Call it the "Incredible Shrinking Track."
In a blunder of major proportions, a new track at Contreras High in downtown Los Angeles measures out at 390 meters -- 10 meters short of its designed length.
"Surprising wasn't the word," Athletic Director Rose Low said when asked about her reaction to the flaw. "I almost passed out."
Contreras opened in 2006 but the school didn't have a track and field team until this season, when concerns were raised.
Low brought in Hal Harkness, long-time track administrator and former City Section commissioner, to examine the track. He determined after two measurements that it was only 390 meters.
The dirt track had already lost some of its luster when, because of space limitations, six lanes were created instead of the usual eight.
The failure to produce a 400-meter oval has school officials backing up the starting line by 10 meters for dual meets, but it will prevent Contreras from playing host to league finals.
"The construction people were given the specs," Principal Heather Daims said.
There's lots of football talent leaving Los Angeles, thanks to the recruiting efforts of Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. In the last two years, he has picked up five players from the San Fernando Valley-Ventura County area.
The latest is Oxnard Santa Clara running back Cierre Wood, who committed Saturday. It's no wonder Weis is coming to town May 8 to speak to the Notre Dame club of Ventura County.
UCLA football Coach Rick Neuheisel said his son, Jerry, who will be a sophomore quarterback this fall, is expected to enroll at Los Angeles Loyola.
That could produce an interesting USC-UCLA rivalry, since Loyola sophomore linebacker Nick Holt is the namesake of his father, USC's defensive coordinator.
Anaheim Servite football Coach Troy Thomas is ready to unveil his secret weapon this spring: Kirifi Taula, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound sophomore defensive lineman who sat out last season after transferring from Orange Lutheran.
Asked whether USC had already offered Taula a scholarship, Thomas said, "They haven't, but they should."
This track is not completely meter made
Somehow, the track at Contreras High is only 390 meters long, not the standard 400.
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