In the “timing is everything” department Wednesday comes an e-mail notice from the Cincinnati Reds which reads in part:
“The Reds are welcoming fans to choose their seats in person at the annual Select-Your-Seat event Saturday, Jan. 31 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Stop by Great American Ball Park and get an exclusive tour of the press box, where you can take in a view of the ballpark and select your seats for 2009. You’ll even have a chance to head out into the stadium and check out your seats up close.
Saturday is also the last day to guarantee your seats for Opening Day at the best prices of the year with a Reds ticket plan. Save up to 22 percent on 2009 pricing if you buy before Feb. 1.”
As snow-laden trees, with a thick undercoat of ice, continue to fall around much of Central Kentucky, you’ve got to admire the Reds’ optimism for a Saturday promotion.
Admission is free. For more information and parking details, call the Reds at 513 765-7500. Or check on the web: http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/ticketing/selectaseat.jsp.
Notes on the run
Former Murray State and University of Louisville standout Wesley Korir earned $2,500 last weekend by winning a half-marathon at Carlsbad, Calif.
Korir, a Kenyan now living in Oakland, Calif., netted $1,500 for first place and a $1,000 bonus for his sub-1:04 time of 1 hour, 2 minutes, 45 seconds, the fastest time at Carlsbad since Jenko Bensa ran 1:02:38 in 2000. Runner-up to Korir, Sergio Reyes of California, clocked in at 1:04:17.
Korir missed out on a $15,000 payday in October, when he finished fourth in the Chicago Marathon. Because he was not seeded with elite runners at the front, he was ineligible for prize money in that race.
* USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week is German Fernandez of Oklahoma State, who ran the fastest indoor mile ever by a junior athlete. Competing in the Razorback Invitational at Arkansas, Fernandez was timed in 3:56.50. That broke the world junior best of 3:58.34, set last year by Boaz Lalang of Kenya.
Other noteworthy performances included:
* Derek Miles, Olympic pole-vaulter, clearing a world-leading 19 feet, 1 inch at Vermillion, S.D.;
* Christian Cantwell, Olympic silver-medalist, with a world-leading shot put of 70-5.25 at Nordhausen, Germany;
* And Porscha Lucas, Texas A&M, sweeping the 60 (7.30) and 200 (world-leading 23.39) in the Texas-Texas A&M Dual.
The Ice Man cometh
Mark Johnson has been named head coach of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team that will compete at Vancouver. He is in his seventh season as coach at Wisconsin, where his winning percentage of .802 coming into the season leads active coaches in NCAA Division I.
Johnson also will coach Team USA at this year’s World Championships, April 4-12, at Hameenlinna, Finland, and also during other pre-Olympic competitions.
Many remember Johnson as the leading scorer (11 points) on the 1980 “Miracle On Ice” men’s gold-medal team at the Lake Placid Olympics. He scored two goals in the “Miracle” win over the Soviet Union. The son of Hall of Fame coach Bob Johnson, he went on to score 508 points over 669 games in the National Hockey League.
Since women’s hockey was added to the Olympic program, Team USA has won gold (1998, Nagano), silver (2002, Salt Lake City) and bronze (2006, Torino). All three teams were coached by Ben Smith.