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Monday, May 4, 1998

Review allows Eagle to regain medal

Staff Writer

SAN ANGELO, May 4 -- After coming as close as possible to
earning a trip to the state track and field finals
without getting there, an exhausted Billy Rodriguez was
about to go home from the Region I-4A track meet
Saturday evening in San Angelo with nothing.

The Eagles' senior had the lead with 100 meters to go in
the finals of the 800 meter run, but couldn't hold off
Sweetwater's Jason Sepeda in the final 50 meters, and
then ran completely out of gas as he tried to beat out
Granbury's Chris Caldwell for the second place state

Rodriguez wobbled, then staggered the final 10 meters, as
both he and Caldwell fell across the finish line, with
the Granbury runner going across just inches ahead.

But 15 minutes later, meet officials decided Rodriguez
hadn't fallen far enough across the line to warrant even
a third place medal.

"They DQed (disqualified) Billy. They said he
didn't get his torso over the finish line," said
coach Mike Ferrell, appeal form in hand, after the
ruling. As his two other regional qualifiers, Jake
Fowler and Jeff Brownlee, competed in the shot put
finals, Ferrell took the form up to the meet director in
the Angelo State University press box, but said,
"They're not going to overturn it. The meet
official made the call and it's going to stand."

It was a prediction Ferrell was happy to be wrong about
45 minutes later, when the public address announced that
meet officials had reversed the decision, giving
Rodriguez back the bronze medal for the half-mile race.

"They blew up a big ol' picture of the finish to 18-
by-21 and looked at it, and decided Billy had gotten far
enough across the line," Ferrell said. The
announcement, which came while Rodriguez was preparing
to run in the finals of the 1600 meters, wasn't enough
to offset the exhaustion from the 800 race, as he
finished 15th, in the final race of the meet for the

"Billy might had started his kick a little too
soon," the Eagles' coach said, while hunting down
the bronze medal originally given to El Paso High's
Adrian Palacios. "But I've been fortunate in my
young career in track to really coach some great
athletes. I've had 51-foot triple jumper and Bryan
(Brownlee) in the shot and discus last year, but Billy
made it the most fun of any athlete I've coached."

Rodriguez' reinstated third place finish gave him the
state alternate berth, in case either Sepeda or Caldwell
were unable to go to Austin in two weeks. It also
accounted for half of Pecos' 12 points at the two-day

Jeff Brownlee collected the others, with a fourth place
on Friday in the discus and a fifth on Saturday in the
shot put, while Fowler, wound up seventh in the discus
competition and eighth in the shot put.

On the girls' side, the Eagles' six qualifiers were shut
out in the points standings, but Marisol Arenivas just
missed out, placing seventh in both the 3200 meter run
on Friday and in the 1600 meter run on Saturday.

Sepeda won the 800 with a 1:54.17 time, while Caldwell
was second at 1:55.56. Ferrell said Rodriguez' original
time was 1:55.7, but was upped to 1:56.6 when his third
place finish was restored.

Brownlee came up 1¼-feet short of following his
brother to state in the discus, throwing 159-8 on
Friday. Terry Pierce of Fort Worth Eastern Hills won
with a 166-9 toss, while Jared Morris of Brownwood and
Antonio Lomax of Wichita Falls Hirschi were next, at
160-11 and 160-3.

On Saturday, Weatherford's Nick Gray outdistanced
everyone, with a 58-foot-3 toss, while Marty Jones of
Brownwood earned the other state berth with a 53-2 throw
on his first attempt. Brownlee went 50-3 on his second
attempt and had a couple of 50-2 throws in the final
round, while Fowler went 48-8 on his first try.

"The trip (to state) was there," said coach
Darrell Erickson. "Second was 53-2 and Jeff's best
was 53-10, but it just wasn't there today."

Arenivas fell back after the first 500 meters of the 1600
meter race, and coach Lily Talamantez said the senior's
time was about 10 seconds slower than when she won at
the District 4-4A meet on April 16. "Before she
started, she said she felt a little tired or
heavy," Talamantez said.

