MU’s Uldal eyeing personal record

Norwegian decathlete Hans Uldal, a sophomore member of the Missouri track team, is in 30th place out of 39 athletes competing in the decathlon at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Uldal, who hails from Arendal, Norway, had 3,762 points after the first five events Monday and is on pace to set a school record, less than 100 points away from his personal best.

Rotations helping Franklin

The “Helicopter” has set down on the Missouri football team.

Freshman wide receiver William “Helicopter” Franklin, ranked the No. 8 prospect in Missouri by after his senior season at Vashon High in St. Louis, is a member of a large crop of receivers competing for playing time this season.

Tigers look ahead

Coach Susan Kreklow hardly noticed when Missouri was ranked fifth in the 2004 Big 12 preseason poll

“We just take a look at the preseason rankings and move forward,” Kreklow said. “It’s not something we spend a lot of time on. It’s not something we worry about.”

Patterson shuts down Mavericks

Scott Patterson struck out 13 in eight innings to lead the Gateway Grizzlies to an 8-5 victory against the Mid-Missouri Mavericks on Sunday night in Sanget, Ill.

Todd Oetting had three hits, including a solo home run in the fourth, and scored twice for Gateway (52-36), and Ryan Sullivan went 3-for-4, driving in three runs.

Gatlin surprises 100-meter field for speedy gold

ATHENS, Greece — All weekend Justin Gatlin fell under the shadow of a flamboyant training partner and an illustrious teammate. So he sped past both of them, outrunning the fastest Olympic field ever to snatch the 100-meter gold medal.

Gatlin ran the race of his life Sunday to become the youngest champion in 36 years, barely holding off Portugal’s Francis Obikwelu and defending gold medalist Maurice Greene to win in 9.85 seconds.

Kewps’ Tekotte turning heads at QB

Before the beginning of last season, Hickman coach Gregg Nesbitt said he knew he had an outstanding athlete at quarterback. He knew Blake Tekotte was going to be good, he didn’t know when.

A District 6 title and more than 2,000 all purpose yards later, Hickman fans are starting to get a picture of how good Tekotte can be.

Missouri starts play with a bang

The fireworks over Walton Stadium weren’t the only thing that started with a bang Friday night.

Under the display, meant for the Mid-Missouri Mavericks’ fans next-door, the Missouri women’s soccer team opened the season with a win, routing Southwest Missouri State 7-2 in exhibition play.

Making progress

Progress is the key word coach Gary Pinkel wants Missouri’s football team to adopt after a Saturday scrimmage at Memorial Stadium.

The second scrimmage this week featured solid passing by quarterbacks Brad Smith and freshman Chase Patton and overall good play by the defense, but coach Gary Pinkel said the team still has to improve before its first game two weeks from Saturday against Arkansas State.

Ducks’ late spree does in Mavericks

The Mid-Missouri Mavericks couldn’t take advantage.

Despite four errors by the Springfield-Ozark Ducks, the Mavericks lost 10-3 at Taylor Stadium on Saturday.

QB recruit leaves team amid charges

Star recruit and Missouri quarterback Darrell Jackson has withdrawn from the university and the football team after undisclosed charges were filed against him in St. Louis County.

The freshman missed Wednesday morning’s practice but returned for the afternoon session. He was absent again Thursday morning. After practice, coach Gary Pinkel said Jackson had left the university.

Goodbye, Mary Lou

ATHENS, Greece — The 20-year wait is over. America has its new Mary Lou, and her name is Carly Patterson.

The 16-year-old Patterson beat Russian superstar Svetlana Khorkina to give the United States another Olympic all-around champion Thursday night. She closed with a dazzling routine on the floor to win gymnastics’ premier event.

Tigers soccer team No. 6 in Big 12 poll

The Missouri soccer team is ranked sixth in the Big 12 Conference preseason coaches’ poll. The Tigers’ Melissa Peabody, a senior forward, and Elyse Nikonchuk, a sophomore midfielder, were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team.

Texas A&M is the top ranked team, earning 10 first-place votes. Texas was ranked second, and Colorado third.

Error by Rolen leads to loss

ST. LOUIS — Scott Rolen’s second error of the game allowed the go-ahead run to score in the 10th inning, and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Thursday night.

Reggie Sanders tied it at 2 in the ninth with a two-out homer off Pittsburgh closer Jose Mesa.

Voters to get say on stadium funding

CLAYTON — St. Louis County voters will decide in November a ballot proposal designed to prohibit the county from helping to fund the new downtown ballpark for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Stadium opponents turned in enough signatures to guarantee a charter amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot aimed at preventing the county from spending public money on the new Busch Stadium, under construction adjacent to the current ballpark and scheduled to open in 2006. Election officials certified the validity of the signatures on Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Hamm’s golden comeback

ATHENS, Greece — Paul Hamm ought to get two gold medals for this performance.

With his medal hopes all but gone after he hit the judges’ table on his vault landing, Hamm performed two of the most spectacular routines of his career to win the men’s all-around gymnastics title by the closest Olympics margin ever.

Report: Jackson facing charges

Missouri’s Darrell Jackson, a promising freshman quarterback, is facing undisclosed juvenile charges in the St. Louis County Family Court, according to a report on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Web site.

Jackson missed Wednesday’s morning practice but returned for the afternoon workout.

Four seeking MU kicker’s job

Chase Patton and Van Alexander garnered most of the headlines when they joined the Missouri Tigers after starring at Rock Bridge. However, Scott Russell, another Bruins graduate, might have the best chance to see playing time his freshman season.

Russell, a freshman walk-on, is part of a four-man competition to replace another former Rock Bridge walk-on kicker, Mike Matheny.

MU’s defense leaves little room to run

After serving as a weak spot for Gary Pinkel’s first three Missouri teams, the defense has improved and during Tuesday’s first preseason scrimmage sent a message it wants to dominate.

“The No. 2 defense looked good, but the No. 1 defense played dominant and they should be,” Pinkel said. “They are all back and in fact, I think we improved against the run with the No. 1 defense.”

Walker, Cards slam Reds

ST. LOUIS — Larry Walker keeps helping the St. Louis Cardinals win.

Tony Womack scored the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk from Danny Graves in the eighth inning and Walker hit the next pitch for a grand slam in a 7-2 victory against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

Tarnished silver

ATHENS, Greece — The mistakes were so minor, the kind of errors only judges see.

Carly Patterson’s foot grazed the lower of the uneven bars. Courtney Kupets’ twirl ended here instead of there. Mohini Bhardwaj had an itty-bitty wobble on the beam.