Tuesday, June 30, 2009

PRAIRIE VIEW A&M SOCCER INKS 12 RECRUITS FOR THE 2009 SEASON

PRAIRIE VIEW, TEXAS (June 30, 2009)Prairie View A&M women’s soccer coach Abe Garcia has announced his inaugural recruiting class for the 2009 campaign.

Garcia, who begins his second year in charge of the Lady Panther soccer program, summed up his 2009 recruiting class in two words, “new feel”, and believes his newcomers will raise the team to a higher level with their intensity.

The core group of recruits for Garcia’s 2009 class include Yosselyn Aguilar, Vero`nica Aguirre, Genevieve Devany, Cynthia Diaz, Navyd Diaz, Abigail Escobar, Holland Maples, Crystal San Martin, Leslie Salazar, Candice Sion, Megan Vlam and Marissa Woods.

These talented players bring a sense of high precedence and pride to the Lady Panther soccer team as several were all-district players of the year, defensive players of the year, team captains and four-year letterman.

Garcia definitely wants to stress team unity and the new recruits have already received the chance to meet their teammates during recruiting visits.

“I make them interact on their recruiting visits to get a better feel for each other,” said Garcia.

With the news class on board, Garcia expects a better season than last year and believes each girl will motivate one another; however he understands it takes time to build a championship caliber club.

“The team is in better shape than when I took over the head coaching position midway through last season as the commitment of the players has changed,” said Garcia. “We are more focused on our goals.”

The 2009 campaign is guaranteed to prove what the Lady Panther soccer team is made of considering they begin the season with a very challenging preseason schedule that should have them prepared for conference play.

“I don’t want to make any preseason predictions,” stated Garcia. “I’d rather pick myself last because underdogs can fly below the radar.”

A new coach with a fresh perspective coupled with dedicated players should ensure the Lady Panthers will not be considered underdogs for long.



19th Houston Int’l Jazz Festival Set Rachelle Ferrell, Grupo Niche, Hiroshima To Appear

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 30, 2009) Jazz will fill the air in downtown Houston Saturday and Sunday, August 1st and 2nd as the 19th Annual Houston Int’l Jazz Festival kicks off August Jazz Month. The event will be held at the Discovery Green Park, 4:00 to 10:00 PM each day. An all-star lineup is scheduled including: “Rachelle Ferrell,” “Grupo Niche,” “Hiroshima,” “Texas Brass Band,” “Summer Jazz Workshop All-Stars,” and many more.

“The Houston Int’l Jazz Festival represents a rich tradition of excellence through musical expression. The Festival is the primary fundraiser for Jazz Education Inc., which is a non-profit organization committed to the mission of providing worthwhile education activities for school-aged youth,” stated Houston City Council Member Jarvis Johnson, Chairman of the Festival.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

SHSU Names Dave Self Head Track Coach

HUNTSVILLE, TEXAS (June 27, 2009) Sam Houston State Director of Athletics Bobby Williams has announced Dave Self as the new head coach of the Bearkat track and field program. Self has served as the assistant coach for the past five years.

“I am excited about it,” Self said. “I have been working with the program for five years and I am looking forward to the challenges that are going to come. The goal is to get us back to the SLC championship.”

In his five years, the Bearkats have known nothing but success. The SHSU track and field program dominated the outdoor competition for two straight years, with both the men and women capturing Southland Conference crowns in 2005 and 2006. The two seasons after that, Self has coached the women to a pair of Southland Conference Indoor Championships as well as an Outdoor title in 2008.

“We are excited about him being our coach,” Williams said. “We did go though a national search and in the end felt our head coach was on our current staff which is a great feeling to know.”

Self has already started the evaluation process on where the program is headed, and said he is not planning many changes as he slides into the position held by Curtis Collier who now works in administration with the department.

“Knowing I am the final decision on things will be different,” Self said. “We are not going to make a lot of changes. There are a few things I want to do, but we have been very successful over the last few years, so I don’t want to start making mass changes. I am looking forward to finalizing my staff and get going with the process.”

Self, who is in charge of sprinters and hurdlers and also serves as the recruiting coordinator, has watched as his runners have produced 24 school records on 58 different occasions. Also, his athletes have racked up a total of 207 all-conference honors along with 31 individual or relay Southland Conference first-place finishes.

In 2008 he was named the Southland Conference Indoor Coach of the Year, becoming the first assistant coach in the conference to earn such an honor.

Self previously served as head track and field coach at Garden City Community College from 1996-2002. There he coached 123 athletes who earned National Junior College Athletic Association All America honors. He also produced 21 national individual champions and one of his athletes was a member of the 2004 United States Olympic Track and Field team.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Texas State Relief Pitcher Tyler Brundridge Signs With The Seattle Mariners

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS (June 26, 2009) After helping the Texas State baseball team win its first outright Southland Conference championship and play in the NCAA Tournament in 2009, Bobcat relief pitcher Tyler Brundridge was signed as a free agent by the Seattle Mariners.

“This came as a surprise to me,” Brundridge said. “I received a call from a scout with the Mariners and he told me ‘they wanted to sign me.’ It has been a dream of mine since I was a kid to play professional baseball and it’s just crazy how hit all came true.”

As a senior, Brundridge helped Texas State finish the 2009 season with a 41-16 overall record. He also was named to the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2009.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we would not have had enjoyed the success we had without Tyler Brundridge,” Texas State head coach Ty Harrington said. “He pitched to his abilities and exceeded my expectations heading into the year. He is very deserving to have the opportunity to play professional baseball.”

Last season, Brundridge pitched in 33 games for the Bobcats and compiled a 3-1 record with a 3.86 ERA. He had 44 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. Brundridge pitched in 16 games as a junior and finished the season with 18 strikeouts in 16 relief appearances.

A native of Fredericksburg, Texas, Brundridge came to Texas State from Navarro College and also lettered three seasons at Fredericksburg High School as a pitcher and third baseman. He earned All-District First-Team and All-State honors as a high school senior.

“I was a starter my entire life until I came to Texas State when they had me pitching in relief,” Brundridge said. “I struggled a little as a junior, but worked on some things that coach Harrington wanted me to improve on last summer. I was able to correct some things, had a great fall and threw well in the spring.”

Brundridge has reported to the AZL (Arizona League) Mariners and could pitch as early as Friday for the team.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dynamo to face Austin Aztex in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on July 1

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 25, 2009) -- The Houston Dynamo will take on the Austin Aztex (United Soccer Leagues First Division) in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup third round game on Wednesday, July 1, at 7:30 p.m. at Nelson Field in Austin.

The game can be heard live in the Houston area on 790 AM The Sports Animal and can be seen live on the internet at USLlive.com.

The winner of the game will travel to face either Chivas USA or the Charleston Battery in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, July 7.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Colwick Jumps at USA Track & Field National Championships

(photo courtesy of the Rice University Sports Information Department)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 24, 2009) Even though NCAA competition has concluded Jason Colwick will don his Rice jersey this weekend.

The pole vaulter extraordinaire competes this weekend at the USA Track & Field National Championships in Eugene, Ore., at Hayward Field. On the line is a trip to compete at the 12th IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany (Aug. 15-23).

The pole vault event begins on Saturday at 4:55 p.m. (Central). If he were to place in the top three, then he will represent Team USA and jump in Berlin's Olympic Stadium, which will host its first major international track and field event since the 1936 Olympic Games.

The San Marcos, Texas, native will be vaulting for the first time since winning the 2009 NCAA Outdoor title in Fayetteville, Ark. on June 12. He also won the 2009 NCAA Indoor championship (5.60m/18-4.5) and is now the only Conference USA athlete to win both indoor and outdoor championships in the same event.

He enters Saturday's competition with a personal-best mark of 5.72m/18-9.25, which ranks as the seventh-best height in the world for 2009.

The University of Oregon's Hayward Field has been the site of the 1972, 1976, 1980, and the 2008 US Olympic Trials. Colwick is quite familiar with Hayward Field as he competed there last summer during the Olympic Trials. He cleared 5.40m/17-8.50 in the prelims but did not advance to the final round.

During the 2009 outdoor season, Colwick has been a consistent performer by clearing the 18-foot mark on seven occasions.

The USA Track & Field National Championships can be seen on ESPN, Fri., June 26, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. ET; ESPN, Sat., June 27, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. ET; and on NBC, Sun., June 28, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. ET.

FREEDOM OVER TEXAS WITH FIREWORKS PRESENTED BY SHELL CELEBRATES AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY WITH COUNTRY MUSIC SENSATION CLAY WALKER

Mayor Bill White Invites Texans to Houston’s Official Fourth of July Celebration Featuring the Largest Land-Based Fireworks Show in the Nation and a Schedule Full of Family Fun

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 24, 2009) Fireworks will fly and tunes will fill the air at Houston’s star-spangled Fourth of July celebration, Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell. This year’s event, saluting Houston’s military heroes and honoring the 40th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo XI Lunar Landing, will feature the largest land-based fireworks show in the nation, unbeatable entertainment and a lively outdoor festival. Admission is FREE. On Saturday, July 4, Clay Walker will ignite the stage and the concert will be followed by the largest land-based fireworks show in the nation, presented by Shell Oil Company and produced by the world-renowned fireworks artists from Pyro Spectaculars North by Souza. Both the concert and the fireworks will be televised live on KTRK-TV (ABC), Ch.13 from Eleanor Tinsley Park.

