July 6, 1997 |
Two negatives in 1996 led to a positive 1997 track and field season for Andrea Neipp of Highland High. She missed the last five weeks of her junior track season because she was academically ineligible. Then an asthma attack forced her to drop out of the West regional cross-country championships in December after she won the state Division II title the previous week. Those two disappointments hardened the Brigham Young University-bound Neipp's resolve in track.
June 6, 1997 |
Although Ika Eliashvili of Birmingham High was born and raised in a nation that produced Viktor Saneyev, the greatest triple jumper of all time, she didn't compete in the event until this season. Eliashvili (say e-lee-a-Shhh-vee-lee) was a sprinter from the age of 7 in the country of Georgia until her sophomore season at Birmingham last year, but she didn't triple jump until Coach Scott King and assistant Sandy Shair urged her to this season.
May 30, 1997 |
She outgrew gymnastics two years ago, but 5-foot-10 1/2 Heather Sickler of Camarillo High seems to be just the right size for the girls' pole vault. The Scorpion junior competed in gymnastics for six years, but she was 5-6 by the time she was 14, still growing and looking for another sport. "I was getting a little bit tired of [gymnastics] and I started to get taller and that's not very good if you're a gymnast, so I quit," Sickler said.
May 15, 1997 |
Since she began running at 7, Malika Edmonson has depended on her parents to help develop her track career. Now that she has achieved their goal of a college track scholarship--to USC--she's about to discover how to care for herself. Malika's mother is Barbara Edmonson, the Trojan women's track coach and a former Olympian. Her father, Warren Edmonson, is her sprint coach at Playa del Rey St. Bernard High and a former NCAA champion sprinter from UCLA.
May 1, 1997 |
Sprinters are born, not made. That's the conventional wisdom in track and field, Woodbridge Coach George Varvas says. So meet his unconventional exception, Woodbridge senior Jackie Dix. The county's top sprinter on the county's top-ranked team didn't blaze onto the scene overnight. It took four years of hard work to transform Dix from just another runner into the finest sprinter that the Woodbridge girls' team has ever seen. "It's been a slow process from the beginning," Varvas said.
April 12, 1997 |
A dream two years in the making will become a reality tonight when Frances Santin of Taft High runs in the girls' 300-meter low hurdles in the Arcadia Invitational at Arcadia High. The junior is the defending City Section champion in the event and is undefeated in seven races this season. But two years ago, when Coach Mel Hein urged her to focus on the hurdles, Santin never expected to become one of the favorites in arguably the most prestigious regular-season invitational in the nation.