CHRIS KELLY staff Brookdale’s Kiersten Difenderfer, a sophomore who played at Shore Regional, tries to slide a shot past the Camden County College goalie during the Jersey Blues’ 2-1 Region XIX loss on Nov. 1 in Middletown.
Connor’s House announced that CMEPlanet.com of Springfield is the title sponsor for the inaugural Connor’s House 5K on April 21 in Morristown.CMEPlanet.com’s sponsorship and other resources raised through the race will help provide support for families of children with life-threatening illnesses requiring 24/7 care.The race will begin at 9 a.m. at Ginty Field in Morristown.Funds raised at the Connor’s House 5K will support peer-to-peer counseling programs and the Connor’s House mission to build respite houses. Additional sponsorships are available for businesses and organizations looking for an opportunity to show support for the community. Race sponsorships start at $100 and are available at http://sponsor.connorshouse.org.Race participants can sign up online at http://5k.connorshouse.org for $25 and, if interested, can create an online fundraising page to take pledges from friends and family toward the Connor’s House mission. The Connor’s House 5K is USATF sanctioned and certified and worth 500 points. USATF members registering before April 11 receive a $2 discount.
By Nemanja BjedovMARCOS Baghdatis was thrashed by top seed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1, 6-2 in the second round of the Swiss Indoors in Basel on Thursday evening, as his poor season continued.The Argentine, who had already beaten Baghdatis twice this year in Dubai and Tokyo, broke the Cypriot’s serve two consecutive times in the first set to race into a 5-0 lead after only half an hour of play.Baghdatis managed to to save five set points while on serve in the sixth game, before Del Potro put him out of his misery.The 28-year-old Baghdatis, who is currently ranked 97th, managed to hold serve to start the second set, but there was no let up from his big-hitting opponent who broke the Cypriot twice again en route to an easy win.World No.5 Del Potro will now take on the winner of the all-French duel between Paul-Henri Mathieu and Michael Llodra in the quarter-finals, while Baghdatis has probably played his last tournament of the season unless he tries to enter the main draw at the Paris Masters through the qualifiers.
John Arne Riise, the most capped Norwegian footballer has signed for Cyprus champions APOEL on the very last day of the transfer period.Riise shot to fame during his seven year stay at Anfield where he won a champions league and FA Cup final medal. He had been transferred to Liverpool from AC Monaco for £4 million in 2001.After losing his place in the Liverpool side he moved to AC Roma in 2008 where he regained a place in the starting eleven and managed 99 appearances for the Giallorossi. He returned to the Premiership in 2011 signing a three year contract with Fulham. He remained at Craven Cottage till May of this year when he became a free agent. The thirty three year old signed a two year contract with APOEL.
By Mitch Phillips and Prith SarkarMaria Sharapova made it a remarkable 20 victories from 23 grand slam quarter-finals but was pushed all the way at Wimbledon on Tuesday by feisty American Coco Vandeweghe before emerging a 6-3 6-7(3) 6-2 winner.The Russian fourth seed, Wimbledon champion as a 17-year-old in 2004 but a finalist only once since, had not dropped a set in this year’s tournament coming into the last-eight contest.However, after a relatively untroubled first set on Centre Court, she lost a hugely entertaining second as the two identikit 6ft-plus blondes with matching white visors slugged it out.Vandeweghe, the only unseeded player in the last eight, showed plenty of grit, not least when breaking as Sharapova served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, whipping up Centre Court crowd in the process.Sharapova then displayed her own fighting spirit when, despite again struggling with her serve, she twice saved set point before Vandeweghe’s fearless deep hitting earned her the tiebreak and dreams of an upset victory.In the final set Sharapova quickly seemed to take control with a break in the second game to race to a 3-0 lead but Vandeweghe refused to lay down or ease off and broke back to trail 3-2, again urging the crowd to get behind her as she marched back to her chair.Sharapova had struggled for consistency all day but put together a run of aggressive, accurate returns together to break again for a 4-2 lead and then landed a rare ace to finish off her next service game to make it 5-2.This time there was no coming back as Sharapova then broke again to take the match and set up a semi-final against either top seed Serena Williams or Victoria Azarenka, who were meeting on Centre Court later on Tuesday.