Though the weather has been cooler the last few days, the summer scorch has been making an early preview at Murray State this spring, and it’s changing the dynamic of practices and games for outdoor sports.
Junior linebacker Blake Salter combats the effects of heat by rehydrating during a game last season. || Melissa Ruhlman/The News
With temperatures reaching the upper 80s, athletes are using more methods to beat the heat.
“The temperature has affected us positively because it prepares us to play in the heat,” soccer Head Coach Beth Acreman said. “But negatively because it’s tougher to practice outside in this condition.”
Since the rise in temperature, referees allow soccer players to drink in between each half. Players also take heat pills to maintain minerals normally lost in sweat.
According to the U.S. Medical Research and Nutrition Laboratory, water isn’t the only vital material excreted in sweat. When sweating, calcium, iron, potassium, sodium and zinc are also lost from the body. Similar to heat pills, sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade contain the same minerals meant to replenish athletes in strenuous situations.
“It’s a salt-based supplement to maintain nutrients,” Acreman said. “It’s not considered a drug but it does help with keeping them hydrated and maintaining energy.”
Kentucky weather has a tendency to shift unpredictably from hot to cool, to which junior defender Janelle Cunningham said is difficult to adjust. Continue reading
As numerous teams compete for the entire school year in different intramural sports, only a select few experience the thrill of proving themselves as the best among Greek, residential college and independent teams. Even fewer earn the right to travel to regional and national tournaments with their teammates and friends.
With each intramural sport, teams compete against other teams within their division during the regular season. Greek teams compete against other Greeks, residential colleges face off against other colleges and independents play independents. However, once playoffs begin, teams see how they stack up against the best from other divisions, until one team – regardless of division – wins the tournament and is crowned Murray State champion.
From that point, some teams elect to travel to regional tournaments, where if they play well enough, they may get the chance to compete in a national championship tournament. Continue reading
Senior pitcher Chelsey Sullivan is one of the founding members of the Murray State softball program which made its debut at the University in 2009. || File Photo/The News
As one of the youngest teams on Murray State’s campus, it would be easy to expect little of Racer softball. A different coaching staff or group of players might chalk their losses up to being an inexperienced team or a new program.
Instead, the founding members of Racer softball (17-13, 10-7 Ohio Valley Conference) set the bar high, demanding excellence from their first season so that now, as upperclassmen, the team is flourishing under their leadership.
Jay Pyron, head coach of Racer softball – ranked fourth in the OVC – started working as early as 2008 to get both the University and a team ready for their first season the following year.
“Recruitment was a lot of that time and just building the team,” Pyron said. “Ordering uniforms and equipment. Making sure the field was set up and ready to go.”
In terms of recruitment, Pyron’s biggest challenge was finding an entirely new group of players versatile enough and yet different enough to get the team started successfully.
Hailing from the United Kingdom, the sport of rugby traveled overseas and has landed on campus with the Murray State Rugby Football Club.
Members of the Murray State Rugby Club work daily to stay in shape for optimal performance. || Photo courtesy of Erik Schall
Rugby started in English public schools during the 19th century and many consider it the inspiration for what is known as American football today. After its success among European students, the sport spread throughout Europe into countries like France and Spain.
“Rugby brings a culture with it,” said Erik Schall, president of the Murray State Rugby Club. “I’ve played six different sports in my life and rugby has a history that no other sport has.”
Unlike football, which stops the clock after each play is completed, rugby remains a fast-paced and rough game. Rugby players also wear minimal padding and play both offensive and defensive positions. The ball cannot be passed forward, but can be passed backward if necessary.
“There is literally no stopping in a game,” Schall said. “Even if there’s downs or injuries, you just keep playing while they get carted off.” Continue reading
What’s this? NFL players are hitting each other hard – on purpose? What’s this? NCAA coaches are going over their minutes when calling or texting new recruits? What’s this? A coach known for his rotten personality is caught wrecking his motorcycle with a girl half his age on the back? What’s this? A baseball manager known more for his mouth than his baseball insight is now in trouble for flapping his yap?
No! Say it ain’t so! My faith in humanity is shattered!
