The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 11, 2001 · Page 27
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 27

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Wednesday, April 11, 2001
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THE SALINA JOURNAL SPORTS WEDNESDAY. APRIL 11, 2001 DB T AUTO RACING: Expert: Seat belt not likely a factor in Earnhardt's death Medical examiner: Death occurred wlien driver's head whipped violently forward By JENNA FRYER The Associated Press As NASCAR continues to look into Dale Earnhardt's fatal accident, an independent medical examiner said a broken seat belt found after the crash probably did not cause his death. Dr. Barry Myers of Duke University ' studied autopsy photos of Earnhardt for I the Orlando Sentinel and found that the seven-time Winston Cup champion was ' killed when his head whipped violently forward in the seconds after his car hit a wall going 150 mph at the Daytona 500. "As such," Myers wrote in the four- page report, "the restraint failure does not appear to have played a role in Mr. Earnhardt's fatal injury" NASCAR officials said five days after the Feb. 18 crash they found a broken seat belt in Earnhardt's car. Speedway physician Steve Bohannon, one of the doctors who worked on Earnhardt after the accident, said he thought the faulty belt allowed Earnhardt's head to strike the steering wheel of his Chevrolet, a blow that cracked the base of his skull and caused massive head injuries. NASCAR said Tuesday that Myers' report doesn't contradict anything the sanctioning body has said regarding the accident because it never claimed the broken seat belt caused Earnhardt's death. "Since the Daytona 500, NASCAR has made clear that we will not suggest or speculate on the circumstances sur­ rounding Dale Earnhardt's accident until our study is complete," president Mike Helton said in a statement. "No one from NASCAR has ever suggested what may have happened in this accident other than to say in our preliminary investigation we found issues of concern involving the occupant restraint system." On Monday, NASCAR announced it had commissioned an accident reconstruction review into Earnhardt's death but doesn't expect the results until August. The panel is made up of several different experts in various crash reconstruction areas, including one famUiar with occupant-safety restraint analysis. It will include crash model development and testing, sled and real crash tests and impact barrier testing. The review was announced on the same day Myers presented his report to the Sentinel. Myers, a professor of biomedical engineering at Duke, was chosen to prepare the report as part of an agreement between the Sentinel and Dale Earnhardt's widow, Teresa. Mrs. Earnhardt successfully sued to have the autopsy photos sealed four days after Earnhardt died at the Daytona 500 on Feb. 18. The Sentinel protested, saying it wanted its own medical expert to view the photos for an investigative series the newspaper was writing on NASCAR safety The two sides eventually reached a settlement that allowed Myers to view the images, which would then be sealed permanently Myers was asked by the Sentinel to evaluate whether Earnhardt's skuU fracture resulted from his head whipping forward, a blow on the top of the head, or a broken seat belt that allowed the driver to strike his head on the steering wheel. In his findings, Myers sided with other racing and medical experts who told the Sentinel that Earnhardt likely died because his head and neck were not held securely in place. Earnhardt suffered eight broken ribs, a broken breastbone and abrasions over the left hip and left lower abdomen, indications that the seat belt functioned properly through much of the crash, holding back Earnhardt's body Myers concluded. What killed Earnhardt, Myers concluded, was the weight of his unrestrained head whipping forward beyond the ability of his neck muscles to keep it from snapping away the base of the skull. The autopsy found that the underside of Earnhardt's chin struck and bent the steering wheel, a blow that could have been enough to cause a fatal skull injury. But the head whipping by itself would have killed Earnhardt, Myers said. Myers stopped short of saying that better head-and-neck protection would have saved Earnhardt. But he said such a device had the potential to prevent these injuries, which have claimed the lives of as many as four NASCAR drivers in the past 11 months. Helton said NASCAR would include Myers' report in its own investigation. "We're conducting our own detailed review with a team of experts ... this latest report will not change that," Helton said. "We respect the varied theories from