Two Hazlet girls took their first steps toward the 2005 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and U.S. Amateur Track and Field Association (USATF) National Championship meets this past week. On May 29, Kaylee Bythell and Kendall Baldwin, of Wall Track Club, traveled to Highwayman’s Field in Teaneck for the AAU Region I Multi-Event Championship, and each won a berth at the AAU National Championship in New Orleans, La., later this summer. Kendall, a fifth-grader at Raritan Valley School, won gold in the Midget Girls pentathlon; while Kaylee, a seventh-grader at Hazlet Middle School, took silver in the Sub-Youth Girls category. The Pentathlon is a grueling five-event competition, where athletes earn points in the hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800-meter run. On June 4, Bythell and Baldwin competed at Neptune High School in the USATF Preliminary Qualifying Meet, earning spots in the New Jersey USATF Championship Meet, June 25-26. Bythell advanced in long jump and pole vault, and Baldwin advanced in the 800, high jump and hurdles. The girls, who competed at AAU National Championships in Des Moines last year, will also compete later this month for the chance to advance to AAU Nationals in their individual events as well.
Blues win Sportsmanship Award BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer For the Brookdale Community College women’s basketball team, next year has already started. After getting a taste of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III Championships at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, N.Y., last weekend, the Jersey Blues want more. On the bus trip home after finishing sixth in the nation, the Blues were already talking about what they had to do to take the next step. They were discussing offseason training and playing in the Belmar summer league, looking forward to making a return trip to Utica in 2008. “A lot of us [freshmen] are coming back next year and we’ll be ready,” said forward Jamie Biddle. “We all realize that we need to get better as a team and individually. “I think we’ll be back next year,” she added. With seven freshmen on the team this year, there is every reason for the Blues to be optimistic. Joanne Cobb, head coach with Marianne Cobb, said the Blues overachieved in some ways this year. “With so many freshmen, they really did surpass themselves,” she said. “Going back to the campus, they were talking about unfinished business.” Campacci pointed out that she and Campacci knew what the Blues would be up against in Utica from previous experience, and that it was good for the young Blues to see. “We [she and Cobb] knew we had a good team, but we knew there were some awesome teams there,” she said. “It was a good experience for the girls. They know they have to continue to work hard to get to the top.” This was the second trip to the nationals in three years for the Brookdale women, and their sixth place bettered their seventh place in 2005. Their performance was more than one place better, however. They were just 40 minutes away from finishing fourth. “We felt like we belonged there,” said Campacci. Brookdale also left the championships with the Sportsmanship Award, which goes to the team that conducted itself the best on and off the court during the tournament. “It’s a pretty high honor,” said Campacci. The Blues were seeded seventh and started the tournament, held Thursday through Saturday, off against the No. 2 seed and host Mohawk Valley, which advanced with a 70-45 victory. Keshia Taylor (Point Pleasant Boro) led the Blues with 10 points and six rebounds, and Olivia Triano contributed nine points and seven rebounds. Brookdale bounced back the next day to beat Northland Community College (Minn), 81-74. Brie Kwiatkowski (Marlboro, Monsignor Donovan) just missed a triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. Taylor had 21 points for the Blues. That win put the Blues the fourth/sixth-place game on Saturday. Three games in three days finally caught up to the Brookdale women and they dropped the game to Caldwell college (N.C.), 86-39. Lisa James (Manchester) led the Blues with 11 points and seven rebounds, and Sasha Fabrizio (Brick Township) chipped in with eight points and 14 rebounds. “It took some time to get over the loss [in fourth/sixth game], but they realized they had a great season,” said Campacci. Brookdale finished the season 19-11. The Blues won the Garden State Athletic Conference and Region XIX championships during the season. Fabrizio was named First Team All-GSAC and All-Region XIX. Taylor was a Second Team All-Region pick. Biddle (Howell) was the Most Valuable Player of the Region XIX Tournament.
