Friday Marks Open of Southland Tennis Seasons

first_imgThe Southland’s top two women’s teams from last year will open the season at Oklahoma State as reigning regular-season champion Abilene Christian will take on the Cowgirls and Wichita State on Saturday. Sunday brings a rematch of last year’s first round NCAA Tournament match between Central Arkansas and OSU. After going three seasons without a tournament title for the first time since 2003, the men from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi hoisted the trophy for an eighth time in 2019 after edging ACU 4-3 in the Southland Conference title match. The Islanders open their 2020 campaign at Prairie View A&M on Jan. 24. Behind the performances of Freshman of the Year Chunxi Xin and four additional first-team all-conference honorees, the Bears ran through No. 6 McNeese, No. 2 Northwestern State and No. 4 Sam Houston State en route to the program’s first Southland Conference tournament title in 2019 and has its sights set on a repeat with four returning first-teamers. The defending regular-season champion Abilene Christian men’s tennis program hits the courts first for a neutral-site meeting with Tennessee at 5 p.m. Friday in Norman, Okla. The squad will wrap up the opening weekend against Oklahoma at 1 p.m. Saturday. Lamar, who is set to host the 2020 Southland Men’s Tennis Tournament April 24-26, kicks off the year with a pair of matches against Bryant and Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., on Jan. 17. Jan. 19 marks the opening day for a pair of programs as UIW faces VCU and LSU in Baton Rouge, La., and New Orleans visits cross-town foe Tulane. Nicholls will make its 2020 debut when it hosts Alcorn on Jan. 28. The Wildcats return five out of six from their lineup in the 2019 Southland championship match but will be without last year’s Southland Player of the Year Josh Sheehy. Ranked No. 123 in the final ITA singles rankings, he graduated last spring after sweeping his conference counterparts and representing the league at the NCAA Singles Championship. FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference begins its 57th season of men’s tennis and 38th edition of women’s tennis this week with three programs in action from Friday to Sunday. For the complete Southland Conference men’s tennis schedule, please, visit here.  The Conference women’s tennis schedule can be found here. New Orleans opens the season against Prairie View A&M on Jan. 21, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi embarks on its 2020 campaign against the Panthers as well on Jan. 24. Nicholls begins the year at Louisiana Tech on Jan. 25, and UIW’s opening day won’t come until Feb. 1 at Texas State. Southland Conference men’s tennis began in 1964, while women’s tennis competition started in 1983. McNeese and Stephen F. Austin open the year on the road at Baylor and North Texas, respectively, on Jan. 17. The following day marks the beginning of the season for Northwestern State (at LSU), Lamar (at Rice) and Sam Houston State (vs. Prairie View A&M). last_img read more


