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6B | LAREDO MORNING TIMES

SPORTS

THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2008

Laredo Swim Club takes second place

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

At the US South Texas Junior Olympic Swim Meet held in Corpus Christi last weekend, 45 swimmers from the Laredo Swim Club entered in 323 swimming events, from the mile swim, relays, and events ranging from 50 yards to 1,650 yards. The Laredo Swim Club placed second overall, behind the San Antonio 4-A swimming association (a combined squad of several teams from across San Antonio). Last year, at this meet, the Laredo club placed fourth, and just this past summer, placed third in the summer version of the Junior Olympic meet. Contestants in this meet must not have attained South Texas Championship Q-times. Nine of

the Laredo swimmers attained 20 different Championship Q-times at this meet. There were 159 new best-times posted by the swimmers from Laredo, many made National minimum Q-times "B", "BB", and"A". High Point winners in each age group were: Girls: 8-under Aneesa Mohammed, 9 year old Andrea De Luna. 10 year old Kassie Hsu, 11 year old Lauren Homan-Baxter. 12 year old Gaby Ayala, 13 year old Sarah Hachar. 14 year old Martha Mendoza. Boys: 8-under Luis Martinez, 9 year old, Welfredo Martinez. 10 year old Austin Davilla, 11 year old Richie Martinez. 12 year old Carlos Garcia, 13 year old Carlos Gomez-Vasquez.

14 year old Greg Garza. The swimming squad racked up 25 first place finishes, 19 second place finishes, 16 third place finishes. The team placed in 145 swims, 1st through 8th. New swimmer recruitment will begin April 14. The youngsters ages 7 and up are eligible if they have completed five levels of American Red Cross instruction, can swim one length of the pool on their stomach in good form and one length of the pool in a good form, and commit to daily practices, Monday through Saturday. The very youngest swimmers have Friday evening off. More registration information will be forthcoming. Interested parents

Courtesy Photo

can stop by the pool weekday nights to place their children on a contact list for future tryouts to begin in April. The Junior Olympic competition ends the winter (USA short course season), the team now starts training for the summer (USA long course season) without a break. The team is coached by Eugene Watson, Head Coach; Paul Kane and Jerry Nino, Assistant coaches.

Photo by Tony Gutierrez | AP

SMU's Paulius Ritter (0) and Derrick Roberts (15) defend against a shot attempt by Memphis guard Antonio Anderson (5) in the first half in Dallas, Wednesday.

Ayeesha Mohammed, 10, daughter of Abdul and Raquel Mohammed, is ready to represent the Laredo Swim Club in two swimming events at the Texas Age Group Championships in Dallas this weekend.Ayeesha is competing in the 50 Yard Backstroke and the 50 Yard Butterfly.Both of her qualifying times were acquired at the South Texas Age Group Championships, February 15, in San Antonio. She's been swimming competitively for three years.

Rose leads Memphis past SMU 72-55

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Free-agent market isn't what it seems

By DAVE GOLDBERG

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Before free agency started a week ago, Tennessee general manager Mike Reinfeldt suggested that in a market filled mostly with midlevel players, the best strategy would be to sit back and let things settle down. After the Titans lost five players and signed just tight end Alge Crumpler, defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth begged to differ. "We are not doing anything. We are really just making ourselves worse the way I look at it," Haynesworth, protected as the Titans' franchise player, told The Tennessean. "It doesn't look like we're trying to get better." Haynesworth, like countless impatient fans around the country, might be better off heeding his GM's words and waiting. Because, for the most part, the first week of free agency has been marked by teams overpaying players who are average, slightly better than that or over the hill. Exhibit A: The New York Jets, who are trying to compete in their division with New England and in their region with the Super Bowl champion Giants. They guaranteed $21 million to G Alan Faneca; $20 million to DE/LB Calvin Pace; and signed OL Damien Woody to a five-year, $25 million deal. They also traded for DT Kris Jenkins, an overweight underachiever in Carolina the past two seasons and renegotiated his deal to give him $20 million straight up. Finally, they traded LB Jonathan Vilma, a Pro Bowler just two seasons ago, to New Orleans for just a fourth-round pick and left DT Dewayne Robertson, the fourth overall pick in the 2003 draft, in limbo because neither fits Eric Mangini's 3-4 defense. Exhibit B: Cincinnati, Arizona and St. Louis. Those three clubs threw $91 million at three of Haynesworth's ex-teammates -- DEs Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy and G Jacob Bell. OK players all, but just OK -- Odom and LaBoy benefited by playing on a line with Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch. Exhibit C: San Francisco, which apparently didn't learn after signing CB Nate Clements to an $80 million deal last year and finishing 5-11. This time they guaranteed $20 million to "pass rusher" Justin Smith, the fourth overall pick in the 2001 draft, but a guy who had just

