Track pushes for NCAA playoffs, Wright qualifies

by Tom Miller
Managing Editor

One sure qualifier and other track and field athletes at La Verne are look­ing for their ticket to the National Col­legiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Championship in North­field, Minn. on May 25.

The one sure qualifier is ULV junior Tricia Wright in the women’s javelin. Wright, an all-around performer from Bonita High School, threw 140 feet in a meet this year. The NCAA qualifying distance is 135 feet, 4 inches.

“She qualified last year, and she has thrown about eight feet farther this season,” said Leo Head Track Coach Roland Ortmayer. “She (Wright) has a new javelin this year and has the potential of a 150-foot throw.”

Wright will also try to make the stan­dard in the heptathlon, the equal of the men’s decathlon in track. But the chance of her making the Nationals will be hard because of her lack of practice on her own facilities. ULV track and field athletes must train at other schools because of the poor track at La Verne.

“Her weakest event is the 800-meter run; she hates running it,” said Ortmayer.

In the men’s events, along with Wright, Dion Powell will make a bid to qualify in the decathlon at Azusa Pacific this weekend.

“Dion is doing just his second decathlon,” said Ortmayer. “He didn’t score in the pole vault last time and that’s his best event. He vaulted 14 feet yesterday.”

Powell needs 15 feet to compete in the Nationals at the pole vault.

At the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, Friday, and at the Mt. SAC Relays, Saturday and Sunday, the best bets to advance to Minnesota are Kirk Dean and Barry Tyler in the long jump.

Dean has jumped 23 feet, 4 inches, which is just a quarter-of-an-inch off qualifying. Tyler’s top mark this season is 22 feet, 11 inches.

“In their minds, they feel they can do it,” said Ortmayer.

Dean, Tyler, Anthony Grove and Leo Sayles have a shot for the Nationals in the 4X100 meter relay. The top times for the Leo relay team is 43.20, while the time needed is 42.44.

“In the relay the handoffs are ex­tremely important,” said Ortmayer. “What it really comes down to is a fraction of a second.”

There are still two more chances to qualify after the Mt. SAC meet, at the SCIAC Championship and at the Oc­cidental Invitational.

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