News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 1, 2012

RAMBLIN’ RECK: May means it’s time for some thoroughbred horse racing

Tom Reck
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — It’s May, it’s May, the wonderful month of May as the words sort of go in a famous musical.

It’s a special month for sports and special events, beginning this weekend with the Kentucky Derby. Thousands will converge on Churchill Downs for the most famous thoroughbred horse race in America.

It’ll be run Saturday, the same day thousands of runners will compete in the One America 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indy. We know several runners from the Wabash Valley will be in the field.

In years past, practice began the first week in May at Indianapolis Motor Speedway but that’s no longer so. Practice begins May 13 with qualifying slated for May 19 and 20 for the May 27 race.

Will Power is off to a great start in Izod IndyCar Series with three straight wins and two poles. At that rate, the Penske driver could clinch the championship by July, but don’t count on it.

High school postseason action begins in the middle of the month for baseball, softball, tennis and track teams while boys golf sectionals are set for early June in Indiana.

Terre Haute South and North, West Vigo and Northview will vie for Big Four Classic honors this week. There should be come good competition.

• College-bound — More Terre Haute South seniors have finalized their college choices.

Ashley Watkins plans to attend St. Mary’s at Notre Dame and play softball while Chelsea Whitesell plans to play the same sport at Grace College.

Becca Latta also plans to play softball at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and teammate Marissa Stout may play against her in future games since she will be going to Rose-Hulman.

Tyler King plans to be a kicker in football at Indiana State while Thomas King is going to DePauw and play football.

Finally, Nolan Roach will be going to Indiana University and swim for the Hoosiers.

• Playoffs in progress — National Basketball Association playoffs began Saturday with one record-tying contest winding up the first two days of action.

The Los Angeles Clippers trailed by 27 points at one time and were 21 down going into the fourth frame but rallied to beat Memphis 99-98.

The Indiana Pacers were the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference but could not buy a basket in the final minutes and lost to Orlando at home, meaning they faced what had to be called a must-win game Monday night.

San Antonio, meanwhile, won its first playoff game for the first time in four years and the Los Angeles Lakers were impressive in whipping Denver.

Chicago was a winner and loser at the same time as Derrick Rose tore an anterior ligament in the Bulls’ victory over Philadelphia and likely will be out for a few months.

• Tom-Cattin’ It — Bryce Harper is the youngest player in the major leagues at 19 and got a hit in his very first game with Washington.

Going into Monday’s games, Texas had the best record in baseball at 16-5 and the Los Angeles Dodgers had an NL-best 16-6.

• The Indiana-Indiana State football game slated Sept. 1 at IU will begin at 8 p.m. and will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.

• Plans are moving ahead for a four-team playoff in college football and would begin in 2014.

• Dr. LeRoy T. Walker was the first African-American to coach a U.S. Olympic track team. He died at 93.

• North Central lost in high school baseball for just the second time this season last week with Vincennes Rivet beating the Thunderbirds.

• Forbes has named NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson the most influential athlete in America.

Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at tm_reck@yahoo.com or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN, 47802.