DALLAS -- Derrick Rose scored 19 points and Chris Douglas-Roberts added 18, leading No. 2 Memphis past SMU 72-55 on Wednesday night, extending the Tigers' road winning streak to 18 games. Memphis (29-1, 15-0 Conference USA) finished unbeaten on the road for the first time since 1960-61, going 10-0.

No. 4 Tennessee 89, Florida 86 GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- JaJuan Smith scored 23 points and Chris Lofton added 21 as No. 4 Tennessee overcame a 16-point deficit to beat Florida 89-86 on Wednesday night. The Volunteers (27-3, 13-2 Southeastern Conference) set a school record for victories and may have knocked the two-time defending national champions out of the NCAA tournament picture. The Gators (21-9, 8-7) have lost six of their last 10 and might need to win the SEC tournament to earn a 10th consecutive NCAA berth. They also might want to avoid facing Tennessee in the conference tournament. The Volunteers overcame a 13-point deficit to beat the Gators 104-82 in Knoxville last month and dug themselves out of an even bigger hole Wednesday. No. 6 Duke 86, Virginia 70 CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Gerald Henderson scored 19 points for Duke, which will play top-ranked North Carolina for the ACC regular-season championship on Saturday night. Kyle Singler scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half for Duke (26-3, 13-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), while DeMarcus Nelson had 16, Greg Paulus 14 and Jon Scheyer 10. The Blue Devils hit 12 3-pointers and shot almost 51 percent from the field. Sean Singletary had 18 points for Virginia (14-14, 4-11), playing its third game in five days, which closed within 12 points with 7:42 to play. No. 10 Wisconsin 77, Penn St. 41 MADISON, Wis. -- Marcus Landry scored 15 points and No. 10 Wisconsin trounced Penn State 77-41 on Wednesday night to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten regular-season championship. It is the third time in seven seasons the Bad-

Photo by Julie Jacobson | AP

New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss (81) during an NFL football game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in this Dec. 2007 photo. The Patriots re-signed Moss, an All-Pro receiver to a three-year deal Monday, that is worth $27 million, according to ESPN.com.

