The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana on April 17, 2000 · Page 11
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The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana · Page 11

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Indianapolis, Indiana
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Monday, April 17, 2000
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Page 11
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The Indianapolis Star Week to remember Stewart Cink picks up his second victory on the PGA Tour with a final-round 65 at the MCI Classic. Page 4 Monday, April 17, 2000 : V.,-1 NFL DRAFT 2 ; GOLF 4 ;f HOCKEY 7 : BASEBALL 8 : SCOREBOARD 9 . 1.. JL ..- M., InfoUne: 624-INFO (4636) Online: www.starnews.com i DJ JDj Man in the middle: Rob Morris, the Colts' first-round draft pick, holds up his jersey after arriving in Indianapolis to meet the media. The linebacker from Brigham Young is expected to move into the starting role at middle linebacker. The Colts used six of their seven draft picks to take defensive players. P Colts stay on the defensive in draft Staff Photo Frank Espich Polian ends up using 6 of team's 7 selections in this year's draft to add defensive players. By Mike Chappell STAFF WRITER During a break in the tedium of the NFL draft's second day on Sunday, Jim Mora provided an unsolicited overview for the Indianapolis Colts. "Defense, defense, defense," he said, delivering a mock cheer. Mora, a defensive-minded coach, was reacting to the defensive tenor of the Colts' weekend. For just the second time in franchise history, the first since line-' backer Duane Bickett led a similar landslide in 1985, the team used its first four draft picks on defensive talent. The decision to reinforce the defense with six of seven overall se- Tracking the Colts' draft Round (overall) Player and school s Pos. ; Ht. Wt. ' 1 (28) Rob Morris, BYU LB 6-2250 2 (59) Marcus Washington, Auburn LB 6-3 250 3 (91 ) David Macklin, Penn State CB 5-8V2 1 95 4 (122) " Josh Williams, Michigan DL 6-3 " " " 282 " " " 5 (1 38) Matt Johnson," BYU " OL 6-4 330 ' 7 "(235)" " Rob Renes, Michigan DT 6-1 " " 290" 7" "(238) RodVegis Brooks! Ala.-Birm. CB 5-10 1 87 Staff Graphic lections was a first for the Colts. "Hey, if they can't score," Mora added with a smile, "you can't lose." The defensive mindset picked up steam on Saturday when the first three rounds churned out Brigham Young middle linebacker Rob Morris, Auburn outside linebacker Marcus Washington and Penn State cornerback David Macklin. It was more of the same on Sun day as Day 2 produced further reinforcements for a defense that a year ago ranked 15th in yards allowed and 17th in points allowed. Added to the roster were Josh Williams and Rob Renes, a pair of defensive tackles out of Michigan, and Alabama-Birmingham comer-back Rodregis Brooks. Colts president Bill Polian's only deviation from defense occurred in Round 5 when he selected Matt Johnson, a 330-pound guard-out of BYU. Z'Z' "It was our commitments) Jiy to build the defense through theidraft, , and I think we did," said Polian. "If you're going to advance (in the playoffs), you have to have a stout defense." .;. ; - That commitment didn't - end with the conclusion of the draft. Among the batch of undrafted free agents who agreed to terms; late Sunday was University of -Indianapolis linebacker Josh Gentry. "I'm extremely pleased .... I wanted to stay around Indianapo-j lis," Gentry said. "This gives me the opportunity to be near my farfjjty and be part of a winning program." Polian said the Colts were "at traded by Gentry's toughness and intensity. The main concern is Gentry's speed, which is in the 4.8-1 second range for the 40-yard dash; "The question is whether he will -- v See COLTS Page 2 7.:. , Tracy keeps faith, rallies to wild win Canadian's strategy works to perfection as he moves from 17th spot to win at Long Beach. By Robin Miller STAFF WRITER LONG BEACH, Calif. A few minutes before the start of the 26th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Paul Tracy was trying to look on the bright side of starting 17th. "You know, (Alex) Zanardi came from a lap down here and won. I mean, it's a long way to the front and it's going to take a little luck, but stranger things have happened," he said. Indeed, one of them did Sunday. Tracy parlayed aggressive driving, good strategy and great pit stops to pull off the 16th, and most unlikely, victory of his career in the KOOL ReynardHonda. The 31-year-old Canadian passed rookie Takuya Kurosawa for the lead on lap 62 and controlled the final 21 laps, beating runner-up Helio Castro-Neves by three seconds. , "We were lost all weekend, but we never gave up," said Tracy, who came from 17th in the season opener at Homestead, Fla., and finished third. "We've started in the back twice and we haven't panicked, and the job this team does in amazing. "But there was no way we thought we'd come out of here with a win. This was huge." It was also strange and eventful, as the usual throng of 100,000 was treated to some good racing for a street show. But six full-course yellow