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CAMPUS REPORT | UC IRVINE / CHRIS FOSTER

Cappel Gets Plenty of Rest, Except During Games

November 17, 1998|CHRIS FOSTER

Kirsten Cappel has so much going on in her junior year at UC Irvine that she does need her rest.

There is the hemp issue, which she gladly stumps for.

"It could be a great source of paper," she says.

There is her sorority.

"Don't make fun of that."

There is the decision about going to law school or entering public policy.

"Law school would be interesting, but I would like to work for the Environmental Protection Agency."

Heaped on top of all that are those hours spent on the court with the Anteater women's basketball team. No wonder she hits the sack at 9 nearly every night.

"No one wants to room with me on the road," said Cappel, a 6-foot-2 forward. "I sleep a lot and turn the heater way up. Sleeping just runs in my family. We all take naps."

A sleeping gene? OK, so Cappel's DNA is a little different from others.

Consider, she spent six weeks in Europe this summer, much of it studying architecture, and not once did she pick up a basketball. Yet, she has demonstrated significant improvement since last season.

Cappel, a junior from Marina High, is among the group of players expected to replace three-time All-Big West Conference forward Leticia Oseguera, the program's all-time leading rebounder and second-leading scorer.

"It will be by committee," Coach Mark Adams said.

The committee didn't come to order Saturday, when the Anteaters were walloped by San Diego, 62-39. Cappel had seven points and five rebounds but was only one of three from the field.

Not that her dismal start could be singled out; the Anteaters shot 22% from the field.

"I couldn't pick out one player and say she was our best player on the floor," Adams said. "It was total chaos."

On the bright side, there is nowhere to go but up and Cappel could help with the climb.

Her summer preparation was a little different. She toured churches and museums in England, Scotland and Ireland as part of a summer school program offered by the UC system. She stayed in Cambridge, where she woke up from time to time to tour other areas.

The time away has helped her game, even if no one in England knew the difference between a men's and women's basketball--the men's ball is larger.

"I've been playing basketball every summer since I was in the seventh grade," Cappel said. "This was a nice break. What it did was get me away, and I began to miss the game. Really, I did."

Cappel eventually joined her family in Italy, where her sister lives.

"I got to eat lunch five feet from the Leaning Tower of Pisa," Cappel said. "The whole thing was a great experience.

"We would take a week and visit a different place. London was too busy. Scotland was great. Ireland was beautiful. I was a little disappointed in Paris. I wanted to buy some French clothes, but everything was American there."

Not that basketball didn't enter her mind.

"All they care about over there is soccer," Cappel said. "I tried running at this one park, but when I did, all the soccer players would stop and look at me."

So it was back to America and basketball.

"I got back on a Monday and Tuesday we started working out," Cappel said. "I didn't even have time to have jet lag."

Or take a nap.

*

Christy Villa continued to run in some fast company, finishing third Saturday in the NCAA Western Regional at Woodward Park in Fresno. Her time of 16 minutes 54 seconds was the fastest for an Anteater on that course since Buffy Rabbitt won back-to-back regional championships in 1989-90.

"There were All-Americans behind [Christy] and she was able to handle them," Coach Vince O'Boyle said. "I think she showed a lot of maturity and understands the sport better. This is one of those success stories we have here. She ran that same course in high school and I think she has shaved three or four minutes off that time."

Villa will have the fastest time of any individual runner in the NCAA championships on Nov. 23. Irvine, which finished seventh in the regional meet, just missed the cut to advance to the team championships.

*

Gabe Cagwin, UCI's 5-10 guard, pulled off a tricky maneuver in Saturday's exhibition game against the California All-Stars.

Cagwin tried to whip a pass to Matt Willard, who was alone along the baseline, but the ball hit All-Star guard Brandon Titus in the face. Cagwin snagged the ricochet and sank a three-pointer. Rules prevent him from getting an assist on the play.

*

A new member in the big man's club? Possibly.

Irvine's latest basketball signee, 6-11 Adam Parada, received some rather specialized instruction over the summer. He was tutored by former NBA players Mark Eaton (7-3) and Swen Nater (6-11).

The connection is friend Tom Lubin, who was an assistant coach at Cypress when Eaton and Nater played for the Chargers.

"They showed me some agility drills and gave me a lot of advice," said Parada, a senior at Alta Loma High School. "Mark told me about how he was always being put down [in high school] because of his size. He said the sky is the limit."

UCI coaches think Parada could end up more than seven feet. He wears a size 20 shoe and Eaton got him some shoes from another size 20--Utah Jazz center Greg Ostertag.

Of course, not all the interaction with Eaton went well.

"We went deep-sea fishing and I never even put a line in the water because I got seasick," Parada said. "Mark caught a 15-pound yellowtail."

Which probably looked like a guppy next to the former Jazz center.

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