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SPORTS

sports snorts quotes from the sports world

THE UNIVERSITY STAR

“Right off the bat, a guy my size is spotting her 105 pounds. That’s the reason she’s so much faster.” — Robbie Gordon , accusing Dancia Patrick of having an unfair advantage in the Indianapolis 500. Gordon said Saturday he will not race against Patrick until the weight difference is neutralized.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - Page D-1

BOBCATS Picked to finish fifth, baseball ends season third in division By Chris Boehm Sports Reporter An 8-7 loss to the University of Texas-San Antonio ended the Bobcats’ hopes of a Southland Conference tournament title as Texas State wasted a five-run first inning in the opening round of the playoffs. The game ended a season that had its share of extreme highs and disappointing lows. The Bobcats finished third place in the division with a 15-12 (32-26 overall) record in a season where they were picked to finish fifth by conference sports information directors and fourth by conference coaches. In the last week of the regular season, the Bobcats squandered a chance to enter the tournament as the second seed by dropping two of three games to Lamar in Beaumont despite outscoring the Cardinals in the series 14-12. Two one-run losses sandwiched

Courtney Addison/Star photo A vital part of Bobcat baseball, senior pitcher Bob Sawicki helped push the team through the season. Sawicki earned the Bobcat career strikeout record with 235 strikeouts.

Sports Contact — Joe Ruiz, starsports@txstate.edu

FALLSHORT of title hopes

a 5-1 win. “We should have won those games, but we didn’t get it done late in the game,” third baseman Kyle Anson said. “We lost both in the eighth and ninth innings.” Senior pitcher Bob Sawicki nabbed the Bobcat career strikeout record with 235 in the lone victory over Lamar. The win marked seven straight for the pitcher, who slowly and steadily spent the season recovering from past shoulder problems that forced him to miss parts of two seasons. Sawicki played a large part in the team’s success this season, going 6-0 in conference play with a 2.72 ERA and two complete games, including the victory in Beaumont. “I was proud of him,” head coach Ty Harrington said. “Had he not been injured, he would have easily had the record; he’s one of the greatest pitchers to play here, and he just got better and more healthy over the course of the season.” After stumbling out of the gates at the start of conference play, Texas State made a late surge to get back into the thick of things before losing its last two series of the season. After 12 league games, the Bobcats boasted just a .500 record but went on to win three consecutive series and nine of their next 12 games. “We just started playing better baseball, the kind that we are capable of playing,” Harrington said. “We had a rough stretch of games at that time and played a lot of tough teams.” In addition to Sawicki’s improved play during the latter half of the season, part of the turnaround can be accredited to the Bobcats’ pitching staff as a whole, most notably starter Chris Jean, who was unpredictable from outing to outing before settling down and cementing his spot in the rotation. With a stellar second half, Jean finished tied with Sawicki for the team lead in wins while sporting a 4.41 ERA. “Chris finally matured and became accountable for what he was doing,” Harrington said. Texas State, sixth in the league in batting with a .281 average, relied on three seniors to carry the offensive load after losing Matt Miller, Evan Tierce and Mark Cooper; their top run producers from a season ago. Anson, a Southland Conference first-team selection, led the team in a number of offensive categories, including home runs (7) RBI (55) and batting average (.357), finishing among the league leaders as well. “Everybody steps up at some point in the season,” Anson said. “It just depends on who your seniors are. Last year, we had some people hurt that were able to come back and play well for us this year.”

Shortstop Dominic Ramos improved upon last year’s solid performance to be the catalyst the Bobcats needed at the lead-off spot, pacing the team in hits, runs, triples and stolen bases. After registering five saves a season ago and being practically unhittable, Ramos went through labrum surgery in late June and was not able to step back into the closer role. While Ramos may be a household name to casual fans, less recognizable is second baseman Nolan Mast, also a firstteamer, who stepped up from last year’s injury-marred season to hit .338 and place among the Southland’s leaders in runs (50) and doubles (16). “Nolan just got healthy,” Harrington said. “He tried to bounce back too quickly last year; the hand wasn’t completely healed, but this year, he was able to play really well for us, as all three of our seniors at the top of the order did.” With a missed opportunity for a regular-season or tournament crown, the year was still noteworthy with wins over both Baylor and Texas, ranked No. 12 and No. 1 at the time, respectively. “Anytime you beat the top teams, it’s something to be proud of,” Anson said. “Some people didn’t know what kind of team we are, but we were able to prove to Courtney Addison/Star photo people we are a good Head baseball coach Ty Harrington led the ’Cats through another team.” season, where they finished third in the division with a 32-26 overall record.

