Silver Salmon place fourth in Ketchikan
The Soldotna Silver Salmon Swim Club, with just three swimmers competing, placed fourth at the Speedo Alaska Senior Championships Feb. 23 to 25 in Ketchikan.
The Silver Salmon were led by Soldotna High School senior Joshua Gemmell. Gemmell won all six of his events to earn 96 points, which means he is the 2001 state champion. Gemmell swam his two best times in the 50-yard freestyle and 200 freestyle, breaking two Soldotna Silver Salmon records.
Leo Grasso also earned valuable points for the Silver Salmon even though he is 14 years old and was swimming against competitors three or four years older than he is.
Grasso finished third in the 200 backstroke, fifth in the 500 freestyle, seventh in the 200 freestyle and seventh in the 100 backstroke. Grasso's time of 58.75 seconds in the 100 backstroke earned him a spot on the Silver Salmon record board by breaking Lucas Petersen's mark of 58.84. Grasso placed 13th overall.
Finally, Blake Mann-Schweigert helped the Silver Salmon's cause by finishing first in the 200 butterfly, second in the 100 butterfly, third in the 400 individual medley and fifth in the 200 individual medley. Those performances placed Mann-Schweigert eighth overall.
KPHA PeeWees take second in state
The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association Tier II PeeWee (ages 12 and 13) team finished second at the 2001 PeeWee Tier II State Tournament Friday through Monday in Fairbanks.
KPHA fell 3-1 to the Alaska All Stars Monday at the Big Dipper Ice Arena in the championship game. Alaska grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period before KPHA's Garrett Bossert, assisted by Dustin Moore, tied the game in the second period. Despite a solid effort in net from Lauren Baldwin, who recorded 26 saves, Alaska tallied twice in the third period to cement the win.
KPHA started off the tournament Friday with what coach Matt Stetz said was a make-or-break game against the Blue Devils, a team from Chugiak. KPHA picked up two goals from Cory Johnson and a goal each from Nelson Kempf, Gregory Bosick and Travis Temple in posting a 5-5 tie. Nicholas Hawkins and Baldwin combined to make 15 saves for KPHA.
Late Friday, KPHA rolled to a 9-2 victory over the Bulldogs. Bossert notched a hat trick in the game, while Nelson Kempf, Johnson, Bosick, James Hetrick, Jakeob Bishop and Moore also had goals. Hawkins and Baldwin combined to make nine saves.
KPHA then chalked up a 5-4 victory early Saturday over the North Stars. Kempf, Jedidiah McGlasson, Bossert, Hetrick and Moore scored in the game. Hawkins made 14 saves in net.
Sunday, KPHA advanced out of its pool as the top seed when it topped the Southcentral Wolves 7-2. Bossert, Temple and Bosick each potted two goals in the contest, while Johnson pitched in with one goal. Baldwin backstopped KPHA to the win with 19 saves.
Monday morning, KPHA earned a spot in the championship game with a tense 3-2 victory over Mat-Su. Mat-Su hit the post several times in the closing minutes, but Hawkins stood firm in net with 17 saves. Kempf, Hetrick and Bossert tallied in the game for KPHA.
Bill Mazeroski, Hilton Smith elected to Hall of Fame
TAMPA, Fla. -- Bill Mazeroski, the slick-fielding second baseman best remembered for hitting one of baseball's most famous home runs, has a new moniker: Hall of Famer.
The former Pittsburgh Pirates star was elected for induction Tuesday by the Veterans Committee, which also picked Negro leagues player Hilton Smith while bypassing Dick Williams, Gil Hodges, Dom DiMaggio and Marvin Miller for at least another year.
Mazeroski, who retired in 1972 after 17 major league seasons, came within one vote of being selected by the panel last winter. He was in the Pirates spring training clubhouse in Bradenton when he learned the news.
''I really don't know what to say. I never ever expected to be here,'' he said before slipping on a Hall of Fame jersey and cap.
''You dream of a lot of things. You want to be in the big leagues. You want to make the All-Star game. You want to be in a World Series. You want to do all those things. But you never dream of this. It's pretty exciting. I just hope I can live up to it.''
None of Mazeroski's hits were bigger than the ninth-inning homer at Forbes Field that won Game 7 of the 1960 World Series for the Pirates against the Yankees. While it made him an instant hero in Pittsburgh, he said there is a whole generation of New Yorkers who will never forgive him.
Smith, a teammate of Satchel Paige on the Kansas City Monarchs, died in 1983. He was 72-32 in 146 games from 1937 to 1948. His best season was 1941, when he went 10-0, and he also finished his career with a 6-1 record in exhibition games against major league teams.
Louisville AD to meet with Pitino
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said Tuesday that Rick Pitino was his top choice to be the Cardinals' next coach and they will discuss the job this weekend.
Denny Crum, who coached Louisville to two NCAA championships, announced his retirement last Friday, ending a 30-year Hall of Fame career. Speculation about Pitino began almost immediately.
Jurich said he did not try to contact Pitino until Sunday, when he called Brent Rice, a Lexington attorney and a mutual friend. Jurich said he and Pitino had not spoken at all.
Pitino said earlier in the day on ESPN Radio that he was interested in the Louisville job. He took over a Kentucky program strapped with NCAA probation in 1989 and turned it into an NCAA champion seven years later. He left the program after the following season to run the Celtics, but resigned in January after three unsuccessful seasons.
Pitino would have another rebuilding project in Louisville. The Cardinals were one of the top teams in 1980s, but have steadily declined in the past four seasons, going 62-61 with an 0-2 record in the NCAA tournament.
''What I've tried to focus on is who would be the best fit and who would do the best job and who I would enjoy working with,'' Jurich said. ''I feel at this point, Coach Pitino is really who I want to focus on. I want to go down and spend as much time as I possibly can selling the amenities of this program.
''It's a program I feel is one of the top five jobs in America and I want the opportunity to tell him.''
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