WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Kenseth now in a tie for first in the Chase for the Cup
Wisconsin’s Matt Kenseth moved back into a tie for first-place in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup with three races left. Kenseth took second at the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot-500 in Martinsville Virginia yesterday. That moved him into a tie with Jimmie Johnson for the Sprint Cup season points’ lead, after Kenseth lost the Chase lead the week before. Johnson placed fifth yesterday. Both he and Kenseth have 22-hundred-94 points, 27 ahead of third-place Jeff Gordon. Gordon won his first race of the season, passing Kenseth with 21 laps to go. Gordon edged out Kenseth by six-tenths-of-a-second to win his 88thcareer NASCAR Sprint Cup event. Kenseth led the most laps with 200, and Johnson was in front for 124 laps. Beloit-born Danica Patrick placed 17thyesterday. She remains 28thin the point standings. Paul Menard of Eau Claire was 22nd in the race, and he dropped one spot for the year to 17th. Travis Kvapil of Janesville took 24th at Martinsville. He’s 31st for the season.
All seven defending state champions easily survived the first round of the W-I-A-A state high school football playoffs. The returning titlists trounced their opening opponents by a combined score of 345-to-44 over the weekend. The defending champs in the top two divisions, Hartland Arrowhead and Mequon Homestead, both won their playoff openers by identical 56-to-nothing shutouts. Division-Three titlist Waukesha Catholic Memorial won its first game 41-zip. The other returning champs – Somerset, Amherst, Fond du Lac Springs, and Glenwood City – had easy Level-One victories as well. Only one of the 28 Number-One seeds went down to defeat. Cochrane-Fountain City was upset 15-to-14 Independence-Gilmanton. Sixteen schools remain alive in each of the seven divisions. Their Level-Two contests will be played this Friday and Saturday.
The Wisconsin football team made the B-C-S Standings for the first time. The Badgers are 24th at 5-and-2, although they're unlikely to get a B-C-S bowl berth unless they can somehow get past Ohio State in the Big Ten standings. Wisconsin is a game back in second place at the moment. In the A-P media poll, Wisconsin remains 22nd after its by week. The Badgers moved up one place to 23rd in the U-S-A Today coaches' poll. Wisconsin is 3-and-1 in conference play, a game behind unbeaten Ohio State which is fourth in the B-C-S and both major media polls. The Badgers play at Iowa on Saturday. The Hawkeyes edged Northwestern 17-to-10 in over time this past Saturday on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Jake Rudock to C-J Fiedorowicz. Iowa improved to 2-and-2 in the conference, and 5-and-3 overall.
U-W Whitewater moved up one place to sixth in the new national Division-Three poll from D-Three-Football-Dot-Com. The Warhawks improved to 7-and-0 overall, with a 17-to-14 victory at then-ninth-ranked Oshkosh on Saturday. The Titans fell one spot to 10th in the new poll at 6-and-1. U-W Platteville remains at Number-eight. The Pioneers improved to 7-and-0 after winning a 59-to-35 track meet over Stout. Mount Union of Ohio remains at Number-One.
The Milwaukee Bucks will return to practice today, to get ready for their N-B-A regular season opener on Wednesday night at New York. The Bucks took yesterday off to try and heal at least some of their aches-and-pains. Starting point guard Brandon Knight was still out with a sore left hamstring. His back-up, Luke Ridnour, had a sore back at Saturday's practice. Forward Ersan Ilyasova did some shooting after practice, but he did not take part in the workout itself as he tries to get over a sprained right ankle. Guard Gary Neal was sick, but attended the practice anyway. Forward Caron Butler returned to practice Saturday, after missing Friday night's shortened exhibition finale against Toronto due to a sprained right ankle. The game was called off early due to the problems with the Bucks' new floor that kept players slipping. It's not known if the Bucks can use the floor on Saturday night in their home opener. If not, they'll use the old floor from past seasons.
In golf, Jerry Kelly of Madison tied for 19th place at the P-G-A tournament in Malaysia. Kelly shot a five-over-par 77 in his fourth-and-final round at the C-I-M-B Classic in Kuala Lumpur, finishing at five-under-283. That was 11 strokes behind Ryan Moore and Gary Woodland, who were tied for first at the end of regulation. Moore won the event in a one-hole playoff.
On the senior P-G-A Champions Tour, Rhinelander native Dan Forsman tied for 47that the A-T-and-T Championship in San Antonio. Forsman shot a three-under-par 69 yesterday in his third-and-final round. He finished at even-par 216. Kenny Perry defeated Bernhard Langer in a one-hole playoff, after both finished regulation at 13-under-203.
Tucker Fredricks of Janesville is among 21 long-track speed-skaters who made the U-S World Cup team. The squad was selected yesterday after three days of auditions in Kearns Utah. Four-time Olympic medalist Shani Davis of Chicago leads the American team, which will benefit from fall competition before the U-S Trials in December for next year's Olympic team. Waukesha native Elli Ochowicz made the World Cup squad, as she tries to make her fourth Olympic team. Among the others on the World Cup team are Jilleanne Rookard of West Allis and Maria Lamb from River Falls.