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Page D-2 - The University Star

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

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SPORTS

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

The University Star - Page D-3

JUMPING FOR JOY

Track and field finishes season on a high note By Miguel Peña Sports Reporter For the majority of the Bobcat track and field team, the season came to an end after the Southland Conference Championships at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, where the women’s team finished second overall through two days of competition and the men’s team finished sixth. Senior Brian Veal continued his reign in the SLC as the titleholder in the men’s triple jump with a mark of 54 feet 1.75 inches, which is one-fourth of an inch off the school record of 54 feet 2 inches that Veal set in the 2004 season. Veal is one of the few remaining seniors on the team and has earned three consecutive All-American honors out of his five years as a Bobcat. “Hard work and dedication has been the key to my success. It’s a team sport, but on an individual level, I have to look at this as a job and come to work with a professional mindset every day,” Veal said. Javionni Gooden, senior triple jumper, trailed Veal in the standings with a mark of 51 feet 9 inches, but the jump was enough to earn him second Photo courtesy of Media Relations place in the triple jump and Kostetskya earned a SLC title in the women’s 400-meter beat his closest competition by hurdles. nearly two feet. “Gooden was a good addition chael Johnson Invitational at Saturday at the University of to the team; we trained together Baylor. Oklahoma. all season, and that was a key Katya Kostetskaya, the freshKostetskya may be a newfactor in our progress through- man from St. Petersburg, Rus- comer to Texas State but could out,” Veal said. sia, led the way for the Bobcats, definitely be considered a seaJoe Hastings made a strong taking a first-place finish in the soned veteran. showing, clinching second place 400-meter hurdles with a time As a freshman at Jonesboro in the discus with a mark of 171 of 59.08 seconds, nearly 0.7 High School in Arkansas, she feet 4 inches and third place seconds faster than her closest got her first taste of competition in the hammer throw with a competitor. She went on to fin- and earned six school records in mark of 165 feet 7 inches. Matt ish third in the 100-meter hur- the 100-, 400- and 800-meter Mireles, a junior from Corpus dles and anchored the women’s hurdles. Christi, placed third overall in 4x400-meter relay team, along Before finishing her high the shot put with a mark of 55 with senior Courtney Fischer, school career at St. Petersburg feet 5.75 inches. freshman Courtney Baker and High School No. 597, Kostetskya James Ortiz, a junior distance sophomore Milla Litvinova, was invited to compete at the runner, finished his 1500-meter whose combined efforts gave 2004 Olympic preliminary trials run in the second place posi- them a first place finish with a for her home country of Russia tion with a finishing time of time of 3:39.03. where she finished fourth over3:51.02. The junior from Uvalde The foursome then set their all in the 400-meter hurdles and improved on his time of 3:52.01, sights on the NCAA Midwest was just seconds shy of earning a set in the 2004 season at the Mi- Regional Meet held Friday and spot on the 2004 Olympic team.

“I

think that we have a very good team. I like the school, the students, the coaches and my fellow athletes. Of course, I will try to improve troughout my time here at Texas State.”

— Katya Kostetskya Texas State track star

“I think we have a very good team. I like the school, the students, the coaches and my fellow athletes. Of course, I will try to improve throughout my time here at Texas State,” Kostetskya said. Another freshman recruit was RaShandra Harris, a sprinter from Temple. Harris finished second in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.77 seconds and earned a third place finish in the 200-meter dash clocked at 24.08 seconds. Sarah Baker, a junior from Abilene, garnered the SLC title for the women’s Hammer throw with a distance of 171 feet 1 inch and a second-place throw in the discuss with a mark of 150 feet 1 inch. Jacque Iwuchukwu, a senior from Arlington, was unable to reclaim the SLC outdoor title in the triple jump that she earned last year, as she fell to second place with a mark of 41 feet 5.5 inches, nearly six inches shorter than her title mark set just one year ago. “I hurt myself on my last jump, and that cost me the title, but next year I will get it for sure,” Iwuchukwu said. As an incoming senior, Iwuchkuwu has one year left as a Lady Bobcat and plans to take the knowledge she has learned to make a strong effort in her final season, but her determination is driven by something a little bit different.