"I want to invite our fellow Texans to Houston's All - American Fourth of July celebration" said Mayor Bill White. "This year we salute Houston's Heroes. This includes the men and women serving our armed forces today and in years past. It also includes NASA's iconic space program on the 40th Anniversary of the historic Apollo XI Lunar Landing. Thanks to our Anchor Sponsors, the city is able to bring in an unbeatable headliner and a host of other entertainment. For the fourth year in a row, Shell is on board to underwrite a spectacular fireworks show, making Houston the number one Fourth of July destination in the country."

Texas-native Clay Walker will take the Freedom Stage at 8:00 p.m. to perform a selection of his chart-topping hits. Walker fell in love with country music at an early age and started to pursue his musical career after high school. He toured across the South, Midwest and Canada while taking courses about the music business and eventually became the house singer at the Neon Armadillo bar in his hometown Beaumont, where he then signed a contract with Giant Records. Walker’s first two singles “What’s It To You” and “Live Until I Die” released in 1993 reached No. 1. By the end of 1998 he had a dozen Top 5 hits and his first four studio albums were certified platinum. Walker’s Greatest Hits and album Live, Laugh, Love were certified gold.

When the concert comes to a close at 9:30 p.m., eyes will turn skyward for an extraordinary fireworks spectacular perfectly set to a selection of America’s favorite tunes, from patriotic songs to rock ‘n’ roll hits to classic bestsellers.

Dick Williams, President of Shell WindEnergy Inc. says, "For more than 80 years, Shell has been a strong supporter of the Houston community and our nation. As a country, we have much to celebrate, and we at Shell are thrilled to participate in the festivities this year."

All the excitement for Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday July 4. In addition to this year’s entertainment headliner, the festival will also spotlight a top-notch selection of local and regional music. Throughout the day, three stages will keep toes tapping with music ranging from country western and rock 'n' roll to Latin, pop and oldies. Festival-goers will enjoy a variety of activities throughout the site. Liberty Park will showcase displays of military artifacts and vehicles including representation from all five military branches and more. The branches and the Houston Police Department will also offer recruiting opportunities on site. Guests will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Shell-sponsored NASCAR, Kevin Harvick’s car and the Tire Change Challenge. Children will stay entertained with free rides, games, face painting, jugglers and more in the Fiesta All American Kids Zone. Event patrons visiting the Gexa Energy booths will have the opportunity to take advantage of special offers on 100% wind-powered, 100% pollution-free electricity plans, learn more about renewable energy solutions, and discover actions they can take to pay less for electricity.

Visitors can kick back and relax at the Budweiser Beer Garden, offering a selection of Craft and Import Beers with a prime view of the fourth annual Bud Light Texas Volleyball Championship. The preliminary men’s and women’s semi-pro statewide championship tournaments are being held in Houston, Galveston, San Antonio and Dallas. The winners of each prelim will vie for the “Texas Title” at Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell.

Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell will be simulcast on KTRK-TV (ABC), Ch.13 from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, and will be syndicated statewide on KTRE-TV (ABC) in Lufkin/Nacogdoches, KLTV-TV (ABC) in Tyler/Longview/Jacksonville, KTVT-TV (CBS) in Dallas/Ft. Worth, KJTV-DT2 (FOX) in Lubbock/Albuquerque, NM/Hobbs, NM, and KXTS-TV (MYTV) in Victoria. In addition, Clear Channel radio station, Classic Rock 93.7, The Arrow/KKRW-FM will simulcast the music medley specially choreographed for the fireworks spectacular.

Admission for the event is FREE. And, new this year, Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell is going green, providing recycling receptacles and encouraging all patrons to recycle.

Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell sponsors include: Fireworks sponsor Shell Oil Company; Anchor Sponsors Budweiser/Silver Eagle Distributors, LP, Gexa Energy, and KBR, Inc.; and Clear Channel Radio-Houston (Classic Rock 93.7, The Arrow/KKRW-FM, 94.5 The Buzz/KTBZ-FM, Sunny 99.1/KODA-FM, NewsRadio 740/KTRH-AM, 790 The Sports Animal/KBME-AM, The 9-5-0 Radio Mojo/ KPRC-AM), Doubletree Hotel Houston Downtown, and Fiesta Mart, Inc.

Shell Oil Company, including its consolidated companies and its share in equity companies, is one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, natural gas marketers, gasoline marketers and petrochemical manufacturers. Shell, a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, is a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology. Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Shell Group, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, employing approximately 102,000 people and operating in more than 100 countries and territories. More information about Shell Oil Company can be found at www.shell.com.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PRAIRIE VIEW A&M WOMEN’S TRACK LOADS UP WITH THE ADDITION OF 12 STANDOUT ATHLETES

PRAIRIE VIEW, TEXAS (June 23, 2009) Angela Williams, head women’s track coach at Prairie View A&M, is primed to take her Lady Panther track & field squad to new heights over the next four seasons after bringing in a stellar signing class that includes 12 recruits for the 2009-10 campaign.

The class includes:

Margret Harris-Lancaster, Texas (Lancaster)
Terracia Moody-Longview, Texas (Longview)
Tanika Birch-Houston, Texas (Mayde Creek)

Guadalupe Bustamante-Cameron, Texas (Cameron)
Latecia Bustamante-Cameron, Texas (Cameron)
Angel Brooks-El Campo, Texas (El Campo)
Raven Turner-Rockwall, Texas (Rockwall)
Lakeisha Johnson-Odessa, Texas (Permian)
Brandi Wade-El Paso, Texas (Hanks)
Paris Collins-Port Arthur, Texas (Memorial)
Frinthia Clay-Austin, Texas (Reagan)
Genevieve Devany-Houston, Texas (Stratford)

There’s an old saying that there’s ‘nothing like some good old home cooking’. In the case of the incoming class for the Lady Panthers, that’s exactly the case. The state of Texas boasts some of the best high school track talent in the country and Williams took full advantage of that as each recruit hails from the Lone Star state.

The PVAMU women’s track team is coming off a successful season that saw senior Alexis Tanner qualify for the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional in the triple jump. Signees Tanika Birch and Brandi Wade will look to follow Tanner as the next high profile jumpers in the program. Birch ranked No. 8 in the state in the high jump and also was a regional qualifier in the event. Wade ranks No. 3 in the state in the 300-meter hurdles and was a regional qualifier in the high jump and long jump.

“Wade is a great hurdler and an outstanding overall athlete who has a bright future ahead of her at PV,” stated Williams.

The cross country season is right around the corner and the prospects for an outstanding fall will be better than ever with the additions of the Bustamante (Guadalupe & Latecia) twins, Angel Brooks and Genevieve Devany. Guadalupe was a Class 3A state cross country top performer and regional qualifier in the 800-meter run and 4x400-meter relay while Latecia was a Class 3A state cross country top performer and regional qualifier in the 4x400-meter relay. Angel Brooks is a cross country state qualifier and regional qualifier in the 200, 4x200-meter and 4x400-meter relays while Devany will see dual action in the fall as a member of the cross country and soccer squads.

The PVAMU 4x400-meter relay team also has a promising future with the additions of Margaret Harris, Frinthia Clay and Lakeisha Johnson.

“Harris is an outstanding sprinter and long jumper who should have a memorable career at PV,” noted Williams.

Harris held the No. 4 ranking in the state in the 100-meter dash and ran on the 4x400-meter relay team that placed third at the UIL Class 4A State Championship while Clay was a regional qualifier in the 4x400-meter relay. Johnson’s accolades include participating in the Texas Cross Country state championship, regional qualifier in the 4x400-meter relay and a top 15 ranking in the 800-meter dash.

It gets even better as coach Williams also touts signees the likes of Terracia Moody, Raven Turner and LeAndrea’ Pryor as each posted significant accomplishments in the 200-meter dash. Moody ranked No. 2 in the state in the 200-meter dash and was a regional qualifier in the 200-meter dash and 4x100-meter relay, while Turner was a regional qualifier in the 200-meter dash. Pryor was a regional qualifier in the 4x100-meter relay, 4x200-meter relay and 200-meter dash.

“Moody is an awesome sprinter who should have immediate success,” added Coach Williams.

Paris Collins joins Wade as the only other hurdler in the signing class and was a regional qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles.

“This is my largest class since I’ve been here and this class is going to take the program to the next level and I feel confident going into my third season that I’ve finally brought in the recruits that will put this program on the map,” said Williams. “I have some 2012 Olympic prospects in this class and some of these young ladies are highly- touted recruits that chose Prairie View over the likes of Texas, Oklahoma, Houston, USC, LSU and Baylor among others.”

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dynamo defender Hainault called to Canadian squad for Gold Cup

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 22, 2009) Houston Dynamo defender Andrew Hainault was named to Canada’s 23-man roster for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the Canadian Soccer Association announced today.

Hainault, 23, joined the Dynamo early this season from Czech club SIAD Most and has been a regular at outside back over the last nine games, including eight starts, alternating between left and right back. He has also contributed two assists.

Hainault will join Canada on Wednesday for a training camp prior to their tournament opener against Jamaica on July 3. Canada will also face El Salvador (July 7) and Costa Rica (July 10). Hainault is expected to miss at least four Dynamo games, including Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Galaxy.

“It’s great to be called up,” Hainault said. “I’ve changed leagues, I’ve changed teams, so you never know what’s going to happen, but it was great to be called up again.”

The Hudson, Qu├ębec native has already been capped 14 times for Canada, making his debut in 2006 at age 20. He helped Canada to the semifinals of the 2007 Gold Cup, along with Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad, and scored his first international goal in a 3-1 World Cup Qualifying loss at Honduras on October 11, 2008.

“If we come together and play like we should, we should be a top team in CONCACAF, but sometimes we don’t come out the right way,” Hainault said. “It’s frustrating. We reached the semifinals two years ago, and even though we’ve got a tougher group this time, I don’t see why we can’t get out of it.”

