Stanley Cup Final 2019: Blues’ forward Patrick Maroon and his journey to the Cup

first_imgFrom there, Maroon saw the Cup was just 16 wins away and made the most of his run. Not only was he the “hometown hero,” he became a Game 7 hero in the second round against the Dallas Stars, scoring the game-winner in double overtime to push the Blues to the Western Conference Finals.Just 13 games later, he’d embrace his son on the ice, sharing the championship with his family for whom he’d joined the Blues’ roster.”Being from St. Louis, and signing in St. Louis, and winning the Stanley Cup and bringing it home and being with friends, I can’t wait for these next few days,” Maroon told reporters after Game 7. “This is truly something I’ll never forget. Me and my son will take this to our grave, and we’ll have memories for life.” This is the best. #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/8htpSdsPBO— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) June 13, 2019MORE: From dead last to last team standing, here’s the Blues’ journey to the CupWhile he was finally able to reach the ultimate goal, his road to the NHL was by no means traditional, and had a lot of roadblocks along the way. But that only made the win sweeter as his Cinderella story finished with a happy ending.”We did it. We did it. I mean, there’s nothing else. I mean, we put everything on the line from Jan. 3 and on, and we deserve this and what a way to finish it,” Maroon told reporters after the victory. “On the road, where we play great, and all these people, all these media, doubted us all year long. … I mean, it’s amazing.”After being taken by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL Draft, Maroon struggled to make the NHL jump, spending his first few years mainly with the Flyers’ AHL-affiliate Adirondack Phantoms. Heading into the 2010-11 campaign, it looked like the young winger would finally see his career take off, as he seemed physically ready to make the NHL level and also had a strong offseason, winning won a gold medal in the 2010 IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship over the summer.However, he still failed to make the opening night roster. And though he was the Phantoms’ leading scorer with five goals and eight points in the first nine games of the season, he was dismissed from the team with little explanation and one year left on his entry-level deal with the Flyers. So, he moved back to New Jersey to be closer to home and his 3-year-old son, Anthony.”I could have been done playing hockey. … There’s obviously thoughts that you probably won’t get another contract, or get traded. I was sitting on my couch for a month and a half,” Maroon told The New York Times in 2015. “That’s probably the scariest time of my life. You don’t know if you can provide for your son again.”Soon after, Maroon was traded to the Ducks, where he capitalized on the opportunity to start over. He recorded 48 points in 57 games for their minor-league affiliate Syracuse Crunch to close out 2011. The next year, he got two NHL games and managed 74 points in 75 games before finally making it to the NHL fulltime in 2013-14, serving as their fourth-line forward.At the tail end of 2015-16, though, his career would finally take off when he was acquired by the Oilers at the trade deadline.He had just 13 points in 56 games at the time of the deal, but in the final 16 games of the season, Maroon made the jump to the top-6 for the Oilers, compiling eight goals and 14 points while also clicking instantly with Connor McDavid. He’d become an instant fan favorite in Edmonton and, the following season, had a career-high 27 goals en route to helping the Oilers to their first playoff appearance in 11 years.STANLEY CUP FINAL 2019: Blues share the Cup with superfan Laila AndersonDespite making an impact with the Oilers, he was dealt at the deadline last season to the Devils, where he finished the year strong with 13 points in 17 games. He hit the free agent market and received multiple offers for longterm deals, but in an effort to be close to his son and family, he took a hometown discount and inked a one-year deal with the Blues worth $1.75 million.While it was the perfect situation for him, the start of the year didn’t start off on the right foot. He struggled, showing inconsistency in his game. The entire team wasn’t playing up to standards, starting the month of January dead last in the league. Ultimately, he ended up finding his game as Craig Berube took over as head coach and St. Louis rebounded to earn a spot in the playoffs. For St. Louis Blues forward Patrick Maroon, the franchise’s first title in NHL history carries even more meaning.After a long journey to the NHL, which include early struggles in Philadelphia, a rise in Edmonton and return home to St. Louis, the 31-year-old hoisted the Stanley Cup in his hometown jersey and capped off an unforgettable year as the Blues took down the Bruins 4-1 in Game 7 on Wednesday.last_img read more

