U of L reaps U.S. Olympic Achievement Award

March 23, 2011

The University of Louisville has been recognized with the U.S. Olympic Achievement Award.

Swimmers Elaine Breeden of Lexington and Caroline Burckle of Louisville earned recognition for their respective universities, Stanford and Florida.

The U.S. Olympic Committee, U.S. National Governing Bodies for Sport and National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics joined together to create the award, which recognizes the colleges and universities whose student-athletes and coaches have won Olympic medals.

Ron Mann

Ron Mann

A total of 43 colleges and universities contributed to U.S. medal successes at the last two Olympics — the 2008 Beijing Summer Games and 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. Schools are recognized based on two criteria: having a current student-athlete who was part of a medal-winning performance or a coach who was a credentialed member of the U.S. Olympic Team delegation and his/her athlete or team won a medal. Ten schools met both criteria, 16 had a student-athlete and 22 had a coach.

U of L’s Ron Mann was part of the U.S. coaching staff in athletics (track and field) at Beijing.

The U.S. Olympic Achievement Award will be presented every two years following the Olympic Games.

Below are the lists of the universities, athletes and coaches that will be honored.

Colleges/universities — Alabama, Arizona, Boston College, Cal-Berkeley, Cal-Irvine, Concordia, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Harvard, Humboldt State, Illinois, Iowa, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northeastern, Northern Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pepperdine, San Diego State, Santa Monica College, Seton Hall, Shelton State, South Carolina, Southern Illinois, St. John’s, St. Mary’s, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee State, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, Southern Cal, Wesleyan, Wisconsin.

Coaches (with sport and school)Harvey Glance, athletics, Alabama; James Li, athletics, Arizona; Frank Busch, swimming, Arizona; Mike Candrea, softball, Arizona; Teri McKeever, swimming, Cal-Berkeley; Jamie Morrison, volleyball, Concordia; Mike Krzyzewski, basketball, Duke; Gregg Troy, swimming, Florida; Jack Bauerle, swimming, Georgia; Sue Woodstra, volleyball, Humboldt State; Jon Valdez, gymnastics, Illinois; Terry Brands, wrestling, Iowa; Ron Mann, athletics, Louisville; Kerry McCoy, wrestling, Maryland; Bob Bowman, swimming, Michigan; Dave Flint, hockey, Northeastern; Myles Avery, gymnastics, Ohio State; Mark Williams, gymnastics, Oklahoma; Randy Jepson, gymnastics, Penn State; Erica Walsh, soccer, Penn State; Marv Dunphy, volleyball, Pepperdine; Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick, athletics, Seton Hall; Dawn Staley, basketball, South Carolina; Connie Price-Smith, athletics, Southern Illinois; Yury Gelman, fencing, St. John’s; Rob Browning, volleyball, St. Mary’s; John Rittman, softball, Stanford; Jim Boeheim, basketball, Syracuse; Chandra Cheeseborough, athletics, Tennessee State; J.J. Clark, athletics, Tennessee; Bubba Thornton, athletics, Texas; Eddie Reese, swimming, Texas; Gail Goestenkors, basketball, Texas; John Speraw, volleball, Cal-Irvine; Jeanette Bolden, athletics, UCLA; Jillian Ellis, soccer, UCLA; Jodi McKenna, hockey, Wesleyan; Mark Johnson, hockey, Wisconsin.

AthletesLacey Nymeyer, swimming (one silver), Arizona; Kelly Stack, hockey (silver), Boston College; Molly Schaus, hockey (silver), Boston College; Nathan Adrian, swimming (gold), Cal-Berkeley; Tim Hutton, water polo (silver), Cal-Irvine; Caroline Burckle, swimming (bronze), Florida; Walter Dix, athletics (two bronze) Florida State; Emily Cross, fencing (silver), Harvard; Jonathan Kuck, speedskating (silver), Illinois; Tobin Heath, soccer (gold), North Carolina; Joceyln Lamoureux, hockey (silver), North Dakota; Monique Lamoureux, hockey (silver), North Dakota; Adam Wheeler, wrestling (bronze), Northern Michigan; Jonathan Horton, gymnastics (silver, bronze), Oklahoma; Stephen Strasburg, baseball (bronze), San Diego State; Ronda Rousey, judo (bronze), Santa Monica College; Deontay Wilder, boxing (bronze), Shelton State; Elle Logan, rowing (gold), Stanford; Julia Smit, swimming (silver, bronze), Stanford; Elaine Breeden, swimming (silver), Stanford; Jessica Steffens, water polo (silver), Stanford; Ricky Berens, swimming (gold), Texas; David Walters, swimming (gold), Texas; Christine Marshall, swimming (bronze), Texas A&M; Lauren Cheney, soccer (gold), UCLA; Amy Rodriguez, soccer (gold), Southern Cal; Klete Keller, swimming (gold), Southern Cal; Rebecca Soni, swimming (gold, two silver), Southern Cal; Kameryn Craig, water polo (silver), Southern Cal; James Krumpholz, water polo (silver), Southern Cal; Meghan Duggan, hockey (silver), Wisconsin; Hilary Knight, hockey (silver), Wisconsin.