The Dynamo will face the Los Angeles Galaxy on the road Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. CT in a game nationally televised on ESPN2 before traveling to face the Austin Aztex in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, July 1.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM OVERCOMES INCREDIBLE ODDS TO ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS OF 2009 CONFEDERATIONS CUP

RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (June 21, 2009) Needing to score at least three goals and on the verge of elimination, the U.S. Men’s National Team overcame incredible odds and advanced to the semifinals of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup this evening with a 3-0 victory against Egypt in their final Group B match at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa. Combined with Brazil’s 3-0 victory against Italy, the U.S. moved from last to second place in the group and will face Spain in the semifinals on Wednesday, June 24.

Playing in by far the most difficult group, the U.S. lost their first two games to world champions Italy and Brazil, finishing tied with Italy on points (three) and goal differential (minus two), but advanced to the semifinals by virtue of more goals scored. Along with the goals against Egypt, Landon Donovan’s penalty kick against Italy provided the U.S. with four total goals. Italy only tallied three goals during the tournament, all against the U.S.

Getting his first start since the USA’s 2009 opener on Jan. 24, forward Charlie Davies scored the opening goal of the match with a dogged determination during a scramble in front of the net. With Brazil leading Italy by three goals at halftime, the U.S. was in position to make what seemed improbable at the start of the day a reality. In the second half, the U.S. took full advantage with goals from Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey that put the U.S. into the semifinals.

The U.S. will face Spain at Free State Stadium in Mangaung/Bloemfontein at 2:25 p.m. ET. The match will be live on ESPN and TeleFutura, while fans can also follow along on ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker or at twitter.com/ussoccer. Spain, ranked No. 1 in the FIFA World Rankings, won Group A with three victories against New Zealand, Iraq and South Africa. The reigning European champions are currently on a world record-setting run of 15 consecutive victories, while tying the record of most consecutive matches without a defeat (35), originally set by Brazil.

“Without a doubt, we were focused on all three games knowing it was a tough group,” U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bob Bradley said. “We knew that in the last game that we need to get after it in a way that would give us a chance. We started the game with a lot of energy. Getting the first goal becomes important. At halftime, we felt that if we were smart, and we continued to press in a good way that there would be chances and that we would get two more goals. In that regard, credit to the players for the push they made throughout the game. We’re excited to move on.”

After disappointing results and being forced to a play a man down for long stretches in their first two matches in the tournament, the U.S. came out inspired and played a much more controlled and offensive game against the Egyptians. Bradley called upon goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Davies for the first time in the tournament, while also plugging Ricardo Clark back into his central midfield role with Michael Bradley after serving his one-game suspension for a red card in the opening match.

Davies put the U.S. in the lead in the 21st minute by chasing down a scramble near the left post. The half-chance started with Jonathan Bornstein’s throw-in from the left sideline deep in Egypt’s defensive half which found Altidore near the endline. Altidore did well to hold off his defender, turn and hit a driven cross toward Davies at the six-yard box. Essam El Hadary came off his line to snag it, but lost control after colliding with defender Ahmed Fathi. The ball deflected behind El Hadary toward the left post and as he reached back for the ball, and another collision occurred as Davies and defender Hani Said also tried to win the loose ball. The ball once again squirted free and was going toward the endline a foot wide of the left post, but Davies stayed with it, and with a stunningly quick move, pulled the ball off the endline with his left and then from an improbable angle hit a shot with his right foot that went off El Hadary’s hands and into the net.

After the goal, play was halted for about five minutes as El Hadary was treated right in front of the left post for a cut to the top of his head. The ‘keeper received the injury during the scramble in front of the box when Fathi’s knee struck him in the head.

The U.S. was unfortunate not to score another goal before halftime, but knowing Brazil was taking care of business in Tshwane/Pretoria provided even more incentive for the U.S. to score the required two goals in the second half. The U.S. were denied a goal when a Jozy Altidore shot was saved off the line by the arm of Egyptian defender Hani Said, but no penalty was called. Nonetheless, the U.S. stayed focused and got the needed goals during a nine-minute span.

Bradley got the U.S. one goal closer to the semifinals in the 63rd minute due to a nice combination with Donovan. Clark won a header in the U.S. defensive half, nodding it to Donovan inside the center circle. With one touch, Donovan played it across to Bradley and they both streaked forward towards goal. About 25 yards out Bradley played it back for Donovan who was running alongside his left, putting him into the penalty area. Bradley continued his run into the box and Donovan slipped it across to the penalty spot where Bradley hit his one-timer into the right side of the goal past El Hadary.

Looking for the all-important third goal, Bob Bradley brought in Benny Feilhaber in to replace Altidore in the 69th minute and moved Dempsey up to forward. The U.S. finally broke free two minutes later. Michael Bradley found defender Jonathan Spector who had found space along the right flank. Spector took a settling touch and looked up to see even numbers along Egypt’s backline, with four U.S. players converging towards the penalty area. He whipped in a curling service that found Dempsey, who held off Wael Gomaa and directed a perfectly-placed header just inside the left post.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” said Dempsey. “The odds were against us and the chances of us going through were slim. All we could control was ourselves. Credit to all the guys and the coaching staff. We worked hard this whole tournament so far and believed in ourselves. Now it’s time to refocus and get ready for Spain.”

The three-goal performance marked the second most goals the U.S. has scored in a single FIFA Confederations Cup match since a 5-2 victory against Ivory Coast on Oct. 19, 1992, when the tournament was called the King Fahd Cup.

During the first 15 minutes of the match, Egypt had a handful of dangerous chances, but the U.S. defense did well to keep Egypt off the board and on the other end, didn’t shy away from taking opportunities from outside the box with Dempsey hitting a free kick on target and Clark unleashing two shots that missed the frame.

In the 13th minute, an Egyptian free kick created some hairy moments as the ball deflected off Michael Bradley and fell to Ahmed Eid at the back post. Eid touched it square for Ahmed Abdelghani, but the forward couldn’t get a clean shot off with Jay DeMerit defending, and the ball bounced around the top of the six-yard box before being cleared out of danger.

Less than a minute later, Dempsey collected a poor Egyptian clearance near the edge of the center circle and after patiently dribbling forward he slipped a well-timed ball through for a streaking Bradley into the right side of the penalty area. Bradley hit a hard one-timer towards the far post, but El Hadary came up with an impressive one-handed diving save to keep the game scoreless.

Dempsey once again provided a fantastic service in the 16th minute when he hit a long ball to Donovan who was streaking down the left flank. Donovan chested it down in stride and blew by Said with his next touch to get him into the penalty area with just Hadary to beat. Spotting Altidore charging into the area, he tried to play a square pass across the box but the two failed to connect.

As the half went on, the U.S. started taking control of the game and continued to produce dangerous chances. Donovan was the catalyst for a number of the attacks, including a great dribbling run in the 29th minute. The U.S. captain won the ball near the midfield stripe on the left sideline, pushing the ball around Ahmed Al Muhamadi and streaking towards goal. As he neared the penalty area he feinted to his right, catching Said flat-footed but El Hadary was able to snatch the ball off Donovan’s foot, losing the bandage wrap he received just moments before.

During the next 10 minutes, Egypt created two good chances with strikes from outside the penalty area. In the 31st minute, a good combination by Egypt provided Mohamed Aboutrika with a shot on frame, but Guzan dove to his right to make the save. Eight minutes later, Hosni Abde Rabbou uncorked a 25-yard strike that was just high, skimming the top of the crossbar.

The U.S. came close to taking a two-goal lead into halftime when Bradley started a quick counter by slipping a through ball for Davies right at the start of first-half extra time. With his defenders beat, Davies’ first touch into the box didn’t give him the best angle, but he still struck a hard shot on goal that was saved by El Hadary.

In the second half, the U.S. continued to stymie Egypt’s attack and push forward on offense. In the 51st minute, Egypt defender Said appeared to handle the ball on the goal line, but no penalty was awarded.
The play started when Oguchi Onyewu stole the ball in the U.S. defensive half and started the attack with an uncharacteristic 35-yard dribbling run down the middle of the field. The 6-foot-4-inch centerback found Dempsey to his right and the midfielder touched it into the right side of the penalty area for a streaking Davies. Using his speed to chase the ball down, Davies hit a low one-timer across the goalmouth where Onyewu left it for Altidore, who was unmarked in the middle of the box. Altidore took a settling touch before hitting a strike that El Hadary got a hand on but continued towards goal where it deflected off Said’s right thigh and then his right arm as he stood on the goal line. The ball was eventually cleared out and despite the USA’s objections for a handling call, referee Michael Hester did not give the U.S. a penalty kick.

Bradley had another opportunity five minutes later when a cleared ball fell to him at the top of the box, but his left-footed strike was saved well by a sprawling El Hadary.

Egypt almost spoiled the USA’s unbelievable comeback in the 90th minute with a fantastic opportunity on net. Pushing up the left flank, Wahid received the ball and curled in an early ball to the back post. Gomaa situated himself perfectly behind Onyewu and in front of Bornstein, but his driven header went just over the bar.

This was the first time the U.S. had ever defeated Egypt, falling 3-1 to the African champions in their only other meeting in Seoul, South Korea, on June 8, 1987.

With his start today, Donovan passed Claudio Reyna and moved into fourth all-time on the U.S. cap list with 113 appearances. Cobi Jones tops the list with 164 caps.

