Fast times, big throws and big jumps at UK

January 17, 2010

What a way to start the University of Kentucky’s indoor track and field season.

Competition was simply outstanding in the Kentucky Invitational, with eight Southeastern Conference schools (UK, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Vanderbilt), two from the Big Ten (Michigan State, Ohio State), two from the Atlantic Coast Conference (Georgia Tech, Miami) and three in-state visitors (Louisville, Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky). Add to that post-collegiate Olympians such as Reese Hoffa, Perdita Felicien, Hazel Clark and Dee Dee Trotter, to name a few.

Hoffa, a world champion indoors and outdoors, as well as a two-time Olympian, blasted the Nutter Fieldhouse record in the shot put with a final-attempt distance of 69-6 3/4.

Nutter records also fell to Florida’s Mariam Kevkhishvili in the women’s shot and Western Kentucky’s Janet Jesang in the women’s 3,000 meters.

Don Weber

Don Weber

“An excellent field for an early season meet,” said Don Weber, UK head coach. “Obviously, very few if anybodyis where they want to be at this time of year, just coming back from Christmas break. To be competitive in a variety of events is certainly an encouraging start. So I feel pretty good about it, and when you look at some individual situations, (there has been) some significant development from one year to the next.”

Most noteworthy, he said, is Kristin Smith, who set a school record of 64-1 3/4 in Friday’s weight throw.

“When she was a freshman, there weren’t too many people in the whole country worse than she was,” Weber said. “As a junior and senior, there aren’t too many people in the country better than she is.” 
Weber pulled her aside after Friday’s meet to get Smith’s take on her improvement. 

“She said, ‘as a freshman, rather than just focusing on me, I worried about how good everybody else was and that really was intimidating to me, and interfered with my development’,” Weber said.

No more, which is a lesson the coach hopes the rest of his team will get after a competition such as the one this weekend. Focus on improving your own performance rather than worry about what someone else.

 

 

Some event-by-event highlights from Saturday, with ladies first:

60-meter hurdles — Felicien (8.13) prevailed in a photo finish over Danielle Carruthers (8.1311) and Vonette Dixon (8.1391).

“I totally didn’t react to the gun,” said Felicien, the 2003 world champion, eight-time Canadian national champion and former University of Illinois standout. “I’m happy to come out with a win. First race of the season.”

Felicien was the Olympic gold-medal favorite going into the 100-meter hurdles finals at the 2004 Athens Olympics. However, she clobbered the first hurdle and fell. She missed the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to a foot injury.

“We don’t need to talk about that. That was six years ago,” Felicien said of her Athens mishap. “There’s always going to be motivation, but it’s been so many years and I’ve done well since then that I’m not using that as a centerpiece or focal point of my season or my career. Just race my race.”

Her light at the end of the tunnel this season is the Indoor World Championships, March 12-14 at Doha, Qatar.

“The plan is to go there, be ready for Doha, be on the podium,” Felicien said.

Danielle Carruthers

Danielle Carruthers

Carruthers, a former Kentucky high school (Paducah Tilghman) and Big Ten (Indiana) champion, is Felicien’s club teammate (Speed Dynamics) and training partner. Carruthers lives in Atlanta now, but spent the last week training at Naples, Fla., due to cold weather.

“We’ve been training really hard,” Carruthers said. “I had some great sessions before I came (up) here. … We did a lot for about a week and a half, every day — hard, hard, hard! Then I drove 10 hours back to Atlanta, had Thursday off, drove five hours here, and race the next day. I’m just trying to get in shape and get ready for Millrose.”

The Millrose Games come Jan. 29 at New York.

60 — Carruthers also competed in Saturday’s 60-meter dash, placing second in the consolation heat and ninth overall (7.53). 

 

 

Sheniqua Ferguson

Sheniqua Ferguson

Auburn junior Shaniqua Ferguson won in an NCAA provisional-qualifying 7.28, ahead of Speed Dynamics’ Ebonie Floyd-Broadnax (7.34).

200Nivea Smith completed an Auburn sweep of the short sprints. The sophomore clocked 23.79, followed by junior teammate Joanna Atkins in 23.84, both NCAA provisional marks. Former Georgia Tech standout Ashlee Kidd was third, followed by Trotter, the Olympic relay gold-medalist out of Tennessee.
400Nike’s Ajoke Odumosu, formerly of South Alabama and an Olympian for Nigeria, won by more than a second over former Western Kentucky standout Valerie Brown, 53.10 to 54.15.

