Evening State Sports Briefs: Indy Car to lengthen Milwaukee Mile
MILWAUKEE - There will be more to love about Milwaukee Indy-Fest this summer.
The IZOD Indy-Car Series has lengthened the main event at the Milwaukee Mile from the traditional 225 laps to 250. The June 15th race at State Fair Park is one of four on the Indy-Car schedule which has different lengths than last year. The goal is to make the events more competitive. Race director Beaux Barfield says the new distances should eliminate the strategy of saving fuel from the initial green flag - and encouraging drivers to race hard for the full distances. Races at Mid-Ohio and Saint Petersburg will also be longer - and the Long Beach event will be five laps shorter.
Jim and John Harbaugh's parents wish people would stop calling Super Bowl XLVII the "Har-Bowl" or the "Super-Baugh." Jack and Jacki Harbaugh - who live in Mequon -- spoke with reporters in a conference call. And Jack Harbaugh, a long-time college coach, says he'd prefer to call it the "Lombardi Trophy Game." Jack said he remembers the first two Super Bowls, both won by Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers. He calls the Super Bowls a "great, great classic" series that has literally become awesome. The couple will watch their son Jim Harbaugh coach the San Francisco 49'ers, and their son John Harbaugh coach the Baltimore Ravens, in the February third Super Bowl in New Orleans. The sister of the two coaches, Joani, married former Marquette men's basketball coach Tom Crean - who's now the head coach at Indiana. Crean said this week it would be hard to watch the Super Bowl, became the family will not cheer for either team to win. Jack Harbaugh agrees. Earlier this week, he said he was not sure whether he and his wife would watch the game in person from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome - or stay home in Mequon and watch it on TV.
Packers' running back Cedric Benson was recently given a pair of citations for letting his Rottweiler dogs run loose in Manitowoc County. And he received two traffic tickets a couple weeks ago for going 41-miles-an-hour over the speed limit, and for driving without a valid license - both in Manitowoc County. The 30-year-old Benson can either pay the fines, or appear in court to challenge the forfeiture actions. Online court records show that the fines total just over $1,050 for the four charges. He has court dates set for February 13th and 20th. The two newest citations involved Benson's two Rottweilers. Authorities said the dogs attacked 17 calves at his neighbor's farm last month near Maribel. Sheriff's deputies said the dogs had chewed the legs of the young cows, and several calves had deep wounds. Officials said Benson put up a fence to keep the dogs on the property - but someone said they got loose again 11 days ago, and he was cited a second time this week for having animals running-at-large. Benson joined the Packers in September when injuries forced the team to scramble for a running back. He played in five games before sitting out the rest of the season with a left foot injury. Benson ran for 248 yards and a touchdown, after having over a-thousand yards with Cincinnati in each of his previous three seasons. He recently expressed an interest in returning to the Packers next season.
Former Milwaukee Brewers' starter Shaun Marcum is about to join the New York Mets. Fox Sports.com says the 31-year-old right-hander is about to sign a one-year deal with the Mets, pending a physical. Marcum started only 21 games last season, when he was out for two months with an injured elbow. The Brewers were concerned about his health, so they out-righted him with the assumption that he would become a free agent - which he did. Marcum went 7-4 in 2012 with a 3.70 ERA. In 2011, Marcum went 13-and-7 in the regular season. But he fizzled in the playoffs, and he lost Game-Six of the 2011 National League Championship Series in which Saint Louis eliminated the Crew. Also today, we learned that former Brewers' outfielder Nyjer Morgan signed a one-year contract with a team in Yokohama Japan.
The UW-Milwaukee women's basketball team hopes to even its Horizon League record tonight, when the Panthers host Valparaiso. Both teams are 1-2 in the conference. Milwaukee is 5-10 overall, after topping Cleveland State by three last Saturday. Valparaiso has an overall mark of 6-10 - and the Crusaders are just 1-8 on the road. Tabitha Gerardot is Valpo's only scorer in double figures, averaging just over 13 points a game. She's also the Crusaders' leading rebounder with just over eight-and-a-half boards per night. Angela Rodriguez has the hot hand for UW-Milwaukee. The junior scored 19 last weekend against Cleveland State. Also tonight, the Wisconsin women play at Iowa. And the UW-Parkside women-and-men are at home against Southern Indiana.