13 from state schools awarded NCAA at-large bids; Tyson Gay is USA Track & Field athlete of week

June 2, 2009

Seven women and six men from Kentucky colleges were awarded at-large bids Tuesday to the NCAA Track & Field Championships, June 10-13, at Arkansas.

Joseph Maina (EKU photo)

Joseph Maina (EKU photo)

From Eastern Kentucky, Joseph Maina was added to the men’s 5,000-meter field.

From Kentucky, Rondel Sorrillo made it in the men’s 100, Emily Strot in the women’s discus.

From Louisville, Steve Hnat was added in the men’s shot put; Josh Greenwald and Andrew Hackney in discus; Matt Hughes in the steeplechase. U of L additions to the women’s field are Chinwe Okoro and Khadija Abdullah in the shot put, Rachel Gehret in the high jump and Seidre Forde in the triple jump.

From Western Kentucky’s women’s team, Miaie Williams was added in the 100, Janet Jesang in the 5,000.

The at-large recipients will join automatic qualifiers at Arkansas. Automatic berths went to the top five in individual events and top three in relays at the Mideast Regional, held Saturday at U of L.

Here’s what the combined at-large and automatic lists from Kentucky schools look like, with NCAA seeding; a = at-large berth; q = automatic qualifier.

Rondel Sorrillo

Rondel Sorrillo

Gavin Smellie

Gavin Smellie

100 meters — 24 a, Rondel Sorrillo (UK).

200 — 3 q, Gavin Smellie (WKU); 5 q, Rondel Sorrillo (UK).

5,000 — 26 a, Joseph Maina (EKU).

3,000 steeplechase — 2 q, Cory Thorne (U of L); 14 a, Matt Hughes (U of L).

4-by-100 relay — 6 q, Kentucky.

4-by-400 relay — 11 q, Western Kentucky; 12 q, Kentucky.

Shot put — 8 q, Rashaud Scott (UK); 17 a, Steve Hnat (U of L).

Rashaud Scott

Rashaud Scott

Chase Madison

Chase Madison

Discus — 1 q, Rashaud Scott (UK); 7 q, Chase Madison (UK); 16 a, Josh Greenwald (U of L); 17 a, Andrew Hackney (U of L).

Long jump — 7 a, Mandhla Mgijima (WKU).

High jump — 9 q, Tone Belt (U of L).

Long jump — 16 q, Tone Belt (U of L).

Tarah McKay

Tarah McKay

Janet Jesang

Janet Jesang

100 — 19 a, Miaie Williams (WKU).

1,500 — 24 q, Tarah McKay (U of L).

5,000 — 6 a, Janet Jesang (WKU).

4-by-100 relay — 12 q, Western Kentucky.

Shot put — 10 q, Jere’ Summers (U of L); 20 a, Chinwe Okoro (U of L); 23 a, Khadija Abdullah (U of L).

Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith

Ashley Trimble

Ashley Trimble

Discus — 4 q, Ashley Muffet (UK); 6 q, Jere’ Summers (U of L); 17 a, Emilee Strot (UK).

Hammer throw — 7 q, Kristin Smith (UK).

High jump — 19 a, Rachel Gehret (U of L).

Triple jump — 24 a, Seidre Forde (U of L).

Heptathlon (entries based on pre-regional results) — 11. Ashley Trimble (UK).

USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week: Tyson Gay

The third-fastest 200-meter dash of all time makes Tyson Gay the USA Track & Field choice for athlete of the week.

