Newbury Park High senior Kara McKeown, one of the top girls' volleyball players in the area, committed Thursday to play at St. Mary's.
"It's a small school, I really like the area and I'm familiar with the conference they play in," McKeown said. "The coaches said I'll have a good chance to start."
McKeown, a 6-foot middle blocker, led the Panthers to second place in the Marmonte League and to the Southern Section Division I playoffs. She was named all-league and to The Times' all-area team in 1994.
McKeown also averages 10.5 points and 10.8 rebounds a game for the Newbury Park basketball team, which clinched the Marmonte League title Tuesday night. She said she will decide about playing basketball for the Gaels after she meets with coaches from both sports.
McKeown also considered California, Notre Dame, Utah and Alabama Birmingham.
Taft running back Jerry Brown said that the Rams' interest in University of Oregon Coach Rich Brooks will have no effect on his decision to attend the Pacific 10 Conference school.
"The running-back position is open, and I definitely wanted to go to a Pac--10 school," said Brown, who chose Oregon over Arizona, Hawaii, San Diego State and San Jose State.
Caleb Smith, a defensive lineman from Antelope Valley, signed a national letter of intent with Utah State earlier this week.
Smith, who also visited Idaho and Northern Arizona, said he received no scholarship offers until after the initial NCAA signing date of February 1.
LPGA Tour standout Helen Alfredsson, who made a spirited run at the U.S. Women's Open title last summer, has been added to the annual Steve Pate charity golf tournament that will be played Feb. 20 at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village.
Alfredsson joins PGA Tour regulars Duffy Waldorf, Mike Reid, Keith Clearwater and Pate in the field, which pairs amateurs with professionals in a scramble format. The event benefits three alcohol and drug rehabilitation houses in Ventura County.
Cary Schuman and Mike Gorton, former national long-drive champions, will give a demonstration and play in the event. Amateur berths are still available.
City Section basketball officials must wait until Monday to see if plans to use Pauley Pavilion as the site of its basketball championships are approved.
Commissioner Barbara Fiege met with Pauley Pavilion officials on Thursday afternoon and said she expects to have a decision by Monday. The regular season ends today and playoff pairings will be announced Saturday.
The finals were played at the Sports Arena in previous years. By moving them to Pauley Pavilion, the district hopes to save as much as $30,000.
World and World Cup champion Ellen Breen of West Hills remained unbeaten by winning a World Cup ballet ski event at Altenmarkt, Austria, her seventh consecutive World Cup victory.
Breen, ignoring tricky weather and snow conditions as other skiers struggled, churned through a 90-second routine and received 27.35 points.
* Contributing: Steve Elling, Darin Esper, Michael Lazarus and Bryan Rodgers.