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INSIDE TODAY:

SOFTBALL

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS Call Sports Editor Greg Bowers: 573-882-5729 or send email to: bowersg@missouri.edu or fax us: 573-882-5702 Visit us on the Web: www.ColumbiaMissourian.com/sports

Key home run helps <AP> MLB TEAM LOGOS 0 Hickman edge Rock National League team logos; ED; MOVED Tuesday, March Bridge in Class 4, District 9 League Tournament. Page 3B National

SECTION B, Friday & Saturday, October 5-6, 2012

<AP> MLB TEAM LOGOS 0321 National League team logos; stan ED; MOVED Tuesday, March 21

NL WILD CARD

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

National League

VS. (94-68)

(88-74)

4:07 p.m. today Turner Field TBS

Starting pitchers ATLANTA ST. LOUIS Kris Medlen (10-1) American League 138.0 IP 1.57 ERA 120 K 23 BB

Kyle Loshe (16-3) 211.0 IP 2.86 ERA 143 K 38 BB

Wild-card change puts Cardinals in familiar spot

American League

Editors: These logos are licensed to you for use in an editorial ne a Web site, or in an advertising or promotional piece, may violate and may violate your license from AP. Photos by AMY STROTH/Missourian

Shelby Wilson wrestles a 200-pound calf to the ground during a rodeo practice in his backyard arena in late September. In addition to competing in the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit, Wilson is a captain and plays safety for the Rock Bridge High School football team.

ROPE ’EM IN

By PAUL NEWBERRY

sports@ColumbiaMissourian.com As a member of the Rock Bridge football team and the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit,

Shelby Wilson is no stranger to making tackles. Whether it's a 200-pound calf or a 200-pound running back, Wilson knows how to bring them down. As a safety for the Bruins, he

is the last line of defense on the gest grip, pound for pound, of any field. Wilson has the second-most kid we’ve ever had in the program,” solo tackles and leads the team in Ofodile said. “When he gets his deflected passes with six. hands on you, you’re not gonna The position seems a natural fit shake him loose.” for Wilson, who has That strong grip been participating in comes in handy when rodeos since he was Wilson competes in 5 years old. He also his main rodeo event, has experience as a calf roping. Rock Hurst (4-1) vs. wrestler. In the event, a calf “He has this uncan- Rock Bridge (4-2) is released from a ny balance of being When: 7 p.m. holding pen and a able to clamp onto rider must chase it Where: Rock Bridge guys and get them down, lasso it and tie down without throw- football stadium at Rock it up as quickly as ing himself into their Bridge High School possible. legs and hurting Radio: KTGR/1580 AM "I have to pick up them,” Rock Bridge evenly with both coach A.J. Ofodile For video of Wilson go to hands and drive my said. “It’s pretty ColumbiaMissourian.com knee into the calf’s impressive to see. I ribcage in order to don’t know if it’s something he does lift the calf off of the ground," Wilpurposefully or if it’s innate, but it’s son said, describing his actions after happened too many times for it to he lassos the animal. "And then, be coincidence.” using my knee, make it horizontal Ofodile noted Wilson’s experience with the ground, ultimately throwtaking down cattle is evident when ing it on its side." he’s wrapping up ball carriers. “That kid’s gotta have the stron- Please see ROCK BRIDGE, page 2B

Today’s game

Shelby Wilson breaks up a pass during Rock Bridge football practice.

Senior transfer making noise for Hickman By MATTHEW FAIRBURN

sports@ColumbiaMissourian.com When Hickman had its first football practice of the season, Eric Wise didn’t say much. The senior defensive back had just transferred from Edgewood High School in Orlando, Fla., and was adjusting to life at Hickman High School. His coaches were forgiving of his mental mistakes since he was still new to the defense. “The first couple days were rough, I’m not going to lie to you,” Wise said. But in his second week of practice, Wise began to feel more comfortable. Wise started to feel the sense of community among his teammates, and coach Arnel Monroe noticed his senior’s entertaining personality beginning to shine through. “He vivacious, he’s a great teammate, he’s funny,” Monroe said. “But when it comes to play, all that goes to the side.” Wise transferred to Hickman to be closer to his family. His mother and grandfather both graduated from Hickman, and Wise wanted to carry on the tradition. Wise is also cousins with Monroe and has noticed a family atmosphere around the program. “People here aren’t individuals,”

BRIDGET MURPHY/Missourian

Eric Wise, senior football player for Hickman High School, smiles at teammates on the sideline during practice on Wednesday. He said he feels he is a leader on the field, which he said is a good experience to help him in the future. Wise said. “They all want to be successful together as a team, as a group and as a unit. “Down in Florida, I was struggling because they only wanted to play for themselves. They didn’t care about the fans or anything.

They just wanted to get themselves into college and didn’t care about anybody else. That’s why I like it here a lot better.” The Kewpies’ defense has enjoyed his presence as well. Wise has made an instant impact

The Associated Press

Editors: These logos are licensed to you for use in an editorial news — orBreak out piece, the peaa Web site, orATLANTA in an advertising promotional may violate this and may violate your license AP. Kris Medlen is nut butter and from honey.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a calf or running back, Shelby Wilson will take it down By AMY STROTH and BRANDON FOSTER

Cardinals get another chance at playoff run because of new, two team wild-card format

on the team with his high-energy style of play and knack for causing turnovers. In Hickman’s Week 2, 18-7 victory against Wentzville-Holt, Wise intercepted two passes and returned one for a touchdown. Last week, Wise sealed Hickman’s win over then-No. 2 Jefferson City with an interception late in the fourth quarter. “His level of play speaks for itself,” Monroe said. “He came in here supercharged and ready to go.” Wise’s impact comes predominantly on defense. But when the Kewpies are on offense, Wise can be found pacing back and forth on the Hickman sideline, encouraging teammates and eagerly waiting for the defense to take the field. “That’s an adrenaline rush,” Wise said. “It’s just my love for the game and my love to be out there with the defense. It’s crazy. That’s what I look forward to.” The nerves of the first few days of practice are a distant memory for Wise now. Hickman enters its bye week with a 6-0 record, and Wise says he has enjoyed a special bond with his teammates. “They’ve been awesome,” Wise said. “They’ve been the greatest players I’ve ever played with.”

