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Mariemont swimmer gains London Olympic spot

 投稿者:oakleys  投稿日:2012年 6月28日(木)17時13分19秒 173.208.242.30
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  Nick Thoman knew he had some ground to make up as he hit the turn of Wednesday’s 100 meter backstroke final at the United States Swimming Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. , he had some ground to make up. Thoman made up that ground and with it earned a trip to the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

Thoman, a 2004 Mariemont High School graduate, touched the wall in 52.86 seconds to finish in second place behind 2008 Olympic silver medalist Matt Grevers (52.08) for a spot on this year’s team.

“I was probably a little too nervous for this race. I was really tight and didn’t go out as well as I wanted to,” said Thoman in a phone interview with the Enquirer. “Apparently it’s going to be easier come London. I was more nervous for that than I’ve ever been for any race in my life. I think I’m going to be more relaxed and faster in London.”
Thoman edged David Plummer of Minnesota (52.98) for the final spot. The two Plummer , from Minnesota, and Thoman were teammates at the Cincinnati Aquatics Club for a few months in 2009. Thoman now trains in Charlotte, N.C., with SwimMac Carolina.

“It was my game plan to have a big, hard turn and power it home strong, especially in that third 25 (meters),” said Thoman. “I was just trying to make moves on the field. I knew I was a little in the back but that I could go really fast in the second 50.”

Thoman is the first area swimmer to make the Olympic team since Dan Ketchum and Nate Dusing were on the 2004 team that competed in Athens, Greece.

“We’ve had Olympians on just about every team for the last couple of decades now and I’m just excited to be a part of that,” said Thoman.

While this is Thoman’s first Olympic berth he is no stranger to swimming for the U.S. national team; he swam at last year’s world championships, including being a member of the gold-medal winning 400 medley relay. He was also fourth in the 100 back and sixth in the 50 back.

Thoman’s Olympic trials are not complete. He will be swimming in the 200 back preliminaries on Friday.

Two other Cincinnatians swam in semifinal heats Wednesday night.

Ursuline graduate Whitney (Myers) Burnett was ninth in the 200 individual medley, getting edged for the last spot in the final by .15 seconds. Burnett finished in 2:14.17, just behind the 2:14.02 of Celina Li.

St. Xavier graduate David Mosko placed 11th in the semifinals of the 200 butterfly, missing out on a spot in today’s Thursday’s final by three places. Mosko just finished his senior season at Stanford. He came back from a shoulder injury that required surgery nearly two years ago to record a solid time of 1:58.85. It was Mosko’s second consecutive appearance in the Olympic trials semifinals of the event.

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Futbol fever: Ironbound prepares for crucial Spain-Portugal

