost as aggravating as running on it.

"I was coming back from the beach and I was wearing thongs," she said. "I stubbed my toe on the curb, and that did it.

"I was laughing about it until I saw my toe sticking out to the side. I wish I had a more exciting story to tell, but I don't."

A year later, York's toe is fully healed, and she and her Anteater teammates are preparing for their season-opener Saturday at the San Diego State Aztec Invitational.

York, a junior, was named team co-captain along with senior Traci Goodrich, who finished third at last year's conference meet.

"So far we look like we have a really good team," York said. "We just got back from training up at Mammoth for a week, and we look strong."

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The men's cross-country team, reinstated last fall after falling victim to budget cuts, returns three runners from last year's team that finished sixth at the District 8 championships--senior Dan Galindo, junior Todd Coulston and sophomore Jim Roldan.

The roster also includes sophomores Mike Cherman and Ryan Gauss and six freshmen, including Anthony Alvarez from La Puente Bishop Amat High. Alvarez finished sixth at the CIF cross-country championships last fall.

"We're very young," Coach Vince O'Boyle said. "But I like these guys because they're hungry and they want to prove themselves."

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Coaching cradle: Women's basketball Coach Colleen Matsuhara is getting plenty of practice at interviewing assistant coach candidates.

In the last two months, Irvine assistants Annette Greene and Fred Williams have left Irvine's staff for similar positions at their alma maters, Texas and USC.

Last week, Matsuhara hired Angela Crabtree, a high school coach from Dallas, to fill Greene's position.

Matsuhara is currently interviewing candidates for Williams' position, which was vacated two weeks ago when he joined Cheryl Miller's staff at USC.

"The timing with Fred leaving us (two weeks ago) was obviously not very convenient," Matsuhara said. "But in this case, I understand. He leaves with my best wishes.

"Fred handled it above board. He contacted me immediately after USC called him, and he went out of his way to break Angela in last week."

With the fall recruiting contact period beginning Friday, Matsuhara hopes to have Williams' replacement hired "as quickly as possible."

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Guerrero selected: Irvine Athletic Director Dan Guerrero has been named to the NCAA minority opportunities and interests committee by the NCAA council.

The committee focuses on the education and welfare of minority student-athletes as well as expanding coaching and administrative opportunities for minorities. Guerrero's term is for three years.

Notes

The Anteaters will try to win their first Big West women's volleyball opener since 1988 when they play host to Pacific on Friday. But they will do so without freshman outside hitter Brandy Smerko, who sprained her left ankle during warm-ups last week at a tournament at Cal. She's expected to miss two weeks. . . . The Anteaters' Vesna Sepic is ranked 11th in the nation in set assists, averaging 12.33 per game.

The Anteaters started the water polo season right where they ended it--ranked fourth in the nation. They finished fourth at last year's NCAA championships and are fourth in the NCAA coaches' preseason top 25. They will likely drop in the next poll after losing to Pacific, 9-4, in the season-opener last week. The Anteaters play at the USC Invitational Friday through Sunday.

Entries are being accepted for the Anteater Golf tournament Oct. 18 at Tustin Ranch Golf Club. Cost for the scramble-format tournament, conducted by the UCI Athletic Foundation, is $175 per player. It includes greens fees, cart, lunch and dinner. Entry deadline is Oct. 4. Contact the foundation office at 714-856-5550 for more information.

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