ready for another start. Only this time, it’s the biggest game of his career. The diminutive right-hander, who didn't even start the season in Atlanta's rotation, will deliver the first pitch in the inaugural wild-card playoff against the defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Braves couldn't have asked for anyone better in the winner-take-all format, considering they haven't lost a start by Medlen (10-1, 1.57 ERA) in more than two years. Just stop reminding him about it. “It’s not me by myself,” said Medlen, who always snacks on a peanut butter and honey sandwich before his starts. “I’ve given up four or five runs in a start, and guys pull it out for me. My name is in the books or whatever, but it's a team thing. I didn't do it all by myself, that’s for ‘I expect sure.” The Braves him to keep have won 23 consecutive starts by doing what Medlen — a modhe's been ern big league record. He doing out eclipsed the mark there, and held by a pair of Hall of Famers, my job is to Carl Hubbell and Whitey Ford. do the same “You can’t help thing that but notice when someone’s hav- he's doing — ing the amount of success that go out there he’s had,” said and shut Kyle Lohse, who will start for the down their Cardinals. “It’s team.’ impressive what he’s done. ObviKYLE LOHSE ously, the team St. Louis Cardinals plays very well pitcher on Braves behind him, and starter Kris Medlen to be that consistently good to keep your team in games or win games says a lot about what kind of pitcher he is. “I expect him to keep doing what he's been doing out there, and my job is to do the same thing that he's doing — go out there and shut down their team,” Lohse said. No one is quite sure what to expect from the one-game format, which was added this year when Major League Baseball expanded the playoff field by adding a second wildcard team in each league. One-and-done may be the norm in football. But this is a whole new ballgame for the big leagues. “We know the necessity to make it like a Game 7,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “You do things differently. We’ve been anticipating it, but I also want these guys to know we just want to go out and play the game we’ve been playing.”

Please see CARDINALS, page 2B


COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN

Page 2B — FRIDAY & SATURDAY, October 5-6, 2012

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

COLLEGE FOOTBALL SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

POSTSEASON SCHEDULE WILD CARD, today St. Louis (Lohse 16-3) at Atlanta (Medlen 101), 4:07 p.m. (TBS) Baltimore (Saunders 9-13) at Texas (Darvish 16-9), 7:37 p.m. (TBS) DIVISION SERIES (Best-of-5; x-if necessary) American League Oakland vs. Detroit Saturday: Oakland at Detroit (Verlander 17-8), 5:07 p.m. (TBS) Sunday: Oakland at Detroit (TBS or MLB) Tuesday: Detroit at Oakland (TBS) Wednesday: Detroit at Oakland (TBS or MLB, if necessary) Thursday: Detroit at Oakland (TBS, if necessary) New York vs. Baltimore-Texas winner Sunday: New York at Baltimore-Texas winner (TBS or MLB) Monday: New York at Baltimore-Texas winner (TBS) Wednesday: Baltimore-Texas winner at New York (TBS or MLB) Thursday: Baltimore-Texas winner at New York (TBS, if necessary) Friday, Oct. 12: Baltimore-Texas winner at New York (TBS, if necessary) National League Cincinnati vs. San Francisco Saturday: Cincinnati (Cueto 19-9) at San Francisco (Cain 16-5), 8:37 p.m. (TBS) Sunday: Cincinnati (Arroyo 12-10) at San Francisco (Bumgarner 16-11) (TBS or MLB) Tuesday: San Francisco at Cincinnati (Latos 14-4) (TBS) Wednesday: San Francisco at Cincinnati (Bailey 13-10) (TBS or MLB, if necessary) Thursday: San Francisco at Cincinnati (TBS, if necessary) Washington vs. Atlanta-St. Louis winner Sunday: Washington (Gonzalez 21-8) at St. Louis-Atlanta winner (TBS or MLB) Monday: Washington (Zimmermann 12-8) at St. Louis-Atlanta winner (TBS) Wednesday: St. Louis-Atlanta winner at Washington (TBS or MLB) Thursday: St. Louis-Atlanta winner at Washington (TBS, if necessary) Friday, Oct. 12: St. Louis-Atlanta winner at Washington (TBS, if necessary)

NFL AMERICAN CONFERENCE N.Y. Jets New England Buffalo Miami

W 2 2 2 1

Houston Indianapolis Jacksonville Tennessee

W 4 1 1 1

Baltimore Cincinnati Pittsburgh Cleveland

W 3 3 1 0

San Diego Denver Kansas City Oakland

W 3 2 1 1

East L T Pct PF PA 2 0 .500 81 109 2 0 .500 134 92 2 0 .500 115 131 3 0 .250 86 90 South L T Pct PF PA 0 0 1.000 126 56 2 0 .333 61 83 3 0 .250 62 97 3 0 .250 81 151 North L T Pct PF PA 1 0 .750 121 83 1 0 .750 112 112 2 0 .333 77 75 4 0 .000 73 98 West L T Pct PF PA 1 0 .750 100 71 2 0 .500 114 83 3 0 .250 88 136 3 0 .250 67 125

NATIONAL CONFERENCE Philadelphia Dallas Washington N.Y. Giants

W 3 2 2 2

Atlanta Tampa Bay Carolina New Orleans

W 4 1 1 0

Minnesota Chicago Green Bay Detroit

W 3 3 2 1

Arizona San Francisco St. Louis Seattle

W 4 3 3 2

East L T Pct PF PA 1 0 .750 66 83 2 0 .500 65 88 2 0 .500 123 123 2 0 .500 111 84 South L T Pct PF PA 0 0 1.000 124 76 3 0 .250 82 91 3 0 .250 80 109 4 0 .000 110 130 North L T Pct PF PA 1 0 .750 90 72 1 0 .750 108 68 2 0 .500 85 81 3 0 .250 100 114 West L T Pct PF PA 1 0 .800 94 78 1 0 .750 104 65 2 0 .600 96 94 2 0 .500 70 58

