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Matt Panasevich of Mountain View continued a strong summer of wrestling by earning All-American honors with a third-place finish at the USA Wrestling Greco Roman Nationals in Fargo, ND.
Panasevich turned in a dominant effort, shutting out three opponents and pinning three others in 1:22 or less. He went 7-1 with his only loss coming in overtime in the semifinals.
The tournament road for Panasevich started with a pin of Marcus Turnguist of Washington in 1:22. Panasevich then defeated Devan McDonald of Iowa and Jason Weatherspoon of Michigan by technical falls in two of his shutouts.
Panasevich pinned Chase DeCarlo of Connecticut in 45 seconds and Jason Troxel of Oregon in 56 seconds before suffering his first loss.
Tyler Hemmesch of Minnesota edged Panasevich, 4-3, in overtime.
Panasevich recovered to post two more wins to take third place. He beat Dave Pisarcik of Pennsylvania by technical fall then edged Kyle Bergstadt of California, 3-2, for third place.
The third-place finish was the fourth best by a wrestler from Pennsylvania, which is a force on the national level.
Panasevich finished first in the Pennsylvania Freestyle State Championships and second in the state in Greco Roman to make the Pennsylvania team for nationals. He helped Pennsylvania win the national team championship in freestyle by losing just once and went undefeated in Greco Roman to help the team place third during the dual competition in Greeley, Colo.
Panasevich was regarded as a national contender in freestyle individual competition, but had to miss the event because of strep throat and a high fever.
Montrose graduate Chris Snee is working toward a possible National Football League starting spot at guard during New York Giants training camp in Albany, NY.
Snee, a second-round draft pick out of Boston College, signed just in time to open training camp with the team.
"I'm trying to break into a starting job," Snee told The Washington Post. "I can't afford to miss any practices."
According to The Washington Post report, Snee's six-year contract included a $2.3 million bonus.
Snee married Katie Coughlin, daughter of Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, July 2.
In softball, the Conklin Raiders finished tied for 32nd in the 116-team Amateur Softball Association "A" 18-and-Under Girls' National Championships in Clovis, Calif.
Devin Glezen and Heather Franks, starters on Blue Ridge's state Class A high school championship team, play for the Raiders.
Franks went 3-for-4 in an opening, 9-3 victory over the KC Invasion.
The Raiders went 1-1 in Pool F, losing to the NV Rapids, 4-0.
The Raiders won their first two games in elimination play, beating the Diamond Dusters, 10-4, and the Midnight Sons, 5-1. Conklin was then eliminated with consecutive losses, 7-0, to the Spokane Sliders and, 3-1, to Lake Breeze.
In the Keystone State Games, Blue Ridge wrestler Justin Herbert from New Milford finished third in the freestyle Cadet Division at 171 pounds during the games earlier this month.
Zachary Edwards, 8, of New Milford, took second in the 54-56- pound weight class of the Midget Division of wrestling during the Takedown Tournament.
Fall high school sports teams in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association opened preparation for the upcoming season with the first official practices Monday.
In professional hockey, the American Hockey League will open its fifth straight regular season in Wilkes-Barre when the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins host the Manitoba Moose Oct. 13.
The Binghamton Senators open their AHL regular season in Albany Oct. 15 then return home the next night to face the Syracuse Crunch in their home opener.
The Penguins, Senators and Crunch announced the I-81 Puck Cup, a home-and-home series of AHL preseason games between the three teams. The team that produces the best record in the series will win the cup.
"We've been looking to do something unique in the preseason and this promises to be fun," Binghamton Senators executive vice president Tom Mitchell said.
The Penguins play in Syracuse Oct. 1, then host the Crunch the next night.
Binghamton is at Syracuse Oct. 6, then the Senators host the Crunch the next night.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is at Binghamton Oct. 8, then the Penguins get the Senators at home Oct. 9.
TOM ROBINSON writes a weekly local sports column for the Susquehanna County Transcript. He can be reached on-line at RobbyTR@aol.com.
STEWART Wins At The Glen
Watkins Glen, NY Tony Stewart won Sundays Nextel Cup Sirius at The Glen for his second win of the season, his other coming at Chicago.
At one point in Sunday's race, a sick Tony Stewart was seriously considering climbing from the cockpit of his No. 20 Chevrolet. But he fought off the pain and muscle spasms in his legs, to hold off Ron Fellows to win for the second time at Watkins Glen.
For Fellows and his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team, his second-place finish was especially sweet since he had to start from dead last in the 43 car field.
