Katie Ledecky

first_imgKatie Ledecky is an 18-year old swimmer for the United States.  She recently graduated from Stone-Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bethesda Maryland.  She swims the 400, 800, and 1500 meter freestyle events.  She has been compared with the great Janet Evans, the last American to dominate these events.At the 2015 FINA World Championships in Russia, she will be chasing after the World Record she has set and re-set the last 3 years.  She not only wins these races, but she dominates them like Evans did in her era.  In her last races, she won the 400 by 10 meters, the 800 by 45 meters, and the 1500 meter by the same distance.  The 1500 meter swim was the only one in which Janet Evans ever had a larger margin of victory.last_img

O’Neill looking to gain momentum

first_imgMichael O’Neill rates Sunday’s victory in Hungary as his best result in charge of Northern Ireland but insists it will only matter if they follow up by beating the Faroe Islands next month. Press Association O’Neill has previously overseen a home win against Fabio Capello’s Russia and a 1-1 draw with Portugal in Porto, but the 2-1 success in Budapest immediately overtook both as his favourite result since taking over from Nigel Worthington. That is down to timing more than anything, with close-range finishes from Niall McGinn and Kyle Lafferty giving Northern Ireland the best possible start to Euro 2016 qualifying. “But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. These are the kind of games, when we’re underdogs, that we go out and pick up points, but it’s the next game against the Faroe Islands – when we should beat them – those are the games where we’ve struggled.” Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis was also celebrating, having led his side to the first away victory of his tenure. The Southampton midfielder has long been a shining light in otherwise unimpressive performances, but this time the 29-year-old was able to reflect on a positive display. “We’re not going to get carried away but we caused them problems and I think we deserved the win,” he said. “Everybody gave their all and that’s what it’s going to take if we’re going to do anything out of this group. “Of course we know we’re not going to come away from home and dominate possession against quality sides but we’re going to try and build on this and get a bit of consistency. “Hungary are a good side and are ranked above us, but I thought we were really disciplined in our play and had to be patient at times. “Whenever we got a chance to play we put some nice patterns together. “But we also had that kind of ruthlessness in the final third which you need in games like this.” But despite the good feeling created by a first away win in over four years, O’Neill is already looking to the next test – a visit from Group F’s relative minnows. “This results feels bigger than Russia or Portugal because it means we’ve started the campaign on the front foot with three points away from home,” he said. “I felt we missed the opportunity to get some momentum going early in the last campaign but we haven’t missed it this time and that means we need to push on from here. “The truth is these three points are only as valuable as what we make of them. “We have a home game against the Faroes now which sets us up to be in a good position after a couple of games, but we have to make sure we do that.” Lafferty, who did more than anyone to drag his side over the line, echoed those sentiments. The 26-year-old Norwich striker made the piercing run and cross that teed up McGinn for the equaliser 10 minutes from time and then showed admirable endeavour to hook the winner over the line in a scramble. But looking ahead to the next test, he said: “When we dig deep, we’ll pick up points and we’ve done that this time. last_img read more

Men’s basketball: Despite rough end to season, Hayes’ NBA potential remains intriguing