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Europe mulls finishing football season at end of year

first_imgRome, Italy | AFP | Europe’s football bosses have not given up hope of finishing this pandemic-hit season — even if it might have to be done at the start of the next one.The novel coronavirus has created an existential challenge to the world’s most widely played and watched sport.Europe’s football leagues are the planet’s richest and can afford to pay the most money to the biggest stars.But that system could come crumbling down quickly if there is nothing to show on TV.Cristian Ronaldo has not had a chance to celebrate goals for Juventus for nearly three weeks because Italy’s Serie A had to shut down.He and other Italian league stars are thinking of giving up millions of euros in salary to help their teams stay solvent.UEFA boss Aleksander Ceferin told Italy’s La Repubblica daily that he was holding urgent talks with the continent’s biggest leagues to figure out what can be done.The Slovenian said all options were under consideration in an effort to salvage the season and preserve the sanctity of the beautiful game.“We could start again in mid-May, in June or even late June,” Ceferin said.Any time after that and “the season will probably be lost.”The idea of the entire season simply being cancelled stirs panic in fans of clubs such as Liverpool — on the cusp of lifting their first title in 30 years.Ronaldo’s Juventus would probably not be terribly happy either. The men in the famous black-and-white stripes are edging Lazio by a point in their race for a ninth successive title and are still in the Champions League, which they have not won since 1996.Ceferin said he opposed the idea of playing games in empty stadiums and would prefer to wait out the pandemic.He also hinted that some big teams appeared ready to delay the start of next season in ordered to finish out this one.“There is also a proposal to end this season at the beginning of the next one and then start the next one a little later,” Ceferin said. Serie A and most other European leagues were originally supposed to have finished in May.Belarus remain the only European nation still playing football in the face of a pandemic that by Saturday had officially claimed nearly 30,000 lives.Italy’s world-leading death toll from Friday was 9,134.– ‘Think positively’ –But the scheduling is growing tricky and time appears to be running out.Most European leagues are supposed to start their 2019-20 seasons at the end of August.Italy still has more than two regular months of matches of the 2018-19 season to play out.A resumption of the current season at the end of June would probably require a delay to the start of the next one until at least September or October.It would also mean that players get very little rest and would also create problems for those whose contracts are expiring in June.Italian Football Federation (FIGC) president Gabriele Gravina sounded fine with that.“We would all be happy to finish the season on the pitch,” said Gravina told Sky television.“We are in contact with FIFA for contract extensions if we need to go beyond June 30.”Gravina did not explain why he was talking to the world football governing body and not the European one headed by Ceferin.But he did conceded that his earlier hope of restarting Italian matches in early May was now almost certainly dashed.“I am aware that it is still too early,” said Gravina. “But we must think positively.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Jensen’s wire to wire victory fires new ambitions

