The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 27, 1998 · Page 24
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 24

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Wednesday, May 27, 1998
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Page 24
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D4 WEDNESDAY. MAY P7 1998 SPORTS THE SALINA JOURNAL PRO TENNIS: FRENCH OPEN The Associated Press Andre Agassi wipes his face during his first-round match against Roland Garros of Russia on Tuesday. Garros won in five sets. Young Russian ousts Agassi Agassi's comeback sticks in French clay with first-round defeat By ROB GLOSTER The Associated Press PARIS — Andre Agassi arrived at the French Open trim and tanned, riding the crest of a comeback. He left as a first-round loser with a sore shoulder and doubts about his immediate future. Agassi, who injured his shoulder serving in the first set, had 82 unforced errors Tuesday while losing to an 18-year-old Russian making his Grand Slam debut. He lost 5-7, 7-5, 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 to Marat Safin, who is ranked 116th and had to win three qualifying matches just to make it into the French Open. Last month, Agassi beat Safin in straight sets in a Davis Cup match in Atlanta. "Something is obviously inflamed," Agassi said, massaging an ice pack on his right shoulder. "Anything above my shoulder I started struggling with. I was letting those balls drop, trying to move him left, right, left, right. I just didn't close out the points." Monica Seles, playing her first match since the death of her father two weeks ago, found solace on the comforting red clay of Roland Garros during a 6-0, 6-2 win over Annabel Ellwood. Seles, a three-time French Open champion who emerged as a teen-age superstar in Paris eight SELES years ago, is seeking refuge from her grief by playing tennis. "It was just too tough for me to stay home," said Seles, at her father's side when he died May 14 in Sarasota, Fla., after a five-year battle with cancer. "I think it's just being away from the house, having so many memories in every corner." The sixth- seeded Seles, whose career was interrupted for nearly 2 V4 years when she was stabbed during a match in 1993 in Germany, said all she wants to do now is concentrate on tennis. "My dad would love me to play," she said. "I just sometimes wish that these things didn't happen right now. I wish my dad could have seen the end of my career and a lot of other things." The first round's biggest upset was pulled off by qualifier Mariano Zabaleta, who ousted second- seeded Petr Korda in a five-set struggle that lasted until 9:14 p.m. on a cool evening. Korda, the Australian Open champion, rallied from a two-set deficit but tired in the final set and lost 6-0, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3 to the 213th-ranked Zabaleta, who leaped for joy and changed into an Argentine soccer jersey to celebrate his shocking victory. Among the women, No. 5 Amanda Coetzer was eliminated. Moving on the second round were No. 2 Lindsay Davenport, No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, No. 7 Conchita Martinez, No. 11 Mary Pierce, No. 14 Sandrine Testud and No. 15 Dominique Van Roost. Unseeded Serena Williams won in her French Open debut, 6-2,1-6, 6-4 over Canada's Jana Nejedly, to join her older sister, Venus, in the second round. Men advancing included No. 4 Patrick Rafter, who rallied from two sets down to win a match that began Monday, No. 10 Richard Krajicek, No. 14 Alex Corretja and No. 16 Alberto Berasategui. Defending champion Gustavo Kuerten, the eighth seed, lost just four games while advancing to a second-round match against Safin, who overpowered Agassi with his sharp groundstrokes. Agassi, who has won every Grand Slam event except the French Open, had never lost in the first round at Roland Garros. He was the tournament's runner- up in 1990 and 1991. Agassi dropped to No. 141 in the world last year, but lost 25 pounds while working his way back into shape in minor tournaments. He has won two tournaments this year while catapulting to No. 20 in the rankings. He came into the match seeking his 500th professional victory, but struggled from the start. Agassi needed an hour to win the first set, then quickly dropped the next two sets. PARIS — A-'topk at'Tuesday's play, the second day of the Branch' Open: ' - «. • Attendance —31,243 at Roland Garros stadium {32,096 In 1997);- * Weather -f- Partly cloudy-wtth some rain and afternoon Jilgh of 6JJ degrees,, "' ' . Men's winners — Patrick Rafter •* (4), Gustavo Kuerten (8), Richard KrajIcaK (10), Michael Chang (11), Alex Corretja (14) and Alberto Berasategui (16). '''- ' Women's winners — Lindsay Davenport (2), Arantxa'Sanchez" •Vicario (4),<Morilca Seles (6), Con-' chlta Martinez (7), Mary Pierce (11), Sandrine Testud (14) and Dominique van Roost (15). Men's losers — Petr Korda (2) • and Andre Agassi. < ><•-; Women's losers — Amanda Coetzer (5). s ", " Today's schedule —- Men,'Pete Sampras" (1), vs. Ramoh Oelgado and Marcelo Rjos (3) vs. Emlllo Alvarez, Others, Carlos Moya(1 a), Albert Costa (13) and Felix Mantll- la (15)'. ' • ';••• Women, Martina Hingis (1) vs. Melke Babel, Jana Novotna (3) vs. Emilie Molt, Monica Seles, (6) vs, Marlon Maruska, Venus Williams (8) vs. At Suglyama and Arina Koumlkova (13) vs. Katarirta Stu- denlkova. * •- „ . Quote — "It was just too, tough 'for me to stay (lome/so many* 'memories In every comer," Monica Seles, talking ,about_ why "she..^ -elded tQ-parftoip j at£''in the PrencjW Open two weeks after her father's , death,- „ ' ',• "' > ;- f ,'"" Stat of trie day,— 1^6'atjd 213 —t rankings ,,of qualifiers' Marat Safin and Marfano,Zabaleta,-'jje*, fore they upset Andre Agassi 'and, PetrKorda, respectively. •','/'.,",,,' HIGH SCHOOL STATE GOLF T AUTO RACING Cheever owns up to Indy 500 victory This year's winner enjoyed victory as a driver and an owner By HAL BOCK The Associated Press • NEW YORK — A week or so be;fore he won the Indianapolis 500, Eddie Cheever was doing what ; race drivers do — testing equipment. In an instant, something went wrong and, at 180 mph, Cheever's car spun toward the wall. "Most drivers would think, "Ouch, this is going to hurt.'" Cheever said. "I thought,'... this is going to cost a lot of money to fix.'" That's because Gheever not only drives race cars. He also owns them. And that made his victory at Indy doubly satisfying. "I am prouder as an owner than I am as a driver," he said. To run a competitive Indy car race team, the season's budget can reach $5 million. That, though, is nothing compared to the $120 million needed to compete in Formula One, where Cheever raced before coming to Indy cars eight years ago. For Cheever, a chunk of that change comes from Rachel's Potato Chips, a small Minneapolis company that signed on as a sponsor a week before he arrived in Indy to drive the 500. Finding sponsors is part of the charm of being a team i The Associated Press Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever kisses the Borg-Warner Trophy that sits next to his car on the finish line at Indy. owner. Sometimes, it's as tough as avoiding a crash on the track. At the 500, that wasn't always easy. "We had some maniacs out there Sunday," Cheever said. "There was some overly aggressive driving. That's a result of trying to win the race on one lap and forgetting that it's 200 laps and 500 miles. I felt uncomfortable many times." Like when he got bumped in traffic on the first turn and found himself sailing sideways before righting his car. Or another time when he started to pull out of a pit TV ratings fall for Indy 500 By The Associated Press NEW YORK — As far as television ratings are concerned, the Indianapolis 500 has become just another race. Three years into the split between the CART and IRL racing series, the Indianapolis 500 has lost household names and its luster. The 5.6 overnight rating for this year's was down 18 percent from 1996, the last time the race was run on Sunday, and 33 percent from 1995, the last year before the CART-IRL split. (A rating point represents 980,000 households). Last year's race, which ran on a Tuesday afternoon following two days of rain, got a 5.0/18. The beneficiary of the split has been NASCAR, which has quickly become the ratings king of auto racing. NASCAR's weekly race ratings now regularly more than double those of CART , and the IRL. The Daytona 500, the crown jewel of NASCAR's Winston Cup series, has outrated Indy each of the last three years. The 7.7 overnight rating for this year's Daytona 500 was 38 percent higher than Indy. But even less glamorous races, like last month's Diehard 500 on ABC, which got a 5.7, and Texas 500 on CBS, which got a 5.4, post ratings about as high