first_imgIn the final four games of his junior season, forward Nigel Hayes took a total of 54 shots — he made only 11.That’s a grand total of about 20 percent shooting from the field in the four most important games of the season. It was win-or-go-home time for Hayes and the Badgers, and the first-team All-Big Ten performer was reluctant to show up.After shooting 2-15, his worst shooting performance of the season, in the loss to Nebraska in the Big Ten Tournament, fellow juniors Vitto Brown and Bronson Koenig bailed out Hayes in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament, where he shot a combined 5-27.In the Sweet 16 game against Notre Dame, Hayes did manage to put up his best performance of the four games — a measly 4-12, which included two three-pointers. But there was no one to bail him out, and the end of the season could not have gone worse for the junior.But despite the poor performances and the criticisms that came as a result, Hayes is still testing the NBA waters, even if he is just dipping his feet in.Last Tuesday, head coach Greg Gard announced they were going to submit Hayes’ name to the NBA advisory committee, and he will then make his decision regarding the NBA draft. This means that Hayes will submit his name for consideration and have the ability to rescind his name up to 10 days after the NBA Draft Combine May 15.Given the way Hayes’ junior campaign ended, it’s more than likely he won’t garner much interest from NBA teams until maybe the end of the second round of the draft. But there is a reason this was initially thought to be Hayes’ final year at Wisconsin. There is a reason he was thought of a potential top-20 pick. There is a reason Hayes is even bothering to submit his name for consideration.Hayes is a very talented basketball player whose skill set is made for today’s NBA.After playing power forward for his first two seasons with the Badgers, Hayes made the move to small forward this season to make room for Brown and redshirt freshman Ethan Happ in the frontcourt. That move alone allowed Hayes to display his versatility on both sides of the ball and ultimately proved his ability to be viable two-way player at the next level.Men’s basketball: What Badgers will miss if Hayes decides to go proFor collegiate basketball players, the allure of the NBA is tantalizing. Reaching that level is what many have been working Read…OffensivelyAt 6 feet 8 inches tall, Hayes would be undersized as a power forward in the NBA, but an above-average height at small forward. These types of players are usually referred to as “tweeners,” as they are floating somewhere in between two positions.These types of players are usually seen as risks at the next level, but the way Hayes showed his play on the wing as a small forward should have removed a lot of doubts in terms of what position he should be playing.He’s a small forward, and when on the wing, Hayes is likely to be a mismatch for the defense on nearly every possession.This was on display in Wisconsin’s final game of the season against Notre Dame, where the already undersized Fighting Irish had no choice but to give 6-foot-5-inch guard Steve Vasturia the assignment of defending Hayes. While Vasturia is the team’s best perimeter defender, three inches is a lot to give up to a player with Hayes’ strength and finishing ability.Unfortunately, Hayes did not take advantage of this matchup, appearing reluctant to take Vasturia down to the block, where he has found the most success this season. But it won’t be the last time Hayes finds himself with that kind of matchup offensively, and it will only make it easier for him to both score and distribute.DefensivelyHayes’ versatility also allows him to excel defensively, as his prowess on the defensive end never wavered even when the success rate of his jump shot did.His ability to defend three different positions is intriguing enough, but his ability to be successful in doing so is what is most intriguing about the junior’s defensive prowess.On the short list of players Hayes defended this season for extended stretches, are two national player of the year: Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine and Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, along with Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff, Indiana’s Troy Williams and Illinois’ Malcolm Hill.That’s two shooting guards, two small forwards and power forward, and Hayes managed to defend all of them admirably.His length combined with his lateral quickness for someone with his size is something that NBA teams will most definitely find valuable. But that said, it is still clear that Hayes is not yet ready to take the next step.That doesn’t mean that he never will be.He struggled in the final stretch, which may even be an understatement, but those struggles don’t take away Hayes’ potential. He may be one year away still, but there is no doubt he’ll be ready.last_img read more