first_imgLIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM–TOP O’NEILL ASSISTANT LEANDRO MORA CELEBRATING 42 YEARS IN THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RACING INDUSTRYORIGINALLY DEVOID OF SKILLS AND MONO-LINGUAL, POPULAR MORA HAS EXPERIENCED VICTORY IN  THE KENTUCKY DERBY, OAKS & FIVE BREEDERS’ CUPS WHILE RAISING A SUCCESSFUL FAMILYARCADIA, Calif. April 19, 2019–With fifteen dollars in his pocket and not much else, 18-year-old Leandro Mora spoke no English and possessed few marketable skills when he arrived at the Santa Anita barn of trainer Gary Jones in March, 1977.  Jones, who would eventually earn induction into racing’s Hall of Fame, gave Mora his first shot at attaining the American Dream, some 1,630 miles north of his native home in the state of Colima, Mexico.“When I first came here, all I knew was that I wanted to try to get a job with the horses,” said Mora, 60, from Clockers’ Corner on Friday morning.  “At that time, everybody wanted to work for Gary Jones because he had good horses and he won a lot of races.  A friend of mine had a brother-in-law that worked there, so that’s how I got in.  There was very little turnover, so there were no jobs available as a groom.  So, I went to work walking hots and I just tried to learn as much as I could.“I worked for Gary for about seven or eight months and then I went to work for David Bernstein, which was a good opportunity for me.  By this time, I was grooming horses and I learned a lot because we had quite a few cheaper horses.  The most expensive horse we had at first was a $25,000 claimer and the rest were basically 10 or twelve-five (thousand dollar) horses.  That experience taught me a lot about how to take care of their legs and things like that.“I was very fortunate, because David knew how badly I wanted to learn English and he helped me. I did everything I could to learn it. I went to the adult education program at Monrovia High School for three months and I watched cartoons.  I watched shows like I Love Lucy, The Young and the Restless, The Rifleman, Dukes of Hazard and I listened to the radio.  Eventually, I started to pick it up and I was speaking pretty good English.”Five years after being hired by Bernstein, Mora found himself on the road.“I like to travel and Dave knew it,” said Mora.  “He had picked up a big owner, named Paul Lerner.  Dave went to some sales and bought some nice horses for him and in the summer of 1983, he sent me to Louisiana Downs in Shreveport, with five horses, all owned by the same guy.  Being on my own, away from our barn in California, taught me a lot and made me better.”Following an eight-year run with Bernstein, Mora was hired by John Sadler, but lasted only three months.“John had a good barn and he treated me very well, but it didn’t work out.  He had guys that had been working for him a long time and I guess you could say it just wasn’t a good fit for me, but it ended up being a blessing.”Hired on Dec. 24, 1986 by trainer Brian Mayberry, Mora would soon become an integral part of one of America’s most successful operations, one that developed top two-year-olds at an astonishingly successful rate.“I was ready to go to work, but Brian told me ‘Take Christmas Day off and you’ll start on opening day at Santa Anita.’  Brian and (his wife) Jeannie were family to me and not just with the horses, but life.  They became like my adopted parents.  I learned so much from them.  They would never to go to 2-year-old in training sales, they would go to yearling sales and look at 300 to 400 horses and buy maybe just two or three.“These horses got sent to a friend of theirs, Clyde Rice, in Ocala and then we would get 18 to 20 two-year-olds in March and April at Hollywood Park.  The Siegel’s (Jan, Mace & Samantha) owned most of our horses and Martin Pedroza won a ton of maiden races for us.  I remember we won the Hollywood Juvenile two years in a row with Eddie Delahoussaye (1994, Altazaar and 1993, Ramblin Guy)* and he also won the (1994) Kentucky Oaks with Sardula. And, it was pretty amazing, but we also won five Landaluce’s with 2-year-old fillies.”Mora culminated a nearly 12-year run with the Mayberry family shortly after Brian succumbed to lung cancer on July 20, 1998.  Following a 2 ½ year stint with trainer Tim Pinfield, Mora joined forces with Doug O’Neill in 2001 and they were soon on their way to becoming a national juggernaut.“Doug and I hit it off right away,” he said.  “Doug is a guy, if you know him, you can’t leave him.  He truly appreciates what everyone does and he thanks them all.  We think alike.  If you have a good, happy worker, he’s going to give 100 percent to his stable.”In a relationship that now spans 18 years, Mora, as O’Neill’s chief assistant, has been a key factor in taking a number of training titles at all Southern California tracks along with tasting victory in a multitude of stakes, including the 2012 Kentucky Derby with I’ll Have Another, 2016 Derby with Nyquist, and five Breeders’ Cup wins spanning from 2005 through 2015.“When people ask me about the horses, I tell them they are everything.  I love history and I’ve read a lot about the U.S. Cavalry and how they treated their horses.  In those days, the horses got fed, watered and bedded down before the men did.  Without the horse, they had nothing and that’s exactly the way it is here at the racetrack.  We don’t exist here without our horses.  We love them and we give them the absolute best care.“Every day on the racetrack with your horses is a fresh, new day.  Every day is different.  The best achievement is winning a race, any race and knowing that you helped him win.”Although currently separated from his wife, who is the mother of their children, Roberto Carlos, 28 and Andrew Andreas, 25, Mora recently bought a home in nearby Glendora and is quick to acknowledge the opportunities that have come his way since immigrating as a teenager.“My family has been so fortunate and we are very, very thankful to Santa Anita and the racing industry for providing the medical clinics that they have here.  My wife and kids are still covered for everything and we also have been able to receive quite a bit of money for our retirement, thanks to a foundation that was set up many years ago.“I knew there were opportunities here in the U.S.A. that didn’t exist anywhere else. No other country in the world offers everyone, any race, color, the way of life we have here.  As long as a person is intelligent, ready to work and is always in the process of learning and getting better, there are so many opportunities. A good listener never fails.”Here’s hoping Leandro Mora’s story is indeed heard, far and wide.last_img read more


