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March 30, 1995|MITCH POLIN

IN THIS CORNER . . .

Since he started competing at age 5, Mike Chavez of Harbor City has cleared numerous obstacles on his path as an amateur boxer.

But his biggest challenge is around the corner.

Chavez, 17, will compete in the USA National Boxing Championships beginning Monday at Colorado Springs, Colo. If he finishes among the top four in his division, the 139-pound junior welterweight class, the Narbonne High senior will qualify for either the world championships in May or the U.S. Olympic Festival this summer in Denver.

He advanced to the national tournament by winning the February district championship in Azusa and the regional title in March in San Marcos.

Winning became second nature for Chavez after he won his first tournament at age 6. He has a record of 116-17 with 72 knockouts.

Chavez, who won the 1994 Police Activities League national championship in the 139-pound division, trains nearly every day for up to three hours at the Long Beach PAL gym under the tutelage of Joe Zanders.

His father, Ray, is not surprised by his son's success, considering the dedication Mike has displayed.

"He works out all the time at the gym, and if he's not working out at the gym he's doing it here," his father said. "Even on weekends he doesn't stay out late at night with his friends. He's usually in by 11:30 p.m. because he knows he has to go running in the morning."

Mike doesn't mind making the sacrifices for success.

"To me, it's just something I have to do to get me where I want to go in the future," Chavez said. "I'll be doing pretty much what I want to do in the future instead of holding down a regular job (eight) hours a day."

Mike's goal is to earn a spot on the 1996 U.S. Olympic team that will compete in Atlanta. If he reaches that goal, it would help him fulfill another dream.

"I hope that after the Olympics are over, I can go around and help younger kids and give them the kind of encouragement I've received," he said.

Even if he doesn't make the Olympics, Chavez is committed to a boxing future.

"If I don't make the Olympic team, I plan to turn pro and work at getting a title," he said. "Nothing's going to stop me from trying to win a pro title."

NEW SEAHAWKS

Harbor College has filled two vacancies with the hiring of Jim DeSalvo as women's basketball coach and Dan Tregarthen as men's soccer coach.

DeSalvo, a former assistant coach at the school, will take over a women's basketball team that won its second consecutive state community college championship a month ago.

DeSalvo, 48, is no stranger to success at the community college level. He coached L.A. Trade Tech from 1982-92, and his teams won two state titles in the process.

He also assisted former coach Louie Nelson in the 1992-93 season, when Harbor reached the state quarterfinals. Nelson was fired Feb. 11 during his fifth season as Seahawk coach after he allegedly struck one of his players.

After Nelson's departure, the Seahawks won the title under the direction of assistants Loretta Thomas and Herbert Ivy. Athletic Director Jim O'Brien said there is a possibility that Thomas will return as an assistant next season.

With a talented group of players returning and DeSalvo's reputation as an outstanding recruiter, O'Brien said the program is in good hands.

"He knows the program, he knows the school, he knows the situation here and he's going to run a similar kind of running and pressing game," O'Brien said.

O'Brien said DeSalvo was selected because school officials believe he can continue the team's winning tradition, maintain solid academic standards and help players advance to the four-year college level.

Tregarthen, 52, replaces Alan King as men's soccer coach. King resigned after five years as coach to devote more time to his duty as coach of the Peninsula High boys. He was the winningest coach in Harbor soccer history with a career mark of 45-41-22, including 10-9-4 this season.

A Harbor graduate, Tregarthen is in his first season as men's coach at Marymount College. He also coached the San Pedro High girls for two seasons and has been a longtime American Youth Soccer Organization coach and referee in San Pedro.

"We're real happy with the choice and we think he'll be a solid coach," O'Brien said.

FAMILIAR FACE

The name Bonnie Frankel has been in the news before. Only this time it is for more conventional reasons.

Frankel, 50, has been named women's cross-country coach at Loyola Marymount. She replaces Mike Sheehan, who resigned in December after five seasons at the school.

In 1991, in hopes of competing in cross-country at Loyola, Frankel attracted national attention when she challenged the NCAA on its rule that said Division I athletes have five years to complete their eligibility.

Frankel challenged the NCAA rule because there was no competition in women's sports when she attended Santa Monica College in 1962 and 1963.

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