From Tyson Gay's facebook

From Tyson Gay's facebook photo gallery

Gay, a Lafayette High School graduate who later starred for Arkansas, uncorked a 19.58-second 200 Saturday at the Reebok Grand Prix, in New York’s Icahn Stadium. Only a pair of Olympic champions have ever run faster: Michael Johnson (19.32) and Usain Bolt (19.30).

Gay swept the 2007 World Championships in the 100 and 200 meters, and also ran on the gold-medal 4-by-100 relay.

After winning the 100 in American-record time at last year’s U.S. Olympic Trials, Gay suffered a severe hamstring injury during preliminaries of the 200. He went on to run the 200 at the Beijing Olympics, but the missed practice time left him far off his usual form. A dropped baton in the 4-by-100 put a disappointing end to his Olympic experience.

Saturday’s result, his first 200 since the Olympics, means Gay now has the third- and fourth-fastest 200s ever. No. 4 is 19.62, his winning effort at the 2007 USA Outdoor Championships.

Saturday’s runner-up, Gay’s former training partner and Arkansas teammate Wallace Spearmon, finished in 19.98. Former LSU standout Xavier Carter was third in 20.27.

“It made me very, very happy; 19.5 had been one of the goals I had, but to do that in the first race is very pleasing,” Gay told reporters. “I wanted to work on my reaction and my start. Then I just ran. I ran for my life. When I came toward the finish line, I got kind of tight and I just wanted to bring it on in. I tried to push all the way through, just to see where my body is at.”

Several of the week’s leading national marks were turned in on Louisville’s Cardinal Park facility, site of the NCAA Mideast Regional.

Cory Thorne

Cory Thorne

Louisville’s Cory Thorne had the fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase of the week (8:36.98).

Three winners in men’s field events ranked No. 1 for the week: Kentucky’s Rashaud Scott in the discus (216-2); LSU’s Walter Henning in the hammer throw (231-6), and Arkansas’ Mychael Stewart in the long jump (25-10 3/4).

And two of the women’s field event champions at Louisville led the nation: Purdue’s Kara Patterson in the javelin (192-1), and Indiana State’s Lauren Martin in the triple jump (44-4 3/4).

100 – 10.04 Jacoby Ford (Clemson) – Greensboro, N.C. 5/30
200 – 19.58 Tyson Gay (adidas) – New York, 5/30     World leader
400 – 44.75 LaShawn Merritt (Nike) – New York, 5/30
800 – 1:46.00 Khadevis Robinson (Nike) – New York, 5/30
1500 – 3:34.14 Leo Manzano (Nike) – New York, 5/30    
U.S. leader
3000SC – 8:36.98 Cory Thorne (Louisville) – Louisville, 5/30
5000 – 13:03.06 Bernard Lagat (Nike) – New York, 5/30   
U.S. leader
110H – 13.12 Terrence Trammell (TSA) – New York, 5/30
400H – 48.52 Bershawn Jackson (Nike) – New York, 5/30
HJ – 2.25/7-4.5 Scott Sellers (Kansas State) – Norman, Okla., 5/29
PV – 5.56/18-3 Jason Colwick (Rice) & Maston Wallace (Texas) – Norman, Okla., 5/30
LJ – 7.89/25-10.75 Mychael Stewart (Arkansas) – Louisville, 5/29
TJ – 16.81/55-2 Will Claye (Oklahoma) – Norman, Okla., 5/30
SP – 20.99/68-10.5 Ryan Whiting (Arizona State) – Eugene, Ore., 5/29
DT – 65.90/216-2 Rashaud Scott (Kentucky) – Louisville, 5/30
HT – 70.56/231-6 Walter Henning (LSU) – Louisville, 5/30
JT – 80.34/263-7 Chris Hill (Georgia) – Greensboro, N.C., 5/29
Dec – 8516 Trey Hardee (Nike) – Gotzis, Austria, 5/31    
U.S. leader
100 – 11.04 Shalonda Solomon (Reebok) – New York, 5/30
200 – 22.34 Lauryn Williams (Nike) – New York, 5/30    
World leader
400 – 50.50 Allyson Felix (adidas) – New York, 5/30    
World leader
800 – 1:59.29 Anna Willard (Nike) – New York, 5/30    
World leader
1500 – 4:03.96 Christin Wurth-Thomas (Nike) – New York, 5/30    
U.S. leader
3000SC – 9:26.20 Jenny Barringer (Colorado) – Norman, Okla., 5/30     World leader
5000 – 15:32.39 Jen Rhines (adidas) – New York, 5/30
100H – 12.88 Seun Adigun (Houston) – Norman, Okla., 5/30
400H – 55.44 Tiffany Williams (Reebok) – New York, 5/30
HJ – 1.93/6-4 Sharon Day (Asics) – Havana, Cuba, 5/29
PV – 4.81/15-9.25 Jenn Stuczynski (adidas) – New York, 5/30    
World leader
LJ – 6.72/22-0.75 Funmi Jimoh (Nike) – Belgrade, Serbia, 5/29 & Brianna Glenn (adidas) – New York, 5/30
TJ – 13.53/44-4.75 Lauren Martin (Indiana State) – Louisville, 5/30
SP – 18.43/60-5.75 Michelle Carter (unat) – New York, 5/30
DT – 63.97/209-10 Stephanie Brown Trafton (Nike) – New York, 5/30
HT – 69.76/228-10 Amber Campbell (Mjolnir) – Havana, Cuba, 5/30
JT – 58.56/192-1 Kara Patterson (Purdue) – Louisville, 5/30
Hept – 6,063 Sharon Day (Asics) – Havana, Cuba 5/30     U.S. leader