first_img “I had a stern word with myself, told myself to enjoy it and to play Gareth at match play. That’s how I played the rest of the round, tried to beat him or halve with him on every hole and I ground it out.  When Jensen started the final round on three-under and with a six-shot lead, the championship was his to lose – but that didn’t make it easy. The course has proved a stern test all week and there were plenty of good players aiming to narrow the gap.  It was dented by a bogey on the par five 15th, where he caught a fairway bunker, and a double on the short 16th where he found another bunker before three-putting. But he stood on the final tee with a very comfortable cushion of three shots and played steadily down the hole for his par.  Hastie, who was locked in a battle for second place, birdied the hole to reduce the deficit to two and finish runner-up on his own on five-over, one stroke ahead of Andy Minnikin (Alnmouth, Northumberland) and Geoff Harris (Formby, Lancashire). He was tested very quickly. After a good opening par he had a double bogey on the second, while playing partner Gareth Hastie (Royal Lytham & St Annes) birdied the hole. The lead was down to three.  “This gives me tremendous confidence and helps me go forward pursuing my possible ambitions.” 9 Jul 2017 Jensen’s wire to wire victory fires new ambitions Woburn’s Stephen Jensen completed a wire-to-wire victory in the Logan Trophy at Beau Desert Golf Club in Staffordshire today – and gave fire to his hopes for a career on the Senior Tour.  “I do harbour ambitions to possibly try to turn professional and this gives me the belief that I can play golf under reasonable pressure,” he said, after completing a two-shot win in the English men’s open mid-amateur championship with a 54-hole total of three over par.  His match play game plan paid quick dividends with a lovely pitch and putt birdie on the fourth which widened his lead to four. It stayed that way until the 12th where he got up and down from behind the green for par to extend the gap to five shots. Then, on the 14th Jensen’s solid par restored his six-shot margin. center_img “I’ve never been in that position before and I was up against some stellar golfers and I wasn’t sure how I’d react,” he said.  Watch this space… Jensen’s chipping and putting was excellent, with some great up and downs from swales around the undulating greens. But by his own admission, his driving was tentative. “I think that’s natural round here and with what’s at stake,” he said. “In the end I got the job done – and now I can relax.”  Click here for full scores Duncan Hodsgon (Burhill, Surrey) was fifth, a further stroke back, and Stephen Creed (Maxstoke Park, Warwickshire) pipped five other players to take sixth prize on eight-over, having returned the low score of the day with his one-under 69.  Now Jensen will turn his attention to qualifying for the Senior Open. “If I can do that I will contemplate turning professional,” said the 51-year-old. He first played golf as a 10-year-old but his ambitions have been on the back burner until recent years. “I sat behind a desk for 30 years making myself and my family secure. Now that’s happened I am fortunate enough to pursue my hobby with vigour,” he said.  Image copyright Leaderboard Photographylast_img read more

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Amputee Oscar wins landmark case

first_img19 May 2008Oscar Pistorius’ dream is alive again after the Court for Arbitration in Sport ruled that his prosthetics do not give him any advantage over able-bodied runners, thus paving the way for him to compete in the Olympics.Pistorius was full of smiles after the decision was handed down on Friday and told reporters he shed some tears when he heard the favourable outcome of his challenge. He said his battle had dragged on too long, but that it was a great day for sport, which will go down in history as an important moment for the equality of disabled people.The decision by the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) marks a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Pistorius after the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruled in January that his blades gave him an unfair advantage. The IAAF reached its decision after a two-day scientific investigation, supervised by Professor Peter Bruggemann at the German Sport University of Cologne.SupportPistorius approached experts in the United States to investigate his case and see if they found differently to Professor Bruggemann. Their findings, which supported Pistorius’ case, included the important contention that not enough variables were considered in the IAAF tests. Thankfully for the Paralympic superstar, CAS agreed with his conclusions.The President of the IAAF, Lamine Diack, accepted the ruling with good grace, saying: “The IAAF accepts the decision of CAS and Oscar will be welcomed wherever he competes this summer. He is an inspirational man and we look forward to admiring his achievements in the future.”Earlier this month, swimmer Natalie du Toit became the first amputee to qualify to compete in the Olympic Games. Now, incredibly, South Africa has a second athlete who could compete against able-bodied athletes at the Beijing Olympics.Important caseUnlike Du Toit, Pistorius uses prosthetic limbs when he competes and that is what makes his case so important for the future of athletes with disabilities.Whether he achieves his goals of competing in the Olympic Games or not, his courageous fight has paved the way for future generations of athletes with disabilities and set an important precedent which could prove to be of far greater importance than any result he achieves in a race in his career.The road to Beijing for Pistorius is not as simple as it might seem. He hasn’t competed for some time now because he has been fighting his case against the IAAF, which has consumed what could have been his training time.He is yet to run an Olympic A-standard qualifying time of 45.55 in the 400 metres or even a B-standard mark of 45.95. In fact, his best time is a Paralympic world record of 46.56, which he ran against able-bodied athletes when he finished second in the South African Senior Track and Field Championships in 2007.Relay possibilityClearly, he would have to improve quite markedly to earn a place at the Olympics, but a faint gap is open to him. He could make it to Beijing if South Africa qualifies for the 4 by 400 metres relay. To do that, the national team needs to be one of the 16 fastest in the world. It is something that they haven’t yet done.The most likely scenario is that Pistorius won’t make it to Beijing. He has, however, opened up the way for a full-blooded tilt at the 2012 Olympics in London. It is a far more realistic goal especially since his fight to compete against able-bodied athletes has taken him until only a matter of months before the Games in China.Pistorius has admitted that the 2008 Olympics is probably a bridge too far, but the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin beckon. After that, he could have another shot at the Olympic Games.Thanks to “the Blade Runner” and his fight to compete, he might not be the only athlete with a prosthetic limb to make it to the Olympics.Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Rockets rally to spoil defending champion Warriors return