Fellows, a road-racing ace, finished 1.517 seconds behind Stewart.
"This Monte Carlo was everything we needed," said Fellows. "All I could do was match Tony at the end. I ran as hard as I could and it just wasnt quite enough."
Mark Martin was third, Casey Mears fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. completed the top-five.
Finishing the top-10 were, Kevin Harvick, Jeremy Mayfield, Ricky Rudd, Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch.
For the second consecutive week, points leader Jimmie Johnson failed to finish the race. The engine in his No. 48 Lowes Chevrolet expired on lap 23 of the 90-lap race. Johnson still maintains the lead, but it has been reduced to 40 points over Jeff Gordon and 123 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Top ten finishing order: 1. Tony Stewart, 2. Ron Fellows, 3. Mark Martin, 4. Casey Mears, 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 6. Kevin Harvick, 7. Jeremy Mayfield, 8. Ricky Rudd, 9. Matt Kenseth, 10. Kurt Busch.
Chase For The Championship With Four-To-Go 1. Johnson-3143, 2. J. Gordon-3103, 3. Earnhardt Jr.-3015, 4. Stewart-2951, 5. Kenseth-2876, 6. Sadler-2792, 8. Harvick-2717, 9. B. Labonte-2714, 10. Mayfield-2656.
JEFF BURTON Leaves Ford For Childress Racing Richard Childress Racing has signed Jeff Burton to a three-year deal, that will put Burton behind the wheel of RCR's No. 30 America Online Chevrolet next weekend at Michigan International Speedway. He'll have 14 races this season to begin to create some chemistry with his new team.
For much of the season, Burtons No. 99 Roush Ford did not have sponsor, and this weighed heavily on Burtons decision to leave.
"Leaving Roush was a difficult decision but going to Richard Childress Racing was an easy decision," Burton said. "Richard has a huge amount of respect from everybody in the garage not only as a great race team owner but to being a great person as well.
"The opportunity to drive for Richard Childress Racing is certainly something that would always interest me, for sure. I can tell you this. I feel like I've joined an organization that is a top caliber organization that has a chance to win championships and win races and I feel like I left one that can do the same thing."
But in the end, Burton said it was the future stability at RCR that made the decision an easy one.
"There were a lot of factors (and) I really would prefer not to go into every single factor," Burton said. "The only thing I can tell you is that we spent a lot of time coming to this conclusion (it) was not a snap decision.
"At the end of the day I made the decision that I thought gave me the best chance to be in this sport at a high level for as long as possible and to compete at the highest level."
Childress, said his former driver, Dale Earnhardt, had long coveted Burton's services.
"This is something that we've been looking forward to for a long time," Childress said.
"We go back to the day that Dale Earnhardt even started talking about retiring (or) not so much about retiring, but who was going to get in the 3 car.
"This guy's (Burton) name kept coming up (so) to have him in an RCR car today means a whole lot to me personally (and) I'm looking forward to the things we can do.
"He's a championship caliber driver, and we're going to give him the stuff it takes. This thing ain't going to turn around overnight -- it's something we're going to work at.
"By being able to start out this year with it, it's going to give us a huge advantage to be able to be ready to go next year.
"Everything right now is staying like it is. Again, we're going to get in there and take a hard look to see how we are running and see how everything works out and how the chemistry works out.
"We've got to build a championship team and whatever it takes to do that, that's what we're going to do."
Craftsman Truck Series driver Carl Edwards will replace Burton at Roush.
HAMILTON Wins Nashville Truck Race, Gladeville, TN Tennessee native Bobby Hamilton overtook David Starr after a late-race restart and held on to win the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway, Saturday. Top ten finishing order: 1. Bobby Hamilton, 2. David Starr, 3. Ted Musgrave, 4. Bobby Hamilton Jr., 5. Steve Park, 6. Johnny Benson, 7. Matt Crafton, 8. Robert Hoffman, 9. David Reutimann, 10. Mike Skinner.
Top-10 points leaders; 1. Hamilton-2288, 2. Setzer-2204, 3. Chaffin-2092, 4. Edwards-2084, 5. Crafton-2075, 6. Musgrave-2043, 7. Kvapil-2038, 8. Crawford-1903, 9. Skinner-1886, 10. Starr-1885.
The Nextel Cup and Busch Series teams are at Brooklyn, Michigan. The Craftsman Trucks do not race until Wednesday, August 25.
Saturday, August 21, Busch Series Cabela 250, race 23 of 34, 125 laps/250 miles, 1 p.m. TV: TNT.