800
— Tennessee sophomore Chanelle Price (2:06.95) and Middle Tennessee senior Zamzam Sangau (2:07.23) both posted NCAA provisional marks. Former Frankfort High School and UK performer Jackie Gordon was third (2:10.87).
Mile — Another NCAA provisional qualifier for Tennessee as senior Phoebe Wright (4:43.50) finished ahead of former Adams State All-American Victoria Martinez (4:47.67) and three-time Olympian Hazel Clark (4:51.95), out of Florida.
Janet Jesang

Janet Jesang

3,000 — WKU’s Jesang, a senior from Uganda, blazed to an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 9:11.09. New Balance’s Sarah Bowman, who won the NCAA mile title for Tennessee last March, was a distant second in 9:28.63.

4-by-400 relay — Kentucky got its lone win of the day from the foursome of Jenna Martin, Jazmyn Shorter, Brittany Cabbler and Precious Nwokey, 3:39.94 to Florida’s 3:39.96. All are juniors except for Nwokey, a sophomore from Houston. 

Precious Nwokey

Precious Nwokey

Nwokey had the Wildcats’ fastest split, 54-flat, and was recognized by Weber as someone who has made “dramatic improvement” since last season.

“Last year, pretty much a lost ball in the high weeds,” Weber said. Now, “somebody who has developed into a serious, competitive track athlete in a year’s time.”
The third-place Knoxville Elite team had a daunting lineup of Trotter, Clark, Bowman and Martinez, finishing in 3:43.04. 

High jumpChaunte Howard, a 2004 Olympian out of Georgia Tech, topped former Auburn star Raevan Harris, 6-2 to 6-0 3/4. Howard barely missed at 6-4, which would have tied the fieldhouse record. 

 

 

Mariam Kevkhishvili

Mariam Kevkhishvili

Shot put — Florida’s Kevkhishvili, with a put of 60-7 1/4, won by exactly six feet over Tennessee’s Annie Alexander. Kevkhishvili also set a national record for the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. (No, not the Bulldogs.) UK had a good showing as Ashley Muffet and Jennifer Svoboda placed 4-5, just ahead of Louisville’s Jere’ Summers.

Long jump — Miami (Fla.) got its only win from Deandra Doyler (20-4 1/4). Rachel Gehret, who placed fourth in the high jump, and Louisville teammate Amaka Omenyinma placed 2-3 at 19-10 1/4 and 19-8 1/4.

                            MEN’S EVENTS
60 hurdlesEric Mitchum (7.72), an all-American out of Oregon, bested former Tennessee standout Karl Jennings (7.85).

D'Angelo Cherry

D'Angelo Cherry

60 — This was an SEC trifecta. Mississippi State sophomore D’Angelo Cherry zipped to the win (6.65), trailed by Alabama senior Ray Jadusingh (6.69) and Auburn sophmore Harry Adams (6.73). After Miami’s Cory Nelms in fourth, SEC sprinters from six schools took the next nine spots.
200 — More SEC domination of the sprints here. Ex-Seton Hall blazer Obra Hogans, fourth in 21.44, was the only non-SEC runner to crack the top eight. Georgia sophomore Torrin Lawrence ruled in 21.29, followed by Tennessee senior Evander Wells in 21.20. Both are provisional qualifying marks.

400 — Mississippi State freshman Tavaris Tate notched an NCAA provisional mark (46.49). LaRon Bennett, an elite 400-meter hurdler out of Georgia, took second (47.73), followed by UK sophomore Justin Austin (48.06).

800 — Things got crazy here when a photographer strayed onto the track near the finish line with a lap left, triggering a collision that knocked out a pair of runners. Kentucky junior Sharif Webb, a junior college transfer, avoided the pileup and went on to win the first heat in 1:51.07.

 

Sharif Webb

“I saw her (the photographer), but I dipped to my right,” Webb said. “As soon as I did that, everybody else went down, but I avoided it.
“She was in lane one the entire time. … When I saw it coming, I got out of the way.”
Wh
at Webb didn’t see coming was that the supposedly slower second heat would knock him down to third place. Georgia sophomore Aaron Evans wound up winning (1:50.65), with the Indiana Invaders’ Juan Carrillo in second (1:50.95).

Mile — Former Tennessee performer Andrew Dawsom (4:11.52) won out over a pair of Michigan State runners, freshman Isaiah VanDoorne (4:12.12) and Spencer Beatty (4:12.35).

3,000 — One of the more exciting finishes came with Louisville junior Matt Bruce (8:13.50) holding off UK sophomore Luis Orta (8:14.11).

