Cazenovia’s Smith makes state boys swim meet in two races

first_imgBut throughout the long race, Smith proved a bit quicker than Merkling, and then he pulled away in the last 100 yards, finishing in 4:48.77 to Merkling’s 4:51.74, an improvement of nearly 17 seconds from earlier this season.Since the state qualifying standard was 4:52.52, Smith easily gained a place on the Section III team that will go to Long Island’s Nassau Aquatic Center for the March 6-7 state meet – and he’ll do so in two events.Earlier in the sectional meet, Smith attacked the 200 individual medley. Again, Merkling was the main opposition and this time the Liverpool junior won in 1:57.92. However, Smith, needing to record 2:00.63 to reach the state meet, finished in 1:59.63 to advance. That was an improvement of more than eight seconds over his previous best of 2:08.23.Moving to Saturday’s sectional state qualifier, Smith would go 4:49.92 in the 500 freestyle, finishing a close second to Syracuse’s Belal Hamad, who posted 4:49.71 to get to the top spot.In the 200 IM, Smith improved 1:58.92, still second to Merkling, who won in 1:56.95. And in the 400 freestyle relay, Smith, joining Lucas Weires, Eric Bang and Ben Rabin, went 3:19.94, again second to Liverpool, who went 3:17.79.Three other Cazenovia students swam at the sectional Class A meet, too, with sophomore Cooper Hughes making his way to 18th place in the 50 freestyle in a season-best 24.48 seconds.Freshman Max Vidakovic took part in the 100 backstroke, finishing 24th in 1:09.41, and eighth-grader Eddie Comeau swam in the 100 breaststroke, getting 22nd place in 1:15.58.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story All through this winter, four Cazenovia High School students have taken part in boys swimming with Fayetteville-Manlius, competing in home meets a few blocks from their home campus at Cazenovia College.That included sophomore Quinn Smith, who would go to Thursday’s Section III Class A championships at Nottingham High School and secure spots in next month’s state meet in two different events, winning the 500-yard freestyle.Going into the meet, Smith has posted a time of five minutes, 5.70 seconds that made him the third seed, well behind Liverpool’s Griffin Merkling, the top seed at 4:56.86.center_img Tags: Cazenoviaswimminglast_img read more

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COLUMN: Obama’s departure is sad day for sports

first_imgYesterday was former President Barack Obama’s final day in office and — regardless of where you fall in the political spectrum — a sad day for sports fans across the country. Of the few presidencies I’ve lived through, no commander in chief has been as involved and as knowledgeable about the world of sports as Obama. Devout sports fans such as myself can tell almost immediately whether people in power — politicians, CEOs and celebrities — actually care about sports or are just trying to flub their way through a speech they didn’t write to cozy up to famous athletes (like San Francisco mayor Ed Lee calling Stephen Curry “Steve Curry” in 2013 when presenting the Golden State Warriors star a key to the city. That was cringe worthy).Through his eight years in office, I’ve watched Obama welcome championship teams and sports icons to the White House with casual jokes, references and remarks that make him feel more like a friend talking sports with you in a bar than the President of the United States making a speech. From making fun of Deflategate to calling Michael Jordan “more than just an internet meme,” Obama certainly has the sports jokes down. I’ve watched him fill out his bracket before the NCAA Tournament each year, explaining his picks and breaking down teams on ESPN, making more sense than some analysts the network somehow still employs (looking at you, Stephen A. Smith). In an interview with Grantland in 2012, Obama said he watches SportsCenter during his morning workouts, sneaks a peek at a ball game from time to time while reading briefings and even pays for NBA League Pass himself. GQ published an oral history this week describing Obama’s love of pickup basketball. He routinely played during both of his campaigns, including the day of both elections. It’s easy to say that all of this is pointless. Sports is unimportant in comparison to running a country. But can’t we all say that about our lives? Just because your team won a big game doesn’t mean you’ll get a promotion at work the next day. In this sense, Obama connected with us common folk who watch sports and use it as an escape from the stress of everyday life.There’s also something bigger about sports that Obama touched on beautifully on Monday, when he welcomed the World Series champions Chicago Cubs to the East Room for his final White House ceremony.“It is worth remembering — because sometimes people wonder, ‘Well, why are you spending time on sports? There’s other stuff going on’ — throughout our history, sports has had this power to bring us together, even when the country is divided,” he said. “Sports has changed attitudes and culture in ways that seem subtle but that ultimately made us think differently about ourselves and who we were. It is a game, and it is celebration, but there’s a direct line between Jackie Robinson and me standing here.”Robinson, of course, broke the color code in professional baseball, paving the way for the diverse world of sports we have now. In fact, black athletes make up the majority of players in both the NBA and NFL today, while minorities compose roughly 40 percent of MLB players. Sports are proof that no matter the political climate in the outside world, everyone on the playing field is one and the same, separated by their talents and abilities rather than race. It’s more than just the players: Anyone can be a sports fan. Go to a sporting event and you’ll see people across all walks of life cheering in unison for their team. “When you see this group of folks of different shades and different backgrounds coming from different communities and neighborhoods all across the country and then playing as one team and playing the right way and celebrating each other and being joyous in that, that tells us a little something about what America is and what America can be,” said Obama, describing Cubs players after their World Series victory. That is the true value of sports, which are so much more than simple objectives like putting a ball in a basket or running into an end zone. Obama understood that while Robinson was just a baseball player, he made it acceptable for people of color to participate in a league reserved for whites. That paved the way — more than half a century later — for a black man to lead the country, a position previously held solely by white men. And in the end, Obama was just as much a Chicago sports fan as he was the commander in chief. He cared about his March Madness brackets as much as the guy working a nine-to-five desk job, snuck in baseball games as much as the college student “multitasking” while studying, watched SportsCenter at the gym just like you or I would and shot hoops with his friends like any other dude. Say what you want about his politics or the legacy he leaves behind. But I’ll simply say this, from one sports fan to another: Thanks, Obama, for reminding us of what sports are all about and how they can make a tremendous impact on progress in society.Eric He is a sophomore studying print and digital journalism. He is also the associate managing editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Grinding Gears,” runs on Fridays.last_img read more