Sunday, August 22, Nextel Cup GFS Marketplace 400, race 23 of 36, 200 laps/400 miles, 1:30 p.m. TV: TNT.
Racing Trivia Question: What is Nextel Cup driver Robby Gordons nickname?
Last Weeks Question: How many Craftsman Truck Series championships has Jack Sprague won? Answer. Three, in 1997, 99, and 01.
If you would like to read additional racing stories by Gerald Hodges/the Racing Reporter, go to www.race500.com.
There is nothing like a good fight between a racing promoter and a chicken farmer.
There are three race tracks around Hueytown, Alabama and I usually try to help all of them promote their Friday or Saturday night racing.
The name that most comes to mind when Hueytown is mentioned, are the Allison Brothers, Bobby and Donnie, Bobbys son, Davey, and Red Farmer.
Farmer moved to the area in 1953, and the Allisons followed a little later.
But in addition to the areas good short track racing, there are chicken farms.
In early Spring one of the tracks changed promoters. The new promoter, "Happy" Homer Hastings, began dragging the races out. Instead of having the show end at 10:30 or 11 p.m., it began lasting until 12:30 or 1 a.m. on Sunday morning.
The race fans seemed to enjoy the late hours, but James Larkins chickens didnt approve.
James, who has operated a chicken farm just down the road from this track, for the past 45-years, claimed the noise was bothering his hens so much that his egg production was off 35 per cent.
"Youve got to help me," said James. "Go up and talk to that fella. My birds are being spooked by all that noise, theyve almost stopped eating, and Im not getting enough eggs to fulfill my Winn-Dixie contract."
The promoter favored the longer hours. According to him, the late night crowd really drank up the $3 per cup speedway beer, which added tremendously to his profits.
"You know when we decided to bring in these super late models, we knew we would have to find another source of revenue to pay the bigger purses," said "Happy" Homer. "This is about the only way we can do it."
James, who is a hard working and god-fearing man didnt take the message too well.
First, James appeared before the County Commissioners at their regular Monday morning meeting. Commissioner Bellew told James they would have the County attorney research the code and get back with him.
Two weeks went by and no answer. By this time, the egg production had dropped to 50 per cent, and his closest neighbors, Herbert and Minnie Scott, told me they were seeing less and less of James.
Next, he contacted the local sheriffs office and State Representative, but neither official was able to offer any hope that a noise ordinance could be enforced that far out in the county.
A couple more weeks went by, and the track had scheduled a big Southern World Series of Super Late Model Racing. Drivers from all over the southeast were going to appear for the 200-lap late model feature that had a guaranteed purse of $10,000. Some fans were hoping one of the Allisons might drop in.
On the way to the track that evening for the big race, I decided to stop in and see how James and his family were doing. Since I had known him for years, I thought maybe I could give him some words of wisdom that might cheer him up.
"Hens are off over 75 per cent now, and Winn-Dixie is threatening to cancel," said James. "But I been doing a lot of praying. I guess like all folks, Ive been asking the Lord to do things that I was capable of doing myself.
"No sir, there aint nothing like listening to the Lord. You just need to give yourself time, and a little quietness. Thats what the world needs. A little less noise and a lot more peacefulness.
"Dont you worry any more about my hens. You just go on down to the races and enjoy them. Me and the Lord has got everything under control."
I left the Larkins house kind of puzzled and drove on down to the track.
"What do you think about this crowd," asked the gate attendant? "This is the biggest bunch of cars and fans weve ever had. Im not sure weve got enough room in the parking lot for all the cars. We might have to park some of them outside on the road, down by the Larkin place."
Just before driver introductions, a strange thing happened.
When Joe Handley, the speedway maintenance worker flipped the switch to turn on the tracks lighting system, nothing happened.
He continued jiggling the electrical breaker, but still, no lights.
"Happy" Homer, the race director and speedway maintenance crews all began to scurry around, talking into their track radios. Suddenly, Hubert Hemphill, one of the workers, gazed up and shouted, "Look, theres pin holes in the lights."
Someone had shot out all the track lights.
That nights racing to be canceled. "Happy" Homer later told me he had to refund 5,754 fan tickets and his payout to the drivers, who never got a chance to race, was $24,550.
On Monday, one of the local pawn shops reported that Mrs. Hastings brought in some of her jewelry.
Two days later, Homers green Oldsmobile was seen parked in James Larkins driveway.
The egg production is almost back to normal at the Larkins farm after the speedway canceled all future super late model races, and went back to regular Saturday night shows, with a 10:30 p.m. curfew.
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