Open Mouth, Insert Football: The dead zone

Ben Morrow
Sports Columnist


I heard ESPN’s Tim Cowlishaw say on “Around the Horn” that he thought this was the best time of the sports year. He cited the Masters, the NBA, the NHL playoffs and MLB Opening Day as his reasons. Apparently this guy likes spring.

Allow me to disagree slightly.

The excitement of a thrilling college basketball season is finished. As great as it was, we have now entered into the twilight zone of sports.

To put it bluntly, this is garbage time. This is the part of the ball game when you put in the scrubs. This is when the crowd leaves in droves even though the buzzer has not sounded. As far as I’m concerned, this is the part of the sports calendar that just dies.

Welcome to the dead zone. Continue reading “Open Mouth, Insert Football: The dead zone”

Athlete Spotlight: Alexandra Lennartsson

 Ed Marlowe
Staff writer

It is always interesting how international students find little old Murray State University on the map.

Coming all the way from Nykoping (pronounced knee-shop-ping), Sweden, Alexandra Lennartsson said it really didn’t take long to determine Murray State would be her home away from home.

“I hired a recruiting company in Sweden which helped me look at schools in America,” Lennartsson said. “They looked at where my golf game was at that point and schools for me where it was possible to land a good scholarship.”

After Lennartsson’s stellar high school career, Head Coach Velvet Milkman had little choice but to offer her a full scholarship into the women’s golf program.

“Velvet started to email me,” Lennartsson said. “You can’t say no to that.”

Outside of the usual hitches with changing countries such as language, diet and difference in cultural practices, Lennartsson said the transition from Scandinavia to western Kentucky has been almost seamless. Continue reading “Athlete Spotlight: Alexandra Lennartsson”

Racer T-shirts commemorate season

Jaci Kohn
Staff writer


Murray State fans line up to purchase Racer merchandise in the Varsity Shop at the CFSB Center before the Eastern Illinois game Jan. 28.

The basketball team was not the only group at Murray to have an exceptional season. The University Bookstore designed 17 new shirts to help students show their school spirit.

Racer fans show their spirit with blue and gold as the main colors worn on campus during sports seasons.

While stores such as Walmart and Zax sell unique designs like Mr. Ed and “Welcome to the Prohmised Land,” the place to find the most variety is the campus bookstore.

Karol Hardison, University Bookstore director, said shirt designs have stayed pretty traditional although the shirts themselves have changed some.

Pete Choukalas, senior from Memphis, Tenn., said the irony and humor of shirts attracts him to buy certain designs.

“There are some catchy shirts like the Party Rock Anthem shirt, that was legit, and the Mr. Ed shirt, those are awesome,” he said. Continue reading “Racer T-shirts commemorate season”

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”