Centre's Morris wins D-III men's championship
Centre senior Chris Morris won the NCAA Division III Men's Golf Championship Friday by four strokes and set a record four-round score of 14-under 280. The Colonels finished seventh overall in Greensboro, N.C., at the Grandover Resort.
"Winning this tournament is the biggest accomplishment of my career thus far. I can't be more thankful and appreciative of my coaches, teammates, friends and Centre College," the Mason County graduate said in a news release. "It feels like a storybook ending to my college career."
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Morris received the Arnold Palmer Award for being the medalist and was named a Ping first-team All-American. The Nova Scotia, Canada, native who moved to Maysville when he was 6 took the lead after Wednesday's second round with a 7-under 65. He followed that with two rounds of 71 and easily held off Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' Tain Lee, who won the tournament last year and set the previous record. Morris was four shots behind Lee in 2010.
On Friday, Morris started on the back nine and got himself in trouble with a triple bogey on the par-4 11th, which took a chunk out of his five-stroke lead. But he rallied with four birdies over the next seven holes to regain control.
Transylvania's Justin Tereshko was also named a first-team All-American, selected by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Transy was in a three-way tie for 14th place after Wednesday's round but missed the 15-team cut in a playoff. Tereshko was 19th individually after the first two rounds. Centre sophomore Grant Hinton of Elizabethtown made the third team after finishing in a tie for 20th Friday.
Transy announces 2011 Hall inductees
Former basketball stars Elaine Russell, Vince Bingham and Daniel Swintosky highlight a group of 10 inductees into the Transylvania University Pioneer Hall of Fame, the school announced Friday. Russell came to Transylvania from Louisville and was a four-year starter in field hockey and basketball. She scored 1,664 points (second in school history) and grabbed 1,085 rebounds (first). She is the only Transylvania woman with more than 1,000 career rebounds. Bingham, from Nicholasville, is Transy's all-time leading scorer with 2,109 points. Swintosky is also a native of Nicholasville and ranks second on the scoring list with 2,000 points. Also entering the Hall of Fame this year are Sean Carey (soccer); Mark Browning (golf, basketball); Muffet Harmon Eskra (softball, field hockey); Lori Rechter Harper (tennis); Fred Peters (tennis); Brynn Rentz Wade (tennis); and David Windley (golf). The class will be inducted May 22.
UK women get 8 points in SEC track meet
Kentucky junior Precious Nwokey and senior Heather Smith combined for eight points on day two of the Southeastern Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Georgia. For the men, junior Keith Hayes and senior Sharif Webb made it to Friday's finals of the 400-meter hurdles and the 800-meter run, respectively. Smith picked up UK's first four points with a sixth-place finish in the women's hammer throw. Nwokey finished fourth in the completion of the heptathlon, including a career-best long jump of 6.06 meters. That put her in first with two events to go, but she faltered in the javelin and finished 14th. Nwokey bounced back with a third-place showing in the 800 meters. She holds the Kentucky record in the heptathlon with 5,543 points, which she set at the SEC championships in 2010. UK will be back in action Saturday beginning with Keenan Hall in the long jump.
Nadal secures No. 1 by reaching semis
Rafael Nadal will keep the No. 1 ranking for at least another three weeks following a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Croatia's Marin Cilic on Friday in the Italian Open quarterfinals in Rome. Nadal was at risk of losing the top spot to Novak Djokovic if he failed to reach the semifinals of this clay-court tournament, which the Spaniard has won five of the last six years. Djokovic also reached the semis, extending his winning streak to 37 matches with a 6-3, 6-0 victory over fifth-seeded Robin Soderling. Djokovic has won all 35 of his matches this year, trailing only John McEnroe's 42-0 start in 1984.
Djokovic's semifinal opponent will be fourth-ranked Andy Murray, who overcame a slow start to beat Germany's Florian Mayer 1-6, 6-1, 6-1 and become the first British man to reach the Rome semifinals since 1932. The tournament is an important warmup for the French Open, which starts in nine days.
■ Venus Williams pulled out of the French Open on Friday, 24 hours after her younger sister Serena withdrew, making it the first Grand Slam tournament since 2003 without either Williams. The 30-year-old American has been off the tour since January.
Belmont joining OVC in 2012-13
Belmont University, a steady presence in the NCAA Tournament, is leaving the Atlantic Sun Conference and joining the Ohio Valley Conference effective in the 2012-13 academic year, the school announced Friday. Belmont has been in the tournament four times in the last five years, losing in the first round each time. This year, the Bruins finished 30-5 overall and lost to Wisconsin as a 13 seed. They nearly upset Duke in 2008, losing 71-70. Coach Rick Byrd said the move could improve Belmont's chances in future NCAA tourneys. OVC teams have won three straight first-round tourney games, which he said helps the reputation of the league.
Belmont officials said the Nashville school is joining the OVC by invitation and will save travel expenses in the process. Seven OVC schools are in Tennessee or Kentucky. The A-Sun conference has teams as far away as Florida and South Carolina.
■ Mississippi Coach Andy Kennedy has hired veteran Sergio Rouco to fill out his assistant coaching staff. Rouco has 24 years of coaching experience at the high school and college levels, including five as the head coach at Florida International from 2004-09. Rouco's hire should finish a substantial makeover to Kennedy's staff after a disappointing 20-14 season that ended with a fourth trip to the National Invitation Tournament in five seasons.
Ex-Cowboy Springs dies after 4-year coma
Former Dallas Cowboys running back Ron Springs, who spent the past four years in a coma after losing oxygen during a 2007 operation, has died without ever regaining consciousness. He was 54. Former Cowboys teammate Everson Walls, who donated a kidney to Mr. Springs for a transplant, said the Springs family informed him that his friend died about 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Medical City Dallas hospital. The hospital is where Mr. Springs first slipped into the coma in 2007 after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst from his forearm about seven months after receiving the kidney. In 2008, Mr. Springs' wife, Adriane, filed a medical-malpractice lawsuit against two doctors she says caused brain damage to her husband during the cyst surgery. Despite the lengthy coma, the death came as a surprise, Walls said.
"We are people of faith, and we never gave up hope that he would regain consciousness," he said. "He seemed to be holding his own. They say he just took a breath and he flat-lined."
■ Mississippi Coach Houston Nutt has suspended linebacker Clarence Jackson and defensive end Delvin Jones after both were arrested for public drunkenness early Friday morning.
■ Michael Phelps finished sixth in the 200-meter freestyle finals Friday at the Charlotte UltraSwim in North Carolina. Swiss Olympian Dominik Meichtry won the 200 free at Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center in 1:48.55, overtaking early leader Ryan Lochte and edging local favorite Ricky Barens, who finished in 1:49.25. Phelps was 1.34 seconds behind in Lane 1, racing in a field featuring six Olympians
The last word
Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco sounded confident about his challenge to ride a bull Saturday in a Duluth, Ga., rodeo. But he obviously hasn't had an up-close look at one of the animals yet:
"The real question is not how long I can last on the bull, but how long the bull can last with me riding him or her."