Both Cat Manzi and Jeff Gregory remain hospitalized with fractures suffered in a multi-horse racing accident in the fourth race at Freehold Raceway on Sept. 6.Hall of Famer Manzi, 63, who has driven 14,789 winners during his stellar career, suffered breaks on both sides of his pelvis.His wife, Ellen, reported on the morning of Sept. 7 that he was in a lot of pain, needed to sleep and was not up to receiving visitors.Gregory underwent a lengthy surgery on the evening of Sept. 6 to repair a broken left elbow.“It was very difficult [surgery],” said Gregory’s wife, Helene, in a Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey press release. “The surgeon said he had to call in a second doctor to help get all the pieces together. The bone was shattered. But he said they got him wired up and screwed tight, so he sounded optimistic.”Gregory, 47, has 6,635 career wins.All the horses involved in the spill were reported to be in good condition. Babic Memorial Gold Rocks and Ideal Helen were both easy winners in their respective divisions of the Lou Babic Memorial on Sept. 7 at Freehold Raceway.Gold Rocks captured the $96,200 Babic Open in 1:54.4, while Ideal Helen annexed the $61,900 Babic Filly in a stakes record 1:54.3.Both stakes are for New Jersey-sired 2-year-old pacers.Gold Rocks ($2.20), a son of Rocknroll Hanover, was able to repel the challenge of Useful Hanover (by Western Ideal) to win by 4 1/2 lengths in the ninth race. Rocknroll Reality (by Rocknroll Hanover] was third by 7 1/4 lengths.George Brennan was at the lines of the Tony Alagna-trained Gold Rocks, sent off at odds of 1-9. The colt paced the mile in a career best 1:54.4.Gold Rocks picked up his second straight win in four tries, and he lifted his earnings to $59,400 for Eagle Soar Partners, Alan Alber, Joe Sbrocco and Mystical Marker Farms.Ideal Helen overcame a restart to win the Babic Filly, the third race, by 3/4 of a length over Beautiful Lady (Rocknroll Hanover), whose broken equipment caused the recall. Rosie De Vie (Western Ideal) was third by 8 1/2 lengths.Ideal Helen, a daughter of Western Ideal, settled into a two-hole trip until Marcus Miller sent her after Beautiful Lady, who cut the fractions. The final time of 1:54.3 eclipsed the stakes record of 1:55.1 set by Happy Dreamer in 2007.Ideal Helen now has three wins and two seconds in eight tries. She has banked $72,380 for owner-breeder D.R. Van Witzenburg of Crest Hill, Ill.
By Iain RogersStuttering holders Real Madrid could see their last chance of silverware slip away if they are unable to overturn a 2-1 deficit in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final, second leg at home to Juventus (9.45pm).Ending the season without winning the Champions League, the La Liga title or the Spanish Cup would be a disaster for the world’s richest club by income but such a scenario is a real possibility for Carlo Ancelotti’s men.Saturday’s 2-2 La Liga home draw with Valencia left them four points behind leaders Barcelona with two games left and they were dumped out of the King’s Cup by Atletico, the team they beat 4-1 after extra time to secure a record-extending 10th European Cup last term.Elimination from the latest edition could prompt drastic action from Real’s notoriously impatient – and deep-pocketed – president Florentino Perez, who has rarely stuck by his coaches for long if they do not deliver trophies on a regular basis.An exodus of players is also a possibility, with local media speculating that top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo and captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas could be on their way.Real’s hopes of getting past Juventus into June’s showpiece in Berlin hinge on cutting out the errors and inconsistency that have dogged them in recent weeks.Injuries have also played their part and Ancelotti is hoping to have France striker Karim Benzema back for the clash at the Bernabeu, while a suspected injury to Germany midfielder Toni Kroos on Saturday looks to have been nothing more than a scare.“Above all we need to keep a cool head, be patient, and not go crazy,” defender Dani Carvajal, who conceded the penalty Carlos Tevez converted to win the first leg, said on Real’s website (www.realmadrid.es).“We have to try to make time go really slowly for Juve so that they suffer without the ball,” added the Spain international.“They created danger when we lost the ball or because of our errors. I believe that if we stay calm, remain really patient and make them move then the game will go our way.”
By Larry FineUsain Bolt says he is not yet ready for a duel with Justin Gatlin but is looking forward to silencing the confident American in a Beijing sprint “explosion” at the world championships in August.While the Jamaican has eased into the season after an injury-disrupted 2014, Gatlin has set the fastest times of the year in both sprints and declared himself the “man to beat”.“Gatlin has been doing a lot of talking, saying a lot of things,” Bolt told Reuters with a chuckle in an interview ahead of the adidas Grand Prix at Randall’s Island on Saturday.“He’s proved he’s running fast times and he’s ready. So it should be exciting going into the world championship.“I look forward to competing when people talk … because if you don’t back it up you look really stupid.”Gatlin, who has served two doping bans, last month ran the fastest 100 metres of 2015 (9.74 seconds) in Doha and a season-leading 19.68 in the 200 in Eugene 15 days later.Bolt, who holds the world record in both events (9.58 and 19.19), is running only the 200 on Saturday as he continues to frustrate fans eager to see how he would measure up on the track against Gatlin.The Jamaican, looking slender in a black suit and dark blue shirt outside a reception at Nasdaq headquarters, said his race selection was nothing to do with fear of any other athlete.“Afraid? When people say that, I laugh. I’ve been in the sport for years and I’ve never dodged anybody. When it matters, I’ve always showed up and shown that I’m the best,” Bolt said.“Fact is, I’m not in the best of shape and I’m not going to put myself out there if I know I’m just coming back and I need time to get back to where I need to be.“When I get to Beijing I’ll be ready to go and that’s when the showdown will be.”Bolt said the suspense of how the sprinters shaped up against one another could help build interest in the world championships.“People can look forward to the championship. What’s going to happen?” he said.“Justin is running good, Tyson (Gay) is running good, Asafa (Powell) is running good, Usain is running good.“So when we come to the championship, it’s going to be like an explosion.”Bolt is returning to race in New York for the first time since setting his first jaw-dropping 100 metres world record at the meet in 2008, presaging his spectacular sprint double at the Beijing Olympics later that year.“That night was exciting. It was a big showdown between me and Tyson at the time,” he recounted.“There was a thunderstorm. There were stops and starts … a false start.“Just a weird night overall. But in the end it worked out. It was amazing.“For me, that was when it really started. That’s when I really blew up. People really took note. Everybody around the world started to watch. For me, it was a game changer.”Bolt said his return to New York seven years later as the established king of sprinting provided a different script.“I’m just trying to get to the world championships, defend my titles, stay injury free and then go on to the Olympics and just continue writing my name in stone of greatness,” he said.