Thursday’s result St. Louis 17, Arizona 3 Sunday’s games Baltimore at Kansas City, noon Atlanta at Washington, noon Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, noon Green Bay at Indianapolis, noon Cleveland at N.Y. Giants, noon Miami at Cincinnati, noon Seattle at Carolina, 3:05 p.m. Chicago at Jacksonville, 3:05 p.m. Buffalo at San Francisco, 3:25 p.m. Tennessee at Minnesota, 3:25 p.m. Denver at New England, 3:25 p.m. San Diego at New Orleans, 7:20 p.m.

RAMS 17, CARDINALS 3 Arizona St. Louis

3 7

0 3

0 0

0 7

— —

3 17

First quarter StL—Kendricks 7 pass from Bradford (Zuerlein kick), 12:39. Ari—FG Feely 35, 3:15. Second quarter StL—FG Zuerlein 53, 10:45. Fourth quarter StL—Givens 51 pass from Bradford (Zuerlein kick), 11:49. A—54,653. First downs Total Net Yards Rushes-yards Passing Punt Returns Kickoff Returns Interceptions Ret. Comp-Att-Int Sacked-Yards Lost Punts Fumbles-Lost Penalties-Yards Time of Possession

Ari 20 282 17-45 237 5-76 0-0 1-0 28-50-0 9-52 7-45.7 1-1 5-35 34:22

StL 12 242 32-111 131 4-36 1-36 0-0 7-21-1 1-10 7-56.9 0-0 7-60 25:38

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS RUSHING—Arizona, R.Williams 14-33, Powell 1-7, Roberts 1-3, Kolb 1-2. St. Louis, Jackson 18-76, D.Richardson 9-35, Bradford 5-0. PASSING—Arizona, Kolb 28-50-0-289. St. Louis, Bradford 7-21-1-141. RECEIVING—Arizona, Fitzgerald 8-92, Roberts 5-39, Housler 3-45, Doucet 3-29, Powell 3-20, Sherman 2-25, Floyd 1-17, Smith 1-13, R.Williams 1-5, King 1-4. St. Louis, Gibson 3-33, Givens 1-51, Amendola 1-44, Kendricks 1-7, Pettis 1-6.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL MISSOURI PREP RANKINGS KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Statewide high school rankings, as compiled by a 14-member panel of Missouri sportswriters and broadcasters: CLASS 6 Rank, team Rec. 1. CBC (14) 6-0 2. Blue Springs 5-1 3. Lafayette 6-0 4. Rockhurst 4-2 5. Francis Howell 6-0 6. Hickman 6-0 7. Jefferson City 5-1 8. Raymore-Peculiar 5-1 9. De Smet 4-2 10. Blue Springs South 4-2

Pts. 140 113 104 85 84 79 62 45 24 18

LW 1 3 4 5 6 9 2 7 8 10

Also receiving votes: Parkway South (6-0) 13, Rock Bridge (4-2) 3.

EAST Conference W L PF PA Georgia 3 0 140 67 South Carolina 3 0 86 40 Florida 3 0 95 37 Missouri 0 2 30 72 Tennessee 0 2 64 88 Vanderbilt 0 2 16 65 Kentucky 0 2 17 76

Rams take down undefeated Cardinals On the strength of two Sam Bradford touchdown passes, the St. Louis Rams gave the Arizona Cardinals their first loss of the season.

All Games W L PF PA 5 0 241 110 5 0 183 56 4 0 122 51 3 2 137 118 3 2 197 148 1 3 87 88 1 4 109 154

WEST Conference All Games W L PF PA W L PF PA Alabama 2 0 85 14 5 0 201 35 LSU 1 0 12 10 5 0 195 63 Mississippi St. 1 0 28 10 4 0 144 53 Texas A&M 1 1 75 30 3 1 193 47 Mississippi 0 1 14 33 3 2 161 136 Auburn 0 2 20 40 1 3 70 94 Arkansas 0 2 10 110 1 4 116 203 Saturday’s games Arkansas at Auburn, 11 a.m. Mississippi St. at Kentucky, 11:21 a.m. LSU at Florida, 2:30 p.m. Vanderbilt at Missouri, 6 p.m. Georgia at South Carolina, 6 p.m. Texas A&M at Mississippi, 6 p.m.

MISSOURI’S SCHEDULE 62 20 24 10 21 Saturday Oct. 13 Oct. 27 Nov. 3 Nov. 10 Nov. 17 Nov. 24

SE Louisiana Georgia Arizona St. South Carolina UCF Vanderbilt Alabama Kentucky at Florida at Tennessee Syracuse at Texas A&M

10 41 20 31 16 6 p.m. 2:30 p.m. TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

SPORTS ON THE AIR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

TODAY 4 p.m., TBS — National League, wild card, St. Louis at Atlanta 7:30 p.m., TBS — American League, wild card, Baltimore at Texas

WNBA PLAYOFFS

TODAY 7 p.m., ESPN2 — Eastern Conference finals, game 1, Indiana at Connecticut

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE TODAY 8 p.m., NBCSN — Hamilton at Edmonton

