MU team overcomes obstacles

Two years of hard work is over, but the race has just begun. MU’s custom-made SunTiger VI is on the road as the team races 2,500 miles from Austin, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta, in Canada. They have battled rainstorms and clouds, not to mention a highway patrolman in Oklahoma, who pulled over SunTiger and its escort vans not for speeding, but for fear the solar car was not legal to drive on the streets.

“The funny thing was that Stanford University’s car went by right before us,” said team member Kenneth Keane. “He didn’t even see them. But because he pulled us over, Stanford reached the checkpoint before we could.”

Cardinals’ hitters rescue Morris

ST. LOUIS — Matt Morris won his 11th game without his best stuff. The St. Louis Cardinals’ offense pulled him through.

Albert Pujols hit a home run, singled, doubled and scored four times, pacing a 14-hit attack in an 11-4 victory against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night.

Mavs’ recruits play role in win

Little has changed in Columbia since Alex Derhak last visited in mid-June as a member of the Florence Freedom, save the makeup of the local nine.

“The (Regency) hotel was right in the middle of downtown, right in the middle of all the action,” said Derhak, the new Mavericks’ catcher. “I didn’t play when we came here, so I don’t know much about the field. I remember the wind was blowing dead out to right like it is today.”

Knight’s record ski jump lands him national berth

A slight breeze blows over Lake Paragon, but the water around the five-foot tall aluminum ramp is still. About 50 yards away, Tony Knight steers his skis back and forth over the wake. A moment later, he is speeding toward the ramp, his knees bent and his left arm straight. He veers left, away from the boat, and hits the ramp at the perfect angle.

His jump seems to take him as high as the trees lining the far side of the lake and he lands well past the second buoy. On shore, a walkie-talkie can be heard through the applause. Scorer Cindy Daughtery announces a 151-foot jump.

Cohesion ultimate challenge for large Columbia program

Dan Stout is an exception.

Stout, 44, of St. Louis, grew up in Columbia and started playing ultimate with high school friends when he was 20. He still makes the drive out from St. Louis every week to play the sport in which teams try to score points by passing a flying disc in a fast-paced game similar to football.

Duel goes Cards’ way

ST. LOUIS — Chris Carpenter started ahead of Roger Clemens in the All-Star game, then topped him again a few days later.

The St. Louis right-hander outpitched Clemens to become the NL’s first 14-game winner. He tossed a three-hitter and inadvertently played a major role in his team’s big inning, leading the Cardinals to a 3-0 victory Sunday that completed a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros.

A Royal battle

DETROIT — Runelvys Hernandez said he was not trying to hit anybody. The Detroit Tigers did not believe him.

Hernandez allowed two hits through five innings before he was ejected after triggering a bench-clearing brawl in the sixth, and the Kansas City Royals beat Detroit 5-0 Sunday.

Years have been kind to Show-Me Games

In American culture, 21 is a golden age. After meager beginnings and being labeled the “no-show” games, the Show-Me State Games is entering adulthood this year by celebrating its 21st birthday.

“We are just coming out of being an adolescent,” Ken Ash, executive director of the Show-Me State Games, said. “We have a lot of years left. We have managed to stay ahead of the curve nationally and that is important.”

Cardinals batter Astros

ST. LOUIS — Not even Roy Oswalt could put an end to the St. Louis Cardinals’ dominance of the Houston Astros.

Oswalt entered Saturday’s game in St. Louis having won his past six starts, allowing only five runs. But he gave up a three-run home run to Larry Walker and four runs overall in a 4-2 loss to Jason Marquis and the Cardinals.

Edwards can’t catch Truex

LOUDON, N.H. — Points leader Martin Truex Jr. held off Carl Edwards on the final lap for his fifth victory of the season in a caution-filled NASCAR Busch Series race Saturday at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Truex, who started seventh, led only the last 13 laps in the New England 200. The victory extended the reigning series champion’s points lead to 142 over 16th-place finisher Clint Bowyer.

Armstrong fends off challengers

AX-3 DOMAINES, France — As the Pyrenean peak loomed, the assault Lance Armstrong was bracing for finally came. Here, the six-time champion knew, was a Tour de France moment of truth.

“It’s scary,” he admitted later.

Friendly competition

On one of his frequent drives from Jefferson City to Mark Twain Lake nine years ago, Joe Mertzlufft saw a sign about lake property for sale. After visiting Lake Paragon, south of Columbia, he, his wife Kathy and son Alex built a house there and moved in.

“I used to ski with my uncles as a youngster in Kentucky and loved it,” Joe Mertzlufft, 42, said. “Now it provides an escape from work. When you’re out there you cannot concentrate on anything else and ski well.”

NBA rule limits prep prospects

A record nine high school athletes were selected in the 2005 National Basketball Association draft in June. Next year, there will be none.

NBA players and owners agreed to enforce a new minimum age limit that requires athletes to be either 19 or wait one year after their high school class graduates before becoming eligible for the draft. The proposal was intended to better prepare players for the NBA and to improve the National Basketball Development League.

Woods roughs it, keeps lead

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland — Tiger Woods hit the ball so hard that he felt the shaft in his putter flex ever so slightly. Standing 50 paces away on the 18th green, his caddie removed the flag, backed away from the cup, then turned and raised his fist in a rare celebration Saturday at the British Open.

The ball stopped inches away for a birdie that allowed Woods to break par.

Steve Schmidt: The man of steel

Steve Schmidt has never lost a single one of his straight, perfectly aligned teeth.

Amazing for someone who uses his mouth to pull a 58,200-pound caboose.

Golf fosters special bond between father, son

Scott LaRue is autistic. His condition affects his concentration, motor skills and hand-eye coordination. But you would never know it watching him play golf.

He walks the course with purpose, smiling and always ready for his next shot. His swing, acquired with the help of his father, Jim LaRue, and several years of practice, is fluid and consistent.

Bruins learn from MSHSAA probation

Athletic administrators at Rock Bridge High School had a wake up call in the past year.

The Missouri State High School Athletics Association placed Rock Bridge on probation in February, 2004 for several minor infractions during the 2003-2004 school year. On June 15, MSHSAA removed the probation.

League revives park, brings teens together

Timothy Harris, 17, grinned as he gave his teammates high-fives and walked off the basketball court at Douglass Park Wednesday night. For him, Moonlight Hoops is about more than just playing ball. It’s about making friends.Timothy, who will be a junior at Rock Bridge High School next fall, moved to Columbia from Chicago last year.

Stairs lifts Greinke to second victory

DETROIT — Matt Stairs and Zack Greinke turned their fortunes around Thursday night.

Stairs hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs and Greinke won for the first time since May 31, as the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 12-9.

Mavericks offer no help in West’s All-Star game loss

Mid-Missouri Mavericks players had little impact on the Frontier League All-Star Game on Wednesday night at Falconi Field in Washington, Pa.

Brent Metheny started in left field and batted third, and Thomari Story-Harden started at first base and batted fourth for the West team, but both had no hits in two at-bats in a 5-4 East victory.