NFL power rankings: Rams, Patriots, Chargers surge; Vikings, Panthers sink

first_imgDecember is the toughest month in the NFL. The best teams use it to pad their power for a playoff run. Those who are not worthy wilt with the weather and the late-season attrition.Only the strongest survive to advance into January, while others finish to build higher hopes for the rest of 2019. With four weeks left the season, this is how the power struggle for pre-Super Bowl supremacy looks. 6. Houston Texans 9-3 (last week: 7)The Texans keep adding to their winning streak and look more complete on offense, defense and special teams with each week. Don’t be surprised if they parlay that into a AFC playoff bye when it’s all done.7. Chicago Bears 8-4 (last week: 5)The Bears tried to win another one without Mitchell Trubisky, but the Giants didn’t let them, pulling out all the stops on offense. It’s easy to forget, even with that defense, Chicago is overachieving this season.8. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-4-1 (last week: 8)The Steelers could have made a statement at Heinz Field with the Patriots game just around the corner. Instead, how they blew the game and got whipped by the Chargers in the second half looks like same old, same old.9. Seattle Seahawks 7-5 (last week: 10)A lot of running, a lot timely defense from the front seven, a whole lot of Russell Wilson at the ideal time to finish off drives and opponents. No wonder the Seahawks are this good again; it’s a throwback to an old formula that keeps improving.10. Dallas Cowboys 7-5 (last week: 12)What they did to the Saints changed the narrative from heavy favorites in the NFC East to being able to actually make some noise in the playoffs. When Dak and the defense are both on, they are hard to beat. MORE: Updated NFL playoff pictureNFL power rankings1. Los Angeles Rams 11-1 (last week: 2)The Rams took care of the Chiefs and didn’t have too much rust against the Lions, taking advantage of the Saints losing in shocking indoor road fashion Thursday. Todd Gurley and the defense looked great after the break.2. New Orleans Saints 10-2 (last week: 1)What was that? The Saints’ offense completely lost its rhythm and flow in Dallas for the first time all season. They need to use a shot at Week 1 vengeance against the Bucs as a get-well soon game all-around.3. New England Patriots 9-3 (last week: 4)The Patriots went back to dominating at home with Tom Brady seeing things fully loaded around him for run and pass. But how about that defense coming through so big, too?4. Kansas City Chiefs 10-2 (last week: 3)Patrick Mahomes lit it up as expected against the Raiders, but the defense suddenly sprung more leaks against rivals on the road, and there was a little power and pop missing in the running game, causing this mild slide.5. Los Angeles Chargers 9-3 (last week: 6)The Chargers have to be taken seriously in their quest to potentially take down the Chiefs after their Week 1 loss to KC. Anthony Lynn and Philip Rivers form a coach-QB combination that should be getting a lot more attention. 16. Denver Broncos 6-6 (last week: 19)The Broncos are quietly hot with three consecutive victories to get to .500. With three winnable games before the Chargers game at home in Week 17, they might save Vance Joseph and then some, yet.17. Miami Dolphins 6-6 (last week: 22)The Dolphins keep finding ways to win ugly games at their own pace, with results often looking better than they should. Adam Gase needs a little more credit for his coaching to even have them in wild-card contention.18. Tennessee Titans 6-6 (last week: 16)The Titans still don’t have the prettiest QB play, but Marcus Mariota is showing off his familiar grit and fearlessness to make their offense a little more legitimate. They still are inconsistent on both sides, perfect for .500.19. Washington Redskins 6-6 (last week: 11)So much for the Redskins going into Monday night still looking good with many big-promise NFC teams starting to fall flat. A loss to the Eagles with Mark Sanchez pretty much means they’re done in the East.20. Green Bay Packers 4-7-1 (last week: 17)The Mike McCarthy era ended with a thud against the Cardinals at home. So many little things over a long period of time added up to his firing. Now it’s on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ players to break free and finish strong for Joe Philbin. You’ve got to hand it to Kyle Shanahan’s team; their spirit isn’t broken even with a third-string QB, third- and fourth-string wide receivers and now a fourth-string running back. The 49ers are the only team in the NFL that gets a complete free-pass this season.32. Oakland Raiders 2-10 (last week: 31)The Raiders are much healthier than the 49ers are in terms of actual NFL playing bodies. But they are either too old or too young at key positions, so it’s helpful they are all but guaranteed the No. 1 overall pick.center_img 26. Detroit Lions 4-8 (last week: 24)The Lions had their chances against the Rams, but their talent limitations were evident against LA. There might be some big chances in store around Matthew Stafford.27. Buffalo Bills 4-8 (last week: 25)Josh Allen is a carnival ride you can’t miss, even if it leaves you confused with your head-spinning. He has proved to be a gifted runner; just wait until he can be developed as a passer.28. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-8 (last week: 28)It was good to see the old Jaguars defense show up for one game and save some face for Doug Marrone after the debacle in Buffalo. They can play bigger spoiler in the final four.29. Arizona Cardinals 3-9 (last week: 32)With the heat on Steve Wilks and just about everyone else in the desert, the Cardinals needed that shocking victory on the frozen tundra in the worst way.30. New York Jets 3-9 (last week: 29)Todd Bowles is grasping at everything to keep his job, including avoiding the opportunity to get a now-healthy Sam Darnold a few more chances to develop. Regardless of QB, defensive breakdowns have been bigger bugaboos for Bowles.AFTER FURTHER REVIEW:Biggest storylines of Week 13 in the NFL31. San Francisco 49ers 2-10 (last week: 30) 21. Cleveland Browns 4-7-1 (last week: 24)The Browns went into Houston with a lot of confidence, and Baker Mayfield wasn’t scared, but that’s not enough to avoid rookie mistakes in tougher matchups. It’s too late for Cleveland to creep back into AFC North or wild-card contention now, but a good finish would make them early division favorites in 2019.22. Cincinnati Bengals 5-7 (last week: 21)A.J. Green is set to join Andy Dalton on the season-ending shelf, as the injuries continue to deplete the offense and defense during the four-game losing streak. They might have only one more win in them, and that’s probably not enough to save Marvin Lewis’ job.23. New York Giants 4-8 (last week: 27)The Giants are showing how they can finish games and put together creative offensive game plans with Pat Shurmur late in the season. Imagine what that might do early in 2019 with more reliable quarterback play.24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-8 (last week: 26)Jameis Winston and Adam Humphries are doing everything they can to earn their contracts from the team next season. The young defense also is showing more fight despite plenty of holes. That all won’t save Dirk Koetter.25. Atlanta Falcons 4-8 (last week: 23)The Falcons had some fight earlier this season when they were ravaged by injuries, but the toll of defensive decline and offensive inconsistency has caught up to them. This season clearly deserves a mulligan for Dan Quinn. 11. Baltimore Ravens 7-5 (last week: 14)Lamar Jackson has given the Ravens an incredible spark for a three-game winning streak, and they’ll go in facing the Chiefs confident they can still pass the Steelers by Week 17.12. Minnesota Vikings 6-5-1 (last week: 9)The Vikings continue to lose tough marquee road games in the Mike Zimmer era. Kirk Cousins’ inconsistency is one thing; the breakdowns in defense are another that can ultimately hold Minnesota back.13. Carolina Panthers 6-6 (last week: 11)The Panthers are in a free-fall, and Ron Rivera is taking control of the defense as the team tries to deal itself back in the wild-card race. A sixth road loss would render their two Saints matchups useless.14. Philadelphia Eagles 6-6 (last week: 18)The Eagles saved their season by taking care of the Redskins at home as expected on Monday night. They still face a tough schedule ahead to either take back the NFC East or sneak in as the last wild card.15. Indianapolis Colts 6-6 (last week: 13)What was that? The Colts’ offense had done whatever it wanted with Andrew Luck, but then it showed a limited attack just as the Jaguars’ defense showed long-awaited life. That was a weird blow to their wild-card hopes.last_img read more