first_imgSANTA ANITA’S CLOCKERS’ CORNER OPEN FOR BUSINESS EACH MORNING, POPULAR BREAKFAST DESTINATION OPERATES FROM 5 A.M. TO 10 A.M.ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 10, 2019)–A popular breakfast destination for decades, Santa Anita’s Clockers’ Corner has reopened to the public and horsemen alike, with food and beverage service offered from 5 to 10 a.m. seven days a week.As Santa Anita’s Stable Area was closed for routine maintenance for the better part of the summer, Clockers’ Corner’s reopening coincides with the return of training each morning as well.With admission and parking free of charge, Clockers’ Corner is accessible by entering Santa Anita on the track’s western perimeter, via Gate 8 off of Baldwin Ave.Along with coffee, tea, juices, bottled water and soft drinks, a wide array of fresh breakfast items, as well as the Daily Racing Form, are available each morning.Santa Anita’s six furlong inner training track and one mile main track are open daily from 4:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Santa Anita posts official work tabs, chronicling all officially timed workouts each day at opening day for the 23-day Autumn Meeting set for Friday, Sept. 27, Santa Anita will offer free Seabiscuit Tram Tours of the Stable area each weekend, beginning Sept. 28 and 29. There is one tour per morning which embarks from Clockers’ Corner at 9:45 a.m.For the first time ever, Santa Anita will present three graded stakes on opening day as the track readies for its record 10th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 1 and 2.In addition to the traditional opening day feature, the Grade II, $200,000 Eddie D. Stakes, for 3-year-olds and up at five furlongs on turf, a pair of Grade I Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifying stakes, the Chandelier, for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles and the American Pharoah, for 2-year-olds at the same distance, will also be offered.For more information on Clockers’ Corner, opening day and the two-day Breeders’ Cup, please visit or call (626) 574-RACE.last_img read more


first_imgJOCKEY QUOTESABEL CEDILLO, CLEOPATRA’S STRIKE, WINNER: “Phil told me, ‘Make sure to keep him off the pace.’ If he was going to stay with Acclimate, it was going to go bad. I knew if I could keep him on the bit, he was going to come home. I got a perfect trip. I was just sitting inside and everybody got tired, and I just went. I tried to go with Victor, because I know that horse is tough on the lead. As soon as I got close to him, I knew I had it.”(On getting his first stakes win at Santa Anita):“Wow, it feels awesome. First I want to say thanks to my Lord, because without him I’m not here. My agent, Tom (Knust), has been doing a great job.”(Can you be leading rider at Santa Anita?)“I know it’s tough, but I’m going to work hard on that. There are a lot of good jockeys here, but I’m going to try my best.”VICTOR ESPINOZA, ACCLIMATE, SECOND: “He’s a pretty cool horse. We asked a lot of today, but I love the way he ran. When the winner came to us, I love the way he fought back.”TRAINER QUOTES PHIL D’ AMATO, CLEOPATRA’S STRIKE, WINNER: “I was confident in his ability I just didn’t know what his distance limitations may or may not be. He trained like a horse that could go a mile and a quarter and Abel rode him to perfection and we got the job done today.“It’s bittersweet because my other horse (Acclimate) was doing those fractions and to see them both, dueling in deep stretch, I’m proud of them both but Cleopatra proved best, and I am happy for Slam Dunk Racing.”Asked about the Breeders’ Cup: “For sure Acclimate will go, because he already is eligible but we’ll have to see about Cleopatra. There might be something for him at Del Mar.”     NICK COSATO (SLAM DUNK RACING), CLEOPATRA’S STRIKE, WINNER: “He was presented to us by Jeff Macore out of Texas and a lot of the horses he sends our way are pretty interesting to say the least. Phil’s done a great job with this guy; he really loved him and they didn’t downplay how much confidence he had in him today.“We have great partners. They let us do our job and we have guys behind us like Michael Nentwig who joined forces with us on quite a few horses about a year ago at Del Mar. When you have people who give you free reign the same way we give the trainers free reign, it’s a recipe for success.“There’s some talk about Breeders’ Cup but let’s enjoy this one and we will go from there.“Abel is a solid rider and he fits here; he is really showing it. He just came here before Del Mar where he had an outstanding meet. He rides the turf well; he rides the dirt well. He is pretty well rounded.”               NOTES: The winning owners are Slam Dunk Racing or Michael Nentwig.last_img read more

