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Section Boys' Individual Tournament Next Week

May 20, 1997|DAVE McKIBBEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

One of the best and most obscure tennis tournaments in Southern California will be May 30-31 at SeaCliff Country Club in Huntington Beach. The Southern Section individual boys' tennis championships feature the future of college and pro tennis. However, they rarely attract much interest beyond the players' families, friends and coaches.

Last year's singles final between Corona del Mar's Taylor Dent and San Marino's Andrew Park drew about 100 people, the largest crowd at the section individuals in the six years the event has been held at SeaCliff. Most years, only a handful of people show up.

Dent and Park are two of the top junior players in the nation and will almost undoubtedly be playing on the pro tour in the next few years. The NCAA men's team championships at UCLA last weekend included several county players who have hit forehands on the SeaCliff courts in recent years: Stanford's Geoff Abrams (Newport Harbor), Boise State's Joseph Gilbert (Sunny Hills) and Ryan Thompson (Foothill), UC Santa Barbara's Eddie Weiss (Fountain Valley) and UCLA's Kevin Kim (Sunny Hills) and Eric Lin (Canyon).

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Woodbridge Coach Alan Dugard said after last week's victory over Irvine, giving the Warriors their 16th consecutive league softball title, that this year's team is probably the best in school history, exceeding the 1992 team that finished 30-4.

The 1992 Division 3-A champion was led by player of the year Allison Ward.

"Player for player, this team is better or equal to the 1992 team," Dugard said. "We dominate at a lot of positions."

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Westminster's badminton team was disqualified from this year's Southern Section playoffs Monday, according to a section official.

Teams are allowed to play only 16 matches during the regular season, not including the playoffs. Westminster's team played in 17 matches, resulting in the disqualification. Huy Tran, Westminster's coach, was unavailable for comment.

Westminster finished second in the Golden West league and was scheduled to face La Quinta in the first round of the playoffs today. La Quinta will receive a bye in the first round and will play the winner of third-seeded West Covina vs. La Habra.

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The path to a CIF Southern Section Division II record in the pole vault was a bit muddled for Sarah Higham of Mission Viejo at Saturday's qualifying meet at Trabuco Hills.

Higham passed on several heights and when all the other competitors were done, cleared 11-6. The bar was raised to 11-9, a division record, which she also believed to be a county record.

Higham made the jump on her first attempt and was elated, but shortly thereafter, she was informed that the county's best was actually 12-0 3/4. Higham agreed to set the bar at 12-1 but failed on three attempts.

Times staff writers Martin Henderson and Paul McLeod and correspondent Melanie Neff contributed to this story.

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