The Eagles' other regional qualifiers, Penny Armstrong
in the discus and the 800 meter relay team of Annette
Marquez, Maricela Arenivas, Shay Lara and Erica Orona,
failed to qualify for the finals during Friday's
preliminaries, running a 1:50 time, the same as they ran
in placing second at district.

"We still have Maricela and Shay coming out next
year, and they now see what they have to do,"
Talamantez said. "They saw that if they want to cut
their times when they come here, that it can be done.
They just have to be a little more disciplined.

"Shay said she realized it's not something you can
just do in three weeks, and she was talking about
working out more during the summer," she added.

San Angelo Lake View's boys won the Region I-4A title by
a 66-62 margin over Denison, while Fort Worth Arlington
Heights took the girls' title, 65-56 over Pampa, with
Big Spring third. District 4-4A runners ended up winning
nine of the 12 running events at this year's regional,
while on the girls' side, only Big Spring's Nadia Cole
and Keesha Lott earned runner-up berths at the state
meet in Austin on May 15.

Clyde's glide ends; no Mourning for dead Heat

AP Basketball Writer

MIAMI, May 4 -- We've seen the last of the first round,
and we can say goodbye to the Miami Heat and Houston
Rockets -- thanks to the New York Knicks and Utah Jazz.

We've also seen the first glimpse of the second round,
where the Charlotte Hornets' moment of glory didn't last
long against the Chicago Bulls.

New York and Utah advanced to the second round Sunday
with a pair of comfortable victories that didn't really
match the drama each series had already produced.

The Knicks knocked out the Alonzo Mourning-less Heat with
relative ease, 98-81, and the Jazz did the same to the
Charles Barkley-less Rockets, 84-70.

The Bulls, meanwhile, remained a step ahead of everyone -
as well as the lone remaining undefeated playoff team --
by withstanding an early burst by the Hornets in a 83-70

The second round continues tonight with the Los Angeles
Lakers traveling to Seattle for Game 1.

The other two series begin Tuesday with New York at
Indiana and San Antonio at Utah.

Knicks 98, Heat 81

Looking to avenge the disastrous ending to the 1996-97
season when five suspensions resulted from a Game 5
brawl, the Knicks showed the Heat how much they've
learned about thriving without their franchise center.

Playoff veterans from Buck Williams (12 points, 14
rebounds) to John Starks (22 points) to Charles Oakley
(18 points) complemented Allan Houston's 30 points, and
the Knicks kept their poise after Miami used a 21-3 run
to close within two points midway through the fourth

``It was a great win, one of many more to come,'' Terry
Cummings said.

Miami looked lost without Alonzo Mourning, who doomed
Miami's chances by foolishly throwing a punch at Larry
Johnson of the Knicks with 1.4 second left in Game 4.

Jazz 84, Rockets 70

Clyde Drexler and the Rockets, after being on the verge
of one of the biggest upsets in NBA playoff history,
went down horribly.

Drexler was 1-for-13 from the field and just 4-for-10
from the line in the final game of his career.

``It's not the way I'd choose to go out,'' he said. ``I'm
not disappointed because you live with what happens, but
I would have liked a better result today.''

Karl Malone had 31 points, including 12 in the third
uarter, and 15 rebounds. Greg Ostertag helped make the
win possible with seven blocked shots, five rebounds and
a tenacious fourth-quarter defensive performance.

Bulls 83, Hornets 70

Michael Jordan had 35 points and Scottie Pippen 25,
scoring just 10 fewer than the entire Hornets team, as
the Bulls pulled away in the fourth quarter to win their
fourth straight playoff game.

Charlotte, which ran out to a 30-15 lead but was up only
one at the half, scored just 10 third-quarter points and
finished with 32 in the second half.

Glen Rice, who shot poorly against the Bulls in four
regular-season games, led the Hornets with 25 points,
but he was just 9-of-25 from the field.

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