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “Basketball accomplishments to me now are just what they are,” Durant said after morning shootaround. “I can kind of separate the two now. I feel like it’s more so just cool as hell more than anything. It’s like getting a prize possession that you’re just really excited about versus getting something that’s going to change your life. … I’ll be more so just really giddy and happy more so than emotional. I won’t be a mess.”Pachulia had a new one to share his title with — 5-week-old daughter, Nutsa joined her mom and three older siblings, two brothers and a sister.“I’ve heard some actors, actresses, when they get some kind of award, say without the family. I always think, ‘What exactly my family is doing?’ I feel it now, all the support and help.”Kerr took part in the 2015 ring ceremony, but didn’t coach as he was sidelined the initial 43 games following complications from back surgery.BEAT-UP DUBSKey backup and 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala missed the game with a back strain, while Omri Casspi — who had been questionable with a mild right ankle sprain — appeared in his 500th career game making his debut with the Warriors. He then tweaked the ankle again.Draymond Green exited in the second half with a strained left knee.Iguodala is expected to return for the upcoming road trip.INJURED OFFICIALOfficial Tre Maddox, accompanied by medical personnel, left midway through the fourth quarter after a collision with David West and hard hit to the chest area. That left two officials the rest of the way.UP NEXT Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Cavaliers hold off Celtics in NBA opener LATEST STORIES Still, this opener was a far cry for the forgettable 129-100 defeat at home to San Antonio in Durant’s Warriors debut a year ago when Golden State came off a record 73-win season and runner-up finish to Cleveland in the 2016 Finals.“I just remember the last game of the season we played,” Durant said of the Game 5 Finals clincher in June.Young found his stroke right away, hitting his first four 3s and five shots overall. It’s exactly what the Warriors want him to do: shoot every time he has a good look. His six 3-pointers set a franchise record for anyone in their Warriors debut and also in a season opener.Durant had one spectacular sequence in the third when he blocked Anderson’s shot on one end then converted a three-point play moments later on the other, slapping hands with a lucky boy fan on the baseline.Houston acquired Paul from the Clippers to give them a 1-2 backcourt punch to try to gain ground on GoldenState in the Western Conference.RING CEREMONYCoach Steve Kerr planned to pay extra attention as veterans Durant, Zaza Pachulia and David West each received a championship ring for the first time in their careers.ADVERTISEMENT Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Trevor Ariza’s 3-pointer with 2:09 remaining pulled Houston within 119-118 then Patrick McCaw hit a baseline jumper immediately after Golden State’s timeout. James Harden made a layup and PJ Tucker hit two free throws with 44.1 to make it 122-121.Nick Young came off the bench to hit six 3-pointers and score 23 points in a brilliant Warriors debut, Curry scored 22 points and Durant had 20 after a slow start. Klay Thompson added 16 points.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutChris Paul had four points on 2-for-9 shooting in his Rockets debut, while Harden scored 27 points and Eric Gordon 24 for the Rockets. Houston opened the fourth with a 9-0 run to get back in it.The Warriors found their rhythm early but couldn’t close it out after an abbreviated preseason in terms of practice time given their recent trip to China for a pair of games against Minnesota. BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fightcenter_img Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Rockets: At Kings on Wednesday night in Sacramento’s season opener.Warriors: At New Orleans on Friday to start a three-game road trip.___More AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball MOST READ Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Houston Rockets’ James Harden, right, drives the ball against Golden State Warriors’ Zaza Pachulia during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, California — Kevin Durant’s baseline jumper swished through the net just barely too late, and the Houston Rockets rallied in the fourth to beat Golden State 122-121 Tuesday on the night the Warriors received their championship rings.The Warriors had one last chance with 10.6 seconds left and Durant came up with the ball after Stephen Curry had missed. Durant and the Warriors thought they’d won and confetti began to fall when the two remaining officials — the third got hurt in the fourth quarter — reviewed the play and said Durant’s shot was after the buzzer.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