4-by-400 relay — Florida led from the second exchange on and finished in 3:06.40, fourth-best in Gators history. Mississippi State (3:09.80) rallied for second, followed by UK (3:11.64). A dropped baton on the final straightaway cost Alabama a chance to hold off Mississippi State.

Shot put — Hoffa led all the way despite a worthy challenger in Shore Athletic Club’s Rhuben Williams, the runner-upat 65-11. Georgia senior Israel Machovec was third (58-1 1/4), followed by UK junior Colin Boevers (57-6 1/2).

Colin Boevers

Colin Boevers

“It was a good opener. I threw well,” Boevers said. Doug Reynolds, UK throws coach, “told us to execute what we do in practice, and I feel like I did it pretty well. I didn’t quite connect on any throws, so I know there’s more in the tank.”

Boevers was impressed by Hoffa, a two-time Olympian and a world champion indoors and outdoors.

“Reese Hoffa, he’s really a hero in this sport and he’s incredible to watch,” Boevers said. “This is my first time competing with him. I was kind of jittery at first, but I settled in. I did my thing and he ended up with a great throw, and it was an honor to compete with him.”

Reese Hoffa

Reese Hoffa

Hoffa would like to add a World Championships indoor gold to the one he won in 2006. (He won silver medals in 2004 and 2008.)
“World Indoors in Doha, that’s where my eye’s on right now,” said Hoffa, who represents the New York Athletic Club.

Hoffa says he’s better equipped now than he was in 2008, when he won the U.S. Olympic Trials but finished seventh at the Beijing Olympics.

“I think I’m more comfortable being in a limelight position,” Hoffa said. “Beijing, although I had had some success, it was nothing like having everybody have their eye on you. And, if you’re not used to that, there’s no way to prepare for that. You’ve just got to experience it, live through it and learn from it.”

Long jump — How about a 1-2-3-5 finish for Louisville? Wesley Smith, a sophomore, led the pack at 25-4 1/2. Tone Belt, who won Friday’s high jump, was second (25-2 1/2), followed by Rudon Bastian (25-1 1/4), UK’s Keenon Hall (24-7 1/4) and Friday’s runner-up in the triple jump, Andre Black (24-3 1/2).

“It was pretty good. That’s our second meet,” said Jake Jacoby, U of L’s jumps coach. “We’re still working on things and they’re dialing in fairly well. I was very happy with the way we performed tonight.”

Daily competition in practice keeps Jacoby’s group sharp.

“They’re jawing all the time,” he said. “It’s a day-to-day thing. They challenge each other in the weight room and on the track, and it makes for a good, solid corps.”

Pole vault — Florida junior Eric Foran won in a jumpoff, clearing 16-2 3/4 after tying with Georgia sophomore Allen Brandon at 16-0 3/4. Third-place Logan Lynch of Michigan State also cleared 16-0 3/4, but had one more miss.

 

 


Former Wildcat Phillips is USATF Athlete of Week

June 9, 2009

Former University of Kentucky standout Dwight Phillips was named Tuesday as USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week.

Dwight Phillips

Dwight Phillips

Phillips notched the eighth-best outdoor mark ever in the men’s long jump at Sunday’s Nike Prefontaine Classic, 28 feet, 8 1/4 inches, at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Phillips, 31, arrived at UK in 1997. His 400-meter time of 46.80 that season still stands as the Wildcats’ freshman record. He also competed in 1998 before transferring to Arizona State, following Darryl Anderson when the UK sprints coach was hired there.

Since then, Phillips has become a two-time World Outdoor champion in the long jump, as well as the 2004 Olympic gold-medalist. Sunday’s mark ties Phillips with Larry Myricks and Erick Walder for eighth on the all-time list of jumps, and fifth on the all-time list of performers. It was the longest jump in the world since Mike Powell’s world-record 29-4 1/2 in 1991.

Reese Hoffa

Reese Hoffa

Jenny Barringer

Jenny Barringer

Also at Eugene, Louisville native Reese Hoffa won the shot put with the world’s best performance of the season, 71 feet, 10 inches.

Colorado’s Jenny Barringer, the national record-holder in the steeplechase, became the third American ever to break four minutes in the women’s 1,500 meters. Her time at Eugene, 3:59.90, is a collegiate record.
 
