Letter to the Editor: 3.30.12

Dann Patterson,
 Alumnus from

As he dashed pell-mell from the Capitol in Jackson, the lame-duck, departing Republican governor of Mississippi, Barbour, issued pardons to several convicted murderers, understandably incensing families of crime victims and all reasonable, civic-minded citizens. Continue reading “Letter to the Editor: 3.30.12”

Olympic gold medalist, philanthropist shares story

Jonathan Ferris
Staff writer

Joanna Hayes met with students on campus during a reception Wednesday afternoon. || Photo by Ben McGrath/The News

It’s not often Murray State hosts an Olympic record holder and gold medalist. Students and faculty gathered Wednesday night at Wrather Auditorium to listen to Olympic hurdler Joanna Hayes at the annual youth and nonprofit leadership department’s Giving Back Scholars Event.

Hayes founded and runs the Joanna Hayes Foundation, which works to encourage and engage children by getting them involved in developmental, community and sports activities.

After having missed the cut for the 2000 Olympic National team by one spot, Hayes returned to St. Louis, Mo., where she trained and worked with the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center, playing with children for an entire summer.

That was the summer, Hayes said, that helped her decide to train and make another run at the Olympics in 2004.

“After missing the cut in 1999 I decided I would just move on and not care,” Hayes said. “But after working with the kids and preaching the message of never give up on your dreams, I decided I would give it my all and try one more time to either make the Olympics or move on with my life.” Continue reading “Olympic gold medalist, philanthropist shares story”

Centershots: Forever young

Sophie McDonald
Sports Editor


I’ve never been the person who wanted to stay the same age before. I’ve always wanted to be a grown up – get married, have kids, settle down. I’m always looking ahead, always planning for the next big life event and I’ve never really wanted to go back in time.

Until March 17.

After Murray State’s loss to Marquette in the third round of the NCAA Tournament I wanted to go back in time when the Racers had only one loss and stay in the season of 31 wins forever.

Although I still haven’t processed it all, the few months of covering the record-setting Racers – in what could arguably be the best season of Murray State basketball – will reside in my heart as some of the best moments of college and maybe my life.

A few hours after the loss, on our way home from Louisville, Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Johnson and I were listening to our “NCAA Roadtrippin’’’ playlist when Jay-Z’s “Young Forever” started thumping in our speakers, a stark contrast to Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up” from seconds earlier. Continue reading “Centershots: Forever young”

Lennartsson places 10th, leads team

Ed Marlowe
Staff writer


Junior Alexandra Lennartson works on her swing during a recent practice. || Photos courtesy of Murray State Athletics

Just one month before the OVC Championship and it seems the Racers are hitting their stride.

Competing this past weekend in the John Kirk – Panther Intercollegiate Tournament, junior Alexandra Lennartsson paced the Racers with a 10th place finish carding a 70-74-78=222.

The tournament, which took place March 25 through 27 at Eagles Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, Ga., fielded 63 individuals and 11 teams for the event.

Sophomore Delaney Howson and senior Morgan Cross shared 21st place shooting 74-74-79=227 and 74-77-76=227, respectively. Junior Alli Weaver finished 45th after shooting a three-round 239 while freshman Sophie Ollie was 58th, finishing with a 260.

With team rounds of 299-304-312=915, the Racers finished just ahead of host team Georgia State (921) for eighth place, but just behind 7th place OVC foe Jacksonville State who finished with a team score of 907. Continue reading “Lennartsson places 10th, leads team”

Racers confident in conference play

Kyra Ledbetter
Staff writer


Sophomore first baseman Leslie Bridges is upbeat regarding the remainder of the season for the team. || File photo

After two weeks spent facing off against conference schools the Racers have come out on top – well, more or less.

The Racers are currently 6-3 in OVC play, having taken at least one win from every OVC school they’ve seen. At about this time last year the Racers had no conference wins.

On the weekend that kicked off Spring Break the Racers took a game from Jacksonville State University, giving JSU its second loss of the conference season. Though the Racers lost the following two to the Gamecocks, picked to win the conference, sophomore first baseman Leslie Bridges was pleased.