as Indy. stop prematurely, with the fuel hose still in his car. "That would be very embarrassing," Cheever said. "I wouldn't be inyited to New York. I'd be hiding someplace in Arkansas." Cheever is a holdover driver, who ran in the 500 before the split between CART and the Indy Racing League fragmented the racers. He was rookie of the year at the 500 in 1990 when the field included the more glamorous names like Andretti, Fittipaldi, Mears and Rahal, all out of the picture now because of the divorce between the two racing factions after Indy forced racers to qualify for the 500 by driving IRL events. That rule was rescinded last year but the CART drivers still haven't returned. "I'm a race driver," Cheever said. "I like the IRL. I think what they did is good. The way it was set up before, it was impossible to win Indy unless you had a degree in marketing or were Brazilian, Italian or French." Cheever said this was the first time he attacked the Indy course from start to finish. And it paid off. Now he can't wait to defend the title it took him so long to win. Ellsworth nabs 4A team title Balanced scoring the key for Bearcat as they claim five-stroke victory By The Journal Staff HESSTON — Just a year ago, Ellsworth came from nowhere to nearly capture the Class 4A state golf championship. This time, there was no element of surprise. Relying on the steady play and balanced scoring that had carried them all spring, the Bearcats completed a perfect season Tuesday by edging DeSoto and Augusta by five strokes to capture the 4A tournament at Hesston Golf Course. With only one individual in the top 10 and two in the top 20, the Bearcats combined for a four-man score of 309 to claim the title while DeSoto followed at 314. DeSoto finished second with a better fifth- man score. "This year everybody expected us to win and they came through," Ellsworth coach Chuck Lovenstein said of his senior-dominated team. "They worked hard in the summertime on their game, they worked hard in the fall and they worked hard in practice. "The last four years they've won something like 26 or 27 out of 32 tournaments, so they've had the experience of winning. Balanced scoring has certainly been the key to our victories." The Bearcats did not have to count a score higher than 80. Augusta had the top two medalists in Scott Sayre and Marshall Roney at even-par 71, but the Orioles dropped to 86 for their third and fourth scores. Ryan Peschka's ninth-place 74 led Ellsworth, with Pat Hammell finishing 14th at 76. J.J. Maddox added a 79 and Judd Bircher sealed the victory with an 80. The Bearcats also could have counted Mark Kohls' 83 and won, while sophomore Chris Worrell shot 92. A year ago, the Bearcats tied Holton for first place at 331, only to lose by two strokes on their fifth-place score. With the whole team back, they were confident going into the season, but also well aware of the expectations, according to Lovenstein. "I think they felt a lot of pressure this year," Lovenstein said. "They knew they were going to have a good team and everybody expected them to win every tournament. The kids said they felt a lot of pressure. "I think it was our experience that won it. We could count on them each tournament to shoot their steady score." Lovenstein said he expected the scores to be low under perfect weather conditions. After Sayre and Roney at 71, Marysville's Graig Sells and Holton's Philip Williams shot 72. "I had an idea that we were going to be in a dogfight with Augus- ta and DeSoto pretty early," Lovenstein said. "(Sayre's and Roney's) were the first scores to come in, so they were definitely in the driver's seat. We felt we had to catch up to them, then all of a sudden DeSoto came in. "It was kind of a dream season, winning every tournament, winning regionals and then winning state. It was a magical moment for them. They're an excellent group of kids." In the team race, Garnett and Abilene finished just two strokes out of trophy contention with scores of 316. Garnett had the better No. 5 score to place fourth. Thomas More Prep-Marian was sixth at 320. Smith Center third in 3A At Junction City, Wichita Collegiate improved on its second-place finish of a year ago by running away with the Class 3A team title at Rolling Meadows. The Spartans won with four-man score of 328 to easily outdistance runners-up Ellinwood (346) and Smith Center (349). Neodesha's Mickey