The CIF Federated Council also has voted to approve a rule that would prevent any school from moving up from its designated enrollment division in all sports and from all sections. Previously, some sections had their own rules that prevented such move ups while other sections did not.
In basketball, the new rule will further dilute Division I as the supposed premier division in both boys and girls state playoffs and will further strengthen the significance of when top teams actually do play each other, which will be in events such as the Nike Extravaganza and the Dream Classic. Let's just be glad that in 1991 and in 1992 when Jason Kidd was at St. Joseph of Alameda that this rule was not in effect. Instead of being able to recall how Jason led the Pilots to wins in memorable Div. I state finals over L.A. Fremont and Mater Dei, we'd be reminiscing of how he had to come out at halftime in horribly one-sided routs in Div. IV state finals.
•LONG BEACH WILSON TRACK COACH TAKEN BY CANCER: Jim Arquilla, a track and cross country coach at Wilson of Long Beach for 17 years, died last week at age 52 from skin cancer. How Arquilla was dealing with the disease and how he was able to attend a recent dual meet between Wilson and Long Beach Poly was written up recently by Kirby Lee in a story for us and for the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Arquilla's boys cross country teams won seven Moore League titles in one 10-year stretch and he also worked with many of the athletes from the school's nationally-renowned girls track program.
•CATCHING UP ON OUR Ks: In life, you have to get some extra sleep to catch up on your Zs. In high school sports reporting, you have to do some extra work to catch up on your Ks, specifically state strikeout records. We don't know how we missed this one in the local paper, since it happened about three blocks from our Stockton office but maybe it's because it was from a story placed underneath one about Chris Webber's injury.
In a softball game on May 8 at Oak Park, Tokay of Lodi pitcher Hilary Hirzel finished with 40 strikeouts in her team's 2-1 win over St. Mary's of Stockton. The game lasted 20 innings and ended on a line-drive base hit by Lindsay Solari. The game actually began back on April 30 and the teams were tied 1-1 after 10 innings. Hirzel had 19 strikeouts in the first half of the game and had 21 when it was resumed. Her total is the most in state history for a game lasting 20 innings or less. St. Mary's sophomore Courtney Davis also had a strong game and finished with 22 strikeouts.
Hirzel's 40 strikeouts ranks in a tie for seventh on the all-time state list for games of any length. She's tied with Michele Granger from Placentia Valencia (1988) and Marissa Marzan from Fresno Bullard (2000). The record total of 61 was set in 2001 by Alicia Hollowell of Fairfield in a 30-inning game. Earlier this year, Sarah Maciel from Narbonne of Harbor City had 35 Ks in a 16-inning outing vs. Los Angeles Washington and also is now on the all-time state list.
This summer, the major project for us at Cal-Hi Sports will be to update all of our state records and have them all available for our premium web site subscribers.
•ABUKAR STILL GOING TO SEC: Just because all-state boys basketball player Mohamed Abukar from Rancho Bernardo of San Diego was recently released from a letter of intent with Georgia, it apparently didn't sour the 6-9 wing forward from wanting to still play his college ball in the southeast. Abukar, who averaged 27.8 points and 12.7 rebounds per game last season for the Broncos, announced last week he'll be going to the University of Florida. He also was considering Kentucky and had been hounded by Wildcat fans when he won the three-point shooting and slam dunk contests last month at the Derby Festival Classic in Lexington.
•GRUWELL'S GRUELING SCHEDULE: Fans who attended the various section, regional and state basketball finals in Sacramento will remember Vacaville sophomore Tamar Gruwell for her excellent three-point shooting. But Gruwell should be more known for being extremely versatile. She will end the school year with all-league honors in four sports and this spring was a member of both the Bulldogs' softball and track teams. In last week's Monticello Empire League track meet, Gruwell won the 800 and was fourth in the 1600. The next day she played third base in two CIF Sac Joaquin Section softball playoff games. Gruwell's fourth sport to go along with basketball, softball and track is cross country and her third place finish in the league meet would be the equivalent of being an all-leaguer.