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

TODAY 6 p.m., ESPN — Pittsburgh at Syracuse 9:15 p.m., ESPN — Utah St. at BYU SATURDAY 10:30 a.m., CBS — National coverage, Navy at Air Force 11 a.m., ESPN — Northwestern at Penn St. 11 a.m., ESPN2 — Arkansas at Auburn 11 a.m., FSN — Boise St. at Southern Miss. 11 a.m., FX — Kansas at Kansas St. Noon, NBCSN — Towson at James Madison 2 p.m., FOX — Arizona at Stanford 2:30 p.m., ABC — Regional coverage, Illinois at Wisconsin or Oklahoma at Texas Tech 2:30 p.m., CBS — National coverage, LSU at Florida 2:30 p.m., ESPN — Georgia Tech at Clemson 2:30 p.m., ESPN2 — Regional coverage, Oklahoma at Texas Tech or Illinois at Wisconsin 2:30 p.m., FSN — Iowa St. at TCU 6 p.m., ESPN — Georgia at South Carolina 6 p.m., FOX — West Virginia at Texas 6:30 p.m., NBC — Miami vs. Notre Dame, at Chicago 7 p.m., ESPN2 — Florida St. at NC State 7:07 p.m., ABC — National coverage, Nebraska at Ohio St. 9:30 p.m., ESPN — Washington at Oregon

SETH PERLMAN/The Associated Press

Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is stopped by Rams cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan (31) and Bradley Fletcher (32) during the first quarter.

FROM THE SPORTS FRONT

Wilson puts team’s interests above his own ROCK BRIDGE from page 1B ground and crossing and roping three of its legs (all in about 10 seconds), Wilson lifts both arms above his head to signal that he is finished and stop the timer.

Keeping it in the family

In the arena behind his house, Wilson sits on his chestnut horse Be My Shining Alibi, or Alibi for short. He is wearing a red checkered shirt tucked into a pair of straightlegged blue jeans, secured by a brass oval buckle. With narrow-toed boots on his feet, the iconic western ensemble would be complete if not for the brown baseball cap on his head. He's a third-generation cowboy, and he looks the part. His grandfather Dale Wilson participated in amateur and professional rodeo circuits and still rides at the age of 89. His father, Dane Wilson, carried on the tradition. He still competes occasionally, though he joked he’s now more of a groomer and driver. His brother Brady Wilson is currently a member of the rodeo team at Missouri Valley College, and his sister Whitley Wilson barrel raced at Vernon College. Shelby Wilson said being GOLF able to participate in a sport TODAY with his entire family makes 7:30 a.m., TGC — European PGA Tour, the experience all the more Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, second round, at Kingsbarns, Angus, memorable. He recalled a summer when he was 14 years and St. Andrews, Scotland old and his entire family spent 12:30 p.m., TGC — Champions Tour, SAS Championship, first round, at 10 consecutive days on the Cary, N.C. road, touring from rodeo to 3 p.m., TGC — PGA Tour, Shriners rodeo. Hospitals for Children Open, second “That made it pretty speround, at Las Vegas cial, unlike a football game 6:30 p.m., TGC — Web.com Tour, where your family comes out Neediest Kids Championship, second round, at Potomac, Md. and they watch you one night (same-day tape) a week,” Shelby Wilson said. SATURDAY It’s not hard to see that Shel7:30 a.m., TGC — European PGA Tour, by Wilson has had a strong Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, upbringing. In addition to third round, at Kingsbarns, Angus, and St. Andrews, Scotland 12:30 p.m., TGC — Champions Tour, SAS Championship, second round, at Cary, N.C. 3 p.m., TGC — PGA Tour, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, third round, at Las Vegas 6:30 p.m., TGC — Web.com Tour, Neediest Kids Championship, third round, at Potomac, Md. (same-day tape)

AUTO RACING

TODAY 1:30 p.m., SPEED — NASCAR, Sprint Cup, practice for Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500, at Talladega, Ala. 3 p.m., SPEED — NASCAR, Sprint Cup, “Happy Hour Series,” final practice for Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500, at Talladega, Ala. 4 p.m., SPEED — NASCAR, Truck Series, pole qualifying for Coca-Cola 250, at Talladega, Ala. Midnight, SPEED — Formula One, qualifying for Grand Prix of Japan, at Suzuka, Japan SATURDAY 11 a.m., SPEED — NASCAR, Sprint Cup, pole qualifying for Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500, at Talladega, Ala. 3 p.m., SPEED — NASCAR, Truck Series, Coca-Cola 250, at Talladega, Ala. 12:30 a.m., SPEED — Formula One, Grand Prix of Japan, at Suzuka, Japan

SOCCER

SATURDAY 6:30 a.m., ESPN2 — Premier League, Sunderland at Manchester City 2:30 p.m., NBC — MLS, Chicago at New York 8 p.m., NBCSN — MLS, Salt Lake at Los Angeles

L.G. PATTERSON/The Associated Press

St. Louis Rams wide receiver Chris Givens catches a 51-yard pass for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals.

offering up sirs and ma’ams like they were glasses of his mother’s locally-famous extra sweet tea, he repeatedly expressed gratitude to his family for supporting his interests, which also include playing center field on the Rock Bridge baseball team. "I have wonderful parents,” Shelby Wilson said. “That’s why I’m blessed enough to get to do this. No other kids I know can say they play two 6-A high school sports and participate in rodeo like I do because I have such a stable background.” The Wilsons' rodeo facilities make practicing much more convenient for the family. Before the Wilsons moved to the outskirts of the city, they would have to drive to Wilson’s grandparents’ house to access their horses. For the past seven years, however, they’ve been able to practice in their own backyard. And they’re not the only ones. Shelby Wilson said he sees how rodeo appeals to others who have visited his family’s arena, which has become a hotspot of sorts for those curious about the sport. “A lot of others have picked it up just because it’s right here and it’s kind of interesting,” Shelby Wilson said. “People will start off just coming over and helping with chutes and hanging out. Before too long, their dad is buying them a horse.”