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Aussie Women’s Work their Magic

first_img@Eden_RichardsThe Australian Women’s Open side has put on a clinical performance to defeat New Zealand 10-3 at Sunshine Coast Stadium on Friday night.Aussie Tamika Upton stole the show, constantly bamboozling the Kiwi defence to score a hat-trick of touchdowns in an excellent individual effort.Doubles to Danielle Davis and Laura Peattie provided great support for Upton, with a six-touchdown to one second half seeing Australia seal victory.The Aussies led from start to finish and are now 1-0 up in the best of three Trans Tasman Series. After a scoreless first 5 minutes it was Australia who broke the deadlock, with Rachelle Davis latching onto a beautiful ball from sister Danielle Davis to make the score 1-0 in the 6th minute.New Zealand hit back straight away, tying the score at 1-1 courtesy of some fancy footwork from Mahina Paul in the 7th minute.Danielle Davis continued her strong start to the match, dummying and scoring in the 10th minute to give her Australia a 2-1 lead at the halfway point of the first half.The Aussies extended their lead in the 14th minute, with Ashleigh Kearney using her speed to beat two Kiwi defenders in the centre of the park.A wonderful cut-out ball from New Zealander Tara Mohi found Kate Day in the 18th minute and she crossed on the left wing to keep the Kiwis in touch at 3-2.But Australia hit back seconds later, with a slick sequence of team passing putting Upton over to give the side a 4-2 lead.This is how it stayed to finish the first half and Australia made the perfect start to the second stanza, scoring within the first minute of play through Samantha Rodgers.The lead then grew to four touchdowns in the 22nd minute, with Danielle Davis scoring her second to put Australia up 6-2. New Zealand found themselves in real trouble in the 26th minute as Peattie crossed for the first of her two touchdowns to make it 7-2.Upton then stole the show for Australia, making a 60m break to score a great individual touchdown that all but sealed the match for the Aussies halfway through the second half.That 8-2 lead soon became 9-2, with Upton grabbing her third touchdown with seven minutes to play.New Zealand managed a consolation touchdown in the 36th minute courtesy of Cassandra Engler, but the damage had already been done as they trailed 9-3.Australia capped off a big win in the 39th minute, with Peattie scoring her second touchdown to make it 10-3 to the Aussies with just over a minute to play.That’s how the scoreline stayed in what was a dominant display from AustraliaThe Aussies now have all the momentum heading into Day Two as they look to seal the Women’s Open Series with a game to spare.Australia 10 (Upton 3, D. Davis 2, Peattie 2, R. Davis, Kearney, Rodgers touchdowns) defeated New Zealand 3 (Engler, Day, Paul touchdowns)Related LinksWomen’s Work Their Magiclast_img read more

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Flex LNG Agrees Charter Deal for New LNG Carrier

first_imgzoom Oslo-listed LNG carrier owner and operator Flex LNG has entered into a time-charter contract for its newbuilding Flex Endeavour.The deal, which was agreed with German energy firm Uniper Global Commodities, would employ the 173,400 m3 cargo capacity LNG carrier for a period of fifteen to eighteen months, commencing immediately upon its delivery.Flex Endeavour is currently under construction at South Korea’s shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering and is scheduled to be handed over to its owner in January 2018.“The deal will provide Flex LNG with full utilization of the vessel from day one without idle time or costs normally associated with the maiden voyage for a newbuild LNG carrier,” Jonathan Cook, Chief Executive Officer, said.“The charter period is in line with our chartering strategy and brings increased earnings visibility for 2018,” Cook added.This charter formalizes the arrangement that was agreed for the extension of the chartered-in vessel from April 2018. Flex LNG informed that the arrangement brings forward the delivery date to coincide with the delivery of the ship, equipped with the new high efficiency MEGI propulsion system, at the start of 2018.Additionally, the company said that it has fulfilled the closing conditions for the term loan facility for the first three LNG carrier newbuildings and will utilize the loan facility in connection with the deliveries of these vessels.The company received a firm offer for a USD 315 million loan on November 14.last_img read more