 投稿者:oakleys  投稿日:2012年 6月27日(水)16時44分3秒 253.112-140-185.ds.sparkstation.net
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  NEWARK ? For anyone you talk to in Newark's Ironbound section, the score for Wednesday's big soccer game will always involve a zero.
"Write it down, Spain beats Portugal, 2-0," one patron at Vivo Tapas Lounge on Ferry Street said Tuesday.
For a trio of men smoking cigarettes outside a coffee shop on the same street, it’s also 2-0 ? but this time Portugal’s doing the winning.
"It’s a better team, stronger," said Manny Silva, 65. "They got the best player in the world."
A European soccer matchup some fans consider more important than the World Cup has business owners in the Ironbound expecting thousands of revelers and fans scheming for ways to leave work early.
Portugal and Spain face off Wednesday at 2:45 p.m. for the right to play for the European championship on Sunday. Italy and Germany play Thursday in the other semifinal.
For the large community of Portuguese and Spanish immigrants in the East Ward neighborhood, the stakes are that much higher.
"It’s passion for the country, it’s the colors," of the Portuguese flag, said Jose Martins, 49. But also, despite having one of the best players in Europe ? Cristiano Ronaldo ? Spain has beat his team in the games that count, like in the 2010 World Cup competition, and is the reigning World Cup and European champion.
"If they win, this place is going to erupt," he said.
Tuesday, Portuguese flags hung neatly from windows, doors and car antennas and haphazardly from lampposts, a remnant of past celebrations.
With each successive victory over the last two weeks, the cheers in the streets grew louder and the celebrations more raucous for the Portuguese team, which has a larger population here.
In a recent win over the Netherlands, fans flooded Ferry Street and a collection of motorcycles and sports cars spun their wheels ? sending blue smoke into the air and leaving victory skid marks on the street.
Several people were arrested in that celebration, Adega Grill owner Louis Lopez said as he stood in front of the skid marks that are just steps from a city police barrier.
"Tomorrow is going to be out of control," said Lopez, adding he is expecting thousands of people show up if the Portuguese win Wednesday.
At the Madrid-Lisbon Bar, named after capital cities of Spain and Portugal and seen as one of the oldest "soccer houses" in the neighborhood, the owner was diplomatically cagey about his pick.
Speaking beneath several soccer balls used in previous World Cups and eleven widescreen televisions, Danny Silva, 25, was more concerned about how he was going to serve some 200-plus patrons who he expects to file in about 2 p.m.
"We have to push it, push it, push it for people to get their food in a half-hour," before the game starts, he said.
Spanish fans Jesus Martinez, 38, and his stepson, Carlos Queiruga, 13, sat at the bar talking about the game.
"I can’t wait for them to score the first goal," Queiruga said, adding that it helps to control the outcome of the game.
Martinez was wondering how he would make the start from his job in New York.
"I have to figure out something to leave early," he said. "It’s only one day."

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Ryan Lochte gets best of Michael Phelps on first day of U.S.

 投稿者:oakleys  投稿日:2012年 6月26日(火)16時58分16秒 253.112-140-185.ds.sparkstation.net
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  OMAHA, Neb. ? The pressure was off. The victory was his. Ryan Lochte spotted his family and embraced his mother, who wiped a few tears away so she could crack a joke.

"Thank God you made it," Ileana Lochte told the first swimmer to make the U.S. Olympic team, "so we're not going to London by ourselves."

That is no laughing matter to NBC, which plans to hype "Ryan Lochte vs. Michael Phelps: The Showdown" in as many showdowns as possible. Lochte and Phelps complied Monday, finishing 1-2 in the men's 400-meter individual medley and setting up a London rematch for the gold medal.

Phelps won a record eight gold medals in the 2008 Olympics.

Lochte and Phelps have raced each other for close to a decade, but never before had Lochte beaten Phelps in this event.

There was a live symphony orchestra playing the national anthem, and there were larger-than-life cutouts of Lochte's face waved by dozens of his fans. There was flair, not only in the arena but on Lochte's red, white and blue on his shoes -- blue and white stars on his right shoe, red and white stripes on his left shoe, with high tops that resembled wings.

"They gave me wings," Lochte said.

There was fire too. Flames shot up from the pool deck during the race, a special effect that momentarily startled some of the swimmers and coaches. And, ultimately, there was a race in which Lochte and Phelps left their competition way behind but left the promise of faster times.

Tyler Clary led at the halfway point of the race, bursting out front on the strength of his backstroke. But, on the subsequent breaststroke leg, Clary was passed by Lochte and then by Phelps, with Lochte finishing in 4 minutes 7.06 seconds, Phelps in 4:07.89 and Clary in 4:09.92.

Said Jon Urbanchek, the coach for Clary: "He overswam the first 200 meters. He knew his weakness was the breaststroke. It caught up to him on the last 50.

"He was not able to stay with Michael. Either you go for it, or you go with the flow. I give him credit. He went for it."

Phelps once vowed he would not swim this event here. He did not announce that he would until Sunday, and he acknowledged the sting of defeat in the event earlier this month weighed upon him.

"I was pretty upset," he said. "I didn't want that be to be my last IM."