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Tyson Fury beats Deontay Wilder in world title fight in Las Vegas

first_img Source: BBC Tyson Fury produced the most destructive performance of his boxing life to end Deontay Wilder’s five-year reign as WBC heavyweight world champion in seven thrilling rounds of their Las Vegas rematch.The Briton, 31, pummelled his rival in a way few could have imagined following their 2018 draw, flooring him in the third and fifth rounds while constantly backing up the most-feared puncher in the division in a way no-one has done before.A jab and right hand – the combination with which Wilder has wiped men out repeatedly – sent the American down in the third, stunning the MGM Grand Arena.Wilder, making his 11th defence, fell again before the round was out – this time a slip – and looked ragged under the pressure, before a right and left hand to the body sent the 34-year-old down in the fifth.Fury delivered everything he had promised, transitioning from his hit-and-move style to overpower, outwork and bully his previously undefeated rival until the towel came in during the seventh round.This was more than a world title win, it was a statement – and as Fury was held aloft by his corner after victory was sealed, the days of depression, weight gain and despair that cost him the belts he claimed in 2015 seemed a lifetime away.Britons treated to a masterclassThousands of British fans who had descended on Vegas saw their hero take an age to arrive at the ring on a throne, sporting a golden crown. It was the only time Fury moved slowly all night.He hit pads in the ring as Wilder made his ring walk – just as he did 15 months earlier in Los Angeles – and his start was rapid, a flurry of hooks prompting chants of “there’s only one Tyson Fury” from the crowd.Actors Michael J Fox and Jason Statham, as well as Super Bowl winner Patrick Mahomes, watched as Fury raised his hand at the end of the opening three-minute round and things began to feel markedly different to their first meeting.He simply did not take a backward step, forcing Wilder to the ropes and ensuring the champion had no say in the pace of proceedings. And in the third round, those who had paid the kind of ticket prices that made this the highest gate ever in Nevada, rose to their feet at the sight of Wilder floored for only the second time in his career.A right hand behind Wilder’s ear – the same shot with which the American had floored Fury nine rounds into their first fight – did the damage. Wilder then fell again as Fury bulldozed him. At the bell, the pair glared at one another and Wilder knew he was in a place no fighter wants to be. The Britons sitting ringside did not want to be anywhere else.Was the weight Fury had gained making the difference? Was it the new training set-up? Whatever it was worked to perfection. He was putting on a boxing clinic and a right-left combination to the body dropped the stunned Wilder once more in the fifth.Fury was docked a point for punching on the break but he did not seem to care or blink at the punishment, instead continuing to feint and twitch to set shots up before unloading on a man who had started a slight favourite. He led 59-52 59-52 and 58-53 on the cards when the towel came in.Fight week had seen repeated debate over where this meeting ranked in the pecking order of the greatest nights of heavyweight action, but little consensus. What we can say with certainty is that this was a masterclass.last_img read more

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