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Wilkes-Barre Brad Conklin, a 6-foot-7 basketball player from New Milford, led the Pocono Region Scholastic Male team to a bronze medal Sunday as the Keystone State Games concluded.
Conklin, who plays at Seton Catholic High School in Binghamton, averaged 16.8 points per game while the Pocono team won four out of five games.
The Pocono team started competition Friday when it defeated Nittany, 86-66, behind a game-high 18 points by Conklin.
Conklin scored 15 points in a 97-81 victory over Great Lakes then had a team-high 23 in a 93-92 loss to Lehigh Saturday.
Conklin had 13 points Sunday morning in a 77-76 victory over Delaware Valley to clinch a berth in the medal game.
Pocono outscored Capital, 109-93, in the third-place game as Conklin scored 15 points.
KEYSTONE GAMES ROUNDUP
The Van Den Hengel family from Springville came home with three golf medals.
Carla Van Den Hengel, who is preparing for her senior year at Elk Lake, ran away with the Scholastic Female competition.
Carla had the best three scores in the 54-hole event, shooting rounds of 89, 86 and 86 at Wilkes-Barre Golf Club for a three-day total of 257 and a 24-stroke victory over Molly Gorman of Forty Fort and Wyoming Valley West High School.
Hennie Van Den Hengel won the Senior Female competition unopposed. Hennie shot 87 and 91.
Jan Van Den Hengel took the bronze medal in Senior Male competition after shooting rounds of 82 and 89.
In masters swimming, Marsha and Charles Kime of New Milford claimed several medals.
Marsha Kime won three gold medals in the 65-69 age group. She won the 50 breaststroke, 50 freestyle and 50 backstroke.
Charles Kime took one gold unopposed and also claimed two silvers in the 65-69 age group.
In baseball, Jordan Smith from Blue Ridge played on the Pocono Junior team that won the bronze medal. The Pocono team went 4-0 in pool play then lost to Allegheny, 9-6, in the championship game.
In cross country, Robert Squier of Elk Lake took the silver medal in the 16-19 Male Division.
In softball, the Hornets, a team made up primarily of Elk Lake and Montrose players, went 1-2 in the 16-and-under division.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Montrose backfield combination of Joe Cosmello and Dan Snee has been added to the City lineup that will take on the County Wednesday night at 8 p.m. in the Dream Game at Lackawanna County Stadium.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports report for The Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached on-line at RobbyTR@aol.com.
KEVIN HARVICK Kisses The Bricks
Indianapolis, IN Kevin Harvick became the 10th NASCAR Winston Cup driver to kiss the bricks at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet of Richard Childress won Sunday's 160-lap race by 2.7-seconds ahead of points leader, Matt Kenseth.
"Congratulations, Kevin," said team owner Richard Childress, who'd won the race with the late Dale Earnhardt in 1995. "You've won the Brickyard 400."
It was Harvick's fourth career victory, his first since Chicagoland Speedway in July of 2003.
"Man, I can't believe this!" Harvick said in victory lane. "To win our first race of the season here at Indianapolis, I don't know if I can explain what this means. It's awesome!"
Harvick took the lead from rookie Jamie McMurray on a restart with just 15 laps remaining. He also became the first driver to start from the pole and win Winston Cup's annual race at Indy.
Points leader Matt Kenseth passed Harvick's teammate Robby Gordon to take second, with McMurray holding off Jeff Gordon for third. Bill Elliott, last year's winner of this race, was fifth. Robby Gordon came in sixth.
For Jeff Gordon, his fourth place finish was like a victory. "Man, it was a fight all weekend," he said. "We were 40th in practice on Saturday and we were digging all weekend. When they dropped the green flag, we changed everything about the car during the race. We ended the race with an entirely different car."
Tony Stewart, an Indiana native for whom victory at Indianapolis has been a lifelong quest, led for 60 laps, the most of any driver, but he had to make an extra pit stop for a mismatched set of tires on the caution before the restart that proved pivotal for Harvick and got mired back in traffic. He wound up 12th.
"We did what we thought we had to do today," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Stewart's No. 20. "We made the stops because of fuel, and then Tony had the tire problem. It was just a devastating day for us."
A caution came out on lap 35 and Dale Jarrett spun as he tried to get in his pit stall and hit one of his crew members, jackman John Bryan.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Kevin Harvick, 2. Matt Kenseth, 3. Jamie McMurray, 4. Jeff Gordon, 5. Bill Elliott, 6. Robby Gordon, 7. Kurt Busch, 8. Jimmy Spencer, 9. Mark Martin, 10. Rusty Wallace.