“I was pretty dominant in the first and early in the second set but things slipped away,” said the five-time grand slam champion.“She’s playing with a lot of confidence but I really regrouped in the third.“You have to give everything you have on a special occasion on a special court.“It’s been a while since I’ve been at the semi-final stage (at Wimbledon) so I’m really happy.” Out on Court One meanwhile, Garbine Muguruza’s new-found love-affair with grass blossomed further as she became the first Spanish woman in 18 years to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals with a 7-5 6-3 win over Timea Bacsinszky.The 21-year-old, who took instant dislike to the lush green surface after losing her first match on it three years ago in Birmingham, found her comfort zone to outwit Bacsinszky.Muguruza, who was three years old when fellow Spaniard Aranxta-Sanchez Vicario reached the last four in 1997, pocketed the first set when her Swiss rival whipped a forehand wide.The 20th seed kept up the momentum in the second to reach her first grand slam semi.After watching 15th seed Bacsinszky roll the ball into the net on match point, Muguruza collapsed on to her back before getting back up to bounce around court in joy.She will next face either 2012 runner-up Agnieszka Radwanska, who at 13 is the highest seed left in the bottom half of the draw, or American Madison Keys.
Fernando Alonso felt lucky to be alive after walking away from a spectacular crash that left his obliterated McLaren scattered across the Albert Park circuit and brought a halt to the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.Alonso’s right wheel clipped Esteban Gutierrez’s Haas at high speed going into turn three of the 18th lap and the impact sent the Spaniard’s McLaren careening into a barrier, smashing it to pieces, before it flipped, rolled and flew end-over-end into another barrier.The two-time Formula One world champion emerged from the wreckage and walked gingerly over to Mexican Gutierrez, where the pair embraced.“I’m okay, I’m trying to put everything in place again,” the 34-year-old told Sky Sports in the paddock after Nico Rosberg won the race for Mercedes.“It was a scary crash. Lucky to be here and happy to be here, and thankful to be here — especially to the (governing body) FIA and all the safety, thanks to that probably I’m alive.“We lost the power unit and the car because there was a lot of damage, but I’m super happy to be talking.”Race control said Alonso’s contact with Gutierrez would be investigated but the Spaniard said neither driver was to blame.“We were racing, I kept in the slip-stream as late as I could and at the last moment I tried to move.“It’s tough, you can only see the rear wing, you don’t have the full view of the track. And same for him, he’s defending and can’t see what the other guy is doing. So we are both happy.”It was a disappointing day all round for McLaren, with Alonso’s team mate Jenson Button
Gary Cahill could return for Chelsea’s crucial Premier League home game against Southampton on Tuesday after illness kept him out of the weekend’s FA Cup semi-final win over title rivals Tottenham Hotspur.Chelsea coped well in central Cahill’s absence with Nathan Ake deputising in a 4-2 win that maintained their hopes of the league and Cup ‘double’.They have a quick turnaround before a league game that gives them the chance to open a seven-point lead over Tottenham who play Crystal Palace 24 hours later.“Gary trained yesterday and also today,” Conte said. “It is normal to check his condition and I want to speak very well with him tomorrow before I take the decision.“I am very happy if he is able to play tomorrow but also I want to underline Nathan Ake’s performance (against Spurs). I was pleased for his performance. He played a really good game and he is very important for us.”Conte was perplexed by a fixture list that has fallen in Tottenham’s favour this week.Chelsea face a Southampton side who have had 10 days to prepare while Tottenham, who have the benefit of one more day of rest than Chelsea, play a Palace side who were in action on Sunday against Liverpool.Conte began against Tottenham with Eden Hazard and Diego Costa on the bench – a decision made partly with one eye on this week’s league games against Southampton and Everton.Despite his concerns, however, the Italian said Chelsea would have plenty in the tank.“I have another day to decide our best eleven but they are in good condition and in good form, and for sure tomorrow I hope to see a good performance from all my players,” he said.“When you have to play this type of game, it is very important to try to find the best solution, to give the right balance in our squad to play these games in these few days…”“But we have trained very well this season and we have a lot of energy to face this type situation,” Conte added.