“I felt like as a team we played pretty well against Jacksonville State,” Bridges said. “We knew that they were the top of the conference going in and we just wanted to go out and play hard. We knew that we usually play pretty well against Jacksonville State so we felt pretty good about our chances and about how we were playing. We went out and took the first game. We lost the last two, but I still think we did what we needed to.”

A week later Murray State played at home, taking two of their three games from UT-Martin, picked third in the OVC. Continue reading “Racers confident in conference play”

Open Mouth, Insert Football: The last civilized arena

Ben Morrow
Sports Columnist


I am 31 years old.

By all rights, I have no business playing pickup basketball with 18 to 22-year-old college athletes. I have become what I once mocked – the old man who hangs around to try to get back in some semblance of shape only to wear himself out on the court in front of younger, fresher specimens of male athleticism.

Believe it or not, this is exactly why I am out there.

As I staggered out of the Wellness Center today, beaten but satisfied, exhausted but fulfilled, I remembered why sports matter. Sports are quite possibly the last civilized outlet for man’s natural aggression and competitiveness.

Before you laugh, think about it. Continue reading “Open Mouth, Insert Football: The last civilized arena”

Team reflects on loss, season

Sophie McDonald
Sports Editor


Junior forwards Ed Daniel, left, and Latreze Mushatt, defend against Marquette’s Jae Crowder. || Photo by Elizabeth Johnson/The News

The team that rewrote the history books this season filed its final chapter in the 2011-12 season with a 62-53 loss to Marquette March 17 and the less than desirable ending in the third round of the NCAA Tournament is still resonating with the team.

“I don’t know if I’ll ever recuperate,” Head Coach Steve Prohm said. “I’m still frustrated, but you’ve got to move on at some point. Once we get the workouts going I’ll be able to move past it a little bit but I don’t know if I’ll ever completely move past it or forget it.”

The Racers ended the season with a 31-2 record, tying the program record of 31 wins, went undefeated on the road with a 13-0 record for the first time in 87 years of Murray State basketball – the only team in the nation to avoid a loss away from home, were ranked in the AP/ESPN Top-25 polls for 12 straight weeks and Prohm became one of the most successful rookie coaches in history with the 23-0 start to the season.

Despite the records, losing hurts for numerous reasons, Prohm said.

“(Losing hurts) just because you hurt for those guys,” Prohm, OVC and Basketball Times Coach of the Year, said. “Losing hurts because you feel like you let people down and losing hurts because the season ends and you don’t get to coach those three seniors anymore, and then losing hurts because these guys worked so hard and they were such great role models and they were really a great team. That’s why losing hurts.” Continue reading “Team reflects on loss, season”

Athlete Spotlight: Zay Jackson

Sophie McDonald
Sports Editor


A lot has changed for freshman guard Zay Jackson since the beginning of the season.

“I really like everybody on the team,” the Hammond, La., native said. “At the beginning of the season I would never have told you this, but now we’re all closer and it’s great to be a part of a winning team (when) you like everybody.”

Jackson, a 19-year-old engineering major, was named the Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Week when he scored 10 points against Jacksonville State with six rebounds and came back in the win over Tennessee Tech with nine points and five rebounds the week of Jan. 16.

“He’s really matured from Toronto until now,” Head Coach Steve Prohm said. “He’s a fireball. What you see is what you get.”

Prohm, who attended the same church as the freshman guard when he was working under Billy Kennedy at Southeastern Louisiana University, recruited Jackson during Kennedy’s time as head coach. Continue reading “Athlete Spotlight: Zay Jackson”

Q&A with the men’s basketball team

Compiled by Sports Editor Sophie McDonald


Q. Have you been able to process the season as a whole?

Coach Prohm: Not really. We’ve only been back a week and the guys have been on spring break and the week for me has been hectic for me in a lot of areas. I haven’t watched a lot of basketball, I haven’t watched the tournament that much – just a little bit off and on – I haven’t enjoyed the tournament as much as I have in the past. Hopefully at some point I will because it was a special year.

Continue reading “Q&A with the men’s basketball team”