BEST AMERICAN MARKS WEEK ENDING JUNE 7
 
MEN

 
100 – 9.94 Mike Rodgers (Nike) – Eugene, Ore., 6/7     U.S. leader
200 – 20.41 Thomas Hunter (unat) – Walnut, Calif., 6/6
400 – 45.48 Tavaris Tate (Mississippi HS) – Albuquerque, N.M., 6/6
800 – 1:45.86 Nick Symmonds (Oregon TC) – Eugene, 6/7
1500 – 3:37.19 Lopez Lomong (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7     U.S. leader
Mile – 3:53.47 Lopez Lomong (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
3000 – 7:35.92 Bernard Lagat (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7     U.S. leader
3000SC – 8:26.55 Josh McAdams (New Balance) – Eugene, 6/7
10,000 – 28:16.81 Jorge Torres (Reebok) – Eugene, 6/6
110H – 13.29 Dexter Faulk (Nike) – Turin, Italy, 6/4
400H – 48.38 Bershawn Jackson (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
HJ – 2.26/7-5 Jesse Williams (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
PV – 5.52/18-1.25 Mark Hollis (unat) – St. Polten, Austria, 6/6
LJ – 8.74/28-8.25 Dwight Phillips (NIke) – Eugene, 6/7     World leader
TJ – 16.06/52-8.25 James Jenkins (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
SP – 21.89/71-10 Reese Hoffa (NYAC) – Eugene, 6/7     World leader
DT – 64.69/212-3 Adam Kuehl (unat) – Chula Vista, Calif., 6/6
HT – 75.28/247-0 Jake Freeman (Iron Ball AC) – West Point, N.Y., 6/5
JT – 75.96/249-2 Adam Montague (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
Dec – 7466 Curtis Beach (New Mexico HS) – Albuquerque, N.M., 6/5     HIGH SCHOOL RECORD
 
WOMEN
 
100 – 11.13 Stephanie Durst (unat) – Hengelo, Holland, 6/1
200 – 22.41 Shalonda Solomon (Reebok) – Walnut, 6/6
400 – 49.86 Sanya Richards (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7     World leader
800 – 2:00.18 Maggie Vessey (unat) – Eugene, 6/7
1500 – 3:59.90 Jenny Barringer (Colorado) – Eugene, 6/7     U.S. leader/COLLEGIATE RECORD
3000SC – 9:40.02 Lisa Galaviz (Nike) – Walnut, 6/6
100H – 12.74 Michelle Perry (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
400H – 58.25 Jennifer Grossarth (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
PV – 4.45/14-7.25 Chelsea Johnson (Nike) – Walnut, 6/6
LJ – 6.74/22-1.5 Funmi Jimoh (Nike) – Hengelo, 6/1
TJ – 13.80/45-3.5 Crystal Manning (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
SP – 18.35/60-2.5 Michelle Carter (unat) – Walnut, 6/6
DT – 63.98/209-11 Stephanie Brown Trafton (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
HT – 70.68/231-11 Jessica Cosby (Nike) – Eugene, 6/7
JT – 60.30/197-10 Kim Kreiner (Nike) – Walnut, 6/6     U.S. leader
Hept – 5619 Kasey Hill (unat) – Dallas, 6/7


Today my wide world of sports includes track & field, a Hall of Fame, UK baseball and Olympic sports

March 5, 2009

Spanning the commonwealth and beyond …

The Mason-Dixon Athletic Club will host its 49th annual Mason-Dixon Games, Friday and Saturday, in Broadbent Arena at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

Approximately 3,000 Kentucky middle school and high school athletes will compete, plus about 70 Masters and Open athletes.

Friday’s schedule begins at 4:30 p.m. with Masters and Open events. Middle school events begin at 5:15 p.m.

Saturday’s high school schedule begins at 8 a.m. for Class A, 1 p.m. for 2A and 5 p.m. for 3A. The meet is designated by the Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association as the indoor state championships.

Admission is $5 each day. Officials will again be collected canned goods and non-perishable items, to be donated to the Dare to Care Food Bank.

In conjunction with the Games, the Mason-Dixon Games Hall of Fame induction banquet will be tonight (Thursday) at Wildwood Country Club in Fern Creek.

Inductees include athletes Bobby Brown (long jump), Susie Brutscher (pole vault pioneer), 1976 Olympian Tommy Haynes (triple jump, long jump) and 1968 Olympic gold-medalist (200 meters) Tommie Smith (440 yards), along with officials Ron Althoff, David L. Armstrong, Donnie Ray and Jack Thompson, plus “significant supporter” of the Games David A. Jones.

