shaq lawson notre dame post gameHeading into Saturday’s contest between Clemson and Notre Dame, there was a decent amount of banter between the two schools – especially from a few members of the Tigers’ defense and the Fighting Irish’s offense. It apparently didn’t end with the game’s final whistle.Following Clemson’s 24-22 victory, defensive end Shaq Lawson told reporters that he trash talked Notre Dame wideout Will Fuller following the Tigers’ failed two-point conversion. He also said that Notre Dame wasn’t “ready for the environment’ at Clemson.Check it out, via TigerNet.com:Clemson, at 4-0, now has the inside track on a playoff berth, should it keep winning. If that happens, the world will be seeing a lot more of Lawson.
Jim Harbaugh keeps incredible eclectic company. After hosting a wide-range of athletes and celebrities like Derek Jeter, Migos, and Jim Leyland at Michigan’s massive National Signing Day Event, the Michigan head coach has spent time with Willie Mays and Justin Timberlake. A few of those groupings are strange, but nothing tops being photobombed by comedian Larry The Cable Guy while taking a picture with saxophonist Kenny G during an event at Pebble Beach.Hell ya that’s @officialkennyg and @GitRDoneLarry pic.twitter.com/T9ormn42RD— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 13, 2016Bill Murray and Toby Keith were also around.Pebble Beach is how you think it is, Awesome! @GitRDoneLarry @TobyKeithMusic pic.twitter.com/UoOCuoC0Kg— Coach Harbaugh (@CoachJim4UM) February 13, 2016Harbaugh lives a pretty interesting life in the off-season.[SB Nation]
TORONTO – Shares of Kinross Gold Corp. fell more than 10 per cent in trading Wednesday as the gold miner said the government in Mauritania has requested talks regarding its activities in the country.The Canadian gold miner, which is near completion of its Tasiast mine in Mauritania, said its application to convert its Tasiast Sud exploration permit into an exploitation permit was recently rejected by the government.Kinross said the government rejected the conversion application because it failed to meet feasibility criteria, but that the gold miner disagreed with the decision.Since then, Kinross said it has received a letter from the government reaffirming the rejection and seeking “mutually beneficial discussions with respect to all of the company’s activities in Mauritania.”Kinross chief executive Paul Rollinson says the company is assessing the request.The drop in the stock came despite a better-than-expected profit for its most recent quarter.After the close of markets Tuesday, Kinross, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, reported a profit of US$106.1 million or eight cents per diluted share, down from $134.6 million or 11 cents per diluted share the year prior.On an adjusted basis, Kinross said it earned 10 cents per share, up from two cents a year ago. Analysts on average had expected a profit of a nickel per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.Kinross produced 653,937 attributable ounces of gold in the quarter, down from 671,956 gold equivalent ounces a year ago.Shares in the company were down 69 cents at C$4.65 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.Companies in this story: (TSX:K)
Mumbai: The Sensex and Nifty opened higher on Friday following firm Asian markets along with gains in the pivotal banking stocks. Sentiments continued to be upbeat on Friday over sustained inflows of foreign funds which has supported the equities and the domestic currency alike. The rupee gained against the US dollar and selling in export-oriented IT and technology stocks was, hence, seen during the early trade. Almost all other sectoral indices traded in the green. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal The Sensex of the BSE opened at 38,452.47 from its previous close at 38,386.75 on Wednesday. Markets were closed on Thursday on the occasion of Holi. At 9.19 a.m., the Sensex traded at 38,502.86 up 116.11 points or 0.30 per cent. The Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 11,549.20 after closing at 11,521.05 on Wednesday. The Nifty traded at 11,554.95 during the morning trade session, up 33.90 points and 0.29 per cent. Foreign Institutional Investors bought stocks worth Rs 1,771.61 crore on Wednesday while Domestic Institutional Investors sold scrips worth Rs 1,323.17 crore.