•DELANO DELIVERS.....FINALLY: The Delano High baseball team downed Fresno High, 7-3, last week in the Central Section Yosemite Division Large School playoffs, the first time the school has won a playoff game in baseball since 1949. Guess which school Delano beat then? Yep, Fresno High. It was a 5-4 win in the San Joaquin Valley Large School final.
•TENNIS COACH REACHES 600: Here's another item sent our way from Central Section correspondent Bob Barnett. He reports that coach Frank Thiessen's boys tennis team at Wasco High won the section Sequoia Division title with a 5-4 win over Garces of Bakersfield. So what's the big deal about that? Well, Thiessen is the winningest coach in section history and probably in the state with a 609-122-3 mark in 37 seasons. It was his fifth section crown.
•TRIVIA TIME: A new population chart ranking the state's most populous cities was released last week and looking over the list we realized how many of those cities still have high schools bearing their names. Los Angeles High, San Diego High, San Jose Academy High (formerly San Jose High), Fresno High, Sacramento High, Oakland High, Anaheim High, Santa Ana High, Bakersfield High, Modesto High, Glendale High, Huntington Beach High, San Bernardino High, Chula Vista High and Oxnard High all exist. In fact, of the top 20 most populous cities in the state, these are the only ones that do not exist: San Francisco High, Stockton High (it closed in the 1950s), Fremont High (in the city of Fremont) and Long Beach High (although of course there's a Long Beach Poly).
•BASEBALL ODDS & ENDS: North Hollywood has reportedly won its first ever league title.The school goes back to the late 1920s when it was called Lankershim. The name was changed to North Hollywood in 1930...Andy Flores from Roosevelt of Los Angeles set a school record for season wins at 13 with a two-hit, seven-strikeout, 8-0 win over South Gate. He has just one loss...As Yeshiva of Los Angeles lost to Oakwood of North Hollywood, 7-6, Yeshiva's Sidney Stoll stole his 26th base of the season...Joe Spiers from Arrowhead Christian of Redlands ended the regular season after hitting in all 28 of his games. Joe is just a junior, so the streak can continue next year.
•LAKERS ELIMINATED IN PLAYOFF SERIES: No, we're not referring to the NBA Los Angeles Lakers. This item is about the North Tahoe High baseball Lakers of Tahoe City. The Lakers play in a Nevada league and were riding high with a 23-3 record going in to their last two regular season games. But those games were against perennial power Bishop Manogue of Reno, which won both convincingly. Next came a best two out of three game series in the first round of the Nevada 3A State Playoffs against Lowry of Winnemucca. Alas, the Lakers' season ended there as Lowry ran amok to win the series.
•TWO STATE SWIMMING RECORDS: At the Sac-Joaquin Section boys swimming championship meet, Keenan Newman of Davis set a new state record in the 200-yard individual medley with a time of 1:47.31, falling a little short of the national record he was trying for. The previous state mark was 1:47.65 by Chris Rumley from Clovis West of Fresno in 1993. Davis won its eighth consecutive boys team title while the Davis girls won too.
Meanwhile, at the Southern Section Division I girls finals, Irvine swam the 400-yard freestyle relay in 3:24.64, smashing its own state record of 3:28.14 set in 2001 and just missing the national record. Irvine also swam the 200-yard medley relay in 1:44.01. It wasn't a state or national record, though, because Irvine set those marks last year with a time of 1:43.71. As you may have guessed, Irvine won the team title, its seventh in a row.
And speaking of winning consecutive section swim titles, there's nothing like the Bellarmine of San Jose boys in the Central Coast Section. The Bells won their 19th straight section title last weekend at the Santa Clara International Swim Center. Bellarmine's 19 straight section titles is an all-time state best for all sports and its 21 overall section boys swimming titles now ties a state record with Mission Viejo. Bellarmine piled up 508 1/2 points to win its latest title, a record total by more than 100 than its previous best. Most of head coach Larry Rogers' team will be returning next year.
•NAMESAKES: Quartz Hill has a softball player named Rachel Green. We didn't notice if the Rebels also had a Monica Geller or if there's another athlete at the school with the same name as a character on "Friends."
Nelson Tennis contributed to this column.