“I have learned a lot about camaraderie being part of the track and field team, but when I am out there on the runway, I’m by myself, and my faith in God is the only thing that keeps me going. Knowing that he is always there for me gives me strength and lets me know that I am doing this for the right reasons,” Iwuchukwu said. Yvette Green, a senior from Fort Worth, finished third in the long jump with a mark of 19 feet 8.75 inches. Caroline Wolf took a secondplace finish in the high jump with a mark of 5 feet 10.75 inches, which equals her efforts from last year with the second best mark in Texas State history. Wolf, the sophomore from Hewitt, matched the first place winner with that same mark on her second attempt. Rebekah Vickers, a junior, took home a second-place finish in the Pole Vault with a mark of 11 feet 11.75 inches on her second attempt, losing to SHSU’s Jennie Sewell, who set the same mark on her first attempt. For the distance runners, Yulia Stashkiv, a junior from Lviv, Ukraine, finished in the 1500-meter run with a time of 4:39.55, the 10,000-meter run with a finishing time of 39:26.91 and fourth-place finish in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 17:40.

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All together, the Bobcats finished with 137 points trailing only to the home school SHSU which scored a total of 172.5 points with several of those coming to mid-level finishers, as the field was stacked with several competitors in the majority of the events. The men’s team finished with 63 points, landing them in sixth place overall. The team has had many obstacles to overcome this season, including the loss of seniors Tiffany Bunton and Lajuana Lovette, who where last year’s major point winners, combining for more than forty points in six different events. The Bobcats also had to deal with an overwhelming amount of injuries that plagued the team since the start of the indoor season in February. “We expected a lot from two particular freshmen, Nichole Lawson and Clay Holland, who are both strong athletes but persistent hamstring injuries kept them out of competition throughout the year,” Head Coach Galina Bukharina said. “Our main goal is to help the new recruits to improve, but it is important to find the tools necessary to make their transition from high school to university in regards to not only their own field performance but their academic and social progress, as well,” Bukharina said.

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Page D-4 - The University Star

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

is now hiring for the Fall 2005 semester.

Do you have what it takes? If you are interested in a position as: •News Reporter

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•Entertainment Writer

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•Sports Reporter

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Be on the lookout for information regarding our New Employee Orientation in September! Come by The University Star in Old Main 102 to pick up an application or download one at www.universitystar.com. For more information contact The University Star at 245-3487.


SPORTS

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

The University Star - Page D-5

Bobcats couldn’t swing it in SLC softball tourney By Kevin Washburn Sports Reporter It can get pretty hot playing softball in Hammond, La., during early May. Luckily, if someone needed to cool off, she could just stand next to the Texas State softball team’s icecold bats. The Bobcats could muster only three total runs during the team’s three-game stint in the Southland Conference tournament, which saw them win their first game against Northwestern State University before losses to Sam Houston State and McNeese State, which eliminated them from tournament play. Coach Ricci Woodard isn’t sure why the third-seeded Bobcats, who averaged over four runs per game in conference play, could not put runs on the board. “Having two weeks off (between the end of the regular season and the start of the tournament) doesn’t help,” Woodard said. “But I don’t want to make excuses. We just didn’t swing the bats well.” As was the case many times this season, Texas State went only as far as junior pitcher Katie Ann Trahan could take them. Trahan earned a split of the first two games, pitching brilliantly and allowing only two runs in both games combined. “(Trahan) did a great job all year but especially over the last month or so,” Woodard said. “She finished where we needed her to finish. She put us in a position to win any time we scored a few runs.” In Texas State’s third game of the tournament, Woodard decided to start sophomore pitcher Sarah Lancour rather than Trahan. The reasoning was twofold: Lancour had already shut down McNeese State once during the regular season, and Trahan would need some rest sooner or later. The gamble backfired and the result was an 8-1 defeat at the hands of eventual SLC tournament champion McNeese State. Things looked good for the Bobcats early on, as junior first baseman Kristin Gunter’s second-inning RBI double gave the

Courtney Addison/Star photo Starting off strong, the softball Bobcats won their first game against Northwestern State University but were slowed down and eventually eliminated from the tournament with losses to Sam Houston State and McNeese State. Bobcats a 1-0 lead, which Lancour would hang on to through the third inning. Then, over the course of the next two innings, the wheels fell off. The McNeese State hits began as soon as the fourth inning started, with the first two batters reaching base on singles. A one-out RBI double later gave McNeese State the 1-1 tie. The impasse lasted until the next batter came to the plate as freshman Jenny Clay cleared the bases with a three-run homerun, giving McNeese a 4-1 lead it would never give up. Clay’s homerun was the