flags and one major gearbox problem changed the complexion of this race. , As pole sitter Gil de Ferran and Roberto Moreno looked strong early, Tracy, Michael Andrettl and Christian Fittipaldi pitted under the first caution Inside , Rookies sparkle at Long Beach. Page 5 See TRACY Page 5 Milestone win erases Gordon's victory drought By Paul Newberry ASSOCIATED PRESS TALLADEGA, Ala. So much for Jeff Gordon being washed up. The one-time Wonder Boy showed he's still a force to be reckoned with Sunday, winning for the first time since October by holding off Mike Skinner in the DieHard 500. Gordon grabbed the lead with five laps to go and won another thrilling finish at Talladega Superspeedway, becoming the 11th driver in NASCAR history with 50 career victories. In victory lane, Gordon crawled from the Chevrolet Monte Carlo like a huge burden had been lifted from his shoulders. He high-fived crew members and was doused with champagne by crew chief Robbie Loomis. "It was emotional for us," Gordon said. "I know it hadn't been forever, but it had been awhile. I know how hard we've worked "and we've had to listen to a lot of things, a lot of criticism. That's tough. It does take a toll on you." , Gordon, who was booed heavily when he dominated Winston Cup, heard nothing but cheers this time. On his way to the postrace news conference, ' SefrGORDON Page 5 ' Jeff Gordon is the 11th driver in NASCAR history to win at least 50 races. D J Sip j 7' 777M'"t:.. 1 v 'r3 f VIA'- : iti V 1 'xvv --"f !' --HPS 1 " ssr ., . . . ;..! Indiana earns t. homecourt edge ::::: for playoffs througrr j conference finals. By Mark Montieth STAFF WRITER AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Having : done what few expected them to do, the Indiana Pacers allowed themselves a moment of self-congratulation Sun-J," day. PACERS DETROIT 112 101 Next game: at Philadelphia, 7 p.m. today, WTTV-4, WIBC-1070 AM, WEDJ-107.1 FM. Associated Press Too little: Jerry Stackhouse, driving on the Pacers' Reggie Miller, led the Pistons with 26 points before getting ejected in the fourth quarter. It wasn't enough as six Pacers scored in double figures. Their 112-101: victory over De -troit at The Palace ', clinched , the top ''. seed in the East- ern Conference for the first time in franchise history. assuring them of ' homecourt advantage through the con- ' ference finals should they last that long. ,' ' ' Not bad, and certainly not expected, for a team many thought should have been broken up after last season's disappointing loss to New York in the conference finals, and was highly criti- cized at various points this season. "Everyone said we were too old," ' said Reggie Miller, who led the Pacers with 21 points. "They wanted to trade everybody at the end of November. They said we were nothing but a bunch of bums and has-beens and -whatever adjectives you want to use. ' To hear that all season and still finish first means a lot. "Now everybody's going to have to go through Indiana. We like our chances.I ' The Pacers again benefited from for; tunate timing. They beat Miami on Frt- ' day when the Heat played without 'in- .. jured point guard Tim Hardaway. 1" Sunday, they faced Detroit without, its T leading scorer Grant Hill, who rested a -bruised left ankle. - - But their 54th win counted all the" same. And they weren't about to give it back. ; "We can't worry about that," Pacers coach Larry Bird said. "This league is . full of injuries. On any given night, anything can happen. "We've had our ups and downs this year. We lost a lot of games we should have won. But we stuck together. M . very proud of these guys." : ; See PACERS Page 6 Ahead this week Stories set to iss appear this week in the Star sports section. tiil'l'TTl Pacers vs. Hawks The Indiana Pacers finish the regular season Wednesday night against the visiting Atlanta Hawks. nrcffi Golden Gloves The Indiana Golden Gloves boxing tourney winds up Thursday night with action at Tyndall Armory. IRL in Vegas We'll take an advance look at the Indy Racing League's third race of the season, set for Las Vegas. ) Indians master the 2-out rally in victory over Tides NORFOLK INDIANS 5 6 By Phillip B. Wilson STAFF WRITER Through seven innings, the outlook was bleak for the Indianapolis Indians. In the 10th inning, it seemed even worse. In each instance, the Indians did their improbable best to manufacture a two-out rally. Persistence eventually paid off as Kurt Bierek's soft liner to short right field scored Santiago Perez and Mickey Lopez to give the Tribe a dramatic 6-5 Inter- national League win over Norfolk on Sunday at Victory Field. Down to their last out, the Indians (8-3) rallied to victory for a sixth time in this young season. And the cleanup hitting Bierek, off to a slow start with a .207 batting average, needed the pick-me-up. See INDIANS "age 8 Next game: vs. Norfolk, 2 p.m. today, WTLC-1310 AM. yj 77-) K' - ' ' 1 if- ' fc ----- - - 1 mil 11. Staff Photo Kelly Wilkinson Nice job: Damon Hollins (25) is congratulated , after he scored the fourth fend tying run in the eighth inning itjr the Indianl.

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