Time to catch up on a few subjects and run some quick hits from across the Conference, hence "Anything Can Happen Day"...if that old pop culture reference eludes you, help awaits at the end of today's post...
Kudos to Liberty RB Rashad Jennings (pictured), selected in the 7th round by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jennings was the Big South's Offensive Player of the Year both coming into and out of the 2008 season on his way to All-American status. He joins fellow Big South alums Tyler Thigpen (CCU QB, Minnesota 2007) and Brian Johnston (GWU DE, Kansas City 2008) as 7th round selections in three consecutive seasons. The highest Big South pick remains Jerome Simpson's 2nd round selection by the Bengals last year. But wait, there's more...because after the conclusion of the Draft, Gardner-Webb WR Dobson Collins signed a free agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers. A big "congrats" SHOUT-out to Rashad & Dobson--good luck with your pro careers!
The recent Big South Championships mean representatives at the next level, and we know some of those match-ups now...
Women's Tennis--Winthrop will travel to Clemson again, where the Lady Eagles were ousted (4-0) by the Lady Tigers a year ago. They'll try to return the favor Friday, May 8th.
Men's Tennis--Radford (and FOUR-time Conference Player of the Year Martin Sayer, pictured at right) will play as the third seed in the Knoxville Regional, facing second seed Duke (host Tennessee has the top seed of the regional and will play fourth seed ETSU). The Highlanders will hit also hit the court Friday, May 8th.
Women's Golf--Coastal Carolina is bound for the NCAA East Regional, to be played in Gainesville, FL. There are 21 teams at the Regional, with only eight squads advancing to the next round of competition. They'll play it out May 7th-9th.
FLAME BURNING THE TRACK
Liberty's Sam Chelanga is fast--you may know that part already, considering how many races he's won and records he's set while running for the Flames (see him pictured in lead at right). But do you know what he did a few days ago in New York at the NY Road Runners Distance Carnival? Oh...he won the 10k... with a time that broke the old NCAA best time...by FIVE SECONDS (an eternity for these things)...to set the best mark in the WORLD this year at 27:28:48.
That's all...thought you should know.
Almost forgot, one more thing--he beat FIVE Olympians in that race.
Sam Chelanga, we'd salute you--if we could only catch up with you...good grief, man, that was fast!!!!
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO...
...Championships, that is...Softball will play out its final showdowns with the Big South Conference Championship in Radford, May 7-9 (all games streaming on The EDGE). Radford and Winthrop have a big leg up on the competition going in, but will they be the last two teams standing come the final day? Could be interesting... Baseball has three weeks before we know who clinches a berth in the Regionals, but Liberty and Winthrop will be among the teams giving Coastal Carolina a firm challenge this time around. They'll play out the double-elimination bracket May 19-23 at Asheville's McCormick Field (UNCA will be the host school for the event at the minor league park, but the Bulldogs are not expected to make the eight-team field).
GONE BUT NEVER FORGOTTEN
The Big South Conference family lost a member this week, always a sad thing to note...but this passing seems especially poignant given the Big South's 25th Anniversary celebration: Conference co-founder George Christenberry, President Emeritus of Augusta State University, died last week at age 93. Dr. Christenberry, an inaugural member of the Big South Hall of Fame, was the first Conference President, and the Big South's highest academic honor for student-athletes bears his name. He leaves a remarkable legacy in education and holds a permanent place of honor for all of us in the Big South Conference.
I'll wrap the news and notes for now--and turn things over to this week's "On The EDGE" for the scoop on what's coming next for our week in video streaming...
Okay, okay, you've been patient...
"Anything Can Happen Day" was the Wednesday theme of...
The Mickey Mouse Club:
M-I-C (see you real soon), K-E-Y (why? because we like you), M-O-U-S-EEEEE.
And that's SHOUT...out!