The Premier League will be worse off without Dick Advocaat, West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic has said.Advocaat stepped down as Sunderland manager on Sunday after less than seven months in the job, with his side second from bottom in the table and without a win in eight league games this season.“I told him (Advocaat) I would like (him) to stay. You saw on the touchline he is a man full of energy and passion. The Premier League will be worse off without him,” Croatian Bilic told West Ham’s website (www.whufc.com).“He is a man of knowledge, and his experience at different clubs in different countries and at international level is unbelievable.”The 68-year-old Advocaat took over from Uruguayan Gus Poyet in March and saved Sunderland from relegation last season and had initially intended to retire after their escape, but changed his mind and stayed on.The manager had hinted strongly at his intentions on Saturday when he refused to confirm he was staying at the club after the West Ham game, from which the Hammers salvaged a point after coming from two goals down following Jeremain Lens’ sending off.“It’s his (Advocaat‘s) decision, only he knows what he feels. For a man of his experience, he’s basically done everything in different countries, at international level,” Bilic said.“Only he knows but I rate him so much, there aren’t many managers like him.”The decision to step down almost certainly spells retirement for Advocaat, who coached the Netherlands, Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, and Scottish side Rangers in a nomadic career, which also saw him become the first foreign coach to win the Russian Premier League title, a feat he achieved with Zenit St Petersburg in 2007.
Pini took out gold after swimming 53.42 sec, breaking the Games record of 53.46 sec.PNG’s Sam Seghers grabbed silver in a time of 55.49 sec and bronze was taken by Tahitian Rahiti De Vos.Pini bowed to the crowd as soon as he got out of the pool
Pini made history last week winning his first ever gold medal at an Australian national championships.His last event will be the 50m backstroke on Wednesday.Team PNG has four swimmers taking part at the championships – Ryan Pini, Samuel Seghers, Ryan Maskelyne and Barbara Vali-Skelton.Seghers also has two events left, the 50m freestyle and 100m fly on Tuesday.Maskelyne has the 50 breaststroke also on Tuesday.Barbara Vali-Skelton, the only female competitor to represent PNG at these championships, will race her only event, 50m breaststroke on Wednesday.Three PNG records have been already been set at the championships, a gold medal and ‘B’ qualifying times.
Some gutsy bowling from PNG’s James Tau was not enough to get the Garamuts a win, as they lost to Ireland by 3 wickets at the Under 19 Cricket World Cup.They sure made hard work of it, but Ireland were ultimately successful in chasing PNG’s modest total of 121.Neil Rock top-scored with 43 and it was his 45-run partnership with Graham Kennedy (17*) that steadied the ship and saw Ireland home.James Tau took 4/45 for PNG off his 10 overs and Sema Kamea chipped in with 2/22 off his full complement.Ireland will be smiling, although with relief and a few nerves, after making very hard work of the chase down of PNG’s small total.Ireland’s top scorer Neil proved to be the “Rock” of this Ireland innings, his slow but vitally unbeaten 24 guiding his country ever much closer to PNG’s total.Morgan Topping and Neil Rock played a steadying hand for Ireland in the half hour following lunch.A stubborn 28-run stand by Rock and Kennedy helped Ireland move ever closer toward victory. They’ve made hard work of it, but the finish line was surely in sight.Not even Garamuts bowler, James Tau, could stop the Ireland outfit from reaching the total of 121 with 3 wickets still in hand to record victory in the plate semi-final of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has not given up hope of a return to the French national team despite being frozen out by coach Didier Deschamps in the wake of a sex tape scandal 18 months ago.Benzema was suspended indefinitely in December 2015 after being charged with conspiracy to blackmail team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape, but French federation president Noel Le Graet said last October Deschamps was free to call him up again.The 29-year-old, who has not been picked since a 4-0 win over Armenia in October 2015, said he had still not received an explanation from Deschamps as to why he continues to ignore him.“Others say I can be called up, not him. If the coach tells me to my face that it is only because of football, fine, I’ll continue to work,” Benzema told French sports daily L’Equipe on Wednesday. “If there is another reason, he just had to tell it to my face and I’m done with him.“I asked the coach for an explanation. An explanation can be just two minutes long. It’s not complicated … But I am still at the coach’s disposal. The coach knows this.”France do not seem to have missed Benzema, impressing at Euro 2016 with Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet shining up front. The hosts lost to Portugal after extra time in the final.However, Benzema said he was being left out for non-sporting reasons.“A lot of people (in France) don’t want me to succeed,” he said. “I have the feeling that my name is being manipulated for reasons that have nothing to do with football.”