If Phelps wins the event in London, he would become the first male swimmer to win gold in the same event in three consecutive Olympics. No swimmer in the world this year has finished within two seconds of the times Lochte and Phelps posted Monday, and yet each camp promises faster times ahead.

Said Gregg Troy, the coach for Lochte: "We're actually a little displeased with the time. We think there's a little more left there."

Said Bob Bowman, the coach for Phelps: "His turns were horrendous. That's two seconds there. His breaststroke has got to get better."

Lochte might have given Phelps a whipping Monday, but Bowman scoffed at the notion that this was some sort of motivational rout.

"We didn't get beat," Bowman said, "by three seconds."

Other than Clary, everyone else got beat by at least nine seconds.

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Elks to host Father’s Day breakfast, fun for special-needs k

 投稿者:oakleys  投稿日:2012年 6月14日(木)10時27分25秒 mail.firmorbis.com
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  WANTAGE ? Father's Day is a time for celebrating and honoring the dads in our lives, but for the fathers of special-needs children, it is all too often a day when their sense of isolation is reinforced.

Carol Lee Spages, activities chairperson for Sussex Elks Lodge 2288, explained that as children with special needs grow older, they often find it harder to assimilate into groups of similarly aged peers.

As these children fit in less and are invited less frequently to father-and-son outings like ballgames, birthday parties and picnics, it is not only the children but their fathers, too, who suffer a loss of camaraderie and social connection with other dads.

For them, and for their entire families, the Sussex Elks will be hosting a Father's Day breakfast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday followed by a free, fun-filled, nature-themed gathering in the afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. The breakfast, consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage, French toast, home fries, toast, pastries, juice, coffee and tea, also is free for dads and is $5 for all other adults, with a reduced price for kids.

Families may attend either or both events.

The afternoon event will feature a baby animal presentation by Lori Day of Space Farms Zoo & Museum, as well as nature crafts, games, adventures, discoveries and, weather permitting, an outdoor scavenger hunt. Free snacks also will be provided.

"Children in general respond very well to baby animals because they're small and not intimidating," Day said. "I have done this many times and always bring baby animals that are safe for the children to get close to."

When given the opportunity to interact with animals, Day said, children with autism often find it easier to overcome their difficulties reaching out toward other people. She said she always chooses carefully which animals to take with her and mentioned emu chicks and a baby fox as among the animals she might bring this Sunday.

For the fathers who attend ? and for the moms, too ? there will be plenty of opportunity to socialize with the other adults while their children are enjoying supervised activities. Parents can either participate with their kids or relax with the grownups.

"The big thing," Spages said, "is that their children will be taken care of and have a fun time, and their parents will have an opportunity to chill out for a couple of hours in our coffee lounge with the other adults and not have to worry about their kids."

This Sunday's event is one of a series of theme-based activities the Sussex Elks are hosting on the third Sunday of each month throughout the summer for families with special-needs children. July's theme will be food and fun, and in August, there will be a fiesta theme with a pinata.

"The program is called ‘G.R.E.A.T. Place,' as in the Elks have a great place to come and have fun," Spages said.

"G.R.E.A.T." is an acronym for "Gathering Room... Everyone All Together," and in this case, "everyone" means the whole family.

"Families are being invited because often when children with special needs are invited to events like this, their siblings are not, and then they feel left out too," Spages said.

The program was made possible by a $2,000 grant that the Elks lodge applied for and received earlier this year from the national Elks headquarters, known as the Grand Lodge.

To ensure the program's success, the Elks have been working with a team of professionals from Special Child Health Services, in Hardyston; and the Family Support Organization of Sussex and Morris counties, in Newton. The Elks lodge also has been working with SCARC, in Augusta, which provides services for both children and adults with special needs.

Spages said if the program is successful, the Elks might seek additional funding to continue it in the fall.

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 投稿者:teacup.運営  投稿日:2012年 6月14日(木)10時14分15秒 mail.firmorbis.com
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