Other Sports

Sports briefs: Jan. 16

High schools

Jude, state's all-time leading rusher, says he'll play at EKU

Johnson Central senior J.J. Jude, the all-time rushing leader in Kentucky high school football, will sign with Eastern Kentucky in a few weeks. Jude, who got a scholarship offer from EKU last summer, committed to the Colonels a couple weeks ago. Jude said he also had offers from Liberty and Richmond, but chose EKU "because it's close to home, and I wanted to stay in-state and help the state."

Jude, who rushed for 8,637 yards in his career, was an undefeated wrestling champ at 171 pounds last year. He is 28-0 this season and looking to repeat as state champ.

Jude said early in his high school career he thought about wrestling in college, but changed his mind "so my goal was to play football at the next level. Now I'm going to get that chance with a full ride (to EKU)."

■ Sacred Heart, ranked 18th in this week's Dave Cantrall's Rating the State, defeated visiting Assumption 48-45 in a girls' basketball on Sunday. Raven Merriweather led the Valkyries with 19 points, six steals, five rebounds and three blocked shots. DaiJia Ruffin also reached double figures in scoring for Sacred Heart with 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Assumption's Katie Friedrich scored a game-high 23 points to go with six rebounds.

UK sports

Rossi reaches SEC Coaches' Indoors finals

Kentucky's Anthony Rossi, ranked 36th in the nation, defeated Mississippi's William Kallberg in the quarterfinals and Nik Scholtz, also from Mississippi, in the semifinals to reach Monday's championship in the Southeastern Conference Coaches' Indoor Champions tournament at the Hilary J. Boone Tennis Complex in Lexington. Kallberg had defeated top-seeded Wil Spencer of Georgia and Sholtz is ranked 15th nationally.

"The level of play has been so high in this tournament and it's good to see him persevere through so many tough matches," Coach Dennis Emery said.

Rossi will play Georgia's Sadio Doumbia, the tournament's No. 2 seed, at noon Monday.

Kentucky's Eric Quigley, ranked fifth nationally, lost to Mississippi's Jonas Lutjen in the quarterfinals.

"Eric lost to a guy today who really went after his shots in the third set and played very poised," Emery said. "I think that it was much more of Lutjen beating Eric than it was that Eric beat himself. That will happen sometimes, especially indoors."

■ Kentucky's men's swimming and diving squad defeated Emory 181-119 on Sunday. UK's women won their matchup 168-132.


Wagner rallies for victory in Honolulu

Johnson Wagner worked so hard in the off-season that he told friends he was going to win early in the year, and he hardly wasted any time. Wagner played bogey-free over the last 12 holes, a winning recipe on a tough day at Waialae, and closed with a 3-under 67 to pull away from a half-dozen contenders and win the Sony Open on Sunday in Honolulu.

Wagner was among six players who had a share of the lead at some point in the final round. He was the only guy to stay there, and wound up with a two-shot win over Carl Pettersson, Sean O'Hair, Harrison Frazar and Charles Howell III.

■ South Africa's Branden Grace won his first European Tour title with a par 72 for a one-shot victory at the Joburg Open in Johannesburg. Grace had a bogey and birdie on the East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club to edge Englishman Jamie Elson, finishing at 17-under 270. The 23-year-old Grace held on with nine straight pars coming home for his second professional win after a 2010 victory on South Africa's Sunshine Tour.

Horse racing

Reneesgotzip romps at Santa Anita

Reneesgotzip raced to her first graded stakes victory Sunday, taking an early lead and pulling away in a blowout win over five other 3-year-old fillies in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes at Santa Anita. The even-money favorite making just her second start, Reneesgotzip and jockey Corey Nakatani led by less than a length in the early going, then stretched the lead to four lengths on the turn and won the Grade II sprint by a whopping 73/4 lengths, covering 61/2 furlongs in 1:15.25. The margin of victory was the biggest in the race since 1964.

"This is just a tremendous filly," Nakatani said.

Bought for just $45,000 by the Lanni Family Trust in April, Reneesgotzip won in her debut race at Hollywood Park on Dec. 14.

Trainer Peter Miller knew he had a special filly on his hands before she raced, but had no idea she would start her career so impressively. "She had shown a lot of ability, but not this kind of ability," he said.


Gonzalez gets 5-year deal from Nationals

Gio Gonzalez agreed to a $42 million, five-year contract with the Washington Nationals on Sunday, just three weeks after the left-hander was acquired in a trade with the Oakland Athletics. The 26-year-old Gonzalez went 16-12 last season — a career high for wins — with a 3.12 ERA in 32 starts and was selected to his first All-Star game. He has reached 200 innings the past two seasons.

Janet Evans qualified for the Olympic trials in the 800-meter freestyle Sunday in Austin Texas, her second qualifying time in two days in her comeback bid. The 40-year-old Evans finished in 8 minutes, 49.05 seconds at the Austin Grand Prix. Evans, who still owns the U.S. record set in 1989, won the race by more than 14 seconds. Evans also posted an Olympic-trial qualifying time in the 400 freestyle on Friday.

The last word

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on his team's 37-20 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday:

"We got beat by a team that played better. That's the reality of this league. (I've) been in the playoffs four times, and three times you lose your last game and you go home, and the one time you have that euphoric feeling that you keep fighting for. It's tough. I didn't think it was going to end tonight."