FSU’S Kerns wins weight throw at VMI

LEXINGTON, Va. — Senior John Kerns captured another win in the weight throw as the Frostburg State men’s and women’s track & field teams capped the first day of the VMI Winter Relays late Friday afternoon.

Kerns highlighted both teams with the lone win when he took the gold medal in the weight throw at 17.42 meters. It’s his fourth win in the weight in five meets this winter and it is the third longest toss of the season.

Senior Michael Belcher finished second behind Kerns with distance of 16.27 meters.

Freshman Alyssa Mullery captured the highest finish for the women as she took silver in the triple jump in a personal-record jump of 10.38 meters. She also finished fifth in the 60-meter hurdle prelims at 9.32.

Senior Keileen Estrada was third in the triple at 10.03 meters, while Jonathan Jenkins was fifth in the triple at 12.82 meters. Alexa Bradburn finished fifth in the weight throw at 10.38 meters.

Freshman Nicholas Richardson ran a 6.99 in both the 60-meter dash prelims and semifinals with the program’s fastest time in over 15 years.

Junior Braxton Clark finished runner-up in the 5,000-meter run in a personal-record 15:52.77, sophomore Brennan Tomassoni was 10th in a personal-record 17:02.64 and senior Timothy Wolodkin was 16th in 17:48.74.

Shanya Booker ran a 9.64 in the 60-meter hurdle preliminaries and took 12th place, while junior Clayton Washington posted a personal-record 7.07 in the 60 dash and finished in 15th place in the semifinals. First-year Mark Vaughns ran a, 8.90 in both the 60-meter hurdles prelims and semis and finished 13th and 14th respectively.

Isabel Pereira captured 16th in the 5,000-meter run in 24:28.71. Senior Jacob Rickards, first-year Jaydon Morley, senior Lorenzo Wilson, and first-year Daniel Foster earned second in the men’s 4000 meter DMR with a 10:53.75.

The Bobcats open day two at VMI today at 10 a.m. with the men’s long jump, men’s shot put and men’s one-mile run.

Day climbs within 2 of Pebble Beach lead

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Jason Day received a warm reminder Friday at Pebble Beach how good it feels to hit shots the way he wants, make a bunch of putts and see his name high on the leaderboard.

Day made two long birdie putts across the green, holed a 40-yard wedge for eagle on the dangerous par-5 14th, made a couple of big par saves and moved into contention with an 8-under 64 in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

He was two shots behind Nick Taylor of Canada, who birdied four of his last five holes at Pebble Beach for a 66 to take his first 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour.

Taylor was at 14-under 129.

“I feel like it’s been a long time since I’ve actually been out there and felt the way that I felt out there today and played well like that,” Day said.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson also got in the mix with a burst of four straight birdies after the turn at Monterey Peninsula. He made bogey on the long par-3 ninth to finish his round of 7-under. He was three shots behind.

Mickelson has not had a top 10 on the PGA Tour since winning at Pebble Beach last year, though he finished third last week at the Saudi International and carried a little momentum into the event he has won five times.

Day knows the feeling. Since last year at Pebble, the former world No. 1 has recorded just three top 10s, none since last June. He has not seriously contended. His back troubles have been so frustrating that at times he wondered how much longer he wanted to play. He described those at “dark times.”

His outlook Friday was as bright as the sunshine over the Monterey Peninsula, at least until a light marine layer or parts of the courses lowered the temperature.

Day birdied the par 5s and made a 45-foot putt from the fringe on the par-3 fifth at Pebble. He holed a 50-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th, another bonus. And then he surged into contention by holing out for his eagle on the 14th, and following that with a 15-foot birdie on the 15th.

Johnson drops “Chasing 8” motto

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Jimmie Johnson has been chasing NASCAR history for so long that his relentless pursuit of rewriting the record books has become part of his legacy.

Johnson, tied with Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt with seven Cup Series titles, has been racing for sole possession of the record since 2017. He made a hashtag for his social media posts — #Chasing8 — and his push to make history has never wavered.

As he heads into his 19th and final full season in stock car racing, Johnson has dropped the motto. He’d love to close his full-time career with a record eighth title, but the 44-year-old Californian said he would rather remove self-inflicted pressure and enjoy his final season in the No. 48 Chevrolet.

His new motto will be ‘One Final Time’ and it begins Saturday with practice at Daytona International Speedway. The season-opening Daytona 500, a race Johnson has won twice, is Feb. 16.

“Through reflecting back since I made the (November retirement) announcement it just kind of dawned on me — the more I thought about it, I never chased anything,” Johnson said. “One final time just felt like the correct thing to say and now we’ve struck the chasing eight from everything and one final time just fits well.”

It’s been a bumpy ride for Johnson since winning his seventh title. Hendrick Motorsports stalwarts Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. retired, leaving Johnson as the veteran on a team of 20-somethings. Chevrolet was not competitive with the Camaro it rolled out two years ago, a setback for Johnson and an organization in a rebuild.

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