Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

August 21, 2013

Wednesday's sports briefs

Kokomo Tribune

---- — CK Roadrunners welcome participants

Runners and walkers of all abilities are invited to join Club Kokomo Roadrunners each Wednesday night in Highland Park. The five-kilometer (3.1 mile) event begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by the Jackie Sanders Miracle Mile at 5:45 p.m. There is no cost to participate and results are published each week.

Registration for the events opens at 4:45 p.m. at the concession stand shelter. For more information call 765-437-6268, email runckrr@aol.com or visit www.ckrr.us.

NCC, New Castle appear at loggerheads

New Castle High School’s final school year in the North Central Conference is off to a rocky start.

Earlier this year, New Castle balked at the league’s recent expansion plans and decided to leave for the Hoosier Heritage Conference. It is slated to make the move following the 2013-14 school year. Huntington North also has announced exit plans, following 2014-15 school year for a Northeast Indiana conference.

The NCC previously ruled the outgoing schools were ineligible for any individual or team championships as lame-duck members.

Recent friction among New Castle and some schools — reportedly Richmond and Muncie Central — led to rumors of New Castle leaving the NCC this week, ahead of 2013-14 NCC competition.

New Castle athletic director Brandon Ecker downplayed the talk. He told the New Castle Courier Times that Trojan teams will not enter any of the NCC’s individual tournaments this school year, but will play its NCC opponents in other sports.

“Since we won’t be recognized as a conference champion even if we win, it is best for everyone if we don’t enter at all,” Ecker told the newspaper. “Suppose a wrestler from another school loses to a New Castle kid. He’ll step up onto the No. 1 spot on the podium and receive the first-place medal. But he’ll know in his heart that he really wasn’t the winner. No kid should be put in that situation.”

The newspaper noted the decision covers golf, cross country, wrestling, swimming, gymnastics and track.

The question remains whether New Castle will play all of its NCC opponents in other sports. There is talk of Muncie Central and Richmond threatening to cancel their games with New Castle this year in every sport except football.

The dispute centers on recent bylaws that were adopted by the conference regarding schools exiting the conference. According to the new rules, a school must pay each league member $2,000 if it gives just one year notice of departing the conference.

Serena is top seed for U.S. Open women

NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams will be seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open as she tries to do something she’s never done: win a second consecutive title at Flushing Meadows.

Williams is a four-time champion at the U.S. Open, including in 2012. Only Chris Evert, with six, and Steffi Graf, with five, have won the tournament more times in the Open era, which began in 1968.

The U.S. Tennis Association stuck to the WTA rankings Tuesday in announcing the 32 seeded women, including Victoria Azarenka at No. 2, and Maria Sharapova at No. 3. Williams is one of three seeded Americans; No. 16 Sloane Stephens and No. 24 Jamie Hampton are the others.

Play at the year’s last major tournament starts next week.