Kewps, Bruins like chances at state meet

Sun shines through the Hickman High School hallway outside the gymnasium as Asia Walker sits and leans against the wall with her eyes closed, focusing on the task before her: running the 400-meter run and doing the long jump in front of 7 to 8,000 people.

The MSHSAA State Track and Field Championships take place today and Saturday at Lincoln University in Jefferson City. Hickman qualified 10 athletes, six boys and four girls, and Rock Bridge qualified 11 girls at last weekend’s sectional in Camdenton.

Mavs’ Buscher aims to bounce back

About an hour before game time, Mid-Missouri third baseman Greg Buscher emerged from the Mavericks’ dugout on the third-base side of Taylor Stadium with a bat in his hands.

He began to saunter toward foul ground in left field to greet some teammates. As he did this, he brought the bat behind his head and twisted his torso back-and-forth, stretching his bulky 6-foot, 220- pound frame.

Fourth-place finish ends Bruins’ streak

The Rock Bridge boys’ tennis team’s fourth consecutive trip to the state final four team competition in Springfield ended up being its worst.

The Bruins placed fourth in Class 2 on Thursday at the Cooper Tennis Complex after placing second in 2002, third in 2003 and second in 2004.

Cheers come and go at opener

The emotional level of the 1,071 fans attending the Mid-Missouri Mavericks’ home opener at Taylor Stadium Wednesday night was broad in range.

Their enthusiasm varied from wholehearted to nonexistent. Sometimes both extremes were seen in the tiny span of just one pitch.

Koenig aims for perfect scores

Arguably the best athlete in his sport is in Columbia this week and few people would recognize him.

A man stands among a small crowd of competitors and spectators wearing a shirt with as many sponsors as a NASCAR, a pulled down baseball cap and clear shooting glasses.

Kewpies tout experience

The Hickman baseball team began the season believing experience would help it win its first district championship since 2001.

With that done, the Kewpies will travel to O’Fallon today to face Fort Zumwalt West in a Class 4 sectional playoff. Game time is 4:30 p.m.

Special Olympics kick off

Athletes from across the state converge on the MU campus tonight to “Feel the Glow,” the theme of this year’s Special Olympics Missouri State Summer Games.

The opening ceremony, on Stankowski Field at 7 p.m., precedes two days of competition and celebration of sports and camaraderie.

Top shooters take aim at Bianchi Cup

Some of the world’s top pistol shooters are gathering in Columbia for the NRA National Action Pistol Championship.

The tournament, also referred to as the Bianchi Cup, begins with opening ceremonies at 8 p.m. and continues through Saturday.

Swinging for success

Mid-Missouri Mavericks manager Jim Gentile said he has gambled once in his life.

It was a successful endeavor, one he remembered fondly Monday.

Tigers baseball players earn academic honors

Eight Missouri baseball players were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Team on Tuesday.

Juniors James Boone and Travis Wendte were named to the first team for the second time. Senior Cosme Caballero and sophomores Max Scherzer and Nathan Culp were also named to the first team.

Cardinals’ manager ties for second on franchise wins list with Whitey Herzog

ST. LOUIS — A decade ago when the St. Louis Cardinals hired Tony La Russa as their manager, there’s no question he would have lost a popularity contest with Whitey Herzog.

A successful run of five postseason berths and a World Series appearance narrowed the gap. And La Russa caught Herzog, who guided the team to a championship and three pennants in the 1980s, on the franchise victory list Monday night with a 4-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Young driver on right track to further name

INDIANAPOLIS — A.J. Foyt IV hears people complain he is too young, too raw and too erratic to win in Indy cars.

At one point, they might have been right.

Home run ends Tigers’ season

The Missouri women’s softball team didn’t think its season had ended Sunday when Leah Nelson’s fly ball to left-center field carried over the fence to give Stanford the lead in the third inning.

As it turns out, it did. Nelson’s home run proved decisive, as Stanford held its 3-2 lead for the rest of the game to win the NCAA Regional at University Field.

Royals take advantage

KANSAS CITY — After embarrassing himself the night before, Emil Brown felt no sympathy for a humiliated David Eckstein.

Eckstein, the normally sure-handed St. Louis shortstop, committed two errors in the first inning Sunday that led to six unearned runs, and Kansas City parlayed the gift runs into a 9-2 victory on interim manager Bob Schaefer’s 61st birthday.

Missouri baseball team wins regular season finale

WACO, Texas — Missouri used a six-run eighth inning rally Sunday to defeat Baylor 10-4.

The Tigers (37-19, 16-11 Big 12 Conference) trailed Baylor 3-1 with two outs in the top of the eighth. Derek Chambers had an RBI double, Hunter Mense singled in two runs and Gary Arndt doubled in two more to key the rally. Another run scored on a bases-loaded walk.

Tigers roar on Day 2

It would appear the Missouri softball team might enjoy playing in elimination games.

After rallying to reach the Big 12 tournament championship game following an opening-game loss to Baylor, the Tigers lost their first NCAA Regional tournament game to Southern Illinois on Friday.

Bruins sweep into final four

Rock Bridge tennis coach Ben Loeb has experienced a great deal in high school tennis. But Saturday at Bethel Park tennis courts he experienced something he had never been through: a water cooler bath.

Bruins players stormed after Loeb after they dominated their Class 2 boys’ sectional. Rock Bridge defeated West Plains 6-0 in the sectional round, then beat Jefferson City 6-0 in the state quarterfinals.

Hickman third at state swimming finals

The Hickman girls' swimming team placed fifth at the MSHSAA state meet with 170 points. Blue Springs won with 334 1/2 ahead of Wildwood (276 1/2) and Parkway South (199). Marquette was fourth with 197. The Kewpies best performance came from Claire Piester, Marie Pope, Mary Sheahen and Julie Schenker, who placed third in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Chelsea Laun stepped in for Pope on the Kewpies fourth-place 200 medley relay. Sheahen was sixth in the 100 breaststroke and Schenker was sixth in the 100 freestyle. Rock Bridge was tied for 37th in the team standings.

Extra Points

MU MEN'S GOLF: The Tigers fin-ished sixth at the NCAA Central Regional to qualify for the NCAA national tournament June 1-4 in Baltimore, Md.

The Tigers, who were seeded 21st at the 27-team regional, finished with a 870 at par-70 Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Ind. Augusta State won with a 849 ahead of Oklahoma State (858) and Texas A&M (863).

Ultimate Challenge

It’s a rag-tag gathering. Six men, clad in an array of athletic shorts and orange T-shirts, face their leader, perhaps the most ragged of the group, for instructions.

“OK guys, match up across the field, we’ll go with man-to-man. Don’t forget, let’s be money.”