Britain’s Kick It Out anti-discrimination group called Italy’s football authorities “gutless” following Pescara midfielder Sulley Muntari’s ban for walking off the pitch at Cagliari after being subjected to racist abuse from the crowd.Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Garth Crooks, an independent trustee at the organisation, urged black players in Italy to go on strike this weekend unless the ban is withdrawn, the campaign group said in a statement.Muntari was booked for dissent after complaining to the referee about the abuse on Sunday and left the pitch in protest during stoppage time, leaving his team to play the last few minutes with 10 men.The Ghanaian was shown a second yellow card for leaving the pitch without permission, which the Serie A’s disciplinary committee confirmed had triggered an automatic one-match ban.The committee also said no action would be taken against Cagliari because only around 10 supporters were involved in abusing Muntari.“The gutless failure to not take action by the Italian authorities should not be allowed to pass,” Kick It Out said in a statement on Wednesday.“It’s unbelievable that Cagliari escaped punishment as ‘only 10’ fans were involved. This situation should never be allowed to happen again.Italy and other countries have struggled to stamp out racist chants at games. In 2013, the AC Milan team left the pitch during a friendly in the town of Busto Arsizio after home fans insulted midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, another Ghanaian.Under guidelines introduced following that incident, the referee is supposed to alert the fourth official who should in turn contact authorities policing games.
After Bolt edged the American by .01 second in Sunday’s 100 final, he is now running in his favored race and seeking his record 10th world title overall.Bolt was grinning widely after crossing in 19.95 seconds, coasting for about 60 meters and checking the stadium screens high up in the stands of the Bird’s Nest to see if someone could come close. As usual, none did.In the previous semifinal heat, Gatlin, unbeaten over two years in the 200, ran 19.87 seconds but worked a little longer than Bolt before easing up.On a night when javelin thrower Julius Yego extended the surprising lead of the Kenyans in the medals table to five gold, two of his teammates were provisionally suspended following initial positive doping tests.The IAAF said it targeted Joyce Zakary, a 400-meter runner, and hurdler Koki Manunga for testing after competing in Beijing. Zakary ran a national record in the women’s 400 but the 29-year-old Kenyan did not start in the semifinals. Manunga failed to reach the semifinals in the women’s 400 hurdles.On the field, Yego set the best javelin mark in 14 years with a throw of 92.72 meters, good enough for an African record on top of gold.
Port Moresby Billiards and Snooker (POMBSA) Vice President, Stewart Nikints is calling on old and interested clubs to submit their expression of interest and nominations to take part this year.“The 2017 Port Moresby Billiards and Snooker Association calendar has been finalised and the first competition is the Corporate Snooker Challenge.“This year’s competition starts on March 6 and I am urging clubs to send in their nominations. Nomination forms are available from Joey Chan at the Lamana Q Club and all registration and affiliations fees must be paid by February 28, 2017,” said Nikints.He said the fees remain the same from last year and there will be four Grades – Premier, A, B and C Grades – taking part.“It is imperative that we start organising our teams and sponsors now so we are ready to do the draws by February 28,” said Nikints.He said an announcement by Pacific MMI to continue their support to this premier competition will be made soon.Meanwhile, Nikints said the presentation of awards for 2016 will be held next Saturday February 11, 2017 at the Lamana Arena.“All award winners and sponsors have been invited to attend,” said Nikints.