In group A action on Saturday, Spain won their third straight match with a 2-0 victory against South Africa. Despite the loss, the hosts advanced to the semifinals along with Spain as Iraq and New Zealand played to a scoreless draw. South Africa will face Brazil on Thursday, June 25 in the other semifinal live on ESPN and TeleFutura.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

OLYMPIC RINGS TO BE DISPLAYED OUTSIDE INTERNATIONAL TRAINING AND RESEARCH CENTER

ARLINGTON, TEXAS (June 16, 2009) The U.S. Olympic Committee has given the United States Bowling Congress and the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America permission to display the Olympic rings on the outside of the International Training and Research Center, which is currently under construction at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas.

"It is an honor for USBC to be a part of representing the Olympic efforts of the
United States," USBC Vice President-National Governing Body Neil Stremmel said.
"The USOC understands the significance of this training center and the fact that
we will be utilizing new technologies in the training arena as well as designing
bowling specific exercise regimes that will impact the future of our sport."

The USOC decision gives the International Training and Research Center - a joint
venture between the USBC and BPAA - the distinction of being the lone testing
and athlete-development facility in the sport of bowling to feature the Olympic
rings.

"This further validates the vision of bringing together the efficiencies of BPAA
and the USBC under one roof to promote the sport," BPAA President Jim Sturm
said. "With bowling's history and worldwide appeal, hanging the Olympic rings in
Arlington can only enhance the bowling industry and its partners within the
international community."

The new training facility in Arlington adds to the city's already-impressive
collection of elite sporting venues, which include the Rangers Ballpark in
Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers, and Cowboys Stadium, the new $1.15 billion
home of the Dallas Cowboys.

"The City of Arlington is extremely proud to welcome the U.S. Bowling Congress
and the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America to our community," Arlington
Mayor Robert Cluck said. "Both organizations are very important additions to our
sports-oriented community."

Upon completion, which is forecast for fall 2009, the International Training and
Research Center will include 14 lanes for training and six for research and
testing of bowling equipment. Four lanes will be specially designed and equipped
for broadcast television finals. High-tech tools in the test center's research
area will include a robotic ball thrower, C.A.T.S. (computer-aided tracking
system) and state-of-the-art biomechanics technology that includes grip
pressure, foot pressure and motion capture, which uses a sensor array and
computer system to precisely track a bowler's bodily movements.

Plans call for USBC coaches to use the test center lanes to coach Team USA,
Junior Team USA, national teams from World Tenpin Bowling Association countries
as well as other coaches who want to train in the facility. In addition, the
center will host International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association and
BPAA seminars and be available for a fee to bowlers who want to take high-tech
coaching lessons.

Monday, June 15, 2009

DeScenza Wins 08-09 USA Swimming Grand Prix

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA (June 15, 2009) Mary DeScenza, representing the Athens Bulldog Swim Club, won the 2008-2009 USA Swimming Grand Prix at the Santa Clara International Invitational.

After winning her final event of the meet, the 200-meter butterfly, she received the $20,000 award, which is bestowed on the overall champion as determined by points from the result of the six Grand Prix Series meets.

DeScenza competed in all six meets (Minneapolis, Long Beach, Columbia, Missouri, Austin, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Santa Clara) winning a total of 20 gold medals, nine silver, and two bronze medals for a total of 129 points.

Narrowly missing a spot on the 2008 Olympic team in the 200-meter backstroke and 200-meter butterfly, DeScenza established a new American record in the 200-meter butterfly at the 2008 Short Course World Championships.

She will be an odd-on favorite for a sport on the 2012 Olympic team.

This is the second year that prize money has been offered to the winner of the Grand Prix Series. Last year, Michael Phelps took home the prize and DeScenza was the runner-up.

Swimmers earned points for each medal earned at a Grand Prix meet. Gold medals are worth five points, silver medals are worth three points, and bronze medals are worth one point.

The standings combine men and women competitors to determine the final champion.

Mark Schubert, USA Swimming’s National Team Head Coach and General Manager Mark Schubert, was quoted after DeScenza received the award, “We are happy to have had another successful Grand Prix Series this year. Mary did a fabulous job and proved that she’s a strong competitor in multiple events.”

DeScenza was ecstatic after her win.

“Winning the Grand Prix Series is one of my top accomplishments. I’d like to thank my family, friends, coaches, and sponsors. I planned to go to most of the Grand Prix meets this year, but it wasn’t until after the first few stops that I realized I had the opportunity to win.”

Sunday, June 14, 2009

CWS 2009 Update: Arkansas-Cal State Fullerton and LSU-Virginia

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

OMAHA, NEBRASKA (June 14, 2009) Home runs were the key to victory in the first two games of the 2009 College World Series, held at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha on Saturday.

In the first game of the tournament, Arkansas used home runs by Zach Cox and Andy Wilkins to down Cal State Fullerton 10-6.

The Razorbacks lead the entire contest and after Wilkins three run homer is the fifth inning homer, the book was shut on the Titans.

Wilkins had two hits and five RBIs in the contest, while Cox added two hits and three RBIs. They were aided on offense by Scott Lyons single in the fifth inning, which scored two runs and Ben Tschepikow three hits and three run performance.

Dallas Kuechel was credited with the win, while Mike Bolsinger recorded the save.

In the second game, LSU relied on Sam Ochonko’s three run homer to defeat Virginia 9-5.

Ochonko’s home run came in the bottom of the fifth inning, to give LSU the lead 6-4.

Ryan Schimpf contributed to the effort with an eighth inning homer, which scored two runs.

Virginia countered with Franco Valdes solo home run in the seventh. He also accounted for two addition hits and two RBIs. Steven Proscia also contributed a round tripper in the fifth.

The winning pitcher was Austin Ross, while Matt Packer tallied the loss.

Arkansas will now play LSU at 6:00pm CDT on Monday, with Cal State Fullerton facing Virginia in a 1:00pm CDT match.

Michael Phelps A Sprinter? Perhaps for London 2012

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

Is Michael Phelps trying to make himself into a sprinter in preparation for the 2012 Olympics? He may just be doing so.

Phelps qualified for the finals in both the100-meter freestyle and 100-meter backstroke at the Santa Clara International Grand Prix?

His time in the freestyle event was 50.07 seconds, placing him as the seventh seed in the finals. He is only .73 second behind the top qualifier; Canada’s Brent Hayden.

In the 100-meter backstroke, he goes into the finals with the fourth fastest time (55.46). Fellow Olympian Matt Grevers has the top preliminary time (:55.15) in the finals.

Phelps is not known as a sprinter, but may attempt to make the 2012 Olympic team in the sprint events. He has stated previously he would not attempt to swim eight events in London. Opting to chance his events list may make for a better chance of multiple Olympic medals.

On Saturday, Phelps held off a late charge by Canada’s Ryan Cochrane to win the 400-meter freestyle, an event he had not competed in since 2005.

Cochran, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the 1500-meter freestyle, pushed Phelps over the final 100 meters, but Phelps held on for the win. Phelps also won the 200-meter butterfly on Friday.

Controversy has followed Phelps since his eight gold medals in Beijing. Photos surfaced earlier this year showing him inhaling from a marijuana pipe. He was suspended from competition by USA Swimming this past February. He returned to competition last month at the Charlotte UltraSwim.

In Charlotte, he won both the 200-meter freestyle (1:46.02) and 100-meter butterfly (:51.72) while taking second place in the 100-meter backstroke.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon Set For March 14, 2010

DALLAS, TEXAS (June 14, 2009) Competitor Group, organizers of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, and the Dallas White Rock Marathon have announced a multi-year partnership agreement to host an annual spring half marathon. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon is set for Sunday, March 14, 2010 and is expected to draw between 12,000 and 15,000 runners.

“From 5ks to marathons, Dallas is a city that loves to race and run,” said Mayor Tom Leppert, who joined U.S. 50k record holder Josh Cox in making the announcement on National Running Day. “The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is clearly a premier, national event. We are certain the thousands of runners who participate next year will discover why Dallas is such a great place to run.”

Dallas joins the existing Rock ‘n’ Roll markets of Arizona, Nashville, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Virginia Beach, San Jose, San Antonio and Las Vegas. The half marathon will be the tenth event in the national series of musically themed marathons and half-marathons, which include live bands, cheerleaders and themed water stations at each mile along the course.

“This partnership enables the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series to continue rolling out additional events in key markets,” said Peter Englehart, CEO of the Competitor Group. “The Dallas White Rock Marathon shares our commitment to providing runners with an outstanding experience, which was an important consideration when we began forming this multi-year agreement. The March timing for a stand alone half marathon works perfectly with our national event schedule.”

Registration for the Dallas event is open on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series website http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/dallas. The first 500 runners to register online will receive a special entry fee of $50. The half marathon registration fee is $85 through November 30.

“Dallas welcomes the opportunity to host the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon,” said Phillip Jones, President and CEO, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Over the years, Dallas has built an impressive resume as a host city of marquee sporting events including another world-class race, the Dallas White Rock Marathon. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon will introduce visitors from around the world to Dallas’ amazing accommodations, 13 entertainment districts and distinct dining as well as the largest urban arts district in the nation and the best shopping in the Southwest.”

Race weekend will begin at the Dallas Convention Center with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo where all participants must go to pick up their race packets. The expo will also feature more than one hundred running and fitness retailers, exhibits and interactive clinics.

"For 40 runnings, the Dallas White Rock Marathon has been an exciting tradition for the city of Dallas. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon is another opportunity to encourage health and fitness in our community," said Marcus Grunewald, executive race director for the Dallas White Rock Marathon. "We're also thrilled that Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, which is the primary beneficiary of the Dallas White Rock Marathon, will benefit from the Dallas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon as well."

The Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) will remain the primary beneficiary of the half marathon. The partnership with the Competitor Group continues to provide support for TSRHC to continue providing the highest quality medical care to Texas children.

“Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children has been the primary beneficiary of the Dallas White Rock Marathon for 12 years,” said Bob Walker, executive vice president and administrator of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. “It is great to be able to integrate the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon into the Dallas running community, offering one more way to keep the community healthy and fit and ultimately benefiting the patients at the hospital.”

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon revolutionized the running industry in 1998 when it combined entertainment with running. Live bands playing music at every mile along the course are interspersed with themed water stations and high school cheerleading squads providing motivation to the finish line. With charity partners raising over $200 million at the events to date, the Rock ‘n’ Roll series has become one the most successful charity fundraising events in the world.

Keeping with the rock ‘n’ roll theme, Dallas runners will be treated to a post-race concert after the event. All participants and volunteers receive free entry to the concert with their race number. Past acts at other Rock ‘n’ Roll series events include SEAL, INXS, Journey, Chris Isaak, Goo Goo Dolls and the B-52s.

For more information, please visit http://runrocknroll.competitor.com.

About the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series
Produced by Competitor Group, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series, launched 12 years ago in San Diego, is known for lining race routes with cheerleaders, live bands and themed water stations which provide inspiration for runners along the course. The annual event original Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego is still recognized for its record inaugural race that brought 15,771 participants across the finish line.

Today, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series has spread to ten cities nationwide, creating the first national series of marathons and half-marathons, which annually attract more than 200,000 participants. The races are considered sports tourism destinations, with more than half of the participants arriving from outside the host city. Event weekend kicks off with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo, where all participants must pick up their bib number and race packet. Over 100 exhibitors feature free samples, the latest in running gear and sports apparel and interactive clinics. For more information, please visit www.competitor.com

Texas Downs Louisiana in Bayou Bowl

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

BAYTOWN, TEXAS (June 14, 2009) The Texas All-Stars claimed it second consecutive win on Saturday night as they defeated their Louisiana counterparts 17-14 in the 7th annual Bayou Bowl at Stallworth Stadium in Baytown.

Leading the way for Texas was Fort Bend Elkins High School’s Nick Harwell.
Harwell, who is headed to the Air Force Academy in the fall, broke two Bayou Bowl records; receptions (eight) and yards (82); while scoring the game's second touchdown on a 28-yard pass from Cypress Creek High School’s Austin Pugliese.

The other Texas touchdown came on the opening drive of the game when Southlake Carroll quarterback Kyle Padron hit high school teammate Ryan Walker with a long pass. Padron then scored on a 1-yard touchdown plunge.

Texas added a 42-yard field goal by Clear Creek High School’s Tommy Henshaw to lead 17-0 at the half.

Louisiana came back in the second half on an interception by Notre Dame High School’s John Gaff. Belle Chasse High School quarterback Blake Matherne the scored on a 1-yard plunge.

Matherne found Acadiana High School’s Louis Hollier on a long pass which lead to the second touchdown for Louisiana.

Texas now leads the series 4-3.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

IWFL CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND COMES HOME TO CENTRAL TEXAS

ROUND ROCK, TEXAS (June 13, 2009) The 2009 Independent Women's Football League (IWFL) Championship Weekend events will be held over four days, July 23, 24, 25 and 26, 2009. The weekend will be full of exciting activities. From the Awards Banquet to the final whistle of the All Star game, there won’t be a dull moment!

Round Rock ISD Stadium will play host to three major games, the 2009 IWFL Tier II North American Championship, the 2009 IWFL All Star Game, and the Biggest Game in Women’s Football, the 2009 IWFL Tier I World Championship.

The event will feature the best female football players in North America. From the All Stars to the Champions this event will give fans a rare opportunity to see women’s football at it’s finest.

“We are very excited to bring the Championship Weekend home to Texas. This is where the league was founded and after ten years we feel we have developed a level of football that everyone can be extremely proud of,” said Kezia Disney, IWFL Chief Operating Officer, “This is serious football played by serious women’s teams. Central Texas football fans won’t be disappointed when they see what these ladies can do.”

In the coming weeks event organizers will announce all the exciting details of the biggest weekend in women’s football! Check the IWFL league website and sign up for the IWFL newsletter to be sure you don’t miss out on any women’s football news!

Yankees-Mets Subway Series 2009: "What Are These Guys Doing?"

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

DEER PARK, TEXAS (June 13, 2009) Sitting at my computer watching the first game of the Yankees-Mets series on MLB.TV last night, all I could think was "Oh My God."

The New York Yankees were facing their cross town rivals, the New York Mets. It was a game they should have won. In fact, it was a game they should have won easily.

The hitting was there. The fielding was there. Even the fans were there. The only thing that didn't show up was the pitching.

Joba Chamberlain started against the Mets and came into the game with a 3-1 record and a 3.79 ERA. He quickly showed what he can do when he doesn't put his mind into pitching.

He pitched 4 innings, gave up five walks and hit two batters. In face, two of the walks resulted in runs being scored for the Mets. He only threw 52 strikes out of 100 pitches and never seemed to get into the groove.

I know it is easy to sit at a computer and criticize professional athletes, but I cannot help think what are they paying this guy to do?

He has been quoted saying he has lost his aggressiveness.

WHAT DID HE SAY? I am going to repeat it.

He said he has lost his aggressiveness.

It may sound petty, but this is his job. For what he makes, he should be aggressive everyday.
I know he is only 23-years-old and only 2 years out of the University of Nebraska, but he is a professional athlete. He makes $432,575 a year. That is a ton of money for a 23-year-old. I think that is all the motivation he needs to get aggressive.

In reality, he did not get the job done last night. When a 23-year-old makes the kind of money he does, he needs to get the job done. None of the Yankees pitching staff did. Five pitchers gave up seven hits and eight runs, all of them earned, while only striking out nine. With that kind of "talent" on the mount, no wonder the Yankees are having problems.

If it had not been for the Mets' Luis Castillo bobbling a routine popup, the Yankees would have dropped another game.

As a result of a botched catch, the Yankees put one in the win column. They are now just two games behind Boston. But it is a long season and it is getting longer, at least from the fan's perspective.

Manager Joe Girardi needs to evaluate his pitching staff in general and Chamberlain in particular. Perhaps a trip down to the minors might help him get his aggressiveness back.
In any case, game two of the Subway Series is this afternoon. Perhaps things will look up with Andy Pettitte on the mount. I will not bet the rent money on it, but it could happen. After all, Pettitte is a good old Texas boy, and everyone knows how aggressive Texans can be.

NOTE: This article is also posted at "A Yankees Fan Deep in the Heart of Texas" and at "The Bleacher Report".

JASON COLWICK WINS NCAA POLE VAULT TITLE

FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS (June 13, 2009)-- Rice junior pole vaulter Jason Colwick is a two-time NCAA champion after capturing the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field title at Arkansas’ John McDonnell Field. Colwick cleared 5.70m/18-8.25 to win the gold. He previously won the 2009 NCAA Indoor championship (5.60m/18-4.5).

“It was a great night to jump with perfect weather conditions,” said Colwick. “Scott Roth (Washington) put the pressure on, but I was able to clear my height. It was great competition all around this evening.”

After clearing 5.70m, he moved the bar to 5.83m/19-1.5, which would’ve been a new NCAA meet record, but he missed on all three attempts. The opening height started at 5.10m, but Colwick passed until 5.50m, which he cleared on his first attempt. He then passed on the next height of 5.55m, before clearing 5.60m again on his first try. After passing on 5.65m, Colwick easily cleared what proved to be the winning height of 5.70m.

Washington’s Roth cleared 5.55m/18-2.5, but missed his first attempt at 5.60m. Roth then passed on his last two attempts at 5.60m. He then only had two attempts remaining to clear 5.65, which he did not.

Friday’s competition was originally scheduled to start at 3 p.m., but inclement weather pushed everything back. Colwick, with time to kill, took the opportunity to go see a movie. The movie of choice? The new Disney 3D animation, UP.

“If I was going to see any movie, it might as well be UP,” Colwick commented shortly after the conclusion of the competition.

Colwick becomes Rice’s first NCAA outdoor champion since Ryan Harlan won the 2004 decathlon with a school record 8,171 points. Colwick is also the school’s first pole vault title winner since Dave Roberts won in 1971 (17-6.5), 1972 (17-3), and 1973 (17-4).

A native of San Marcos, Texas, Colwick came into Friday with the nation’s number one mark and fourth in the world for 2009 at 5.72m/18-9.25. He now turns his attention towards Eugene, Ore., site of the 2009 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championship (June 25-28). This decides who represents Team USA at the 2009 IAAF World Championship in Berlin, Germany, which will be the first major international track and field event in the Olympic stadium since the 1936 Olympic Games.

And up Colwick went, and down he lands in the records’ book as an NCAA outdoor champion.

FREEDOM OVER TEXAS WITH FIREWORKS PRESENTED BY SHELL CELEBRATES AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY WITH COUNTRY MUSIC SENSATION CLAY WALKER

Mayor Bill White Invites Texans to Houston’s Official Fourth of July Celebration Featuring the Largest Land-Based Fireworks Show in the Nation and a Schedule Full of Family Fun

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 13, 2009) Fireworks will fly and tunes will fill the air at Houston’s star-spangled Fourth of July celebration, Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell. This year’s event, saluting Houston’s military heroes and honoring the 40th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo XI Lunar Landing, will feature the largest land-based fireworks show in the nation, unbeatable entertainment and a lively outdoor festival. Admission is FREE. On Saturday, July 4, Clay Walker will ignite the stage and the concert will be followed by the largest land-based fireworks show in the nation, presented by Shell Oil Company and produced by the world-renowned fireworks artists from Pyro Spectaculars North by Souza. Both the concert and the fireworks will be televised live on KTRK-TV (ABC), Ch.13 from Eleanor Tinsley Park.