Carpenter beat Erie's Travis Hurst in a playoff for medalist honors after both shot rounds of 76. Chris McGown of Jayhawk- Linn edged Lyons' Sean Kadel and Smith Center's Matt Davidson in a playoff for third, one stroke back at 77. For Collegiate, Joe Rheem led the way with a seventh-place 79, while Chris Mathewson was 10th with a 81 and Justin Turner llth with an 83. Top area scores included an eighth-place 79 by Phillipsburg's Kelly Hoover and a ninth-place 80 by Oberlin's Grant Vollertson. Taylor Trogstad of Trego was 12th with an 83, edging Belleville's Kurt Childs in a playoff. Oberlin's Brett Aten was 14th with an 84 and Oakley's Travis Classman 18th at 85. Belleville finished fifth in the team race with a 360 and Oberlin sixth with a 362. Downs second in sand greens At LaCrosse, Chase County edged Downs by five strokes to capture the sand greens state championship with a four-man score of 287. Downs, led by Nathan Foster's round of 71, was second at 292 and LaCrosse third with a 299. Defending champion Mankato was fourth at 311. Dighton's Andy Stanley was the meet medalist with a score of 68. Foster won a four-way playoff at 71 to finish second ahead of Cottonwood Falls' Jeremy Palenske, LaCrosse's Brian Stevens and Cottonwood Falls' Brian Alexander. Downs also got seventh place from Jared Schmitt at 73, 10th from Seth Stevens at 74 and llth from Vic Doane at 74. Mankato's Jeremiah Webb was 14th with a 75 and teammate Travis Verbas 17th, also at 75. Golf / Mickelson, Syracuse win in 2-1A FROM PAGE D1 Mickelson avoided a second playoff hole by draining his 20-foot, left-to-right birdie putt. It was a day for first-place tiebreakers at the 2-1A finale, as Ellis and Syracuse finished with identical four-man team scores of 311. Syracuse was awarded the team title through a tiebreaker of best fifth-man score, as Ellis took second for the second year in a row. "We're disappointed because our goal was to come here and win as a team," Mickelson said. "That's the way we've done it all year. We really tried to stay together, but we knew it was going to be tough. "I think we've won one state title in the history of Ellis (in 1983) and we've had two seconds, a third and a fourth since I've been here, so we were going for the cycle." Syracuse was the only squad among the 12-team field to place four individuals in the top 20. The Bulldogs won their first state golf title with four scores between 76 and 80. "Numbers and depth have been a key all year for us," Syracuse coach Rick Mathias said. "We've got six good golfers and everytime one of them has struggled, somebody else has stepped up. "But those are pretty good scores and I think it's the best team score we've had all season. We were able to prepare for this course by playing from the blue tees on our home course, which also has long rough. So we had practice conditions that prepared us for today." Defending champion Sacred Heart was unable to match the numbers put up by Syracuse and Ellis. The Knights placed seventh in the team standings with a 335. Wichita Independent was third with 321, followed by Hoxie (322), Ness City (330) and Stockton (331). A year ago, Sacred Heart senior Chris Mergen lost in a playoff to Rossville's Garrett Donovan for medalist honors. The same two players matched up in a playoff this year, but were battling for ninth place after both shot 77. "Garrett's become a pretty good friend of mine," Mergen said. "It's fun to play against him because I know his game and he knows mine, and we both know what to expect." Mergen began his round on the back nine and got off to a rocky start, making the turn at 6-over 41. "I started out with four straight bogeys and got into a rut," Mergen said. "I started thinking 'I need to make a par.' After No. 181 started settling down, hitting shots and giving myself a lot of birdie putts. It's been a long time since I've played the first seven holes on the front nine as well as I played them today." Both Mergen and Donovan went bogey-par on the first two playoff holes, before Mergen closed it out with a two-putt par at No. 3. "He got into a little trouble on the first playoff hole when he hit under a tree," Mergen said. "Then he did it again on No. 3 and couldn't get out of it." Sacred Heart's next best score came from Mikel Knipp with an 84, followed by Eric Evel at 86.

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