43½ sacks in seven seasons with the Bengals. Those teams should consider that the Giants, Colts, Steelers and Patriots, the last four Super Bowl winners, have been moderate free-agent players at best. Last year the Giants signed just one, linebacker Kawika Mitchell, for $1 million for one year. He played well, but so did six of the eight draft choices who made the team, including fifthround TE Kevin Boss and seventh-round RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who along with CB Aaron Ross, WR Steve Smith and DT Jay Alford all had big plays in the Super Bowl. Mitchell was allowed to leave for Buffalo this year, in part because the Giants think LB Gerris Wilkinson, a third-rounder in 2006, has long-term potential. New York also lost S Gibril Wilson to Oakland for $16 million in guaranteed money and replaced him with veteran Sammy Knight for about $14.5 million less, figuring the on-field difference isn't that great for a short-term fix with youngster Michael Johnson in the wings. The Giants have spent in the past for productive free agents: WR Plaxico Burress, LB Antonio Pierce, C Shaun O'Hara and OT Kareem McKenzie. But all came for reasonable amounts and most of the time New York prefers to pay its own players. The Giants have extended Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, Jeremy Shockey and O'Hara. They'll probably do the same for Pierce and Burress and at some point will pay more than $30 million in guaranteed money to Eli Manning. The Steelers spent their money for QB Ben Roethlisberger, a $36 million guarantee. That meant they had to let Faneca go, leaving a hole in a shaky offensive line. But they rationalized it because he's 31 and may have slipped a bit. They also let Burress leave after the 2004 season, perhaps a mistake because he's matured into a more consistent and disciplined player with the Giants. New England, the dominant team of this decade, has never been afraid to let key players go, the main exhibits being WRs Deion Branch and David Givens. This year it was CBs Asante Samuel and Randall Gay. Samuel, considered the premier free agent on the market, got $57 million with a $20 million guarantee from the Eagles. Indianapolis rarely signs free agents but lets plenty go. Last year, the Colts lost four defensive starters, yet the defense improved. This year, they re-signed S Bob Sanders, the defensive player of the year, TE Dallas Clark and G Ryan Lilja, then called it a day. Some teams making big splashes with free agency seem to be doing it for publicity. Jets GM Mike Tannebaum, who said a year ago "our core philosophy is building through the draft" now seems to have alienated some his remaining stars by throwing money around. But he seems to have decided that he has to because of the Patriots and Giants, who have made the Jets almost invisible in their own area. Samuel's signing wasn't out of character for the Eagles, who in the past have added the now departed Terrell Owens and Jevon Kearse. But they needed a wide receiver more than a cornerback and their flirtation with Randy Moss seems to have been done with the halfhearted knowledge that he would stay in Foxborough. Still, a team that generally builds in all the right ways, needed some love. After all, the Eagles play in a division with the Super Bowl winner and the team that had the NFC's best record (and T.O.) last season. And the media in Philadelphia, especially talk radio, are all Eagles all the time. Most of the other teams that spent millions for mediocrity don't have that excuse.

gers (25-4, 15-2) have claimed at least a share of the conference title under coach Bo Ryan -- and this one was perhaps the least likely of them. The Badgers finish the regular season at Northwestern on Saturday and a victory would give them the outright championship. "Guys, what a great way to close it out," Ryan said, addressing his team and the crowd as they celebrated their share of the conference title and the last home game for the senior class. No. 16 Vanderbilt 86, Mississippi St. 85, OT NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Shan Foster, Vanderbilt's all-time leading scorer, had a career-high 42 points and hit his final nine 3-point attempts, the last with 2.7 seconds left in overtime. The Senior Night victory allowed Vanderbilt (25-5, 10-5) to finish unbeaten at home this season and kept alive its chances at a first-round bye in the Southeastern Conference tournament. The Commodores finished 19-0 in Memorial Gym where they have won 32 of 33 games. Jamont Gordon had 24 points for the Bulldogs (20-9, 11-4), who had a three-game winning streak snapped. No. 18 Indiana 69, Minnesota 55 BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Eric Gordon scored nine of his 20 points during a decisive late run in D.J. White's final home game. It also may have marked the final home appearances for interim head coach Dan Dakich and Gordon, the freshmen star who is expected to leave for the NBA after this season. Dakich improved to 3-1 since replacing Kelvin Sampson last month and the Hoosiers (25-5, 14-3) stayed in contention for the Big Ten regular-season title with their school-record 17th home victory. No. 19 Notre Dame 68, St. John's 55 SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Luke Harangody scored 20 points and Notre Dame became the first Big East team to go undefeated at home in conference play in consecutive seasons. The Fighting Irish (23-6, 13-4) opened a 10-point lead late in the first half and kept it in double digits most of the rest of the way. Kyle McAlarney, who finished with 13 points, hit a 17-foot jumper with 1:13 left to extend the lead to 68-50. The Irish, who shot 54 percent from the field, extended their Big East home winning streak to 18, two shy of the league record set by Pittsburgh over three seasons, ending in 2004. The Irish extended their overall home winning streak to 37 games, one shy of matching the school record set from 1943-48.

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