the medical field and welcome their input as to what likely could have occurred and we remain committed to a thorough, comprehensive review." COUNTY SPORTS Baseball Hays takes two from Salina South HAYS — The Hays Indians allowed just one run in a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon as they swept Salina South 10-1 in the opener and 10-0 in the nightcap. The Cougars mustered just five hits in the opener, scoring their lone run in the second inning. But the Indians lit up South starter Chris Cardinal for six runs in the bottom of the first inning and never trailed through either game. Hays scored three more runs in the fourth inning of the first game and one in the sixth to seal the victory In the nightcap South managed just two hits while the Indians scored three in the first and six in the second to take control of the contest against starter Gen Gillespie. Hays tacked on one run in the bottom of the sixth to win via the 10-run rule. South, now 2-4 on the season returns to action Thursday when it travels to Buhler. • COLLEGE FOOTBALL Batfle for starting QB continues Hudson: Better gauge to who will start will be the players' perfornfiance in spring game By ARNE GREEN The Salina Journal Ksu: MANHATTAN — As expected, Kansas State's quarterback competition between EU Roberson and Marc Dunn is in full swing as the Wildcats count down toward —-s. the April 21 spring game. f 'jjJJ ^i Also, typically getting a » ,. JBKi clear read on who is winning the battle is futile. "What we've got to do is make sure that Ell is clearly the guy, or Marc is clearly the guy or Jeremy (Milne, a senior) is clearly the guy" K-State offensive coordinator Ron Hudson said Tuesday Hudson said there is still no rush to find "clearly the guy." Last year Jonathan Beasley did not beat Roberson outright for the starting job until a week and a half into fall practice. "Fundamental teaching is pretty well over in a week and a half, and then we start getting ready for the first game with a week and a half to go," Hudson said. "By that time we're going to have a quarterback." While the job may not be won or lost in the spring game, Hudson said it can be very telling. "We're going to put them out there," he said. "Even in the spring game, we're go­ ing to put them out there and see how they react, see how they do. That's the only thing you can do. "The best thing for us to do is get off the field and see how they do. See if they make the right adjustments." The two principles aren't shedding much light on the battle either. Dunn, the heralded junior college player of the year who broke numerous passing records at Ricks College in Idaho, is saying all the right things. So is Roberson, who was Beasley's backup last year as a redshirt freshman. "Coming in here, realistically, for me to come in and say 'Hey look, I should be the No. 1 quarterback,' that's not real," Dunn said. "I haven't been there. Milne, this is his fifth year, I believe, and Ell's been here going on his third year. "Those guys know what's going on. That's where patience comes back in and you've really got to be patient with yourself and try to take things piece and piece at a time." So does he consider himself the No. 1 guy two weeks into the spring? "You have to ask the head guys," Dunn said. "It's not my place to assess myself." Roberson admits that he gets asked on campus all the time about his progress. His answer is the same as Dunn's. "As of right now, I don't wish to talk about it," he said. "I'm just stepping out there and doing the best that I can. "Marc and me, we're helping each other to get the job done, hopefully. We'll just leave it up to the coaches to make that de­ cision." Williams, Buhl making waves K-State defensive coordinator Phil Bennett said he has been pleased with the Wildcats' defensive progress across the board so far this spring. On the defensive line, he singled out junior end Melvin Williams, while sophomore Josh Buhl is making a believer out of his coach at weak-side linebacker. "Melvin has really done well," Bennett said of the 6-foot-3, 255-pound Williams, who last year backed up senior standouts Monty Beisel and Chris Johnson. "I think Melvin is at the stage that he's ready to go to the next level. "Last year I was concerned about Chris Johnson being an every-down player, every situation. Just watching Melvin and the way he's worked, Melvin's fast. For a guy 255 pounds, he can really move." Buhl made an impact on special teams last year as a redshirt freshman, but struggled with his understanding of the Wildcat defense. It also didn't help that he has had difficulty adding weight to his wiry frame, usually hovering below the 200-pound mark. "Josh Buhl has had