Brown, Willard win Boston’s Invitational Miles

April 19, 2009

How to improve on the Boston Marathon?

With a fast warmup act the day before the race.

The Boston Marathon, held each Patriots Day, will celebrate its 113th running Monday.

Sunday, though, the Boston Athletic Association pulled off the inaugural running of the B.A.A. Invitational Mile and the B.A.A. 5K.

Texas graduate Darren Brown won the men’s mile in 4 minutes, 11.6 seconds over a three-lap course, breaking the tape at the Marathon finish line. Next came 2008 Olympian Ian Dobson in 4:12.1.

Brown is half of the first American father-son combination to break the four-minute-mile barrier. His father, Providence all-American Barry Brown, committed suicide in 1992. (EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this blog referred to Barry Brown as a Florida all-American. Although he competed for the Florida Track Club and lived in Gainesville at the time of his death, his collegiate running came with Providence.)

Sunday, Darren Brown took the lead with about 250 meters left. After Brown and Dobson came Alistair Cragg, the former Arkansas all-American by way of Ireland, in 4:12.7.

John Richardson, a two-time Southeastern Conference champion out of Kentucky, placed ninth in 4:16.6.

Beijing Olympians Anna Willard and Shalane Flanagan finished 1-2 in the women’s mile.

Willard, a steeplechaser, overtook Flanagan with about 200 meters left and won in 4:38.6. Flanagan, the Olympic bronze-medalist at 10,000 meters, clocked 4:40.2.

Jarrod Shoemaker and Maria Varela prevailed in the 5K over nearly 4,000 runners from 36 countries.

Shoemaker, an Olympic triathlete, won the men’s portion in 14:29.

Varela took the women’s title in 17:37.

Boston Marathon past winners who took part included Amby Burfoot, Greg Meyer, Neil Cusack, Joan Samuelson, Ingrid Kristiansen and Lorraine Moller, along with women’s running pioneer Katherine Switzer.

Men’s Invitational Mile

1 Brown, Darren USA 4:11.6
2 Dobson, Ian USA 4:12.1
3 Cragg, Alistair IRE 4:12.7
4 Myers, Rob USA 4:13.1
5 Schoolmeester, Brett USA 4:13.5
6 Solares, Pablo MEX 4:15.2
7 Sherer, Steve USA 4:15.9
8 Blackledge, Jonathon GB 4:16.3
9 Richardson, John USA 4:16.6
10 Tarpy, Patrick USA 4:17.3




Women’s Invitational Mile

1 Willard, Anna USA 4:38.6
2 Flanagan, Shalane USA 4:40.2
3 Mortimer, Amy USA 4:42.0
4 Muncan, Marina SRB 4:44.7
5 Tollefson, Carrie USA 4:45.0
6 Legesse, Meskerem ETH 4:51.1
7 Sikes, Michelle USA 4:55.6


1 Jarrod Shoemaker Maynard MA 14:29
2 Matthew Ely Natick MA 14:59
3 Joey Wiegner Yardley PA 14:59
4 Michael Chettle Boston MA 15:11
5 Ben Schmeckpeper Charlestown MA 15:15
6 Antony G. Orth Cambridge MA 15:25
7 Brendan D. Prindiville, D.M.D. Boston MA 15:26
8 Evan E. Esselink Courtice ON 15:29
9 Nate Freese Brookline MA 15:36
10 Robert Wayner Eugene OR 15:54

