Sports Briefs

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2001

Mayor's Midnight Sun registration info

Early registration for any of the five events at the 27th annual Anchorage Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon will run through April 27. Registration is available on the Internet at or in person at the University of Alaska Anchorage Athletic Department at 3211 Providence Drive in Anchorage.

The five events are the marathon, marathon walk, half marathon, five miler and Youth Cup (1.6 miles).

Popeye Club does well in Homer

The Popeye Wrestling Club had a successful run at the Kyle Gagnon Memorial Tournament Saturday at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School.

Taking firsts were Chris Beechwood, Mason Blake, Matt Fogg, Cameron Hagen and Steve Wolfe. Jasper Cousins collected a second, Keith White chalked up a third and Robert Brymer, Tristian Brymer, Pete Kalugin, Conner McCarthy and Jake Phillips each finished fourth. All told, 11 of the 18 wrestlers from the Popeye Wrestling Club placed in the top four.

Hagen was named the outstanding wrestler in the School Boy Division. Also, coach Steve Wolfe was honored by the North Road Wrestling Club of Nikiski for his 25 years of contribution to the sport of wrestling in the state of Alaska and awarded $500 for his upcoming trip to Las Vegas for the National Masters Wrestling Tournament.

Midnight Sun competes at tourneys

The Peninsula Midnight Sun Volleyball Club competed at a pair of tournaments Saturday in Anchorage.

One team went to the 14's tournament at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The club showed improved play at the tournament. The team included Rose Goodman, Zori Wallace-Keck and Heather Roach of Soldotna, Hanna King and Karissa Powers of Skyview and Megan Needs and Stacey Foster from Soldotna Junior High. The team was coached by Heidi Vann and Katie Richardson.

The other team went to a 16's tournament held at Hanshew Junior High in Anchorage. The team won first place in the silver pool. After a couple tough games, the team defeated Homer Midnight Sun Club in the silver pool finals. The team included Crystal Morris, Angelica Carreon, Alexis DeMello, Lenora John and Charity Christensen of Kenai and Jenna Pitts and Jacqulyn Cowan of Soldotna. Carreon also won the "Team Floor Burn Award" for her consistent passing game, great blocking at the net and aggressive hustle on defense. Pako Whannell coached the team.

The 18's team will be traveling to Anchorage Saturday for the final tournament of the season. It will complete the six-month season for the club.

Arenas opting for NBA draft

TUCSON, Ariz. -- The devastation of Arizona's NCAA runner-up basketball team is complete.

Sophomore guard Gilbert Arenas on Thursday became the fourth Wildcats underclassman starter to announce he will make himself available for the NBA draft. The other starter was senior center Loren Woods.

Newspaper files new request to see autopsy photos

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A University of Florida student newspaper filed a new request Thursday to see Dale Earnhardt's autopsy photos.

Meanwhile, the Daytona International Speedway physician who blamed Earnhardt's death on a faulty seat belt backed away from his previous statements.

The new cross-claim filed by the Independent Florida Alligator against the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office addresses developments in the case that weren't present when the original request was filed last month. A Deland-based Web site is also seeking access to the autopsy photos.

The publication challenges the constitutionality of a state law passed last month restricting access to autopsy photos and argues that it can't be applied retroactively to the Earnhardt photos.

The medical examiner's office needs to respond to the motion and then a hearing likely will be scheduled. Volusia County spokesman Dave Byron said the county will argue that the law and a judge's order keeps the medical examiner's office from providing the photos.

''If you ask me for those photographs today, I can't give them to you, or any other autopsy photographs,'' Byron said.

In a related development, the physician who said a faulty seat belt may have been responsible for Earnhardt's death at the Daytona 500 now says he may have been too quick in blaming the restraint system.

''I was trying to answer the questions the media and the public had to the best of my ability and I think I speculated more than I should have,'' Dr. Steve Bohannon told The News-Journal of Daytona Beach on Wednesday. ''Sometimes you should just say it's too early to speculate.''

Bohannon, the director of emergency medical services at Daytona International Speedway, withdrew his assumption after a medical expert said restraint failure didn't play a role in Earnhardt's death Feb. 18.

Dr. Barry Myers, a Duke University professor who made his report public earlier this week after looking at Earnhardt's autopsy photos, is ''more qualified to determine the cause of death,'' Bohannon said.

Myers' report followed an agreement between the Orlando Sentinel and Earnhardt's widow, Teresa, who has tried to have the autopsy photos sealed.

The Sentinel protested the sealing of the photos in February, saying it wanted its own medical expert to view the photos for an investigative series the newspaper was writing on NASCAR safety.

The settlement allowed Myers to view the images, which would then be sealed permanently.

Autopsy photos used to be public records in Florida, but Gov. Jeb Bush signed a measure last month making it a felony for a medical examiner to make the photos public. The Sentinel and the Sun-Sentinel of South Florida challenged the constitutionality of the new law in a lawsuit.

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