last earned run the Cowgirls would score. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, three errors over the next 1 2/3 innings allowed four unearned runs to cross the plate, giving McNeese an insurmountable 8-1 lead by the end of the fifth inning. The eight runs were more than enough for McNeese State’s starting pitcher Jessica Denham, who did not allow a runner past first base over the final three innings. “Obviously, (Denham) threw well the whole weekend,” Woodard said. “Pitching is just like hitting; sometimes you get on a

roll, and when she does, she’s tough to beat. When her offspeed pitch is on, she’s as good as anyone.” All told, Denham, a junior whose 1.47 ERA and 94 strikeouts were each second-best in the SLC, allowed just one run off four hits in seven innings for the win. Lancour pitched all seven innings as well, taking the loss while giving up eight runs, four of which were earned along with nine hits. Texas State was not the only victim of lights-out pitching by Denham; one day after defeating the third-seeded Bobcats, Denham notched three wins, defeating top seeded UT-San Antonio once and second-seeded SHSU twice for the conference tournament title. “(Denham’s) good and built like a pitcher,” Woodard said. “She’s about 5-11 and has one of those builds to throw underhanded for a long time. She’s one of these kids we all expected to be good, and I think she’s just realizing some of that (potential).” Two hours before the debacle against McNeese State, Texas State took on SHSU. With Trahan on the mound, the Bobcats kept the game close, but a lack of offense once in. The Bobcats’ first and only lead of the game came in the second inning, when they received a little help from Bearkat pitcher Shalayne Blythe. Trahan led off the second with a single, and when a pitch hit the next batter, junior third baseman Holly Britain, Texas State looked poised for a big inning. Two outs later, that big inning the Bobcats needed turned into a struggle just to muster a single run. When facing the next batter, though, Blythe delivered a gift to Texas State in the form of a wild pitch, which allowed pinch runner Jill Kloesel to score the game’s first run. SHSU answered back in the third inning. After striking out the first batter she faced, Trahan gave up a double to senior center fielder Sarah Sweeney and walked junior second baseman Lauren Boone. One out later, senior

catcher Chrissy Dileo knocked in the first Bearkat run with a single to right field. The next batter up, senior third baseman Erin Lindsey, collected the second two-out RBI of the inning, giving SHSU its first lead of the game, 2-1. Despite Trahan not giving up a single hit after the third inning, Texas State was never able to capitalize, getting only two hits in the same post-third inning period. When all was said and done, Trahan was saddled with the loss despite giving up only two runs off three hits and striking out nine in six innings of work. The Bobcat offense garnered only four hits of its own off Blythe, who received the win. In Texas State’s first game of the conference tournament, a key mistake by NSU proved to be the difference in this pitchers’ duel as the Bobcats eked out a 1-0 win. The first inning started out rather unspectacularly for Texas State. Leadoff hitter Amy Hromadka struck out swinging, and the next batter, sophomore right fielder Amy Krueger, fouled out to right field. But NSU senior pitcher Loni Rasberry was not able to shut the door on the Bobcats. Senior second baseman Ashley Wilson walked and

Trahan singled, pushing Wilson to third. Rasberry then threw a wild pitch while facing the next batter, allowing Wilson to score what turned out to be the game-winning run. Texas State missed a chance to blow the game open in the second inning. Britain led off the inning with a walk, and senior catcher Rachael Bonetti was hit by a pitch. A sac bunt advanced the runners to second and third with just one out, but Rasberry settled down and got the next two Bobcat batters to ground out. NSU encountered a very similar position offensively in the fourth inning, with two players on base — one hit by a pitch and one walked — with just one out. Trahan was able to get the next two hitters out and finish the inning unscathed. Trahan came away with the win after giving up only two hits and no runs over seven innings. She struck out nine and also had the only two Bobcat hits of the game. Rasberry received the loss, giving up two hits and one run. Upon advancing to the NCAA tournament, McNeese State was eliminated from its Region 5 bracket in three games, defeating Centenary College and losing to Texas A&M and Penn State. Throughout the season, junior pitcher Katie Ann Trahan helped put the Bobcats in a position to try to take the Southland Conference tournament title on May 6 and 7. The ’Cats totaled three runs in three games and finished the season with a 26-27 overall record. Andy Ellis/ Star photo

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Page 6 - The University Star