Top B.A.A. 5K Finishers
1 Maria Varela Brighton MA 17:37
2 Kathy Fleming Natick MA 17:40
3 Emily Kroshus Boston MA 17:40
4 Joan Samuelson Freeport ME 17:42
5 Kristin Murphy Newton MA 18:10
6 Magaly Burciaga Phoenix AZ 18:19
7 Brett Ely Natick MA 18:33
8 Marlene Key Evanston IL 18:34
9 Tina Dowling Bolton MA 18:43
10 Kelly-Lynne Spettigue Richmond Hill ON 18:48



UK track men 6th in nation; U of L men, women 24th

April 3, 2009
The first weekend of April means that the outdoor track and field season has burst from the starting blocks.

And there are plenty of Kentucky connections on the pre-season rankings compiled by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Kentucky is No. 6 in the men’s team rankings, 41st on the women’s side. Louisville is No. 24 in both men’s and women’s rankings. (See chart at the end of this post.)

UK is at the Florida Relays this weekend. U of L has split squads between the Texas Relays and Purdue.

Here’s a look at top 20-ranked individuals from the commonwealth.


Jose Acevedo

Jose Acevedo

100 meters –

tie 11. Gordon McKenzie (UK) 10.23 seconds.

200 – 9. Jose Acevedo (UK) 20.58; t16. Shannon Davis (Eastern Ky.) 20.68.

10,000 – 6. Michael Eaton (U of L) 28:41.96.

110 hurdles – 3. Mikel Thomas (UK) 13.57.

4-x-100 relay – 17. Kentucky 39.69.

4-x-400 relay – 3. Kentucky 3:02.00; 18. Western Ky. 3:05.93.

Andre Black

Andre Black

Long jump –

t 9. Rudon Bastian (U of L) 25-10; 11. Andre Black (U of L) 25-9 1/2.

Triple jump – 1. Andre Black (U of L) 54-7 1/2.

Shot put – 5. Rashaud Scott (UK) 62-1 1/4.

Discus – 3. Chase Madison (UK) 202-9; 6. Rashaud Scott (UK) 199-10; 20. Josh Greenwald (U of L) 182-4.


Ashley Trimble

Ashley Trimble

100 hurdles –

t 15. Ashley Trimble (UK) 13.40.

4-x-400 relay – 19. Western Kentucky, 3:35.37.

High jump – t 8. Rachel Gehret (U of L) 5-11 1/4; t 19. Victoria Dunlap (UK) 5-10.

Triple jump – 12. Seidre Forde (U of L) 43-9 3/4.

Shot put – 6. Jere’ Summers (U of L) 55-5 1/2; t 16. Ashley Muffet (UK) 52-6.

Discus – t 2. Jere’ Summers (U of L) 189-3; 12. Emilee Strot (UK) 174-7; 17. Ashley Muffet (UK) 170-0.

Hammer throw – 9. Jere’ Summers (U of L) 200-6.

Heptathlon – 16. Danielle Sampley (UK) 5,377; 19. Ashley Trimble (UK) 5,295.

2009 Outdoor, Pre-season

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Team Rankings



1. Texas A&M; 2. Arkansas; 3. Oregon; 4. Florida State; 5. LSU; 6. KENTUCKY; 7. Texas; 8. Florida; 9. Tennessee; 10. Baylor.

11. Nebraska; 12. Georgia; 13. UCLA; 14. South Carolina; 15. Washington; 16. Arizona State; 17. Washington State; 18. Northern Iowa; 19. Southern California; 20. Texas Tech.

21. California; 22. Boise State; 23. Purdue; 24. LOUISVILLE; 25. Brigham Young




1. Texas A&M; 2. Virginia Tech; 3. Oregon; 4. Tennessee; 5. Penn State; 6. LSU; 7. Southern California; 8. UCLA; 9. Arizona State; 10. Michigan.

11. Florida; 12. Minnesota; 13. Auburn; 14. Texas; 15. Oklahoma; 16. Miami (Fla.); 17. South Carolina; 18. Texas Tech; 19. Arkansas; 20. Baylor.