Crouch, 6ft 7in, towers above tiny Cole as pundits leave viewers in hysterics

first_imgLatest Premier League newsExclusiveBOURNE AGAINHowe says Cherries are stronger after lockdown with FIVE fit-again starsLive BlogTOON LATESTNewcastle takeover LIVE: Follow all the latest updates in Saudi sagaLive Blogblues newsChelsea news LIVE – Latest updates from Stamford BridgeLive Blogunited newsMan Utd news LIVE – Latest updates from Old TraffordLive BlogGunners newsArsenal news LIVE – Latest updates from the EmiratesExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidHEAT IS OFFHeaton will miss Aston Villa’s 10-game relegation dogfight with knee injuryPASSED THE TESTHuge boost to Project Restart with ZERO positive results in new Covid testsAnd another user typed: “Joe Cole next to Peter Crouch isn’t fair.”Mourinho is desperate to get the best out of the likes of Eric Dier and Dele Alli who struggled during the latter stages of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign in North London.But the future of Christian Eriksen still needs to get sorted with the Dane out of contract next summer and left on the bench for the derby at West Ham.2 Cole and Crouch played alongside each other for England including at the 2006 World Cup in GermanyCredit: ReutersJose Mourinho asked Dele Alli ‘are you Dele or his brother-’ as he bids to get Spurs star firing again They put Joe Cole next to Peter Crouch. Seriously. 🤣— The Wheel Of DOOM (@wheel_doom) November 23, 2019 BT SPORT viewers were left in hysterics before West Ham’s clash with Tottenham – as Peter Crouch towered over fellow pundit Joe Cole.Rather than sit next to each other around a table as usual, the pair stood side-by-side in the studio at the London Stadium.2 Peter Crouch had viewers in hysterics as as he loomed over fellow BT Sport pundit Joe ColeCredit: BT SportAnd fans could not stop laughing as the 6ft 7in star made the former Hammer look tiny.Cole is not the biggest at around 5ft 9in but is still almost a foot shorter than his former England team-mate.So it was little surprise Twitter was focused on the difference in height between the pundits rather than the difference Jose Mourinho will make on his first game in charge of Spurs.One wrote: “BT producers pretty openly stitching up Joe Cole today…”Another said: “Shall we get them to sit down. Nah, it won’t look like Joe Cole is miles away stood next to Crouch.”A third added: “Are you taking the p*** by making Joe Cole stand between Peter Crouch & Jake Humphrey? The lad looks like an oompa-loompa.”In another Roald Dahl-related comment, one commented: “Stood next to Joe Cole, Peter crouch looks like the kid out of willy wonka and the chocolate factory after he’s been stretched.”One went with: “They put Joe Cole next to Peter Crouch. Seriously.”Stood next to Joe Cole, Peter crouch looks like the kid out of willy wonka and the chocolate factory after he’s been stretched.— Sullyyyyyyy (@sullyy1992) November 23, 2019last_img read more

Hewat signs on as Brumbies backs coach

first_imgHewat, who has been in Japan most recently coaching with Suntory, after a successful playing stint with the Top League powerhouse, will return to Super Rugby for the first time since 2012.The fullback, who notched 636 points in just 50 outings for NSW, also played 78 matches for London Irish through his career.The 39-year-old said he felt now was the right time for him to return to Australia.“I am certainly excited by the opportunity of joining the Brumbies and becoming a part of the Brumbies family,” he said.“The Brumbies are a globally-renowned team who, historically, have always played an attacking and exciting brand of rugby.“I have had some very enjoyable times in Japan with Suntory but feel that the time is right for a return to Australia. The chance to be involved with a team like the Brumbies is fantastic.” “I have been keeping a close watch on them this season and am looking forward to teaming up with Dan, Laurie and Peter to help the team achieve its goals and challenge for another Super Rugby title.”Hewat joins Laurie Fisher and Peter Ryan under new Brumbies coach Dan McKellar.McKellar said he had watched Hewat’s progress at Suntory closely.“Peter was obviously a very good player at the Waratahs and was known for his goal-kicking and his ability to score a try,” McKellar said.“He has been at Suntory for eight years, four as a player and four as a coach, and, in my role as a consultant to Suntory, I have witnessed his progression.“Peter is ready for an opportunity to coach at Super Rugby level. His focus will be heavily on the skills aspect and he will be a huge benefit to our backs in particular.last_img read more

