Morning State Sports Briefs: UW-Stout's Nelson named Track Athlete of the YearWisconsin Sports
-- Tim Nelson of UW-Stout has been named the Outdoor Track Athlete-of-the-Year for the NCAA’s Division III.
MENOMONIE - Tim Nelson of UW-Stout has been named the Outdoor Track Athlete-of-the-Year for the NCAA’s Division III.
The honor comes from the national track-and-cross country coaches’ association. Nelson won both the five-thousand and ten-thousand meter events at last weekend’s national Division III meet. Earlier this season, Nelson recorded the third-fastest time in Division III history in the five-thousand meters, at 13-minutes, 57-point-zero-two seconds. That ended up as the nation’s best time in Division III this year.
UW-Milwaukee has been named the Horizon League All-Sports’ champion for the past school year. The Panthers won the James McCafferty Trophy for the first time in three years. Milwaukee won the overall crown for both men-and-women with 45-and-a-half points, six more than second-place Cleveland State. U-W Green Bay finished seventh with 24-and-a-half. Schools receive points according to the conference finishes in all sports during the year. Milwaukee scored high with its titles in women’s soccer, volleyball, indoor-and-outdoor track, and swimming. Green Bay’s highest scores came on titles in women’s volleyball and men’s tennis. Valparaiso won the men’s title, with Milwaukee and Cleveland State tied for second and Green Bay sixth. Milwaukee won the women’s all-sports crown by two points over Butler. Green Bay was ninth.
Marquette men’s basketball assistant coach David “Aki” Collins is leaving to take a similar job at Memphis. Tigers’ head coach Josh Pastner announced the appointment today. He said he considers Collins as a possible head coach in the future. Pastner called Collins a good recruiter and coach, and he establishes strong relationships with players. Collins replaces Jack Murphy, who left to become the head coach at Northern Arizona. Collins has been at Marquette for all of Buzz Williams’ four seasons as the head man. Yesterday, Williams announced the hiring of former Missouri assistant Issac Chew as a Marquette assistant.
There were no upsets yesterday as the state boys’ high school individual tennis tournament got underway in Madison. All seeded players either won their opening matches, or had first round byes in both the singles’ and doubles’ competitions in Divisions One-and-Two. The Division 1 singles champions for the last two years – Damon Niquet of Milwaukee Marquette and Alex Jesse of Mequon Homestead – both had byes, and will play their first matches in today’s Round-of-32. The same goes for the top seeds in Division 1 doubles, Ben Klein and Ben Stewart of Brookfield East. In Division 2 top singles’ seed Luke Hubert of New Berlin and top doubles’ seed Brian Zak and Andrew Zimmermann of Green Bay Notre Dame had first-round byes. They’ll open in today’s Sweet-16 competition in D-2. Everything will be played through the quarter-finals today. Semi-finals and finals will be played tomorrow at UW-Madison's Nielsen Tennis Stadium.
Former University of Wisconsin offensive tackle Gabe Carimi says he’s ready to take back his starting job in the NFL with the Chicago Bears. Carimi was the Bears’ first-round draft pick a year ago – and he started the first two games at right tackle for Chicago when he dislocated his right knee in Week-Two against New Orleans. It knocked him out for the season, although he briefly returned to practice in November after arthroscopic surgery. In December, Carimi had full-fledged knee surgery to repair connective tissues around his MCL ligament and patella. And this week, Carimi took a big step by taking part in the Bears’ practices at their Organized Team Activities. Carimi was an All-American left tackle for Wisconsin who played at Monona Grove High School. He says he’s happy with the progress he has made – and he’s taking part in the most of the OTA workouts in the hopes of picking up where he left off a year ago.
This year’s new season ticket holders at Lambeau Field could feel sticker shock. The Stadium District has increased the license fee for the Packers’ newest ticket holders. Those who get the Green Bay package – the one with six regular season games and an exhibition – will pay $700 more, for a total license fee of 21-hundred dollars. Those with the “Gold” Milwaukee package – with two regular season games and an exhibition – will pay $900, up from the previous $600. The new fees will also cover the 6,700 additional seats being built in the south end zone. The license fees for those seats could total $20-million – and that money will off-set the $143-million cost of the stadium’s current expansion and renovation.
Milwaukee Brewers’ manager Ron Roenicke says he understands why some fans are already giving up on the season. But principal owner Mark Attanasio says he’s not ready to surrender yet. And he’s still thinking about adding players in July if the Brewers can get hot soon. After winning the National League Central last year, Milwaukee is five games below .500 with a rash of injuries, an inconsistent bullpen, and slumps by some key offensive players. But the Brewers have won four straight over the best team in baseball at the moment, the Los Angeles Dodgers. And it has moved Milwaukee into a tie for fourth place in the Central, just six games behind division-leading Cincinnati. Still, there’s growing speculation that the Brewers will trade some of their stars to contenders in July for prospects – especially starters Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, who are both in the final years of their contracts. There’s already been speculation about whether the Brewers can afford to re-sign Greinke, and Attanasio admits that contract talks are at a standstill. He says the injuries are unfortunate, but they do give the Brewers a chance to see their younger talent. Attanasio said he kept his chin up about the injuries until last Sunday, when catcher Jonathan Lucroy broke his right hand in a freak accident in his hotel room. Attanasio said he was so excited for Lucroy, because the owner thought he had a legitimate chance of making his first All-Star Game. Roenicke says he still likes the team he has. But to have a chance, he said some things will have to go right and quote, “Some guys are really going to have to step up their game.”
USA Gymnastics is getting a backlash of criticism, after deciding that Chellsie Memmel of West Allis was not fit to compete for a spot on the Olympic team. There’s an online petition at Change.org to get gymnastics officials to change their minds, and put the 2005 world champion back in the competition. The petition had over 25-hundred signatures as of last night. The 23-year-old Memmel had a poor showing in the balance beam at last weekend’s Secret U.S. Classic in Chicago. And a committee led by U.S. team coordinator Marta Karolyi kept her off the roster for the U.S. Championships in Saint Louis next weekend. Those results will decide who will be allowed to try out for the Olympic team three weeks later. Andy Memmel, Chellsie’s father and coach, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that USA Gymnastics is surprised by all the backlash. But he said quote, “They put themselves in this predicament, not us.” Although she’s a world champion, Memmel has had her previous Olympic dreams ruined by injuries – and she was training full-time to compete in this summer’s Games in London. USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny said he understood the outpouring of support, considering Memmel’s popularity and accomplishments. Andy Memmel told the paper that Penny wanted her to retire and said quote, “We’ll make it look good for you.”
In the Midwest League…
Beloit 8, Quad Cities 1
Cedar Rapids 4, Wisconsin 0
Burlington 3, Peoria 2
Kane County at Clinton, rained out
West Michigan 7, Lake County 6
Dayton 8, South Bend 7
Lansing at Bowling Green, suspended
Great Lakes at Fort Wayne, rained out
In the Northwoods League…
Eau Claire 5, Wisconsin 4
Lakeshore (Mequon) 4, Green Bay 3
Wisconsin Rapids 12, La Crosse 3
Madison 7, Battle Creek 1
Thunder Bay 8, Alexandria 5
Mankato 4, Willmar 1
Saint Cloud 10, Duluth 9
Waterloo 10, Rochester 4