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ALLAN MALAMUD

Notes on a Scorecard

February 22, 1996|ALLAN MALAMUD

Al Franken, the chairman of the boards in L.A., has many fond memories. . . .

Fans literally crashed the gates at the Sports Arena to watch Wilma Rudolph sprint in his L.A. Invitational track and field meet in 1961. . . .

Mary Decker Slaney put away Ruth Wysocki in their grudge match in 1985 as a capacity crowd roared. . . .

An unprecedented four indoor records were set in 1986. . . .

Since 1960, there have been appearances by such all-time greats as Kip Keino, Jim Ryun, Dave Wottle, Carl Lewis, Dwight Stones, Evelyn Ashford, Florence Griffith Joyner, John Walker, Steve Scott, Bob Beamon, Henry Rono, Steve Prefontaine, Eamonn Coughlan, Peter Snell, Herb Elliott, Ron Clarke, Sergei Bubka and Lasse Viren. . . .

Promoter Franken, 70, isn't through yet providing entertainment for the small, but loyal ranks of track and field fans in the Southland. . . .

The 37th L.A. Invitational is set for Saturday morning, afternoon, and evening at the Sports Arena despite the lack of a sponsor. . . .

"Obviously, our sport is struggling in the United States," Franken said. "What it needs is an infusion of marketing skills on a national basis." . . .

Still, there will be more than 100 events on this year's card, high school competition starting at 11 a.m. and the open division at 5 p.m. . . .

Three of the prep stars--milers Michael Stember of Jesuit High in Sacramento and Julia Stamps of Santa Rosa High, and 500-yard runner Angela Williams of Chino High--will compete against their elders in open races. . . .

Among the featured performers will be shotputters John Godina and Randy Barnes, sprinters Jon Drummond and Ato Boldon, hurdler Mark Crear, half-milers Johnny Gray and Suzy Favor Hamilton and pole vaulters Brent Burns and Billy Payne. . . .

They won't break down the doors as they did 35 years ago for Wilma Rudolph, but more than 8,000 fans are expected and some of the athletes will be participating for shares of the revenue. . . .

*

UCLA will take the Pacific 10 Conference's four leading shooters--Jelani McCoy, J.R. Henderson, Kris Johnson and Charles O'Bannon--into the Sports Arena for the game against USC tonight. . . .

The Bruins lead the nation in shooting at 53%. . . .

How absurd it is that basketball fans in the nation's second-largest TV market won't get to see the cross-town rivalry on Prime Sports until the taped showing after the live Stanford-Washington State telecast? . . .

NBA officials ought to wear their names, instead of their numbers, on their backs. . . .

Between them, the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls are 52-0 at home this season. The 1971-72 Lakers, who set an NBA won-lost mark of 69-13, were 36-5 at the Forum. . . .

In contrast, the Portland Trail Blazers have lost their last six games at the Rose Garden in Portland. Remember when they were so hard to beat when they played at the Coliseum? . . .

Just about any other season, the Seattle Supersonics' 39-12 record would be drawing a lot of attention. . . .

One of the reasons that Michael Jordan missed eight consecutive shots in the first half Tuesday at Chicago is that the Cleveland Cavaliers know how to play defense. . . .

*

For the first time, there will be a women's match in the final of the Golden Gloves' novice division Friday night at the Lincoln Park Recreation Center in East L.A. Adelaida Avalos of El Monte will box Lisette Garcia of Baldwin Park for the 139-pound title. . . .

Ricardo Lopez, the unbeaten World Boxing Council strawweight champion, will get some rare pay-per-view TV exposure March 16, when he defends his title against Ala Villama on the Mike Tyson-Frank Bruno card in Las Vegas. . . .

At 105 pounds, Lopez is considered one of the best fighters in the world, pound for pound. . . .

Weights for the Santa Anita Handicap on March 2 will be released Sunday by a committee of four officials, headed by Tom Robbins, the track's vice president of racing. . . .

Best guesses are that Cigar will be assigned 130 pounds and Serena's Song 115. . . .

With all the free-agent movement, NFL rosters are becoming as hard to recognize as major league baseball's. . . .

When Stefan Edberg retires from tennis after this year, I doubt that he will be appointed Sweden's ambassador to India.

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