"I want to invite our fellow Texans to Houston's All - American Fourth of July celebration" said Mayor Bill White. "This year we salute Houston's Heroes. This includes the men and women serving our armed forces today and in years past. It also includes NASA's iconic space program on the 40th Anniversary of the historic Apollo XI Lunar Landing. Thanks to our Anchor Sponsors, the city is able to bring in an unbeatable headliner and a host of other entertainment. For the fourth year in a row, Shell is on board to underwrite a spectacular fireworks show, making Houston the number one Fourth of July destination in the country."

Texas-native Clay Walker will take the Freedom Stage at 8:00 p.m. to perform a selection of his chart-topping hits. Walker fell in love with country music at an early age and started to pursue his musical career after high school. He toured across the South, Midwest and Canada while taking courses about the music business and eventually became the house singer at the Neon Armadillo bar in his hometown Beaumont, where he then signed a contract with Giant Records. Walker’s first two singles “What’s It To You” and “Live Until I Die” released in 1993 reached No. 1. By the end of 1998 he had a dozen Top 5 hits and his first four studio albums were certified platinum. Walker’s Greatest Hits and album Live, Laugh, Love were certified gold.

When the concert comes to a close at 9:30 p.m., eyes will turn skyward for an extraordinary fireworks spectacular perfectly set to a selection of America’s favorite tunes, from patriotic songs to rock ‘n’ roll hits to classic bestsellers.

Dick Williams, President of Shell WindEnergy Inc. says, "For more than 80 years, Shell has been a strong supporter of the Houston community and our nation. As a country, we have much to celebrate, and we at Shell are thrilled to participate in the festivities this year."

All the excitement for Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday July 4. In addition to this year’s entertainment headliner, the festival will also spotlight a top-notch selection of local and regional music. Throughout the day, three stages will keep toes tapping with music ranging from country western and rock 'n' roll to Latin, pop and oldies. Festival-goers will enjoy a variety of activities throughout the site. Liberty Park will showcase displays of military artifacts and vehicles including representation from all five military branches and more. The branches and the Houston Police Department will also offer recruiting opportunities on site. Guests will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Shell-sponsored NASCAR, Kevin Harvick’s car and the Tire Change Challenge. Children will stay entertained with free rides, games, face painting, jugglers and more in the Fiesta All American Kids Zone. Event patrons visiting the Gexa Energy booths will have the opportunity to take advantage of special offers on 100% wind-powered, 100% pollution-free electricity plans, learn more about renewable energy solutions, and discover actions they can take to pay less for electricity.

Visitors can kick back and relax at the Budweiser Beer Garden, offering a selection of Craft and Import Beers with a prime view of the fourth annual Bud Light Texas Volleyball Championship. The preliminary men’s and women’s semi-pro statewide championship tournaments are being held in Houston, Galveston, San Antonio and Dallas. The winners of each prelim will vie for the “Texas Title” at Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell.

Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell will be simulcast on KTRK-TV (ABC), Ch.13 from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, and will be syndicated statewide on KTRE-TV (ABC) in Lufkin/Nacogdoches, KLTV-TV (ABC) in Tyler/Longview/Jacksonville, KTVT-TV (CBS) in Dallas/Ft. Worth, KJTV-DT2 (FOX) in Lubbock/Albuquerque, NM/Hobbs, NM, and KXTS-TV (MYTV) in Victoria. In addition, Clear Channel radio station, Classic Rock 93.7, The Arrow/KKRW-FM will simulcast the music medley specially choreographed for the fireworks spectacular.

Admission for the event is FREE. And, new this year, Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell is going green, providing recycling receptacles and encouraging all patrons to recycle.

Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell sponsors include: Fireworks sponsor Shell Oil Company; Anchor Sponsors Budweiser/Silver Eagle Distributors, LP, Gexa Energy, and KBR, Inc.; and Clear Channel Radio-Houston (Classic Rock 93.7, The Arrow/KKRW-FM, 94.5 The Buzz/KTBZ-FM, Sunny 99.1/KODA-FM, NewsRadio 740/KTRH-AM, 790 The Sports Animal/KBME-AM, The 9-5-0 Radio Mojo/ KPRC-AM), Doubletree Hotel Houston Downtown, and Fiesta Mart, Inc.

Shell Oil Company, including its consolidated companies and its share in equity companies, is one of America’s leading oil and natural gas producers, natural gas marketers, gasoline marketers and petrochemical manufacturers. Shell, a leading oil and gas producer in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, is a recognized pioneer in oil and gas exploration and production technology. Shell Oil Company is an affiliate of the Shell Group, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, employing approximately 102,000 people and operating in more than 100 countries and territories. More information about Shell Oil Company can be found at www.shell.com.

For more information, call 832.393.0868 or visit the Freedom Over Texas with Fireworks Presented by Shell Web site at www.freedomovertexas.org or www.houstonspecialevents.org.

Friday, June 12, 2009

PRAIRIE VIEW A&M BASEBALL DUO DRAFTED BY MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL CLUBS

PRAIRIE VIEW, TEXAS (June 12, 2007) A pair of Prairie View A&M University baseball players will have the opportunity to further their playing careers on the professional level after being selected in the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft this past week.

Junior center fielder Myrio Richard was Prairie View’s highest draft pick as he was selected in the ninth round by the Oakland Athletics. Richard, a native of Lake Charles, La., earned 2009 All-SWAC Second Team honors in addition to being named as the SWAC’s Preseason Player of the Year. He finished the 2009 campaign with a .315 batting average, 33 RBIs, nine doubles and six home runs.

Unlike most draft picks at the beginning of their professional career, Richard will have a leg up on most of his peers as he’s the second member of his family to play professional baseball. Richard’s brother, Michael, was also selected by the A’s in the 11th round of the 2007 draft and is currently playing with the Stockton Ports on the Class A level.

“I’m glad that Myrio and his brother are both playing in the same organization,” said Prairie View A&M head coach Waskyla Cullivan. “He has the speed and power to move up in their minor league system.”

Senior catcher Brandon Whitby rounded out Prairie View’s draft class as he was picked in the 34th round by the Colorado Rockies.

A senior from Phoenix, Ariz., Whitby was a four-year starter at catcher and capped off his career with a spot on the 2009 All-SWAC First Team after batting .375 with 57 hits, 38 RBIs and 12 doubles. A valuable asset to Prairie View’s pitching staff over the course of his career; Whitby helped several former Panther pitchers earn All-SWAC honors due to his ability to call pitches from behind the plate.

“Brandon provided our team with senior leadership and played a valuable part in the team’s success over the past four years,” said Cullivan. “He made strides especially on the offensive end and became attractive to scouts as his power numbers increased over the course of his career.”

Since the 2004 season, Prairie View A&M has become a hotbed for professional baseball talent as several members from the program have signed contracts to play for Major League Baseball organizations.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

UH Names Mack Rhoades Director of Athletics

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 11, 2009) University of Houston President Renu Khator todaynamed Mack B. Rhoades IV as the university’s new athletics director,succeeding Dave Maggard, who retired in May. Rhodes will assume his newduties this fall.

Rhoades, 43, has been the athletics director at the University of Akronsince 2006, overseeing a period of unprecedented growth in the Zipsathletics program that includes a new $54 million on-campus football stadiumscheduled to open in the fall, an indoor football practice facility andstudent center, and plans for basketball arena improvements to begin in thespring.

Under Rhoades’ leadership, Akron also made significant progressacademically. The Zips entered the 2008-2009 calendar year with 478 Deans’List honorees since Rhoades arrived to go along with 16 championships won,including 10 Mid-American Conference Players of the Year and nineAll-Americans.

Rhoades came to Akron from the University of Texas-El Paso, where he rose tothe position of executive senior associate athletics director. He also hasbeen on athletic staffs at Yale and Marquette universities.

In selecting Rhoades, Khator said, “First and foremost, I wanted someonewho is passionate about the University of Houston and UH athletics.”

Rhoades will be formally presented to the University of Houston communityand the media at 11:30 a.m., today at the Great Hall of the Athletics/AlumniCenter. He emerged as the selection of choice following an extensivenational search conducted by an 11-person committee appointed by Khator.

In evaluating the candidates, the committee focused on recommending acandidate with strong leadership qualities, the ability to engage the UHcommunity, ensure that the athletics program remains on sound financialfooting and someone who will take an active role in community relations andfundraising – particularly for stadium construction. Rhoades has thesequalities in abundance, the committee agreed.

“We are building a Tier One university, and we will build a Tier Oneathletics program,” Khator said. “Academics is the cornerstone of ourathletics program – we are training student-athletes, and that will remainour focus. Dave Maggard did a lot to advance our academic standards, and wewant an AD who will build on that and keep academics as the first priority.Winning games is important, but helping young people be winners in the gameof life is essential. Mack Rhoades understands that this is what I expect.”

In overseeing 16 intercollegiate sports offerings at UH, Rhoades will face anumber of significant challenges, many involving issues and initiativessimilar to those he successfully managed at Akron.

UH has been instrumental in the process that helped attract the NCAABasketball tournament to Houston. Reliant Stadium will host the SouthRegional in 2010 and the Final Four in 2011 and 2016. The university also isconsidering a bold proposal to upgrade its 32,000-seat Robertson Stadium –including increasing amenities and the seating capacity of the 68-year-oldcampus edifice. The Houston Cougar football team and the Houston Dynamo professional soccer team play their home games at Robertson.