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

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SPORTS

Page D-7 - The University Star

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

It’s all about the Benjamins By Leonard Shapiro and Mark Maske The Washington Post WASHINGTON,D.C. — NFL owners unanimously approved the sale of the Minnesota Vikings, awarded the 2009 Super Bowl to Tampa and debated the thorny issues of revenue sharing among the league’s 32 teams and extension of the collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association. Still, when two days of meetings at the Ritz Carlton hotel ended, several owners did not share the optimism of Commissioner Paul Tagliabue on the possibility of reaching a quick consensus on revenue sharing. The commissioner, who said the sides made “good progress” Wednesday, announced there will be special league meetings to continue the discussion every month between June and October. At issue is the disparity in sharing money generated by high-revenue clubs such as the Washington Redskins and New England Patriots and teams in smaller markets such as Pittsburgh and Buffalo. While all teams share national broadcasting rights fees and gate receipts, the higher-revenue teams want to keep the revenue their franchises generate from local television and radio rights, stadium signage and other local corporate sponsor-

Photo courtesy of dallascowboys.com

NFL owners find little consensus on revenue issues

don’t know “I that it’s that easy to say

whether we’re closer or further apart. Certainly we’ll resolve it at some point. Right now, I don’t what the answer is.”

— Jerry Jones Dallas Cowboys owner

ship deals. “It didn’t go well,” Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said of the two-hour revenue-sharing session that went late into the afternoon. “I don’t think we got anywhere closer at this meeting — maybe further apart.” “It’s disappointing,” Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney said. “We certainly didn’t change any votes today, but we’ll just have to keep trying.” Dallas owner Jerry Jones added, “I don’t know that it’s that easy to say whether we’re closer or further apart. Certainly we’ll resolve it at some point. Right now, I don’t know what the answer is.” Tagliabue painted a somewhat rosier picture, saying at least several areas of what he called “structural changes” in the current system generated “a much broader consensus” during Wednesday’s discussion. Any change in the revenue-sharing policies must be approved by a three-fourths majority of owners. He cited several potential

changes, including what he described as a “blended rate” of sharing local revenues, perhaps 80 percent to the team that generates the revenue and 20 percent shared by other clubs. Tagliabue also acknowledged, as he did at the March league meeting in Hawaii, that negotiations on an extension with the players’ union were still at a “dead end.” He said he will soon meet with NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw and plans to make a significant effort over the next two months to settle their differences. Most owners agree that an accord won’t be reached until revenue sharing is resolved. The current deal expires after the 2007 season, but a salary cap will be in place for only 2005 and 2006 unless both sides agree to an extension. Upshaw said earlier this week the union will not back off its demand of getting a larger percentage of gross revenues than the NFL has offered and warned team owners he would not hesitate to let the current agreement run out and have an

uncapped 2007 season. “We have the opportunity to spend a lot of time (on labor negotiations) now that we have our television contracts done,” Tagliabue said. “We have a chance in the next six or seven weeks to work closely with the NFLPA on how to narrow the gap. Hopefully by late October, we’ll sign an agreement and not look like pumpkins.” Tagliabue said he preferred not to comment on a bill aimed at eliminating steroid use by professional athletes co-sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that would impose a mandatory two-year suspension for a first-time violation. The NFL now suspends firsttime violators for four games without pay. Earlier, Tagliabue introduced New Jersey real estate developer Zygmunt Wilf as the Vikings’ new owner. Wilf ’s group paid $600 million to purchase the team from Red McCombs, who paid $246 million in 1998. Wilf pledged the team will “be in the Minneapolis area forever.” He also said he would prefer the Vikings play in an open-air stadium. Tampa secured the 2009 Super Bowl on the fourth ballot Wednesday morning, beating out Atlanta. Atlanta and Houston had been the frontrunners going into the meeting, but Brian Glazer, son of Tampa owner Malcom Glazer, said owners were swayed by Tampa’s impressive bid, the prospect of warm February weather and “a Saturday night party at Busch Gardens; we’re giving (the owners) 150 (free) tickets they wouldn’t have had in the past.”

Texas State tennis player honored by ESPN The Magazine Texas State University senior tennis player Tina Klemenc has been named to the 2004-2005 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI Women’s AtLarge Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Klemenc was one of 12 student-athletes named to the all-district first-team. The atlarge team recognizes studentathletes participating in crew, golf, gymnastics, swimming and tennis. Klemenc is a cum laude graduate at Texas State who played her senior season while pursuing a master’s degree from the Emmett & Miriam McCoy College of Business Administration. She carries a 4.00 grade point average and

Photo courtesy of Media Relations Klemenc was named District VI Academic AllAmerican by ESPN The Magazine.