21. Texas Christian; 22. Arizona; 23. North Carolina; 24. LOUISVILLE; 25. Nebraska.


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.


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
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.



Track and field goes prime time at U. of Kentucky with High School Invitational, SEC Championships

February 21, 2009

If you love track and field — and I do — the University of Kentucky’s Nutter Field House is a slice of Eden right now.

Coming next weekend, Feb. 27-March 1, the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships.

Just finished Saturday, the UK High School Invitational.

Entrants from 17 states. Winners from 10 states. Season-leading high school performances in seven events (although Nutter’s 291-meter track relegates marks made at distances over 200 meters to the “oversized track” category).

Kentucky had only one winner, Sacred Heart Academy sophomore Emma Brink in the mile. A strong finish enabled her to hold off the defending champion, Madeline Morgan of Alabama’s Mountain Brook Track Club, 4:55.75 to 4:57.28.

While Brink missed Morgan’s year-old meet record (4:52.70), she broke her personal best — set just three weeks earlier — by 14 seconds!

“Fast start. I know we did a 2:26 half,” Brink said in explaining her drop in time. “We had great leaders. I tried to just keep with the top group and then, with a lap-and-a-half to go, my coach said ‘surge!’ That’s his favorite word.

“So I knew just to push as hard as I can, opening my arms because that helps to open your stride. It was a great race to the end. Very close.”

A two-time Class 3A state cross country champion, Brink said it was “very exciting” to win one for the commonwealth Saturday.

As for those national-leading marks, four went to the girls:

* Jasmin Stowers, a junior from Pendleton, S.C., took her U.S.-leading time of 8.44 in the 60-meter hurdles down to 8.43.

* Another South Carolina junior, Briana Nelson of Greenville, zipped 400 meters in 54.34.

* Takeia Pinckney, a senior from Decatur, Ga., came in with a nation-leading 7.45. Saturday, she slashed her time to 7.33 to nudge out Chalonda Goodman (7.34). Stowers was fifth (7.65).

* Goodman, from Newnan, Ga., rebounded to defend her meet title in the 200 (23.79) and defeat both Nelson (second, 24.48) and Pinckney (fifth, 24.86).

Brittany Porter, another Decatur standout, didn’t get a nation-leading mark. However, she did sweep the long jump (meet-record 18-7.75) and triple jump (39-0.75).

Three nation-leading marks were set by the guys:

* Tavaris Tate, a senior from Starkville, Miss., took the 400 in 47.06. He also set a meet record of 21.41 in the 200.

* Wayne C. Davis II, a Texas A&M recruit from Raleigh, N.C., came in leading in the 60-meter hurdles at 7.79. He whacked a full tenth of a second off to 7.69.

* Zach Wills, a sophomore from Mason, Ohio, posted a meet-record 9:13.04. That’s the fastest two-mile this season, although there have been four better efforts registered when converting metric deuces to the imperial distance.

Wills outkicked University of Kentucky recruit Matthew Sonnenfeldt (9:15.56) of Knoxville, Tenn.

Another UK recruit, Patrick McGregor of Hoover, Ala., won the mile in 4:21.34 in sit-and-surge (with 500 meters left) fashion.

Comments from some of the winners:

Texas recruit Chalonda Goodman, after the 200, on where her training is now compared with a year ago: “I think that’ I’m kind of behind. But all my times are contrary to that because I’m running faster this year than I was at this time last year, especially in the 60. I PR’d today. So I’m happy.”

Briana Nelson, 400-meter winner (54.34): “I’m really satisfied with it. I was going for the (meet) record (54.07) but … I tried to put down a good time.”

Tavaris Tate, on his 200-meter strategy: “Get out strong, stay out in front and keep my pace.”

Tate on running the fastest 200 of the season: “I’ve been training for big events and I just thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to come up here and showcase my talents. It’s a blessing to be No. 1, and that’s what I strive to do.”

Wayne C. Davis II on the 60-meter hurdles: “I just think my rhythm’s getting better as I go along this season. I’m getting better and better. And I really like that after I lifted a lot of weights this week. I felt sore. I thought I was going to do terrible. I actually came out and did pretty good.”

Davis on his recent national record in the 55-meter hurdles (7.05): “After that race I was the most sore I’ve been in my life. I took myself to the limit, so it takes a little time to recover from that.”