Top-10 points leaders after 21 of 36 races: 1. Kenseth-3152, 2. Earnhardt Jr.-2866, 3. J. Gordon-2834, 4. Johnson-2656, 5. Waltrip-2653, 6. B. Labonte-2642, 7. Harvick-2623, 8. Busch-2569, 9. Newman-2498, 10. R. Wallace-2467.
Will Tony Stay Or Will Tony Walk? Defending Winston Cup Series champion Tony Stewart's name has come up in recent weeks as one driver that might be switching teams after his contract expires at the end of the 2004 season with his current team owner, Joe Gibbs.
Gibbs says he has offered Stewart a long-term contract extension but isn't sure whether Stewart will eventually sign the deal.
"Obviously I don't have the answer. But I would expect him to stay here," Gibbs said last week. "The most important thing for drivers is to have a place where they think they can win races.
"Our number one job as a race team is to make sure we're in the forefront of what's going on and that any driver would think he has a chance to win in our stuff."
Already this season, Gibbs signed Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Bobby Labonte, to a contract extension and Gibbs apparently is close to announcing extensions for Stewart's crew chief, Greg Zippadelli.
There have been several rumors over the past several weeks about Stewart's future. The most frequently mentioned one has him moving to Chip Ganassi and the Dodge camp.
Asked Tuesday whether Dodge was involved in courting Stewart, John Fernandez, director of Dodge Motorsports Operations, said, "Actually we've got a great lineup of drivers that we're working with today, and I don't know if Tony is under contract with Joe Gibbs right now, so we're not pursuing Tony at this point in time."
Stewart was evasive and non-committal when asked what his future plans were and whether he had talked with Ganassi. "I saw Chip Ganassi at the track last week and I said 'hi' to him," said Stewart. "That was it. But I really haven't done anything about my contract.
"I guess the thing that everybody has missed is that the month of June and the month of July are the two busiest months of my schedule. We've been pretty busy on the road running dirt races and everything else, so we really haven't had a lot of time to do anything with this."
Stewart, 32, a former Indy Racing League champion, also owns a Sprint car. He made his Winston Cup debut in 1999 and has 16 wins, along with the 2002 series championship.
"When you have somebody who is as talented as that, of course you want him signed up to know he's on your side and in your camp for the next four, five, or six years or whatever the contract may be," said crew chief Greg Zippadelli. "I feel in my heart that this is the best place in Winston Cup racing."
Busch Championship Tightens Up The top-10 Busch Series points leaders after 22 of 34 races: 1. Riggs-3037, 2. D. Green-3030, 3. Keller-3002, 4. Hornaday-2979, 5. Vickers-2938, 6. Hamilton Jr.-2735, 7. Wimmer-2703, 8. J. Sauter-2675, 9. Hmiel-2649, 10. Compton-2585.
KVAPIL Leads Truck Drivers The top-10 Craftsman Truck Series points leaders after 14 of 25 races: 1. Kvapil-2170, 2. Gaughan-2160, 3. Musgrave-2119, 4. Setzer-2063, 5. Hamilton-2033, 6. Wood-2031, 7. Crawford-2011, 8. Leffler-1975, 9. Cook-1897, 10. Edwards-1872.
KIMMEL Leads ARCA Series The top-10 ARCA ReMax series leaders: 1. Frank Kimmel-3590, 2. Jason Jarrett-2960, 3. Billy Venturini-2840, 4. Brent Sherman-2835, 5. Mark Gibson-2810, 6. Shelby Howard-2785, 7. Ron Cox-2470, 8. Todd Bowsher-2445, 9. Christi Passmore-2410, 10. Andy Belmont-2380.
The Winston Cup teams race on the road course at Watkins Glen, NY, while the Craftsman Trucks are Nashville, TN. The Busch Series takes the week off.
Friday, August 8, Craftsman Trucks, Federated Auto Parts 200, race 15 of 25, 188 laps/200 miles, 9 p.m. TV: Speed Channel.
Sunday, August 10, Winston Cup Sirius @ The Glen, race 22 of 36, 90 laps/220.5 miles, 1 p.m. TV: NBC.
Racing Trivia Question: When is Ford planning on bringing out a new model Taurus?
Question and answer to last week's question: Who is the 2002 Craftsman Truck Series Champion? Mike Bliss is the defending Craftsman Truck Series champion.
Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter is a syndicated NASCAR columnist. If you have a racing question that you would like answered send it to The Racing Reporter, P.O. Box 160711, Mobile, AL, 36616, or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Captain and Crew Golf Tournament will be held at Lake Lorain Golf Club, hosted by the Thompson Hose Co. on August 24. Contact Chad Wallace for more information at (570) 7563764. All proceeds benefit the Thompson Hose Co.
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