New basketball recruit shoots to step up Texas State’s game Texas State basketball Coach Dennis Nutt has announced the signing of Northern Oklahoma College-Enid guard Jeremy Johnson to a National Letter of Intent. The signing of the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Johnson gives the Bobcats three junior college transfers and five incoming freshmen. Last year, as a sophomore, the Oklahoma City native averaged 18 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Jets. He shot 40 percent from threepoint range. “I think Jeremy will be a great fit for Texas State,” said Northern Oklahoma coach Greg Shamburg. “He has gotten better each and every year.

“W

e believe that Jeremy will be a nice addition to our team. He can score, and he can really defend any perimeter position. Jeremy gives us experience and comes from a solid program where he had good coaching.”

— Dennis Nutt Texas State basketball coach

This year, he really scored for us and did a great job of doing whatever we asked of him. He is a great kid, and he’ll do well.” “We believe that Jeremy will be a nice addition to our team,” Nutt said. “He can score, and he can really defend any pe-

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rimeter position. Jeremy gives us experience and comes from a solid program where he had good coaching.” Johnson joins recent juniorcollege signees Jushay Rockett (6-5, 225 pounds) from Western Arizona and Navarro Junior College forward Charles

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Dotson (6-5, 215 pounds). Also during the spring signing period, Texas State signed Dallas Madison wing Jason Rogers (6-4, 180 pounds). The Bobcats concentrated on height and size during the early signing period, inking four players to NLIs. Texas State signed Brandon Bush (6-6, 185 pounds) out of Houston’s Mayde Creek High School, Coppell’s Trevor Cook (6-9, 210 pounds), Frisco’s Dylan Moseley (6-8, 215 pounds) and C. J. Webster (68, 245 pounds) from Marshall High School in Missouri City in November.

has been named to the Dean’s List, Chancellor’s List and SLC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Outside the classroom, the Zgornia Lipnica, Slovenia, native is a member of Club AD Futura which is a support group for international mobility of students and researchers from and to Slovenia. She is also a member of Texas State’s International Student Association. On the court, Klemenc posted a 10-3 overall record and was 8-2 at No. 5 singles in Southland Conference play. She was named to the 2005 All-Southland Conference Women’s Tennis Second Team as selected by the league’s coaches and sports information directors. CoSIDA’s District VI encompasses universities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Joining Klemenc on the district first team were Camelia Blackerby (Golf/TCU), Blair Disesa (Tennis/Rice), Kailin Downs (Golf/New Mexico), Karen Glazebrook (Crew/ Texas), Jenny Kuehn (Tennis/ Tulane), Bindiya Parekh (Tennis/Arkansas-Little Rock), Halley Rambally (Tennis/ SMU), Alisa Schuknecht (Swimming/Texas), Karin Sjodin (Golf/Oklahoma State), Martina Stursova (Skiing/New Mexico) and Story TweedieYates (Tennis/TCU). As first-team selections, members of the all-district squad will advance to the national ballot which will determine All-America honors.

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Page D-8 - The University Star

SPORTS

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Texas State sends four to NCAA finals Sights set for national qualifiers in Sacramento

I have to make it through the preliminaries,” Veal said. Javionni Gooden also qualified for the NCAA Finals with a second-place mark behind Veal in the long jump with a distance of 51 feet 3.5 inches, beating out his closest competitor by less than two inches. Gooden injured himself on his final jump and that injury will more than likely keep him from competing in California, but Veal hopes he can at least go along to watch. “It will be good to have Javionni go along for the trip; we worked together all year for this, and it would be good to have him there for moral support,” Veal said. On the women’s side, Katya Kostetskya and Caroline Wolf both had strong showings in