Kenneth Gilstrap, who nipped Titans Elite (Ga.) teammate Eric Harris in the 60, 6.86 to 6.87: “I didn’t run like I was supposed to. Bad drive phase. Bad finish. I tightened up. So I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Gilstrap, a Middle Tennessee State football recruit (likely cornerback but possibly running back or receiver), on racing Harris: “We’re good friends. Competitors. He work(s) hard, I work hard. Just like to run against each other, have fun.”

Patrick McGregor, on his move from fifth place to first near the halfway point of the mile: “Just sit back for a little bit and try and find a gap. Because I was slowing down a lot, so I figured I’d get boxed in if I didn’t move soon. So I did.”

McGregor, on his time (4:21.34): “I’ve been sick all week, so expectations were not as high as they were a couple weeks ago in Boston (where he ran 4:09.41). I didn’t really have any expectations at Boston, but it’s going to be hard to try and repeat something like that. So I’m just trying to keep working hard. It’s all about finding the right race, run against good guys with that mindset and just try to compete and win. And the time is irrelevant.”



Top three finishers, plus Kentuckians placing among top six. Race distances in meters unless noted. No team scoring.


High jump — Alexandra Morgan (Mtn. Brook, Ala.) 5 feet, 8 inches; Alyssa Hall (Withrow, Ohio) 5-8; Mary Seward (Cobb, Ga., TC) 5-6.

Long jump — Brittany Porter (Triple Action, Ga.) 18-9 (breaks meet record of 18-7 3/4 set by Whitney Marsh, Mtn. Brook TC, Ala., 2003); Kawanna Brooks (Kenwood Academy, Ill.) 18-6; Hannah Cox (Tenn. Elite TC) 17-5. Also: 5. Samantha Smith (Mt. Vernon, Ky.) 17-0.

Triple jump — Brittany Porter (Triple Action, Ga.) 39-0 3/4; Kawanna Brooks (Kenwood Acad., Ill.) 36-1; Lexie Burley (Slipstream TC, Tenn.) 36-0 1/2. Also: 5. Samantha Smith (Mt. Vernon, Ky.) 35-1 1/2; 6. Michaela Hunter (Mt. Vernon, Ky.) 34-1 1/4).

Pole vault — Alyson Hasty (Precision TC, Tenn.) 11-0; (Tie) Laura Bedsole (Hoover, Ala., TC), Alex Metzger (Indianapolis), Sandi Morris (Quick Striders, S.C.) and Leigh Allen (Lexington) 10-6.

Shot put — Brittany Wilson (Harrison, Ohio) 39-7 1/4; Jessie Harrison (Houston TC, Tenn.) 35-11 1/2; Courtney Kruger (Cordova TC, Tenn.) 34-4 1/4.

Mile — Emma Brink (Louisville) 4:55.75; Madeline Morgan (Mtn. Brook, Ala.) 4:57.28; Allie Scalf (Johnson City, Tenn.) 5:06.27.

60 hurdles — Jasmin Stowers (Quick Striders, S.C.) 8.43; Christienne Linton (Mich. Accelerators) 8.67; DanHeisha Harding (Chaminade Juli., Ohio) 9.10. Fastest qualifier: Stowers, 8.56.

60 — Takeia Pinckney (Titans Elite, Ga.) 7.33; Chalonda Goodman (New Horizon TC, Ga.) 7.34; Mahagony Jones (Rhodes Rams, Ohio) 7.59. Fastest qualifiers: Goodman (7.4483) and Pinckney (7.4500), 7.45.

400 — Briana Nelson (Quick Striders, S.C.) 54.34; Lauren Ellis (Quick Striders) 56.88; Ashley Liverpool (Walnut Hills, Ohio) 57.24.

800 — Cory McGee (Pass Christian, Miss.) 2:14.74; Marie Demedicis (Mtn. Brook, Ala.) 2:17.46; Cristin Gonzales (Quiet Storm, Va.) 2:17.81.

200 — Chalonda Goodman (New Horizon TC, Ga.) 23.79; Briana Nelson (Quick Striders, S.C.) 24.48; Mahagony Jones (Rhodes Rams, Ohio) 24.74.

 Two-mile — Amber Zimmerman (Knoxville, Tenn., TC) 11:15.35; Claire Turner (Red Bank TC, Tenn.) 11:25.84; Mary Cumbee (Wildrbeast TC, Tenn.) 11:32.88. Also: 4. Emme McAtee (Louisville) 11:45.18; 6. Tenny Ostrem (Campton, Ky.) 11:50.34.