       

Al Michaels returns to Olympic broadcasting

Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports and Olympics, announced Thursday that Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Al Michaels will serve as host of NBC’s live weekend and weekday daytime coverage of next year’s Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.

Michaels last broadcast a Winter Olympics in 1988, also in Canada — Calgary, Alberta.

In 1980, Michaels made the call on what, according to a variety of polls, Americans consider the nation’s top sports moment of the 20th century, The Miracle on Ice hockey victory over the Soviet Union.

“Do you believe in miracles? YES!” was his most memorable line as the game neared the finish at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

Michaels will host more than 50 hours of live coverage. Although this will mark Michaels’ debut as an Olympic host, he is no stranger to the Games. Vancouver will mark his sixth Olympic assignment.

He covered hockey, biathlon, speed skating, ski jumping and cross-country skiing at the 1972 Sapporo Olympics; hockey at the 1980 Lake Placid Games; figure skating and hockey at the 1984 Sarajevo Games; track and field, plus road cycling, at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games and hockey at the 1988 Calgary Games.

Michaels is the only broadcaster to call a Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and host a Stanley Cup Final for network television.

 

12 semifinalists for Sullivan Award are named

The 12 semifinalists for the 79th annual James E. Sullivan Award include three gymnasts and three swimmers.

Nastia Liukin

Nastia Liukin

The Sullivan Award, named in honor of the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) founder and past president, is presented annually to the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. In addition to athletic accomplishsments, the Sullivan Award considers the qualities of leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism.

Gymnasts on the semifinals list are Beijing Olympics all-around champion Nastia Liukin, Olympic balance beam gold-medalist Shawn Johnson and Olympic silver-medalist on the horizontal bar, Jonathan Horton.

Swimming semifinalists are the Olympic men’s 4-by-100-meter freestyle relay champions, Paralympian champion Erin Popovich (four gold medals, two silver) and 41-year-old Olympian Dara Torres (three silver medals).

Also on the list are: Cynthia Barboza, Stanford University, volleyball; Amanda Blumenherst, Duke University, golf; Sam Bradford, University of Oklahoma, football; Tyler Hansbrough, University of North Carolina, basketball; the Lopez family (Olympic medalists Diana, Mark and Steven), taekwondo, and Gerald “Buster” Posey, Florida State University, baseball.

Fan can vote online at www.usatoday.com. The winner will be announced April 15 at the New York Athletic Club.

  

Trammel is USATF Athlete of Week

Two-time Olympic and World Outdoor silver-medalist Terrence Trammell, winner of the men’s 60-meter hurdles and the Visa Championship Series at last weekend’s USA Indoor Track & Field Championships, is USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week.

Trammell led all the way at Boston, clocking 7.37 seconds to break Reggie Torian’s 10-year-old meet record of 7.38. Trammell just missed the American record (7.36) but did get the fastest time in the world this season.

Among others, Trammell beat Oklahoma State freshman German Fernandez for weekly honors. Running in the Big 12 Indoor Championships at College Station, Texas, Fernandez won the mile in a collegiate-record 3:55.02. Three hours later, Fernandez won the 3,000 meters in the second-best time in meet history, 7:57.21.

BEST MARKS WEEK ENDING MARCH 1
MEN

60 – 6.51 Jacoby Ford (Clemson) – Blacksburg, Va., 2/28 & Mark Jelks (Nike) – Boston, 3/1     U.S. leaders
200 – 20.66 Trey Harts (Baylor) – College Station, Texas, 2/27
400 – 46.08 Gil Roberts (Texas Tech) – College Station, 2/28    
U.S. leader
800 – 1:48.18 Michael Rutt (Connecticut) – Boston, 2/27
Mile – 3:55.02 German Fernandez (Oklahoma State) – College Station, 2/28 Collegiate Record
3000 – 7:53.67 David Torrence (unat) – Boston, 2/28
5000 – 13:57.49 Jake Schmitt (Washington) – Seattle, 2/27
60H – 7.37 Terrence Trammell (TAS) – Boston, 3/1     World leader
HJ – 2.32/7-7.25 Andra Manson (Nike) – Boston, 2/28
PV – 5.60/18-4.5 Jeremy Scott (unat) – Boston, 2/28
LJ – 7.90/25-11 Mikese Morse (Miami) – Blacksburg, 2/27
TJ – 16.94/55-7 Brandon Roulhac (Shore AC) – Boston, 2/28    
U.S. leader
SP – 20.67/67-9.75 Dan Taylor (Nike) – Boston, 3/1
WT – 23.73/77-10.25 Jake Freeman (unat) – Boston, 3/1
Hept – 5747 Nick Adcock (Missouri) – College Station, 2/28
 