their respective events and qualified for the NCAA Finals as well. Kostetskya placed third overall with a finishing time of 57.57 in the 400-meter hurdles, giving her the green light for By Miguel Peña the national finals as well. Sports Reporter Wolfe, a sophomore from Hewitt, made her presence With a mark of 52 feet 6.75 known with a strong leap in inches, Brian Veal, a senior the women’s high jump. With from Galveston, led the way for a four-way tie for third place, the men’s track and field team Wolfe competed in a late-round at the Midwest Regional Finals jump-off, tying once again for in Norman, Okla., garnering third place with a mark of 5 feet himself a first-place ranking in 10 inches with Cassie Witte, a the triple jump and a chance to junior from Nebraska. compete at the NCAA National Joe Hastings hit a 10th-place Finals set for June 8 to 11 in mark in the javelin throw with Sacramento, Calif. a distance of 170 feet 6 inches. “I have to take this one step This marks the final competiat a time. Of course I want to tion for Hastings, a senior from win the whole thing, but first Gonzales, who will be returning from competition to complete his studies before graduating. Matt Mireles, senior from Corpus Christi, competed in the shot put where he completed his best toss for 56 feet 3.25 inches. Yvette Green and Jacques Iwuchukwu competed together in the women’s triple jump, placing back to back in the mid-day competition. Green, a senior from Temple, finished 17th with a mark of 38 feet 9.5 inches, while Iwuchukwu placed 18th overall with a final mark of 38 feet 6.75 inches. Both qualified for the regionals earlier in the season and spent the last few meets fighting off injuries, Green with an upperthigh injury and Iwuchukwu with a hamstring injury. As a junior, Iwuchukwu has one more year of active competition, as she plans to make a run for the Southland Conference title and another invite to the NCAA Regionals for 2006. The team point total for the men’s competition left them at the 13 position with a total of 26 points, only two points shy of Oklahoma, which ended up with 28 points. Top ranked finishing team Nebraska who ended the day with 92.5 points. The women’s team finished in 23rd position with a total of 10.5 points. All together, four members of the Bobcat track and field team made the final cut for the NCAA finals: Brian Veal and Photo courtesy of Media Relations Javionni Gooden in the triple jump, Katya Kostetskya in the Brian Veal now sets his sights on NCAA Finals after taking 400-meter hurdles and Carothe gold at the Midwest Regionals. line Wolf in the high jump. Caroline Wolf takes third place with a leap of 5 feet 10 inches to move up to national finals in Sacramento June 8 to 11.

Photo courtesy of Media Relations

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SPORTS

Page D-9 - The University Star

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

THE HEISMAN TROPHY

Many schools already looking for action By Emily Badger The Orlando Sentinel (KRT) TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In that dead period between spring football and August two-a-days, there’s not much to do in the college football war room other than staple old stat packs together and strategize for that ultimate public relations showdown — the battle for the Heisman Trophy. Popular logic says the award, arguably the most prestigious in all of college sports, demands more of its winners than just fat stats and a top-20 team finish. Other sacrifices at the altar often include life-sized billboards, CD-ROM displays and generally anything that might garner a buck on eBay. Inside the war room, the theory goes that such massmedia blitzes can garner votes for players. And so several Heisman campaigns, even with the first kickoff more than three months away, are already under way. Minnesota has sent out its first round of postcard-sized fliers hyping tailback Laurence Maroney, along with All-American candidates at center (Greg Eslinger) and guard (Mark Setterstrom). And last week, Memphis unveiled its campaign for tailback DeAngelo Williams — a NASCAR-themed racefor-the-Heisman pitch built around a 7-inch model stock car that will be mailed to potential voters this summer. “Our main objective is to get something a media person would receive and not throw in the trash,” said Memphis sports information director Jennifer Rodrigues, who designed the campaign. “Even if the media person gave it to a son, maybe that kid will walk in the room on Sept. 5, and say, ‘Hey dad, this guy is on TV right now.’” Sept. 5 is a big day for Memphis, a Conference USA team that rarely plays on national TV. That afternoon, Memphis opens the season against Ole Miss on ESPN. Rodrigues doesn’t want to imply that her program can’t live up to the same standards as an Oklahoma or USC, “but we’re realistic.” And so she knows her staff will have to work that much harder to promote a player who doesn’t play for a “power” school. One of those schools is USC, which isn’t doing a whole lot to remind anyone of quarterback Matt Leinart’s existence. He won the thing last year, which may be the best promotion in itself (although Oklahoma’s Jason White thought his victory in 2003 was more of a drag than an advantage last year). Leinart and teammate Reggie Bush, a tailback, are among the early front-runners this year, allowing USC’s sports information staff to lay low and hang onto the thousands of dollars other schools will spend on campaigns. “We always went into a season believing that you had to have a lot of the foundation laid, that you had to change the candidate’s name from Joe Smith to ‘Joe Smith comma Heisman Trophy candidate,’” USC Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone said. “What we found out in Carson (Palmer’s) case was we didn’t

“W

In that middle netherworld, there is always the danger that an overzealous campaign can come off looking foolish. Purdue quarterback Kyle Orton wasn’t a Heisman finalist last year even though the school went to great lengths to promote him. “Everybody is saying all this Heisman talk, but like Purdue last year, you can have two games where things don’t go your way,” Sandersfeld said, “and all that hype is down the drain.” Given the importance voters place on standout performances in major TV games, Haptonstall isn’t optimistic that less-powerful programs and non-BCS contenders have truly closed the gap. In the past 20 years, BYU quarterback Ty Detmer is the only Heisman winner to have come from outside the six BCS conferences and Notre Dame. Haptonstall had dinner in New York in ’97 with his

e always went into a season believing that you had to have a lot of the foundation laid, that you had to change the candidate’s name from Joe Smith to ‘Joe Smith comma Heisman Trophy candidate.’”