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Fort St John RCMP investigate theft of construction equipment

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John RCMP received a report of a stolen John Deere 35D Minihoe near the intersection at 93rd Avenue and 93rd Street.According to RCMP, the theft occurred sometime between 6:30 p.m. on June 11 and 7:30 a.m. on June 12.The minihoe is described as: 2008 John Deere model 35Dblack and yellow in colourserial number FF035DX237893The RCMP are continuing to investigate this incident.Anyone with information on this theft is being asked to contact the Fort St. John RCMP at 250-787-8100 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.last_img read more

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Ohio State womens track and field competes the Wright way

Ohio State sprinter and hurdler Letecia Wright led the OSU women’s track and field team to its first-ever outdoor championship title last weekend. “We wanted to show everyone that Ohio State women’s track team was not going to just be an over-the-night, one-time winning team,” Wright said. “We wanted to show people exactly how my coach and the team have changed the culture.” Less than three months ago, on Feb. 27, Wright helped the team clinch its first indoor Big Ten championship. When Wright arrived at OSU, the team finished 10th in the conference in the indoor season and fifth in the conference in the outdoor season. On top of helping to overcome the team’s struggles, Wright needed to grow personally. “I definitely had to grow mentally strong,” Wright said. “I knew sports were vigorous, but not to the level of college. … There are 20 of you who can do one race great — now who’s stronger mentally?” With a strenuous workout regimen and a strict diet, Wright faced a daunting lifestyle as an athlete at OSU. As she always had done when times were hard, Wright turned to her mother and sister. “They’ve always supported me in anything I do,” Wright said. “The days I’m a little upset about how I ran or how I’ve practiced landing, they’ve been there to listen to me and just tell me, you know, it gets better, just keep focus and know why you’re there.” Besides her family, Wright relied on support from her high school coach and many other people from her hometown of Baltimore, who helped guide her to her current level of success. “When I got into college, they all still root me on,” she said. “Every week, they tell me they’re proud of me. … They’ve been there.” Wright has taken the entire experience in stride. In her time at OSU, Wright has won two individual Big Ten titles as a member of the 4×100 meter relay team, set the 100 meter hurdles record at the Drake Relays and was selected All-Big Ten six times. But Wright is humble; she’d rather deflect the spotlight onto her teammates. “I’ve been successful as an individual because of the team,” Wright said. “We are surrounded by a lot of girls who want to do good and are motivated.” Wright’s love for her teammates doesn’t go unnoticed by those around her. “Tish is very humble,” said Christina Manning, a junior teammate. “Our coach spoke on that right before the day of finals and she pointed out how it seems as though Tish doesn’t know how good she is. … She doesn’t care so much about winning, but more about the team.” Wright even gives a lot of credit to all of her competitors. The better the competitors do, Wright said, the better she performs. Her positive attitude, especially with her opponents, sometimes can get her into trouble. “Sometimes my coach says I’m a little too nice in the field,” she said. Coach Karen Dennis said she knows how rare of an athlete Wright is, both as a competitor and as a person. Although Dennis appreciates Wright’s humility, she said, she wouldn’t mind seeing Wright take charge. “Sometimes I wish Letecia were a little more selfish,” Dennis said. It’s Wright’s optimism in the toughest of situations that makes her who she is. She knows the grueling workouts and the tireless effort she has put forth have helped her rise to the top of the Big Ten. But it’s not the Big Ten titles or the All-Big Ten selections that she wants to define her career at OSU. Instead, it’s the growth she’s shared with her team. “My last four years here have been really great,” Wright said. “I’ve learned a lot of things. It’s just excellent to watch the whole team change and become a stronger team.” Dennis said she likes to think of Letecia as a role player on a basketball team. She’s the special kind of athlete who not only puts up big numbers but also inspires those around her to compete at a higher level. “Great players make people around them better,” Dennis said. “She is a great athlete and she has made everybody around her better.” An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Letecia Wright. Correction: May 18, 2011 read more

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