Taking one for the team With summer and fall occupied by football and spring filled with baseball, Shelby Wilson’s lone opportunity to compete in rodeo is the Missouri Rodeo Cowboys Association summer circuit. Because most high schoolers participate in the fall/spring

high school rodeo circuit, Shelby Wilson being named a Wilson faces cowboys signifi- team captain this year. West cantly above his age group in Wilson agreed. the summer circuit. “That probably shows more That’s hardly the only sacri- about him that he didn’t even fice he has to make to balance tell anyone that he skipped the three activities. (state finals),” West Wilson “Really there is no off-sea- said. “And that’s a huge deal. son for me because I’m always The fact that he didn’t tell in a different sport,” Shelby anyone is the bigger deal I’d Wilson said. “While others say.” are stressing on one sport, For Shelby Wilson, it doesn’t I’m hopping into seem to be a a new one. You matter of footcould say it puts ball taking pre‘That probably me at a disadcedence over vantage because shows more about rodeo. In fact, I can’t really be is considerhim that he didn’t he really good at ing continuing one sport, but I even tell anyone rodeo into colcan play around More than that he skipped lege. in all of them. anything, it I really enjoy (state finals). And appears to be a all of them, so I dutiful sense of don’t wanna give that’s a huge deal. responsibility to any of them up.” The fact that he his“Iteammates. This summer, wasn’t about Shelby Wilson didn’t tell anyone to let my entire qualified for team down,” the year end is the bigger deal Shelby Wilson finals at the said. “That’s a I’d say.’ Missouri State pretty big pracWEST WILSON Fair in Sedalia. tice to miss for However, after Rock Bridge safety on teammate what would be Shelby Wilson missing about my own selfish one summer wants to particifootball practice per week for pate in the state final. But the amateur circuit, he felt then on the other side, all the obligated to forgo the state other people I compete with finals for two-a-day football in rodeo, they couldn’t believe practices. I would skip something like Neither Ofodile nor fellow that to go to a football pracBruins safety West Wilson tice.” were aware that Shelby WilShelby Wilson’s life is a conson had skipped the rodeo final stant balancing act between for football practice, but they his athletic endeavors. With weren’t particularly surprised. a level head and the support “I didn’t have a clue,” Ofodile of his family, friends and said. “I would’ve told him to coaches, Wilson is managing go. If he worked that hard and to juggle it all. did all that stuff, I would’ve Sitting on the back porch let him miss a day of practice with a dog underfoot and a for that. But that’s the kind of glass of his mother’s sweet kid he is. He’s a team guy. He tea in hand, Wilson sums it up didn’t even ask.” with ease. Ofodile said it’s that kind “You just gotta get your of commitment that led to priorities right.”

Cardinals inspired by past playoff success CARDINALS from page 1B Besides, St. Louis knows it’s just fortunate to have a chance to win another title. The Cardinals finished six games behind Atlanta in the wild-card standings. If not for the new system, they would be watching from home. “We’re exceptionally happy about the format,” Matheny said with a smile. Despite losing Albert Pujols last winter in free agency, the Cardinals have a chance to pull off another magical postseason run. A year ago, they trailed the Braves by 10½ games in late August, but Atlanta collapsed over the final month, and St. Louis pulled out the wild card on a frenetic final day. That momentum carried right into the playoffs, where the Redbirds pulled off three straight upsets, including another stunning rally against Texas in the World Series. Pujols may be gone, but there’s plenty of holdovers from the title team, including Lohse (16-3, 2.86). “A lot of guys with me in that clubhouse, they experi-

enced last year from being 10½ back and a lot of people kind of saying, ‘Go get ’em next year,’” he said. “It helped us mature a lot and grow a lot as individuals and learn how to handle big situations like the one that’s coming up.” The winner advances to face NL East champion Washington in the divisional round. The Braves would love to get another crack at the Nationals, having chased them futilely all summer and coming up four games short in the divisional race. But Atlanta will have to do something it hasn’t done in more than a decade — win a playoff round. The Braves have dropped six straight series since winning a divisional playoff in 2001, including an 0-5 mark in elimination games at Turner Field. They don’t want to go out like that again, not with 40-year-old Chipper Jones planning to retire as soon as the season is over. “You don’t have that many opportunities in your career to play in the playoffs or to play in whatever this is called, but especially for him,” Medlen

said. If the Braves needed any more motivation, they could turn to the words of Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright. “No disrespect to what they did, but I think we’re going to save the big pop for after we beat Atlanta,” he said. That little sound bite has made the rounds in the Braves’ clubhouse, providing some extra fire. But, overlooking the one-game format, this isn’t the gridiron. Bulletinboard fodder only goes so far. “It’s not like football where we post it and I want to rip his head off,” said Braves catcher David Ross, noting that Wainwright won’t even be on the 25-man roster for this game. “But it is one of those things, you wonder why guys comment about other teams. I feel like, as a player, I wouldn’t make a comment about another team in a negative light to a media outlet. I just feel like I’m better than that.” No one has been better than Medlen over the past two months. Forced into the rotation by injuries and ineffective

performances, he suddenly became baseball’s hottest pitcher. He hardly looks the part, generously listed at 5-foot-10 with a fastball that struggles to reach 90 mph. But he is especially bedeviling with his changeup, a pitch the organization ordered him to throw coming up through the minors. In 12 starts this season, Medlen is 9-0 with an 0.97 ERA. He struck out 13 hitters in one game, 12 in another. In six of those appearances, he didn’t give up an earned run. Away from the field, it’s hard to take Medlen seriously. He is a bundle of nervous energy, which he copes with by delivering a constant string of jokes and one-liners. As manager Fredi Gonzalez finished up his time at the podium Thursday, Medlen stood against the wall, clapping slowly. When asked about his pregame routine, Medlen made it clear he doesn’t have one. Except for the peanut butter and honey. “It’s a light meal. It’s good energy,” he said. “It’s not like I’m going to eat fried chicken.”


COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN

FRIDAY & SATURDAY, October 5-6, 2012 — Page 3B

Missouri gymnast turns to diving Five knee surgeries forced Alex Skinner to retire from gynmnastics but her athletic career is just beginning in diving. By MATTHEW FAIRBURN

sports@columbiamissourian.com Early in 2011, Missouri gymnastics coach Rob Drass made a phone call to Tigers diving coach James Sweeney. The topic of the conversation was Alex Skinner. Drass recruited Skinner out of Plano, Texas, but in her freshman season with the gymnastics team, the surgical reconstruction of the ACL in Skinner’s knee that was done when she was in high school started to fail, ending her season. The injury required another surgery — the fifth surgery of her gymnastics career. The doctor told Skinner that her gymnastics career was over. “I think she went through some withdrawal from gymnastics,” Drass said. “She was kind of crushed a little bit.” But Skinner wasn’t ready to stop athletic competition completely. That’s when Drass put in the call to Sweeney about the possibility of Skinner becoming a diver. “Jamie and I talked for a while,” Drass said. “I told him she’s hard working, a dream to coach and a great student. I see no reason why she couldn’t learn diving.” That’s when Sweeney’s new project began. Skinner had never dived before in her life, but her athletic ability was immediately evident from her gymnastics training. The technique between the two sports is drastically different, though, Sweeney said. “She is so strong, insanely explosive and powerful,” Sweeney said. “I love the strength she has, but all I do all day long in coaching her is force her out of gymnastics technique and into diving technique.” Skinner took a redshirt year as a sophomore, spending the season dedicating herself to a new sport and getting her knee back to full strength. Now a junior in school but a sophomore eligibility-wise, Skinner is catching up to the rest of the team and is ready to start competing. The transition continues to be a daily grind. On some days, Skinner looks like the most gifted diver in the pool. On other days, her inexperience shines through, Sweeney said. “She’s amazing compared to where she was a year ago, but Rome wasn’t built in a day,” Sweeney said. “Some days she’s amazing, some days she struggles.”

By JOVONA TAYLOR

KAYLA KAUFFMAN/Missourian

Alex Skinner dives off the one-meter springboard at the MU Aquatic Center. The Texan was recruited as a gymnast but crossed over to diving after multiple knee surgeries. Each practice consists of more than two hours of dives, all off the springboards, because Skinner’s knee can’t handle the platform dives. With each dive, Skinner emerges from the water and immediately turns to Sweeney, who is hollering technical corrections her way, while sprinkling in the encouragement that has helped Skinner adjust to diving. “It was hard giving up a sport,” Skinner said. “But it was great coming onto this team. They’ve really made it fun for me, especially when I felt like I was behind. It’s been a great transition.” On Friday, Skinner will dive in her first collegiate meet. It won’t be her first time diving competitively, though. During the spring of Skinner’s redshirt season, Sweeney, who

also coaches youth divers, had Skinner participate in a meet with 12 year-olds. “Oh, it was an experience, for sure,” Sweeney said. “What I did notice is she gets really, really intense. She doesn’t just stay chill.” That intensity, combined with her consistently positive attitude, has helped Skinner in the long road back from injury. Ryan Jackson, Skinner’s strength coach during her gymnastics and diving careers, said he’s never seen Skinner get too low despite the mental grind of numerous knee injuries. “She’s always had a great attitude, since day one of working with her as a gymnast,” Jackson said. “She’s always been positive, always has a smile on her face, and I’ve really never seen her too upset before.”

Skinner’s resolve will be tested Friday when the Tigers participate in the Show-Me Showdown, and she steps to the board for the first time. All of the preparation and work she has put in will help calm the nerves, Skinner said, reassuring herself. “I think I’m ready,” she said.

Today’s meet SHOW-ME SHOWDOWN TEAMS: Missouri, Drury, Lindenwood, Missouri State, Missouri S&T (men only), Truman State, Washington University and William Jewell. WHEN: 3 p.m. WHERE: Mizzou Rec Center

Hickman beats Rock Bridge in district semifinal The Kewpies trailed 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth but suceeded in turning things around. Sydney Washington’s home run gave Hickman a 4-3 win to advance to the district finals. By ELI MOGUL

sports@columbiamissourian.com Hickman center fielder Sydney Washington had already doubled and scored for the Kewpies in Thursday night’s Class 4, District 9 semifinal softball game against host Rock Bridge. But by the bottom of the sixth inning Hickman still trailed the Bruins 3-1. Washington wasn’t finished though. Kewpies second baseman Autumn McCoy was on second after hitting a double and Jayda Shepherd was on third as a pinch runner for Taylor Patton, who had singled. But Bruins pitcher Conner Logsdon struck out the next two Hickman batters and was almost out of the jam. Then Washington, one of just two seniors on the Kewpies team, stepped to the plate. She swung on the very first pitch, connecting and sending

‘Words can’t describe how I felt when I saw it go out.’ SYDNEY WASHINGTON

On her game winning home run

a long fly ball over the 200feet marker on center field wall. “When I hit the ball I was just thinking ‘go!’ Washington said. “Words can’t describe how I felt when I saw it go out.” The shot gave Hickman a 4-3 victory over Rock Bridge, advancing the Kewpies to Friday’s district championship against Jefferson City.

MU player balances volleyball with work as volunteer

District championship Hickman High vs. Jefferson City WHEN: Today at 5 p.m. WHERE: Rock Bridge High School

The game is set for 5 p.m. at Rock Bridge. The Hickman team ran from the dugout to crowd home plate and congratulate Washington on her achievement. Washington went on to make a key catch in the seventh inning running down and snaring a long fly ball Photos by STUART PALLEY/Missourian from the Bruins’ Shelbie Atwell at the wall. The final Kewpies center fielder Sydney Washington runs to second base during the district out came on a strikeout by semifinal game against the Rock Bridge Bruins on Thursday. The senior’s home run gave sophomore pitcher Shannon Hickman a 4-3 victory. Greene. Rock Bridge had scored Rock Bridge’s Shelbie once in the third inning on Atwell, left, and singles from Atwell and LogsLindsey Grant talk don, then tacked on another at home plate during run in the fourth when senior Thursday’s district Krista Blomenkamp doubled and made it home on an error. semifinal against Hickman scored in the Hickman. fifth when Riley Wilson’s double sent in Washington. Then Rock Bridge responded in the top of the sixth when Lindsey Grant hit a triple and scored off a single from Krista Blomenkamp. Rock Bridge coach Janel Twehous let her team know they played an amazing game. “It was a heartbreaking loss,” Twehous said. “I let the team know that one game does not define the entire season, and it was a great season for this team.”