— Tim Tessalone USC Sports Information Director

do any of that.” Palmer won the Heisman in 2002 but wasn’t even on the cover of the team’s media guide that season (safety Troy Polamalu was). A quarterback with an unpredictable track record, Palmer was on no one’s short list at the beginning of the season. But a sterling performance on the field — and in national TV games — helped h i m

motions made up the least effective tactics. “Player labeled by his univer-

counterparts from Washington State, Michigan and Tennessee, the other schools who had finalists that season. Michigan had done nothing to promote Woodson. Tennessee had done everything it could think of for Peyton Manning. “If he doesn’t win, nobody’s going to say it wasn’t because we didn’t try,” Haptonstall said he was told by a Tennessee official. That is the other half of the mentality, regardless of whether voters are out there filing away the fliers or sporting their Ty Detmer ties. “There’s a lot of pressure on my part to make sure I don’t get a phone call from Coach (Tommy West) saying, ‘These people said they’ve never heard of (Williams)!’” Rodrigues said. “We fight that battle every day with our women’s basketball program, our men’s basketball program. We fight that on a daily basis, so we’re kind of accustomed to it.”

Strange, but informative.

Photo courtesy of www.Heisman.com overcome that. “The voters out there are smart enough to understand and realize who the best players are, the best player is,” Tessalone said. “I think they got it right the last couple of years.” (Two of the past three winners are from USC.) Low-key campaigns actually may pay off. A recent Ph.D. dissertation showed that voters place little stock in team-sponsored reminders and memorabilia. Clark Haptonstall, the director of the sports management program at Rice, recently completed his dissertation on what influences Heisman voters. A former SID at Marshall, Haptonstall ran Heisman campaigns for dark-horse candidates Randy Moss and Chad Pennington. Moss was invited to New York in 1997 as one of the four finalists that year. Haptonstall knew his guy had no chance of winning (Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson did), but he sat in the Downtown Athletic Club wondering if his $7,000 campaign had had any effect. Last year, the Heisman Trophy Trust gave permission for Haptonstall to survey all of its 921 voters. Sixty-one percent of voters who actually submitted a ballot the year White was selected responded. Media members and past winners vote on the award, and the names of the media members are kept secret. Haptonstall still doesn’t know their identities — the surveys were mailed through the Heisman Trust — but he now knows that voters are most influenced by personal observations, statistics and newspaper coverage. On a list of 30 variables, various team-sponsored pro-

���������������������

sity as a ‘Heisman Trophy candidate’” ranked 28th. Large billboards — as Oregon famously did in Times Square for quarterback Joey Harrington in 2001 — ranked last. “I won’t go as far as to say it doesn’t help raise the visibility of the university, but it does not help their candidate gain votes from Heisman Trophy voters,” Haptonstall said. Voters want to be persuaded by experts, he said, and they view SIDs more as propagandists. “They’re saying, ‘What would I expect them to say?’ They see it as almost publicity hucksters.” Many of the biggest programs seem to have already figured this out. But while schools such as USC don’t need to politick for votes, smaller programs will continue to feel the pressure to overcome the publicity advantage inherent in playing in the major conferences. Florida isn’t planning much for quarterback Chris Leak. Neither is Oklahoma for tailback Adrian Peterson. Michigan, which has candidates in quarterback Chad Henne and tailback Michael Hart, has never done anything to promote individual players. “We don’t feel like we need to go that extra mile and come up

with bobblehead dolls, all that stuff,” Oklahoma assistant SID Chris Freet said. “We’re on TV constantly.” But Bowling Green must maximize the effect of its two early games on national TV for quarterback Omar Jacobs, who remains almost unknown nationally despite throwing for 4,002 yards, with 41 touchdowns and just four interceptions, last season. “That’s going to be the impetus as to whether or not a campaign will be viable for someone at a school like Bowling Green,” Sports Information Director J.D. Campbell said of early games at Wisconsin and Boise State. “You’ve seen Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich, Ben Roethlisberger and Alex Smith come from non-BCS schools and compete very well for the award, and we think Omar is that type of player.” Minnesota has a similar disadvantage even though it plays in the Big Ten. “We’re one of those schools that we’re not a Michigan and Ohio State or USC, but we’re not in that lower level,” Minnesota football media relations director Shane Sandersfeld said.

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