Rhoades will be expected to build on the recent success of the footballteam, which last year earned its first bowl victory in 28 years under theleadership of Kevin Sumlin, as well as ensure that all of the university’sintercollegiate sports remain competitive in Conference USA.

As Khator emphasized, a major thrust will be to oversee the continuedimprovement of graduation rates of UH student-athletes, which rose from 27percent to 59 percent during Maggard’s tenure. During Rhoades’ time atAkron, the graduation rate of student-athletes rose from 60 percent in 2006to 78 percent in 2007 and 68 percent a year ago.

Sumlin said he is excited about the hiring of Rhoades.

“He brings a wealth of experience to UH,” Sumlin said. “He knows Texas, andhe knows our conference. The experience he gained at UTEP will be invaluableto us. He did great things at Akron, including having success in fundraisingand building facilities.”

The university hired the Atlanta-based search firm of Parker ExecutiveSearch to assist the committee in the search, which produced a number ofcandidates with impressive credentials. The committee represents across-section of university life that typically interacts with universityathletics. Ken Bailey, an attorney, former UH quarterback and currentfundraising campaign chairman for athletics, and Carl Carlucci, executive
vice president for administration and finance at UH, served as co-chairs of
the committee.

Richard Scamell, a professor in the Bauer College of Business and thefaculty representative on the search committee, said he was highly impressedby Rhoades’ credentials.

“I consider him as clearly the best choice to lead the department ofathletics at the University of Houston at this time,” Scamell said. “Hecomes across as a ‘leads by example kind of person’: someone who is a teamplayer, a good listener, a hard worker and a most sincere person.

“He has initiated and been actively involved in academic programs at theUniversity of Akron that have led to increased success in the classroom.While at Akron, he implemented a class attendance policy forstudent-athletes and also a student-athlete code of conduct. Although thefederal graduation rate at the University of Akron is 35 percent, thefederal graduation rate for student-athletes is close to 70 percent. Ibelieve our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the university communitywill enjoy working with him.”

Other committee members are Jacob Monty, UH System Board of Regents;Wilhelmina E. “Beth” Robertson, UH donor and former chairwoman of the Boardof Regents; Beth Madison, UH alumna and donor; John O’Quinn, UH donor forwhom the football field at Robertson Stadium is named, and former UHSRegent; Michael Rierson, vice president for University Advancement; JudieLilie, chairwoman-elect, UH Alumni Association; Kenneth Fomunung, studentrepresentative; and Leroy Burrell, UH head coach, track and field, formerU.S. Olympian and gold medal winner, and staff representative.

Rhoades received a master’s degree in sport management/marketing fromIndiana University and a bachelor of science degree in health sciences fromthe University of Arizona. He and his wife, Amy, have three children: Nicolette M. Rhoades (15), Natalie M. Rhoades (13) and Noelle M. Rhoades (11).

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dynamo acquire forward Cam Weaver from San Jose Earthquakes

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 10, 2009) – The Houston Dynamo have acquired forward Cam Weaver from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for forward Chris Wondolowski and a conditional pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, the team announced today.

Weaver, one day shy of his 26th birthday, is in his first year in Major League Soccer but his fourth as a professional after one year in the United Soccer Leagues and two years playing professionally in Norway. The 6-foot-4 native of Kent, Washington, has one goal and two assists in nine games, including five starts, with the Earthquakes this season.

Weaver and head coach Dominic Kinnear will be available at Tuesday’s 1 p.m. press conference prior to Wednesday night’s game against Chivas USA.

Wondolowski, a Danville, Calif., native, has eight goals in 58 career appearances for Houston in all competitions and has four league goals in his five-year MLS career, including the 2005 season with San Jose.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Rice's Bevan Named South Central Region Coach of the Year

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA (June 9, 2009) The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association has awarded Rice University women's head coach Jim Bevan as its South Central Region Coach of the Year. This is his first region coach of the year award. Bevan previously was honored as the 2007 South Central Region Coach of the Year for Cross Country.

During the 2009 outdoor season, Bevan led Rice to its third-consecutive Conference USA Outdoor Championship in being named C-USA Coach of the Year. Bevan, now in his fourth year as head coach and 23rd overall at Rice, leads a contingent of five Rice distance runners at this week's 28th NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship in Fayetteville, Ark. Running for the Owls are Nicole Mericle (3000m steeplechase), Allison Pye (5000m), Becky Wade (10,000m), Lennie Waite (3000m steeplechase), and Callie Wells (5000m).

Monday, June 08, 2009

Texas State Names Rob Flaska Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS (June 8, 2009) Texas State men’s basketball head coach Doug Davalos filled one of the two vacancies on his staff Friday when he announced the hiring of former Centenary head coach and highly successful assistant coach Rob Flaska to his staff for the 2009-10 season.

“Rob is a tremendous hire for Texas State men’s basketball,” Davalos said. “He has a wealth of experience as a collegiate head coach and assistant coach. I got to know him while he was the head coach at Centenary and the thing that stood out to me was his passion for coaching and his competitiveness.”

Flaska comes to Texas State after serving 11 years as a collegiate head coach and 15 years as an assistant coach with 12 of those years as an assistant coming at the Division I level.

“He has been a high level assistant coach and a NCAA Division I head coach,” Davalos added. “He knows what a head coach needs and what an assistant should do. That makes him ideal from that standpoint as my right-hand man.”

Last season, Flaska was an assistant coach at Texas Southern after serving the three previous years as the head coach at Centenary, three years as an assistant coach at Arkansas and four seasons at TCU under Billy Tubbs.

While at Arkansas, he was named the school’s recruiting coordinator and helped sign a pair of classes that were nationally-ranked fourth in 2003 and 11th in 2004. He also helped guide the Horned Frogs to a pair of 20-win seasons, and TCU ranked among the Top two scoring teams and had the top recruiting class in the WAC each of the four years he was at the school.

Flaska went to TCU after serving as the head coach at Florida Community College, where he compiled a 64-31 record over three seasons. He also was an assistant coach at Trinity Valley Community College in Texas and was the head coach at Mott College in Michigan, where he posted a five-year record of 121-44. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Indiana State in 1982-84, followed by a two-year stint at the University of Detroit from 1984-86.

Flaska played basketball at Glenn Lake High School in Maple City, Mich., where he earned All-State honors after leading his team to the 1977 state championship. He played at Michigan Tech, and led the team to its first four winning seasons in school history and set school records for assists and steals.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

UH Track & Field to Send Six to NCAA Outdoor Championships

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 3, 2009) The University of Houston track and field team will send six individuals to the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships held June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.

Senior Seun Adigun will make her third-consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships to lead the Cougars, entering the meet ranked second in the nation in the 100-meter hurdles.

Just days after being named the 2009 Conference USA Female Track Athlete of the Year, Adigun won an automatic bid to the national meet by setting a personal best of 12.88 to set a NCAA Midwest Regional record.

Her time ranked as the second fastest in school history, trailing former Cougar standout Jenny Adams' best of 12.86.

Senior Ivan Diggs also snagged an automatic bid to the NCAA championships, taking second in the high jump at the Midwest Regional.

Currently ranked third in the nation, Diggs cleared 2.22m (7-03.25), finishing just one hundredth of a meter off his personal best of 2.23m (7-03.25).

Sophomore Chris Carter locked up the Cougars' final automatic bid, finishing fifth in the triple jump at the regional last weekend after recording a leap of 16.20m (53-01.75).

Sophomore Tyron Carrier (200m), junior Brittani Williams (javelin) and freshman Grecia Bolton (200m) all earned at-large bids and will represent UH at the NCAA meet.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

NBA SUPERSTAR SHAQUILLE O’NEAL TO SERVE AS GRAND MARSHAL FOR BOMBARDIER LEARJET 550K

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (June 3, 2009) Shaquille O’Neal, one of the National
Basketball Association’s most recognizable players, will serve as the Grand Marshal forSaturday’s Bombardier Learjet 550k IndyCar Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
O’Neal, a 15-time All Star with four NBA titles and a league MVP award to his
credit, will give the command of “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines,” to the startingfield before the second-largest crowd the IndyCar Series travels to during the season.

In addition to that responsibility, O’Neal, the 7-foot-1, 325-pound center for the
Phoenix Suns, will get the special opportunity to ride shotgun in the official pace car thatleads the field to the green flag with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Johnny Rutherfordbehind the wheel.

“We’ve had some big superstars at Texas Motor Speedway over the years but Shaq
may be the biggest – literally,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said.
“They don’t call him “The Diesel” for nothing. I don’t foresee him having a problem
getting the fans excited.”

For O’Neal, it will be his first appearance at an IndyCar Series event and first visitto Texas Motor Speedway as well.“I am excited about being the Grand Marshal and coming to my first IndyCar raceat Texas Motor Speedway this weekend,” O'Neal said. “Since they won't let me enter the
race, I'll do the next best thing and start the race in the pace car. I'm sure Johnny
Rutherford can teach me a few things during the ride so when the day comes and I do getto race an IndyCar I'll be ready.”

O’Neal’s enthusiasm for the IndyCar Series developed out of a recent partnership
with the IndyCar Series team, Luczo Dragon Racing. O’Neal and the team will raise moneyand awareness for charities throughout the 2009 season.

The last two years the team has partnered with champion athletes to help raise
more than $1 million for charitable organizations. It has partnered with a number of
athletes including Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, John Elway, Marcus Allen, and Serena andVenus Williams. Luczo Dragon Racing, which fields the No. 2 entry for Raphael Matos,developed the program to raise money, increase exposure to the sport and encourage aphilanthropic spirit that inspires others to make an impact in their communities.