an unbelievable spring," Bennett said. "I told him I'm never going to ask him again how much he weighs. It doesn't matter He's a football player." Buhl also is getting a serious challenge from sophomore Bryan Hickman, his former teammate at Mesquite North High School in Texas. Newman / Speed a plus in secondary FROM PAGE D1 Regardless of who wins the cornerback jobs, chances are they will have plenty of company. Last year opponents threw the ball against K-State at a dizzying rate, necessitating numerous five- and six-defensive back packages. "Last year in our system we played so many DBs," said defensive coordinator Phil Bennett. "DeRon played as many snaps as Butler did last year. Terence played almost as many "We've got guys who have real experience back there." Still, with senior free safety Jon McGraw the only returning starter in the secondary Newman said he expects opponents to test them early ' "(Butler and.Carter) were both three- and four-year starters, so there's going to be a lot of pressure on us," he said. "X think they're going to try to exploit our DBs, but me and DeRon have both played, so it's going to be kind of hard." If there were any questions about Newman's ability, he answered them in the Cotton Bowl, where he took over for an injured Butler in the first half and essentially shut down a talented Volunteer receiving corps the rest of the way. "It's going to help me out because my confidence is rising," Newman said. "However well I compete in spring ball, it's going to only do better for me. "I don't really feel pressure. My freshman year, when Dyshod got hurt, it was basically the same thing, so I've been in this situation before. It's not really pressure." Bennett said he spotted a change in Newman last year well before the Cotton Bowl. "Sometimes you get guys who are fast but who don't play fast," Bennett said. "I thought from midseason on last year, he got in a groove. "He's really very confident right now and he's fun to watch. I like the way he's worked. I see greatness in him if he keeps this attitude." Newman certainly has the speed for the position. Since his arrival at K-State he has been clocked at 4.26 seconds in the 40-yard dash, which was faster than either Carter or Butler. "I'm a little faster than they are, and my arms are longer than theirs," Newman said. "They had maybe better footwork, but that can improve with time." Along with understanding Bennett's defensive system, footwork has been the biggest obstacle for Newman, who also has excelled in track in a very limited capacity for the Wildcats. "Coach Bennett's been hounding me to get my footwork down," Newman said. "In track, when I run I take kind of long steps. In football I need to take shorter steps. "When you're playing corner ... if you take a step an inch too long, then it's going to kill you. Sometimes you just want to turn and run and just try to run full speed and take that long step." Newman, who during the indoor track season qualified for nationals in the 60- and 200-meter dashes and set school records in both, has had similar success outdoors. Before the start of spring drills, working with the track team once a week, he broke the school 100- meter record. Newman said he hopes to challenge the school outdoor record in the 200 and possibly qualify for nationals in the 100 and 200. But not until spring practice concludes with the spring game on April 21. "I think I can step up in any game we have to face," he said. South / 400 freestyle relay finishes fourth FROM PAGE D1 "For South, all three swimmers in the backstroke and butterfly had faster times than their seed times. And Jennifer Lampe, one of the co- captains and a senior, really helped South swimmers pick up. She really attacked in the first half of the 100 butterfly" South's top finish came in the 400 freestyle relay where Lampe, Erin Tucker, Jessica Jones and Audra Banker combined for a 4:32.57 to place fourth. Jones placed fifth in the 50 freestyle and Lauri Harding also took fifth in the 500 freestyle. The Salina Diving Invita­ tional will be held on Tuesday April 17 with seven teams competing at the South pool. The Salina swimmers will be off until Thursday April 19 when they compete at the El Dorado Invitational. General Rain wreaks havoc with sports schedule Tuesday's afternoon rains forced the postponement of several Saline County athletic events. Salina Central's baseball doubleheader with Topeka West at Topeka has been rescheduled for Monday at 4 p.m. The Central Softball squad had its doubleheader with Topeka High at Bill Burke Park postponed until Tuesday April 17 at 4 p.m. The baseball and softball doubleheaders matching teams from Southeast of Saline and Sacred Heart