4-by-400 relay — Mich. Accelerators 3:53.95; Withrow, Ohio 4:00.60; Mountain Brook, Ala. 4:04.97.

4-by-800 relay — Mountain Brook, Ala., 9:45.75; Mich. Accelerators 9:46.79; Action TC, W.Va., 9:55.90.


High jump — Anthony May (Hoover, Ala., TC) 6-10 1/2; J.R. Leonard (Mtn. Brook, Ala.) 6-4; Justin Meyer (Elder, Ohio) 6-4. Also: 6. Bud Fancer (Hebron Skywalker) 6-0.

Long jump — Damar Forbes (Sprint Athletics, Ga.) 24-7 1/2; Tyler Anderson (21-9) Tyler Anderson (Antioch, Tenn.) 21-9; Reggie Mitchell (Elder, Ohio) 21-8. Also: 5. Dylan Millay (Owensboro) 21-5.

Triple jump — C.J. Davidson (Carolina Rdrn, S.C.) 46-11 1/2; Tyler Anderson (Antioch, Tenn.) 45-7 1/2; J’Don Short (Knoxville, Tenn., TC) 42-8.

Pole vault — Ryan Cook (Precision TC, Tenn.) 15-0; John Greenlee (St. Xavier, Ohio) 15-0; Cory Duggan (Mnsgr Farrell, N.Y.) 15-0.

Shot put — Bruck Brucker (Purple-Gold TC, Tenn.) 57-4 3/4; Cameron Frazier (Owensboro) 55-5; Brandon Turner (Indy Elite TC, Ind.) 52-8 3/4. Also: 5. Tony Pogue (FRSI TC, Ky.) 51-7; 6. Patrick Stuart (American Big Guys, Ky.) 51-1.

Mile — Patrick McGregor (Hoover TC, Ala.) 4:21.34; Scott Lasiter (Flashes TC, Ind.) 4:23.52; Ryan Eaton (Team Gator TC, Ky.) 4:24.49. Also: 4. Robbie Scharold (Northern Ky. TC) 4:25.25.

60 hurdles — Wayne C. Davis III (SE Raleigh, N.C.) 7.69 (breaks meet record of 7.73 set by William Wynne, Titans Elite, 2008); Renaldo Powell (Mich. Accelerators) 8.04; Damar Forbes (Sprint Athletics, Ga.) 8.13 Fastest qualifier: Davis, 7.85.

60 — Kenneth Gilstrap (Titans Elite, Ga.) 6.86; Eric Harris (Titans Elite) 6.87; Blake Heriot (Pacesetter, Ohio) 6.90. Fastest qualifier: Gilstrap, 6.84.

400 — Tavaris Tate (Starkville, Miss.) 47.06; Blake Heriot (Pacesetter, Ohio) 47.53; Will Henry (Trotwood, Ohio) 47.91.

800 — Moise Frisch (Toledo Whitmer, Ohio) 1:54.94; Geoff Spencer (Louisville) 1:56.86; Jordan Cheney (Knoxville, Tenn., TC) 1:56.89. Also: Thomas Canary (Lexington) 1:57.03.

200 — Tavaris Tate (Starkville, Miss.) 21.41 (equals meet record set by Mike Lloyd, unattached N.C., 2002); Eric Harris (Titans Elite, Ga.) 21.54; Blake Heriot (Pacesetter, Ohio) 21.71. Also: 4. Ben Mason (Lexington) 21.90.

Two-mile — Zach Wills (Mason, Ohio,TC) 9:13.04 (breaks meet record of 9:13.76 set by Chad Balyo, Springboro, Ohio, 2006); Matthew Sonnenfeldt (Knoxville, Tenn. TC) 9:15.56; Clint McKelvey (Knoxville TC) 9:26.92. Also: 5. Jackson Carnes (Louisville) 9:36.57.

4-by-400 relay — Trotwood, Ohio 3:20.66; Monsgr Farrell, N.Y., 3:22.34; Mich. Accelerators 3:24.03. Also: 4. Radcliff, Ky., 3:27.72.

4-by-800 relay — Monsgr Farrell, N.Y., 8:05.29; Zip Express, Ky., 8:14.35; Wilderbeast TC, Tenn., 8:15.95. Also: 4. Louisville 8:17.76.