Ex-Cat Klefot to train with U.S. volleyball team
One of Kentucky's all-time best will head out West to train with the nation's top talent beginning this week. Former two-time All-America selection Stephanie Klefot was selected to train with the United States National Team in Anaheim, Calif., beginning on Monday.
"I'm very excited to train with some of the best volleyball talent in the world," Klefot said. "It's an honor and a privilege to even be given this opportunity. I hope to represent Kentucky and the program Coach (Craig) Skinner has developed as best as possible."
Klefot wrapped up her four-year career this fall after earning a pair of All-America selections and becoming the only player in program history to appear in three Sweet Sixteens. The Louisville native also secured a record-breaking three consecutive Southeastern Conference Libero of the Year accolades.
Due to heavy rain in the Tuscaloosa area, the Kentucky softball team's series opener against Alabama at Rhoads Stadium on Friday night was postponed. The two teams play a doubleheader on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.
The Kentucky track and field team's Matt Hillenbrand and Adam Kahleifeh finished second and fifth with respective 1,500-meter personal-best times of 3:44.66 and 3:45.99 at the IU Billy Hayes Invitational on Friday. Hillenbrand was the top collegiate finisher in the race.
Auto racingInjured Hamlin won't rule out full race
Denny Hamlin ran 16 laps at full speed Friday, turned his car over to Brian Vickers and then didn't exactly rule himself out of running a full race this weekend as he recovers from a back injury.
Hamlin insisted he'll again give Vickers the car at some point Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.
But with a sly smile, Hamlin left the door open to run a full race in his return from a compressed fracture of a vertebra in his lower back. After missing four races, he was cleared Thursday to get back in the car and said doctors gave him permission to run the entire race.
He said his intention was to "take a knee" after the start by getting out of the car during a caution and allowing Vickers to finish the race. That slightly contradicted crew chief Darian Grubb, who said earlier Friday they'd play race-day by ear and see how the race flows.
When asked about that after his practice stint, Hamlin stammered about his true plans.
"Ummm, yeah. I'd say there's going to be a caution at some point and I'd like to get out and just ensure myself of one more week of healing," Hamlin said.
So bet on Hamlin getting out of the car?
"Is there that bet in Vegas?" Hamlin asked.
X Games star Travis Pastrana won his first career Nationwide Series pole. The 10-time X Games gold medalist-turned-NASCAR driver topped qualifying for Saturday's Aaron's 312 with a fast lap of 176.500 mph on the 2.66-mile tri-oval.
College footballTexas St. extends Franchione contract
Texas State football coach Dennis Franchione has agreed to a five-year contract extension that pays him $400,000 annually starting in 2014. The agreement announced Thursday says Franchione will remain at his current base salary of about $350,000 until February. Franchione took over the program in early 2011 and had a five-year deal. He led Texas State to a 6-6 record as an independent.
BoxingMayweather next faces Guerrero
He claims to be more mature now, chastened by a stint in jail and eager to be just as much a businessman as a fighter. Indeed, Floyd Mayweather Jr. acted almost statesmanlike earlier this week when Robert Guerrero's father began screaming that he was a woman beater who would finally get beaten himself Saturday night.
If it's an act, it's a pretty good one. Mayweather has for the most part taken the high road while promoting his fight against Robert Guerrero. The two meet in a scheduled 12-round welterweight title match on Saturday at 10 p.m. in what will be Mayweather's first fight in a year. It's also his first ring appearance since serving a jail term for assaulting the mother of his children, an experience he said helped him grow up.
GolfMickelson holds lead at Quail Hollow
Phil Mickelson has figured out the secret to the greens at Quail Hollow. Or maybe he's just had a lot of good bounces for two days. Mickelson opened with a pair of 15-foot birdie putts, dropped in a 40-foot putt at the turn and made back-to-back birdies late in his round Friday. He finished with a 5-under 67 for a two-shot lead going into the weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Mike Goodes shot a 3-under 69 in wind that gusted to 30 mph to take a one-stroke lead Friday after the first round of the Champions Tour's Insperity Championship. Only seven players in the 81-man field broke par on an unseasonably cold and blustery day. A gust blew down one scoreboard at The Woodlands Country Club.
The youngest player to compete on the European Tour missed the cut, while Mikko Ilonen of Finland tied the course record with a 9-under 63 Friday for a three-shot lead at the China Open. The 12-year-old amateur Ye Wocheng missed the cut at 14 over after a pair of 79s.
Ariya Jutanugarn weathered the wind and kept her lead Friday in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship. The 17-year-old Thai player missed three short par putts early, but rolled in a 45-footer and two others for birdie on the wind-swept River Course in an even-par 71 that gave her a one-stroke lead at 7 under.
Juli Inkster won't have to go through qualifying to get back to the U.S. Women's Open. Inkster was given a special exemption into this year's U.S. Women's Open, which will be played June 27-30 at Seabonack Golf Club in New York. Inkster, who is in the World Golf Hall of Fame, turns 53 that week.
Minor League baseball
Legends sweep Shorebirds
The Lexington Legends scored six runs in the sixth inning on five walks, an error, a hit batsman and Bubba Starling's two-run single and held on for a 6-3 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds Friday night. The win gave the Legends a sweep of the three-game series.
Sports in the courts
Cardinals LB Washington arrested
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington was arrested Friday after being accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend, who authorities said is the mother of his baby daughter.
A probable cause statement released by Phoenix police said Washington's ex-girlfriend claimed he grabbed her by the throat and shoved her to the ground following an argument at her apartment Wednesday. The woman told police that Washington also pushed her with two hands, causing her to fall and break her right collarbone.
The last word
For most of his 20 years in the business, ex-soldier and auto dealer-turned-thoroughbred owner Rick Porter has been naming horses to honor veterans. Kentucky Derby entrant Normandy Invasion is no different. Porter invited four veterans to be his guests on Saturday, one of them Bill Wilch, 89, a former infantryman. Said Wilch:
"I've been in an assisted living home in Ohio. I play pinochle with a bunch of guys who used to be in the horse racing business. ... I've never been this close to a racehorse before. He's beautiful."