WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Kenseth still points leader in the Chase for the Cup
Wisconsin driver Matt Kenseth still leads NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup after four events. The Cambridge native finished 11th yesterday at the Hollywood Casino-400 in Kansas City Kansas. Kenseth struggled with a loose car, and was penalized for speeding on pit road just past the halfway point. The race had a season-high 15 cautions. Kenseth said he had to keep battling back all day in the worst racing conditions he can remember. Beloit-born Danica Patrick crashed on the first lap when she slammed into Turn-One. That ended her day, and she finished 43rd and last. Paul Menard of Eau Claire took seventh, and Travis Kvapil of Janesville 36th. Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick won. With six races to go in the Chase, Kenseth leads by three points over Jimmie Johnson and 25 over third-place Harvick. Menard remains 17th. Patrick is still 28th. Kvapil remains 31st for the year.
The Wisconsin football team continues to get votes in the national polls. The Badgers are four places away from the Top-25 in the A-P media poll, and three spots away in the U-S-A Today coaches' survey. Both new polls came out yesterday. Wisconsin had the first of two October byes this past weekend, and will host Northwestern on Saturday. The Wildcats are still ranked in both polls, after losing 40-to-30 to Top-Five team Ohio State on Saturday. Northwestern fell three spots in both polls. They're now ranked 19th by the media, and 18th by the coaches. Unbeaten Alabama remains first in both.
Wisconsin now has three football teams in the national Top-10 in the N-C-A-A's Division-Three. U-W Platteville moved up one place to eighth in the new poll from D-Three-Football-Dot-Com. U-W Oshkosh rose one spot to ninth. Whitewater jumped to the Number-10 spot, after being 12th a week ago. All three teams are 4-and-0 after winning their W-I-A-C conference openers on Saturday. U-W Stevens Point received one vote in the D-Three poll. Mount Union of Ohio is still at Number-One.
In golf, Steve Stricker of Madison lost his final match, but the United States still retained the President's Cup. Stricker fell to Ernie Els of the International team one-up in one of 12 head-to-head singles' matches that closed out yesterday's competition in Dublin Ohio. Els led for 10 holes to just two for Stricker, but it still went down to the wire. Stricker came back to tie the match with a birdie on the 13th hole. Els went in front for good with a birdie on the Par-3 16th. Despite Stricker's defeat, the U-S still beat the International team 18-and-a-half to 15-and-a-half to win the Cup for the fifth straight time, and the eighth in the last 10 competitions. Stricker won three-of-his-five events during the weekend. He and Bill Haas won their rain-delayed Saturday foursome yesterday, 4-and-3 over Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama.
Stanford has the lead after the first day of the Erin Hills Intercollegiate golf tournament northwest of Milwaukee. The Cardinal shot a combined eight-under-par 280, with a six-stroke lead over U-C-L-A and Southern Methodist. Marquette is tied for sixth among the 14 teams in the tournament at two-over-290. Wisconsin and U-W Green Bay are tied for 10th at seven-over-295. Marquette sophomore Zach Gaugert is tied for the lead among the individuals at four-under-68. He's playing unattached, and is not on the Golden Eagles' roster for the tournament. Marquette is led by Nick Nelson at two-under-70, in sixth place. Robert Jacobsen of the Badgers and Gene Kiela-the-Third of Green Bay are tied for seventh at one-under.
Stevens Point native Janel McCarville played almost 23 minutes with a bad back as she helped the Minnesota Lynx win Game-One of the W-N-B-A Finals, 84-to-59 over Atlanta. The Lynx led the entire way on their home floor last night. They shot 49-percent, and held Atlanta scoreless in 15 three-point attempts. McCarville, who was added to the lineup this season for her strength and slick passing ability, had four assists and five rebounds in Game-One. She also scored seven points. Maya Moore scored 23 for the Lynx. Game-Two of their best-of-five series with Atlanta is tomorrow night in Minneapolis. Game-Three is set for Thursday night in Atlanta.
Ryan Meissen of Mukwonago won his second Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon yesterday. The former U-W Whitewater All-American completed the 26-plus miles in two-hours, 28-minutes, and 23 seconds. Zachary Meineke of Wauwatosa was the runner-up for the second year in a row. He finished in 2:30:04. Melissa Burkart of Hudson was the female winner. She finished in 2:45:30, the fastest time by a woman in the Milwaukee race since 1995. The 31-year-old Burkart said her goal is to make the U-S Olympic Trials for the 2016 squad. The Appleton area native was two-and-a-half minutes off the Trials' qualifying time of 2:43.