One of the Milwaukee Brewers' playoff heroes from 2011 will spend this season in Japan. Nyjer Morgan has signed a one-year contract with Yokohama of the Japan Central League. The veteran outfielder will get one-point-six million dollars. The 32-year-old Morgan played two seasons in Milwaukee. He batted .304 in 2011. And he singled home the winning run in Game-Five of the National League Division Series against Arizona which gave Milwaukee its first playoff series' win in 29 years. Last year, he slumped to a .239 average, and he left as a free agent. Morgan is a career .280 hitter in six big league seasons with Pittsburgh and Washington as well as the Brewers. The Yokohama Bay-Stars are expected to make Morgan their Number-three batter. The lineup also includes ex-Major Leaguers Tony Blanco and Alex Ramirez.
Wisconsin has two college baseball teams in the Top-25 in the new pre-season poll from the coaches' association and D3baseball.com. UW-La Crosse is 17th, after going 34-11 a year ago. UW-Whitewater is No. 18, with a 33-17 mark from last season. Wheaton of Massachusetts is the pre-season Number-One, after finishing second last spring. Stevens Point also received votes. Also, D3baseball.com has announced its pre-season All-America teams for Division-Three. Stevens Point catcher Ryan Schilter made the national first team. He hit .370 last season with 19 doubles, one homer, and 36 RBI's. Two players from Whitewater made the All-American second team - third baseman Jared Fon and first baseman Marty Herum.
The University of Wisconsin women's basketball team will play at Iowa tonight. The Badgers lost to the Hawkeyes 65-56 in Madison just two weeks ago. But now, coach Bobbie Kelsey's Wisconsin team hopes to gain some momentum, after crushing Ohio State by 19 points last Sunday. It ended a six-game losing streak, but a win tonight would give the Badgers one more victory than they had during all of last season. Wisconsin is currently 9-10 overall, and 1-5 in the Big Ten. Iowa is 14-5 overall, and 3-2 in the conference. Iowa senior center Morgan Johnson looks for a repeat of her performance against Wisconsin on January 10th. She had 23 points and 11 rebounds that night, and she made all 11 of her free throws. Wisconsin has two players closing in on a school record for the most consecutive free throws. Morgan Paige has made 23 straight, and Jacki Gulczynski has made her last 22. The Badger record is 25, set by Michele Kozelka in 1989. Also tonight, the UW-Milwaukee women play at Valparaiso. And the Parkside women-and-men host Southern Indiana.
The top two women's basketball teams in the Northern Athletics Conference South Division will face each other tonight. First-place Wisconsin Lutheran travels to Benedictine. Lutheran is 10-0 in league play, and has already qualified for the league tournament in a few weeks. Benedictine is three games back at 7-3. Also tonight, the Alverno women travel to Watertown to play Maranatha Baptist. The Maranatha men are also at home against Madison Edgewood in an NAC contest.
Jerry Kelly of Madison is the only Wisconsin golfer in the PGA's Farmers Insurance Open which begins today at Torrey Pines near San Diego. Tiger Woods is making his first appearance in a U.S. tournament in 2013. After debuting last weekend, the senior P-G-A Champions Tour is off until February eighth, when the Allianz Championship begins at Boca Raton Florida.
Madison area native Amanda Kessel has been named the WCHA women's hockey offensive player-of-the-week. The junior forward for the Minnesota Gophers had three goals and four assists in a pair of victories last weekend at Minnesota State-Mankato. She became the 24th player in NCAA history to surpass 200 career points. Kessel has now received the league's weekly honors four times this season.
State High School Wrestling Scores
Grendale Martin Luther 51, Shoreland Lutheran 27
Milton 35, Stoughton 22
Wauwatosa West/East 54, Greenfield 11
Big Foot/Williams Bay 33 Palmyra-Eagle 9
Bonduel 65, Crivitz 10
Brodhead/Juda 63, Beloit Turner 10
Brookwood 54, Hillsboro 18
Cambridge 63, Pecatonica/Argyle 12
Coleman 57, Seymour 12
Evansville/Albany 42, East Troy 23
Fennimore 54, Boscobel 30
Jefferson 37, Edgerton 29
Kiel 42, Waupun 36
Lancaster 58, Dodgeville 15
Mayville 69, North Fond du Lac 12
Melrose-Mindoro/Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau 46, Westby 27
Necedah 48, Plainfield Tri-County 6
Prairie du Chien/Wauzeka-Steuben 66, Platteville/Belmont 7
Random Lake 59, Cedar Grove-Belgium 12
Richland Center 46, River Valley 25
Sparta 47, La Crosse Aquinas 28
Sparta 41, Weston/Ithaca 29
Valders 25, Brillion 24
Valders 39, Manitowoc Lutheran 12
Weyauwega-Fremont 62, Almond-Bancroft/Stevens Point Pacelli 18
Wilmot 42, Westosha Central 34
Menasha 72, Appleton West 6