sports@columbiamissourian.com Hearnes Center was quiet and the volleyball court dimly lit Wednesday afternoon. Lydia Ely, a middle blocker for Missouri, rested with her legs stretched out on the east side of the floor waiting for practice to begin. “Now, since the season has started, I’ve been in twice maybe,” Ely said. “At first it was difficult (to not play), but I know now that I am a freshman, and I need to keep remembering that. But I wouldn’t change the lineup. The best lineup is out there right now, and I’m really proud of all the girls.” The Tigers are 12-4 this season and 4-2 so far in their first year in the Southeastern Conference heading into Friday’s 6 p.m. match at Tennessee. Missouri beat the Volunteers 3-2 in its SEC opener on Sept. 12. With two-time SEC Defensive Player of Week Whitney Little starting at middle blocker, Ely is using her time to learn from Little, a sophomore. Ely, a St. Louis native from Rosati-Kain High School, was ranked the No. 4 top recruit in the state by ESPN and played for St. Louis High Performance along with fellow Tigers freshman Regan Peltier. “My first impression of Lydia was in eighth grade, and I’m like dang that girl is tall,” said Peltier about Ely, who is listed at 6 feet, 6 inches tall on the Missouri roster. Now as a college student and athlete, Ely has learned how to manage her time and knows that in order to play for a team like Missouri she must show that she is the best. “Volleyball has always basically been my life,” Ely said. “My last year at home really prepared me to deal with this year.” During her senior year of high school, Ely coached two youth volleyball teams and worked out every day besides playing on her high school and club teams. Along with volleyball, Ely volunteered at Ranken Jordan, a pediatric specialty hospital in Maryland Heights, during her junior and senior years and says it was one of the best experiences of her life. “I always thought that I was going to go there to help the kids’ lives,” Ely said. “But I would leave Ranken Jordan so happy, just seeing those smiles on the kids’ faces. It really helped me grow as a person.” After volunteering at Ranken Jordon, Ely says she is more appreciative of her family and all of things she has in her life. Ely, a physical therapy major at MU, said she thought she wanted to work with athletes after she graduated, but if she could get a job at Ranken Jordan instead, she would take it in a heartbeat. As a volunteer at Ranken Jordan, Ely played with the children in the hospital during their break times and tried to take their minds off of the health issues they faced. She said one of her her most memorable experiences came working with a boy who had been feeling particularly bad. “I had been working with him all day, and he was just in a really bad mood,” Ely said. “I remember before I left, he was sitting on my lap, and he was like ‘Lydia don’t leave,’ and just seeing his expression really impacted me.” Ely has also volunteered at a food kitchen and cleaned a park with her high school volleyball team. She plans on finding other volunteer opportunities in Columbia during the off-season. Ely said volunteering at Ranken Jordan was a life-changing experience and plans on going back during winter break. “I just loved it,” Ely said. “It was an awesome experience, and everyone who works there is so blessed. They’re changing so many peoples lives.”


COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN

Page 4B â&#x20AC;&#x201D; FRIDAY & SATURDAY, October 5-6, 2012

Mid-Mo Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rugby hits hard Female

racer making impact

The club team practices twice a week at Rock Quarry Park. Made up of both veterans and newcomers, the women have been facing difficult competition. By MATTHEW SCHACHT

sports@columbiamissourian.com Few situations will force a rugby player off the field against her will â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but being pregnant is one of them. Chuelo Arias, who has been playing rugby for eight years, stood on the sidelines during her teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s evening practice Monday at Rock Quarry Park. Wearing a baggy gray T-shirt, she watched her teammates locked in a scrummage, rugbyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of a scrimmage. Asked why she was not playing, Arias patted her belly and smiled. She is about six months pregnant. Several of the players have children, she said. The kids attend games and watch their mothers run and tackle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t had any major injuries yet,â&#x20AC;? she said, only some broken noses and dislocated fingers. A major injury is getting â&#x20AC;&#x153;hauled off in an ambulanceâ&#x20AC;? or â&#x20AC;&#x153;profuse bleeding.â&#x20AC;? On the field, her teammates laughed and joked and shared advice on how to run the ball through defenders. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We all just want to play,â&#x20AC;? Arias said. Holly Ramey, 24, will play her first game for the Mid-Mo Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rugby Club on Saturday. Save for evening practices, she has never played a rugby game in her life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a few maneuvers that I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite get, but once I see it played, I think it will make sense,â&#x20AC;? she said. Ramey has been learning how to receive a tackle. If an opponent is charging at you and you see them coming in your field of vision, she said, you turn your body to face them and ... she clenches her fists, her eyes sparkle. Ramey hopes to play a half in Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game against Kansas State. Penny Coder, a 10-year rugby veteran, said the club has had a new

By BRETT MARTEL

MATT SCHACHT/Missourian

A Kansas City player charges into Mid-Mo Rugby Clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defensive line. Mid-Moâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s players have competed for Truman State, Texas A&M and Missouri as well as for clubs in Alaska, Massachusetts and Arkansas. player at nearly every game this season. Coder plays strong-side flanker, a position that allows her to tackle.

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;When I play within the rules of the game, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m OK with hitting someone hard.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; PENNY CODER On playing rugby

She said sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never hurt someone permanently. Once, she accidentally took another player out the game and did not know it until she watched the video replay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I play within the rules of the game, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m OK with hitting someone hard,â&#x20AC;? said Coder, an MU veterinarian student who would like a career in animal public policy to promote humane treatment of animals.