Cronk carried broken scapula in NRL Grand Final success

first_imgInspirational Queensland star Cronk incredibly featured for all but the final two minutes as Trent Robinson’s side set up the 21-6 win with a dominant first-half display.The victory came despite their half-back being forced to the fringes for much of contest, as he was nursed through at just “30 per cent” fitness according to Cordner.Cronk had been a major doubt leading into the match after seriously injuring his shoulder in the Preliminary Final against the South Sydney Rabbitohs eight days earlier.”We knew Coops was touch and go and he pulled through,” Cordner told the Nine Network.”We had to make up a game plan where we protected him as much as possible and we executed that. To put in a performance like that on the biggest stage is unbelievable.”We wanted [Cooper] on the field. He actually broke his scapula. That’s a big performance by him and will go down in history for sure.”Job done.#NRLGF#NRL— NRL (@NRL) September 30, 2018Luke Keary picked up the slack amid Cronk’s reduced role to guide the Roosters to their second premiership in six years, with the former’s performance against the Storm securing him the Clive Churchill Medal.The result ruined Billy Slater’s hopes of a fairytale farewell, but the retiring Melbourne full-back could not help admiring former team-mate Cronk’s courage.”He’s a really good mate of mine,” Slater said. “They hid [his fitness] really well from us.”I told him how proud I am. I’m shattered by our performance but I’m proud of him.”Cronk himself conceded he knew his role would be limited due to the injury but that he was desperate to play.”From the top down, everyone in this organisation sacrificed something for me to be here,” he said.”I don’t take that responsibility lightly, that was the motivation.”We didn’t know if I would be able to play. It was only a last-minute thing. The boys trained all week without me playing and the whole idea was to use me as a decoy.” Photo Getty Images. Caption: Cooper Cronk during the NRL Grand Final.last_img read more

Strongest ever weightlifting field for Pacific Games

first_imgSamoa, Fiji and Nauru will also have Commonwealth medallists on show, as well as New Zealand and Australia, who are competing in the Pacific Games for the first time. American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Island, Samoa, Palau, the Solomon Islands, Tahiti, Tonga, Tuvalu, Tokelau, and Wallis and Futuna are the other competing countries aside from the CNMI and host Papua New Guinea. The General Secretary of the Oceania and Commonwealth Weightlifting Federations, Paul Coffa, says that’s helped to boost the entry numbers. Among the lifters on show will be Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallists Dika Toua and Steven Kari from Papua New Guinea, and David Katoatau from Kiribati. The Pacific Games event in Port Moresby is being held in conjunction with the Oceania Weightlifting Championships for the first time.center_img A 32-member delegation, including 25 athletes, will banner the Northern Marianas’ medal hopes to next month’s XV Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea. “We have 21 countries with about 260 lifters competing. That’s quite a large number really – the biggest entries we’ve ever had in this sport in the pacific – and of course the [fact it is a] Rio qualification event has a lot to do with it, and we expect some excellent results.” The CNMI will be competing in eight of the 28 sports offered in the Pacific Games, namely, athletics, beach volleyball, bodybuilding, golf, sailing, swimming, triathlon, and va’a or outrigger canoe.last_img read more

PNG settle for 7-7 draw with Samoa in touch rugby

first_imgSamoa hit an early lead after Peter Hazelman and Beckett Leota scored touch downs to sound a warning to PNG.A touch down from Bobby Vavona put PNG back in the contest however. Samoa’s Lima Lote extended the lead to 3-1 before half time.The second half of play saw a flurry of points from both sides. Uari Sarufa from PNG scored twice to level the scores at 3-3.From this point, touch downs were scored from one of the field to another and about a minute out before play ended, the scores were locked at 6-6.PNG’s Eugene Eka dived over to score what PNG hoped would be the winning touchdown but Samoa right from the restart ran down and equalised through Jesse Leituvale.The PNG mixed team beat Kiribati 19-1 in their match yesterday and thrashed Tonga this morning 18-1 this morning.last_img

Three runners aim for Olympic qualification

first_imgThey are 400m specialist Nelson Stone, 400m sprinter and hurdler Mowen Boino and sprinter Theo Piniau.Athletics PNG will select one male athlete for the Games under the universality rule.Universality rule guarantees every Olympic Committee a place for one male and one female athlete regardless of qualifying standards.Stone competed in the 400m event at the 2012 Summer Olympics but was eliminated in the first round despite setting a season’s best time of 46.71Boino is a track and field athlete, who specialises in 400 metres sprint and in the 400 metre hurdles. He is a three-time Olympian and four-time national record holder for the 400m hurdles.APNG confirmed in a statement that whoever has the best performance between now and mid-June will be nominated.Piniau is on scholarship at West Texas A&M University in the USA and Stone’s training and competition program is being funded by the PNG Olympic Committee.Boino as yet does not have a sponsor for his program.last_img read more