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June 28, 1997

Family secret: Jeff McAuley, an assistant track and field coach at Cal State Northridge, would like to say he recruited Matador signee Anthony Colson of Sacramento Center High all season. But it was McAuley's mother-in-law, Patricia Pile, who alerted him to the talents of the state triple jump champion.

Pile was Colson's Sunday school teacher and when Colson bounded 51-3 to win the Sac-Joaquin Section title--and add more than three feet to his career best--before the state championships, she alerted McAuley.

"She asked me if I knew who he was and I told her that I recognized the name," McAuley said. "Then she told me what he'd done."

Pile knows a little something about triple jumping because her daughter Lolita, McAuley's wife, set the Northridge women's triple jump record of 42-3 1/2 in 1990.

Triple-double: The signing of Colson gives Northridge the top two finishers in the triple jump from the state championships. Clinte Motley of Alta Loma signed earlier this year, and that helped McAuley land Colson.

"Having Clinte definitely helped get [Colson]," McAuley said. "He's a real competitive kid and he wanted to go to a place where he's going to get pushed."

Weighty words: A stern lecture from Cal State Northridge assistant coach Candy Roberts seemed to be just what Matador sophomore-to-be Cheree Hicks needed in the USA Track & Field Junior championships last Sunday at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

Hicks, who raised the school record in the women's discus from 168-3 to 180-2 this season, placed a dismal 14th at 143-6 last Saturday. When she opened the shotput competition Sunday with a subpar 45-foot effort, Roberts laid into her.

"She told me that I didn't train for the previous nine months to throw poorly," Hicks said. "She told me that it was ridiculous for me to throw well all season and then to throw like this. She told me that she knew the shot wasn't my favorite event, but for the next [five] throws, I had to pretend like it was."

Hicks did as told, improving her puts until she unloaded a career-best of 50-11 1/2 in the fifth round. The effort topped Hicks' previous best of 50-6 1/4, placed her second behind UCLA's Seilala Sua (53-9 1/4) and qualified her for the U.S. team that will compete in the Pan American Junior championships in Havana on July 18-20.

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