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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Matadors Have 1-2 Punch in Heptathlon

Big Sky track and field: Prieto and Fowler, who helped Northridge win indoor conference title, are top entrants in seven-event discipline starting today in outdoor finals.

May 19, 1999|JOHN ORTEGA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

NORTHRIDGE — Junior Brandi Prieto and sophomore LaShaunda Fowler, who played key roles in Cal State Northridge winning its first Big Sky Conference indoor track and field title in February, will compete in the first day of the heptathlon when the Big Sky outdoor championships begin today at Northridge.

Prieto is the No. 1 entry in the heptathlon with 4,710 points this season and Fowler is No. 2 with 4,683 points.

But the two-day, seven-event heptathlon is not their specialty.

Prieto is the two-time defending outdoor conference champion in the triple jump and has won three consecutive indoor titles.

Fowler won the Big Sky title in the 60-meter dash in the indoor championships three months ago and placed fourth in the 200 and fifth in the 400 in the outdoor finals last year.

A 1-2 finish by Prieto and Fowler in the heptathlon would give Northridge 18 points in its quest to win its second outdoor title in three years, but Fowler is still recovering from a recent ankle injury.

Fowler is entered in the heptathlon, 100, 100 high hurdles and long jump. She might run on the Matadors' 400 and 1,600 relay teams, but she won't run the 200 because of her tender ankle, according to Coach Don Strametz of Northridge.

Prieto also is entered in the 100 high hurdles, long jump and triple jump.

Northridge, which totaled a meet-record 165 points in winning the indoor title, is expected to battle Northern Arizona and defending champion Weber State for the outdoor championship.

"It's so close, it's unreal," Strametz said. "We're not going to have some of the people we had in the indoor meet and Northern Arizona is going to have some people they didn't have indoors."

Weber State and 1997 champion Northern Arizona are expected to battle for the men's title.

Northridge, which finished fifth last year, could battle Montana State for fourth.

Sophomore Clinte Motley and junior Tim Brown could be key performers for the Matadors if their tender hamstrings don't act up.

Motley, defending conference champion in the triple jump, is entered in that event, the long jump and the high jump.

Brown is entered in the 100, long jump and triple jump.

Junior Josh Morton is Northridge's lone entrant in the decathlon, which starts the meet at noon today.

The decathlon and heptathlon will be contested during the first first two days of the meet, with the other running and field events held Friday and Saturday.

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