were both postponed, but no makeup dates have been announced. Salina South's softball doubleheader with Manhattan was also postponed Tuesday and has been rescheduled for 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24. South also postponed the Cougar Relays, and that event has been reset for Monday April 30. Salina Central has also announced a change in its starting time for Thursday's soccer games against Hays at Bill Burke Park. The junior varsity will begin at 5:15 p.m. on the north field, with the varsity starting at 5:30 on the south field. The original starting time was scheduled for 4 p.m. Soccer South stays unbeaten, tops Great Bend, 4-1 The Salina South girls soccer team remained unbeaten Tuesday by posting a 4-1 victory over Great Bend at Bill Burke Park. South (5-0) led 2-0 at halftime 9n goals by Vanessa Fiske and Katy Lorson.'Great Bend (4-2) narrowed it to 2-1 in the second half, but South sealed the victory with two goals from Erica Dechant, giving her 10 on the season. South outshot Great Bend 24-6. "This is the best team we have played," South coach J.C. Walsh said. "The toughest part of the game was it was real wet and muddy and hard to keep control of the ball. "It was a good defensive effort. It was the first time we've been challenged all year." South travels to McPherson for a 4:30 p.m. match on Thursday. Track and field Swanson wins two events for SE-Saline ELLSWORTH — Steph Swanson won the shot put and discus to lead the Southeast of Saline girls in the Ellsworth Invitational track meet Tuesday. Swanson won the shot put with a toss of 36 feet, SVi inches. She won the discus with a throw of 116-1. The Trojans' 4x800-meter relay team also won in a time of 11 minutes, 32.17 seconds. Southeast placed seventh with 45 points. Minneapolis won the team title with 102 points. The Southeast boys took sixth with 36 points. Mark Troutfetter won the triple jump with a leap of 40-10% and was second in the javelin with a throw of 156-10. Adam Smith took second in the 110-meter hurdles in 16.48 seconds. Minneapolis made it a sweep by winning the team title with 130 points. Gregory named KU's l\/lost Valuable Player LAWRENCE — Kansas basketball player Kenny Gregory was named the team's most valuable player for the 20002001 season. Gregory received the GREGORY award Tuesday night at the team's annual awards banquet. Gregory played in 136 games in his career with the Jay- hawks and finished fourth in career field goals, ninth in career points and tenth on the career rebounds list. Gregory was named honorable mention All-America this season, averaging 15.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Wichita State tops Nicholls State, 6-3 WICHITA— Logan Sorenson went 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs as Wichita State defeated Nicholls State 6-3 Tuesday night. Wichita State (26-11) scored three runs in the seventh inning to go up 6-2. Bryan Burgamy went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Erich Bryan (4-0) held Nicholls State to fom- hits and struck out five over six innings. Tischhauser signs with Cloud County Lynsie Tischhauser, a standout forward at Salina Central, has signed a basketball letter of intent with Cloud County Community College. Tischhauser signed with the NJCAA champion Thunderbirds during a ceremony Tuesday at Central High. She committed to the Thiuiderbirds on March 24 after watching Cloud County win the NJCAA Tournament champonship. "I had been leaning toward Cloud, but hadn't told anyone," Tischhauser said. "Winning the national '; championship helped a little bit. "They were so nice and friends and got TISCHHAUSER along so weU. You could see it on their faces that thye have the drive to win. They really really wanted to win." The 6-foot- Tischhauser was named to the Journal's All- County team. She averaged 13.7 points and led the Mustangs in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocked shots. She said she will likely play small for Cloud County coach Brett Erkenbrack. "They aU recruited me, Coach Erkenbrack, (assistant . coach Lorin) Miller and Coach: Erkenbrack's dad (Dennis)," ; said Tischhauser, who also was recruited by Butler County and Fort Hays State. Salina Wrestling Club boasts five champs TOPEKA — Five wrestlers from the Salina Wrestling Club won championships recently at the Kids Federation State Wrestling Tournament Kansas Expocentre. The champions were Nick Nothern and Jared Hindman in the 14-and-tmder age division; Marvio Tischhauser and Jon Woodbridge at 12 -and-under; and Blaine Smith at 10- and-under. Thirty-five SWC wrestlers qualified for the state meet. From Staff and Wire Reports

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