Morgantown's Christopher Eckhardt shot a 3-under-par 69 to earn the low round of the day and a spot in the West Virginia Amateur as the tournament's last qualifier was held Monday at Bridgeport Country Club.Fourteen players qualified on Monday to round out the 100-player field.Other qualifiers from Bridgeport were Michael Stewart, Clarksburg (70); Pete Kurelac III, Moundsville (73); Adam Dyer, Mount Clare (74); Caleb Lee, Worthington (74); Joshua Arbaugh, Morgantown (75); Tyler Hartzell, Fairmont (75); Doug Kirkpatrick, Grafton (76); Jeff Estep, Bridgeport (76); Stephen Gretchen, McMechen (76) Josef Dransfeld, Huntington (76); Rico Simonetti, Wheeling (77); Trenton McPherson, Morgantown (77); and Tannor Carroll, Wellsburg (88).Wheeling's Cole Hand will serve as the first alternate and Travis Woodford of Glenville as the second. (For results, see Page 2B.)Oceana's Colin Bowles shot a 72 for the low round of the day and was named the 13-14 age division's player of the year as the Callaway Junior Tour held its championship Monday at Pete Dye Golf Club.
Other players of the year were Spencer's Alston Spears (17-18), Martinsburg's Sam Romine (15-16), Vienna's Lauryn Davidson (girls 15-18) and Vienna's Whitney Milhoun (girls 10-14). (For results, see Page 2B.)nn
MARSHALL BASKETBALL: Eight new teams highlight Marshall's upcoming Conference USA men's basketball schedule, which was released Monday.The Thundering Herd will open the league portion of the 2013-14 schedule with a trip to the University of Texas-San Antonio on Jan. 9. Marshall will play at UTEP on Jan. 11 as the conference introduces a new Thursday-Saturday format for easier travel.
Marshall opens C-USA play at home against North Texas on Jan. 16. The other league newcomers the Herd will face are Louisiana Tech (away, Jan. 25), Florida International (home, Jan. 30), Florida Atlantic (home, Feb. 1), Charlotte (away, Feb. 15), Middle Tennessee (home, Feb. 22) and Old Dominion (away, Feb. 27).nn
YOUTH BASKETALL: The West Virginia Rising Stars, a boys AAU 14-and-under basketball team based in Charleston, captured the Big Shots Richmond East Coast Duel Gold Division championship Monday in Richmond, Va.West Virginia Rising Stars edged River City Reign of Virginia 59-57 in the title game. West Virginia downed the Virginia Hustle 52-40 in the semifinals earlier Monday.nn
YOUTH TRACK: The Capital City Striders, a youth track and field team based in Charleston, recently captured five medals and four individual All-American honors at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic National Championships in Greensboro, N.C.
Tristan Slater of Charleston, Noah Castro of Winfield, Christian Buckley of Poca, Dante Price of Harpers Ferry and Abby Buchan of Charlton Heights earned All-America status.Slater finished second in the boys 15-16 age division of the pole vault, clearing a personal-best 14 feet, 71/4 inches. Castro took second in the boys 11-12 3,000 meters in 10 minutes, 11.45 seconds and seventh in the 1,500 in 4:51.78, both personal-best clockings. Buckley took eighth in the boys 15-16 discus with a throw of 155 feet, 3 inches. Price was eighth in the 200 (21.55) after turning in a personal-best 21.1 in the preliminaries and ninth in the 100 (10.63). Buchan finished 10th in the girls 15-16 javelin with a toss of 104-5.nn
WVU ATHLETICS: West Virginia University football fans will be given an opportunity to get autographs from coaches and players at the team's annual Fan Day from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility.Gates open at 12:45 p.m. In an effort to accommodate as many requests as possible, each fan will be limited to one autograph item. Setting up posed pictures with coaches and players will not be allowed in order to keep lines moving. Fans also will be able to take photos beside the new WVU uniforms that will be on display.WVU rifle team members Meelis Kiisk, Petra Zublasing, a 2013 graduate, and coach Jon Hammond competed in the European Shooting Championship last week in Croatia.
Kiisk, who competed for Estonia, finished 38th in the men's 50-meter rifle three positions. Zublasing, who competed for Italy, just missed qualifying for the women's 50-meter rifle three positions final, taking ninth. She also was 33rd in the women's 50-meter rifle prone and she helped the Italians to a 10th-place showing in the 50-meter rifle team competition.Hammond was 19th in the men's 50-meter rifle prone qualification relay for Great Britain. He advanced to the qualification relay after taking ninth in the second elimination relay.WVU women's cross country runners Sarah Anne-Brault, Sydney Cummings, a former Sissonville High School standout, Jordan Hamric, Sarah Martinelli, Aubrey Moskal and Kelly Williams were recognized for earning U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors.
Williams and Moskal maintained a 4.0 grade-point average while majoring in journalism and biology, respectively. Hamric and Martinelli owned 3.82 and 3.72 GPAs, respectively, with each majoring in exercise physiology. Brault had a 3.32 GPA in finance-economics while Cummings posted a 3.32 in child development. Brault, Cummings, Hamric, Martinelli and Moskal competed in the preliminary round of the NCAA outdoor track and field championships.WVU's home volleyball match against Texas on Oct. 23 at the Coliseum will be televised on ESPNU, the Big 12 Conference announced Monday.
The match, which is scheduled for 7 p.m., will be the Mountaineers' first volleyball home match to air on national television. WVU hosted the Longhorns, who were ranked No. 2 in the country at the time and went on to win the national championship, in front of a school-record 3,112 fans last year. WVU, which returns all six starters from last year's squad, will be celebrating its 40th season of volleyball this year.