Local Middle School Teacher Guy Simpson Launches Second Novel

first_imgFacebook1Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Guy Simpson Local Amazon Best-Selling novelist and middle school teacher Guy Simpson of Rainier will debut his second mythological fantasy novel The Brotherhood of Olympus and the Tower of Dreams with an author appearance and book signing as he hosts the upcoming Sundance Sunday screening of “What We Do in the Shadows” at Yelm Cinemas, Sunday, April 17, 2016.The author will be hosting the two screenings of the 86 minute comedic New Zealand Mockumentary about vampires coping with the modern world.  The movie times are at 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. The author will begin his host duties at 1:00 p.m. and will continue after each show.  This is the first time Yelm Cinemas has had an author host their new Sundance Sunday film event.  Tickets are available on their website for both shows. Simpson, a science and leadership teacher, award winning artist and illustrator, and member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, has been working on the Brotherhood of Olympus Saga for over thirty years while collecting extensive research for the myths, legends, and art that lies as the foundation of the tale.  He is currently working on the third book in the saga.The second book in The Brotherhood of Olympus series, this new novel will continue the story told in Simpson’s best-selling first book.Based on true events and set in the early 1980s in Hoquiam and Vancouver, Washington, The Brotherhood of Olympus and the Tower of Dreams is the second book in the series and tells the story of Drake Fraser, a painfully shy, intellectually gifted fifteen year-old boy growing up with his four brothers.  Three months have passed since the Fraser brothers defeated the demons who caused the death of their uncle, united by the struggle they founded the Brotherhood of Olympus.  Now a war of mythological proportions looms on the horizon, and the original Brotherhood is beginning to unravel before they even begin to face the new dangers that await them.  As the leader, Drake must recruit a ragtag ensemble of social misfits to form the core of his new Brotherhood.  The dark gods are poised to strike, and a legendary tower that travels across different realities holds the key to their victory over humanity.  Only one thing stands in the way of their plan to unleash Hell on Earth.  The Brotherhood of Olympus—if they can survive high school, learn to trust each other, and become the heroes they were meant to be.Clyde Lewis, host of the nationally syndicated “Ground Zero” radio show said, “Guy T. Simpson, Jr. is a brilliant author who is bound for great places, he is an expert at bringing the world of the paranormal to the written page, his stories are a rare treat.”last_img read more