WOMEN
60 – 7.15 Angela Williams (Nike) – Athens, GRE 2/25 & Lisa Barber (adidas) – Boston 3/1
200 – 22.94 Porscha Lucas (Texas A&M) – College Station, 2/28
400 – 52.34 Dominique Darden (Reebok) – Boston, 3/1
800 – 2:02.39 Phoebe Wright (Tennessee) – Lexington, 3/1    
U.S. leader
1500 – 4:17.37 Anna Willard (Nike) – Boston, 3/1
Mile – 4:25.91 Jenny Barringer (Colorado) – College Station, 2/28 Collegiate Record
3000 – 8:53.27 Amy Begley (Nike) – Boston, 2/28
5000 – 15:55.63 Gwen Jorgensen (Wisconsin) – Bloomington, Ind., 3/1
60H – 7.84 Lolo Jones (Asics) – Boston, 3/1
HJ – 1.93/6-4 Destinee Hooker (Texas) – College Station, 2/28 =U.S. leader
PV – 4.83/15-10 Jenn Stuczynski (adidas) – Boston, 3/1     AMERICAN RECORD
LJ – 6.71/22-0.25 Brittney Reese (Nike) – Boston, 3/1    
U.S. leader
TJ – 13.77/45-2.25 Shakeema Welsch (unat) – Boston, 2/28    
U.S. leader
SP – 18.59/61-0 Jillian Camarena (NYAC) – Boston, 2/28   
U.S. leader
WT – 24.43/ Amber Campbell (Mjolnir) – Boston, 3/1    
U.S. leader
Pent – 4216 Bettie Wade (Michigan) – Bloomington, 2/28

UK baseball opens 3-game set vs. Indiana State

Fresh off Wednesday’s two-out, two-run game-winning ninth-inning homer against Eastern Kentucky, the Kentucky Wildcats will open a three-game series Friday, 4 p.m., against visiting Indiana State.
Wednesday’s 9-8 outcome, courtesy of Chris Bisson’s walk-off homer, was UK’s 24th consecutive home non-conference win.

James Paxton

James Paxton

Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin

The Cats (6-2) and Sycamores (9-2) will meet Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.

 

UK will go with junior left-hander James Paxton (2-0) in the opener and senior lefty Chris Rusin (1-1) on Saturday. Paxton has 17 strikeouts and only one walk over 11 2/3 innings. Rusin leads the Southeastern Conference with 20 strikeouts, including a career-high 12 in a win over Western Michigan. Sunday’s starter is to be announced.

Cats add two games to schedule

Having lost a game because of inclement weather last weekend, UK has added a pair of games to its schedule.
The Cats will play host to Georgetown College, Tuesday at 4 p.m., and Wright State, April 1 at 6 p.m.

Pre-game clinic Saturday

UK’s third annual (free) coaching clinic will take place before Saturday’s game at Clilff Hagan Stadium, 8-10 a.m.
The clinic will feature drills pertaining to pitching, fielding, hitting, base-running and catching. All coaches in attendance will receive free admission for themselves and a friend to the UK-Indiana State game.

Briefly: James Johnson, Bobby Curtis

 

James Johnson, right, with Helena Hau and myself in Beijing.

James Johnson, right, with Helena Hau and myself in Beijing.

James Johnson,

a three-time national champion Greco-Roman wrestler out of the University of Kentucky, has been on tour since Feb. 23 as coach of U.S. Greco-Roman athletes competing in the Hungary Grand Prix and in Slovakia. The tour ends Sunday.

* Former state high school champion Bobby Curtis (St. Xavier, Villanova) placed third at last month’s U.S. Cross Country Championships. That earns him a spot on the Team USA squad that will run in the World Championships at Amman, Jordan, on March 28. Meb Keflezighi won the U.S. title, followed by Tim Nelson, Curtis and 2008 Olympic 10,000-meter runner Jorge Torres.
* Former UK standout Allison Grace helped Team USA place seventh at the recent Yokohama International Women’s Ekiden. The 14-team relay event was won by Japan in 2 hours, 20 minutes, 27 seconds. Grace, who trains out of Blowing Rock, N.C., as part of the Zap Fitness club, anchored with a 5.195-kilometer leg in 17:47. Carrie Messner Vickers led off for Team USA, followed by Desiree Davila, Samia Akbar, Stephanie Herbst-Lucke, Melissa White and Grace.