Alisa Liggett, 22, has played rugby since her freshman year of college at Truman State five years ago. She said the Mid-Mo team is collecting experienced players from across the nation, individuals who cannot play collegiate rugby because their eligibility has expired. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have seven players from Truman State,â&#x20AC;? she said, as well as individuals who have played for Texas A&M and Missouri. Others have played for clubs in Alaska, Massachusetts and Arkansas. The Mid-Mo Rugby Club, nicknamed the Black Sheep, once played against high school teams. A college team would crush us at that time, Coder said. The competition has grown more difficult. Last weekend, the Black Sheep played back-to-back games against teams from Texas Tech and the University of Oklahoma at the War of the Roses Tournament in Norman, Okla. Only 16 Mid-Mo players made the

trip (15 are needed to field a team), and after an injury sidelined Coder, the Black Sheep became worn down and lost both games. In twilight, the woman continue to practice formations at Rock Quarry Park. Arias cheered when a short, spry teammate weaves through the other sideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defending line. Arias clutched a rugby ball in her hands and yelled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go! Go! Go!â&#x20AC;? Twenty or so more weeks and she can return to the field as a player and a mother.

Season finale Kansas State (0-2) at Mid-Mo Rugby (0-3) WHEN: 11 a.m. Saturday (rain or shine) WHERE: Rock Quarry Park

The Associated Press NEW ORLEANS â&#x20AC;&#x201D; In a blur of pink, white and blue, riding as fast as 180 miles per hour, Elena Myers aims to prove a woman can race with the best on two wheels. The 5-foot-3 18-year-old has put herself in position to become the most successful female in the history of motorcycle road racing. She is the only woman ever to win an AMA Pro Racing event, having done so twice, most recently at Daytona earlier this year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Young girls come up to me all the time at the racetrack and say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Oh, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re my hero,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re just so excited about it,â&#x20AC;? Myers said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Danica Patrickâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a household name and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kind of what I want to become. Indy Car and NASCAR have been helped by her being in the series and I want to do the same thing in AMA.â&#x20AC;? Myers will conclude what could be her final season in the AMA SuperSport class this weekend in the Triumph Big Kahuna Nationals at the NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans. Her goal is to move next to the Daytona SportBike series. She will need to demonstrate continued success at higher levels to get the kind of sponsorships she needs to sustain her career while reaching for her ultimate goal of racing worldwide in MotoGP, the motorcycle equivalent of Formula 1. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Obviously I want to get a ride (at higher levels) based on the fact I deserve that ride, not because Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a girl,â&#x20AC;? Myers said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think it will certainly help me, being a girl, to get opportunities ... but ultimately itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to help me race MotoGP if Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not fast enough.

NHL cancels two weeks of games By IRA PODELL

ITâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S A WHOLE NEW BALLGAME New conference. New schools. New teams. New towns. New stadiums. It all changes for the Tigers and their fans this football season. To properly introduce you to this season of change, the Missourian dispatched reporters to every Southeast Conference city to bring back the nitty gritty. The result is a 32-page special section that will get you up to speed on our new rivals, and have you primed and ready for Mizzouâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first season in the SEC. Get your copy of this full-color section for just $3 at the Missourian Circulation Dept. or by calling 573.882.5700. The Missourianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s SEC Road Tripâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave home without it!

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The Associated Press NEW YORK â&#x20AC;&#x201D; What seemed inevitable for the NHL has now become reality. The league canceled the first two weeks of the regular seawson on Thursday, the second time games have been lost because of a lockout in seven years. The initial announcement was made in a two-paragraph statement from the league. It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t clear if those games will be made up, allowing for a complete 82-game regular season, if a deal can be struck soon with the locked-out players. Unable to work out how to split up $3 billion in hockey-related revenues with the playersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; association, the NHL wiped out 82 games from Oct. 11 through Oct. 24 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; beginning with four next Thursday, which would have been the leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opening night. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were extremely disappointed to have to make todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s announcement,â&#x20AC;? NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The game deserves better, the fans deserve better, and the people who derive income from their connection to the NHL deserve better. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams, and good for our fans. This is not about â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;winningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;losingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the longterm health and stability of the league and the game. We are committed to getting this done.â&#x20AC;? The union countered Thursday by saying the NHL forced the lockout onto the players instead of letting the season go on as planned. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The decision to cancel the first two weeks of the NHL season is the unilateral choice of the NHL owners,â&#x20AC;? NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr said in a statement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If the owners truly cared about the game and the fans, they

would lift the lockout and allow the season to begin on time while negotiations continue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A lockout should be the last resort in bargaining, not the strategy of first resort,â&#x20AC;? he added. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For nearly 20 years, the owners have elected to lock out the players in an effort to secure massive concessions. Nevertheless, the players remain committed to playing hockey while the parties work to reach a deal that is fair for both sides. We hope we will soon have a willing negotiating partner.â&#x20AC;? Although there have been negotiations between the league and players in recent days â&#x20AC;&#x201D; unlike a three-month break at the start of the 200405 lockout that forced the cancellation of the entire season â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the two sides havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t gotten any closer to a deal on core economic issues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Obviously, (cancellations) might have been expected but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also disappointing because we set out to negotiate,â&#x20AC;? New York Rangers goalie Martin Biron said in a telephone interview. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We wanted to get a deal and wanted to avoid a work stoppage or any cancellations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still working hard to find a solution and find a way to get the core economic stuff figured out with the league and getting a deal that is fair for everybody and lasts.â&#x20AC;? In the previous lockout, the NHL and the union didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get together between early September and early December. Back then, the key words in the negotiations were salary cap, linkage and cost certainty. Commissioner Gary Bettman and the owners were committed to getting a deal that linked team costs to revenues, so each club would know exactly how much it had to spend on payroll and what number it couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exceed. Thus a salary cap was born for the first time in NHL history. The league produced record revenue during the seven years of that deal, which turned out much better for the players than expected.

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