Friday, June 05, 2009

San Jacinto College’s Baseball Team Finishes Successful 2009 Season

San Jacinto College head coach Tom Arrington (center) is shown encouraging players at the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado. The baseball team finished another successful season, emerging as the undefeated Region XIV champions and placing tied for third in the nation at the national tournament. (Photo courtesy of San Jactinto College)

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 5, 2009) San Jacinto College’s baseball team recently wrapped up another successful season, dominating in the Region XIV tournament emerging as the undefeated regional champions, and then finishing tied for third in the nation at the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction, Colorado.


Despite not having a home field to play on this season, San Jac (45-11, 24-3)
finished the regular season ranked seventh in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), sixth by Perfect Game USA, and second by PG Crosschecker.

Head coach Tom Arrington and several players garnered awards for their outstanding performance on the local, regional, and national level. Arrington was named the 2009 Region XIV South Zone coach of the year, and nine players were selected on the all-conference team. Pitcher Tommy Collier, catcher Gregg Alcazar and outfielder Deric Hawkins were unanimous selections to the All-Conference team. Other San Jac players on the All-Conference team include pitcher Jacob Cowan, shortstop Ryan Burnaman, utility player Jeff Abt, and infielders Danny Hernandez, Devin Shines, and Ryan Still. San Jac players who were named to the All-Region team include Collier, Burnaman, Hawkins, and Alcazar (who was also named the Region XIV Defensive Player of the Year).

Players who were named on the JUCO All-Tournament team include Cowan, Hawkins,
and Shines. Cowan also received the JUCO Robert Purkey Most Valuable Pitcher award, while Hawkins earned the JUCO Rawlings Big Stick Top Hitter award. San Jac claimed the Region XIV title after a convincing 15-3 win over Texarkana College on May 12 in Brenham, advancing to its 20th World Series, which was held May 23-30 in Grand Junction, Colorado.

San Jac dominated throughout the regional tournament, winning four consecutive games and outscoring opposing teams 35-10. Arrington especially relished the regional title run because of the obstacles the team faced this season, including John Ray Harrison Field – home of San Jac baseball – being out of commission due to a renovation project.

“Winning this particular tournament is very rewarding, considering the adversities we had to overcome – our field being renovated and not available,” he commented. “It’s a testament to the complete desire and commitment that our players demonstrated the entire season. Overcoming these kinds of adversities has been a key to our success this season.”

The return trip to the JUCO World Series was the sixth in the last eight years for San Jac, and the 20th in the program’s history. It also marked the sixth time Arrington took a team to the national tournament.

At the national tournament in Colorado, San Jac got off to a great start, relying on their patented combination of solid pitching and timely hitting to defeat nationally ranked Spartanburg Methodist College 7-1, and highly regarded Santa Fe College 9-4 in the first two games.

In the third game, San Jac came very close to handing the tournament powerhouse Howard College its only defeat. In the end San Jac lost a seesaw slugfest 12-11 to the eventual national champion. Howard ended the 2009 season with an astonishing 63-1 record, the best mark of any championship team in the history of NJCAA baseball. The Hawks also set a NJCAA record for most consecutive wins with their 57-game winning streak earlier in the year.

In game four, San Jac was eliminated from the national tournament with a 12-4 loss in a rematch with Santa Fe (the team that finished as the tournament runner-up) in what would be the only game that San Jac lost by a wide margin throughout the regional or the national tournaments.

Coach Arrington reflected on the team’s third place JUCO World Series finish with mixed emotions. “We certainly wanted to go farther in the national tournament and it’s not the way we wanted to end the season, but at least we did end the season in Grand Junction at the World Series,” he commented. “We were very proud to be here and to represent San Jacinto College, one of the greatest baseball programs in the nation. We’re proud of our tradition, and this is what we always strive for. We’ll be back, and we’ll keep pursuing the ultimate dream of winning a national title.”

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Two Texans Named To The All-Louisiana Softball Team

LAKE CHARLES, LOUSIANA (June 4, 2009) McNeese State pitcher Bethany Stefinsky (Gonzales, Texas) and outfielder Lindsey Langner (Pearland, Texas) have been named to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association All-Louisiana Softball team. The team is based on nominations by the state's four year colleges and universities that play softball.

Stefinsky (left), a senior from Gonzales, Texas, was a third team pick after leading the Cowgirls all season long in the circle and posted a 21-16 overall record with a 2.67 ERA in her final season with the Cowgirls. She broke McNeese's single season strikeout record and led the Southland Conference with 304 strikeouts this season. Stefinsky also led the Cowgirls and SLC in innings pitched, strikeouts per game with 8.73 and ranked nationally in this category. She helped McNeese State to a second place finish in the SLC race and a runner-up finish at the Southland Conference Tournament. The second team all-SLC selection ended the season by winning six of her last eight game.



Langner (right), a sophomore from Pearland, Texas was named to the honorable mention team after leading the Cowgirls in eight offensive categories including a .269 batting average, 30 runs scored, 49 hits and 15 stolen bases. She also led the Cowgirls with a .979 fielding percent and committed one error on the season in 47 chances. Langner also led the SLC with 212 plate appearances and ranked fifth in stolen bases and runs scored.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Hawkins, Collier Named NJCAA Baseball All-Americans

Outfielder Deric Hawkins is one of two San Jacinto College baseball players to earn NJCAA all-America honors this season. The other is pitcher Tommy Collier. Photo by Rob Vanya, San Jacinto College marketing department.

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 3, 2009) Freshmen Deric Hawkins and Tommy Collier have been named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) all-American teams, the organization announced today.

Hawkins, an outfielder from Houston (St. Pius X High School), was named to the second team after finishing the season hitting .402 behind 78 hits, including 21 homeruns. He also had 10 stolen bases this season.

Collier was one of the top 40 pitchers in the country this season, finishing the regular season with a 2.67 ERA while striking out 128. The Houston (Cy-Fair High School) native was 13-1 this season and earned honorable mention recognition.

“I am very proud of both Deric and Tommy for having been selected as all-Americans,” said eighth-year head coach Tom Arrington. “They are both highly talented ball players that work extremely hard at their skills. It is also very rewarding to be acknowledged by the NJCAA baseball selection committee when thousands of players throughout the country are nominated for this award.”

Despite not having a home field to play on this season due to renovations at J.R. Harrison Field, San Jac (45-11) made its 20th appearance in the JUCO World Series May 23-30, finishing tied for third. Arrington was named the Region XIV South Zone coach of the year, and nine players earned all-conference honors.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Rice Women's Track & Field Places Four on C-USA All-Academic Team

HOUSTON, TEXAS (June 2, 2009) Rice, the three-time Conference USA Indoor and Outdoor Champions, was represented by a foursome on the women's all-academic team in Katie Dollinger, Allison Pye, Becky Wade, and Lennie Waite. Dollinger and Waite are also three-time C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll selections. Sophomore Pye and Wade were named to the 2008 U.S. Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic Team.

Waite is also a two-time recipient of that award. A native of Austin, Texas, she graduated cum laude from Rice last May and maintains a 3.96 GPA. Wade earned All-America honors this spring in the indoor mile run, and was the C-USA Outdoor Champion in both the 1500m and 3000m steeplechase. Waite and Wade qualified for nationals in the 3000m steeplechase after finishing second and fourth at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Norman, Okla.

All-Academic Team members hold at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average and served as a key component to their program's success.

Monday, June 01, 2009

FROGS CROWD FINAL ITA RANKINGS

FORT WORTH, TEXAS ( June 1, 2009) Four members of the TCU men’s tennis team were included in the season’s final release of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s (ITA) national rankings, combining for five total entries. The Horned Frogs, which reached NCAA Regional play for the 18th time in 19 years, concluded the season at No. 38 in the national team rankings.

TCU’s final team rating marked the third time in the last four seasons that the squad finished 38th or higher. The four individuals and five entries marked the program’s highest season-ending totals in each category since 2000, when the Frogs finished with six each.

Senior Kriegler Brink, who concluded his career during TCU’s NCAA opening-round loss to Tulsa, finished the season as the highest-rated Frog in singles at No. 77. He posted a team-best 24-9 overall record in 2008-09, including 19-5 in spring dual matches, and went 12-1 when playing at his usual position of No. 3 singles.

Freshman Slah Mbarek finished his first season at TCU rated No. 93 in singles after spending much of the spring filling the top position of the Frog lineup. He posted a 12-10 record in dual-match play after joining the squad at semester. The native of Tunisia climbed as high as No. 61 in the national singles rankings, the highwater mark for any TCU player this season.

Brink and Mbarek also ranked 44th in the final ITA doubles rankings. The pair went 16-2 while playing together and played so successfully that it took over the team’s top doubles position. The duo did not lose a beat once it climbed into the No. 1 spot, going 10-1 down the final stretch of the season for the Frogs.

Brink and Mbarek each earned spots on both the All-Mountain West Conference Singles and Doubles Teams. Brink concluded his TCU career with respective singles and doubles records of 82-35 and 80-31.

Sophomore Emanuel Brighiu and junior Adrian Simon finished the campaign as TCU’s
top-rated doubles tandem at No. 36. The duo represented the Frogs at the NCAA Individual Championships and concluded the season with a 19-13 overall record. A 3-1 mark in conference play tied the squad for the team lead in MWC wins while earning it a spot on the All-MWC Doubles Team.

Brighiu also finished the year in the ITA singles ratings at No. 115. He opened the year as the Frogs’ No. 1 player, but was forced out of the lineup for a period of time while dealing with a nagging elbow injury. The injury plagued him throughout the season, but he returned to help TCU win the MWC regular season championship by recording a 4-2 record in league play. He finished the season 15-14 overall and 8-11 in dual matches, also earning All-MWC singles status.