OK, not really. But if the sports channels can be sensational, why can’t I?
The reports scrolling across ESPN’s non-stop “BREAKING NEWS!” screen would have us sports fans in a constant tizzy, forever astonished at the new lows to which people will go.
You know, crimes against humanity like New Orleans Saints’ linebackers trying to crush other football players. (Hey ESPN! Why did you suddenly stop running your “JACKED UP!” montage on NFL Live?) Continue reading
The ‘Breds are taking the Ohio Valley Conference by storm with the team and individual players taking top spots in the season’s rankings.
Senior infielder Travis Isaak is ranked first in the nation in doubles with 19 and although Isaak is happy with his rankings, he is not worried about them.
“I don’t go into the season trying to lead the nation in anything,” he said. “It’s a nice honor to have, but there is still a lot of season to go. I’ve got to keep playing as well as I can and help the team win.”
Isaak attributed the hard work he has put in on his swing as the reason he has been able to hit so many doubles this season.
The Breds’ finished out the series against the UT Martin Skyhawks with a 7–0 shutout Saturday.
Coach Rob McDonald said he thought his team played well the whole weekend.
“We came up short the one game, but the guys showed up ready to play,” McDonald said. “I thought in all phases of the game we did a pretty good job.”
All the Breds’ runs came in the sixth inning starting with a home run to left field from senior Travis Isaak which ran in sophomore Ty Stetson. Junior Mike Kozlowski followed with a double to left center and then scored on a wild pitch to freshman Luke Daugherty. Continue reading
I’ll admit it: I could be obsessed with quotes. And by “could be” I mean I definitely am.
A quote from someone with more experience or who has tapped into a fountain of insight can offer a quick burst of wisdom, inspiration and motivation for athletes and non-athletes alike and can serve to push them to the next level of whatever goal they’re reaching for.
The following are a few of my favorites from some familiar and not so familiar names.
Junior Jenna Knott, a competitive trap shooter from Glasgow, Ky., shoots a 12-gauge shotgun at clay targets.
In the coming week junior Jenna Knott will fire 1,900 shots. Ranked as the fifth female trapshooter in the nation, Knott’s aptitude for shooting is a skill that has helped shape her as a person and defined her goals for the future.
Though trapshooting has been around since the 18th century, with what would eventually be the American Trapshooting Association founded in 1890, trapshooting is a sport unfamiliar to many.
“The first event, and the event that’s probably the most common, is called singles or 16s,” Knott, a junior, said. “I stand on the 16-yard line, which is the closest you can stand, and shoot five targets per post. There’s a single oscillating target, which means it comes out at different directions, so I have to stand here and shoot a target that might be a straight away or a hard left or right.
“Handicaps are supposed to make things a little bit more equal.” Knott said. “A shooter can shoot anywhere between the 18 and the 27-yard line. If you shoot a 96 or above you’re going to get what’s called a ‘punch’ and the more punches you get on your card the farther back you move. When I first started I was at the 19-yard line, which is basically what’s assigned to you as a woman, and now I’m shooting on the 27.”
Her favorite event is the doubles where the shooters get a pair of targets come up in the same spot each time and both of them must be shot. Continue reading
In January, Bob Doty joined daughter, Jill, in the Murray State Athletics Hall of Fame becoming the first father-daughter duo in University history to do so.
Evidently, speed can run in the family.
In 2007 Murray State volleyball and track star Jill Doty was inducted into the Murray State Athletic Hall of Fame and in January, Doty was joined there by her father, former track star Bob Doty, becoming the first father-daughter Hall of Fame duo in Murray State history.
From 1961-65, Bob Doty set and broke numerous Murray State and Ohio Valley Conference track records, cementing his name as one of the greatest sprinters ever to call Murray State his home.
Those records almost didn’t make it into the Murray State history books, as Bob originally committed to Oklahoma State prior to deciding to join the Racer family.
Bob said it was his humble, small-town upbringing that helped him change his mind and recommit.
“I called (Oklahoma State’s) coach and said, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t think I can survive out there,’” he said. “I needed something smaller.”
Murray State needed him as much as he needed to be a Racer. Continue reading