New Delhi: Bidders in a consortium that bids for acquiring stake in cash-strapped Jet Airways have to furnish individual solvency certificates, according to SBI Capital Markets. “While all soft copies of the EOIs (Expressions of Interest) are required to be submitted by the EOI due date, the hard copies may be submitted by April 14, 2019,” it said in a set of clarifications issued regarding the bid document. According to the EOI document issued on Monday, April 10 is the last date for submission of initial bids. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalJet Airways is grappling with acute financial crunch and the SBI-led consortium of domestic lenders are implementing a debt resolution plan. SBI Capital Markets has invited bids on behalf of the lenders. “Bidders are required to provide the solvency certificate … on their letterhead and certified by Managing Director/ Full Time Director / Chief Executive Officer of the bidder or a person holding an equivalent position in the bidder,” it noted. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIn the case of consortium, each member has to submit solvency certificate, which is a proof of an entity’s financial stability. As part of the debt resolution plan for the full service carrier, the lenders are looking to restructure “existing facilities and infusion of funds by way of loans or acquisition/ subscription of up to 75 per cent of equity share capital of the company”. Shares of Jet Airways declined 1.59 per cent to close at Rs 263.40 on the BSE. Meanwhile, for the third time in a week, national oil marketer IndianOil Thursday stopped fuel Supply to cash-starved Jet Airways for non-payment of dues. This is the third time that the public sector oil marketing company has cut fuel supply to the airline in the past eight days, which is struggling to keep afloat amid acute liquidity crisis. “IndianOil has stopped fuel supplies to Jet Airways in Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad airports for its failure to clear dues,” the source said. Mumbai is the largest base for the airline and it operates maximum flights from the city. On March 4 and 5 also the oil company had cut supplies to Jet and restored only after getting an assurance from the airline management.
New Delhi: Telecom operator Bharti Airtel and Hughes Communications India Ltd (HCIL) Tuesday said they will combine their VSAT satellite operations in the country, with Hughes holding a majority stake in the merged entity. HCIL is a subsidiary of broadband satellite networks and services provider Hughes Network Systems. The combination is aimed at driving scale and efficiencies to serve enterprise and government customers in India, and according to sources, Hughes will hold 67 per cent stake in HCIL, the surviving entity, while Airtel will have 33 per cent stake. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraThe announcement brings consolidation to the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) industry, after similar moves seen in the past in mobile services and tower markets. VSAT is used to provide satellite based telecom and internet access to individuals and enterprise users, and is used extensively by banks and ATMs. According to Trai estimates, the total number of VSAT subscribers in India stood at 2.87 lakh as in December 2018. The net addition during the quarter was 5,512, a growth rate of 1.96 sequentially. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysThe subscriber base of Hughes Communications stood at about 1.03 lakh, followed by Airtel (79,604) at the end of December 2018. Other players in VSAT market include Tatanet Services, HCL Comnet, and state-owned BSNL. A market watcher pegged the size of the VSAT market at about Rs 1,000 crore, 65 per cent of which is services and the rest, products. “The combined entity will benefit from enhanced scale, improved operational efficiencies and wider market reach. The combined entity will be well positioned to leverage the demand for secure connectivity in a rapidly growing digital economy,” an Airtel statement said. Hughes will have “majority ownership” in the combined entity while Airtel will have a “significant shareholding”, it added. Hughes and Airtel did not spell out the financial details of the transaction, which is subject to requisite approvals. However, sources said current revenue of HCIL itself is roughly Rs 350 crore. HCIL is the largest satellite service operator in India, and provides broadband networking technologies, solutions, and services for businesses and governments. Airtel is a significant VSAT service provider in India, offering satellite connectivity to unreachable terrains and helping businesses supplement their terrestrial networks with satellite for primary and backup connectivity. “Hughes India and Airtel announce new satellite venture to serve enterprise and government customers in India. Combination of India’s leading VSAT operators brings needed scale, efficiencies and reach to enable the networks that power Digital India,” a joint statement said. The combined entity will be positioned to introduce new VSAT and related technologies to deliver a range of products and services, and will continue to serve existing Hughes and Airtel customers. Partho Banerjee, President and Managing Director, Hughes Communications India, said these are exciting times for satellite broadband service providers as VSAT becomes mainstream, driven by growing demand from enterprise and government segments. “We are very excited about the synergies that this partnership will bring to the Indian ecosystem,” Banerjee said. Ajay Chitkara, Director and CEO, Airtel Business said the partnership will bring synergies to the forefront and combine the capabilities of both companies. “We are pleased to combine our VSAT operations with Hughes to serve the connectivity needs of Digital India,” he said.
Did the Cubs prove tanking works?In many ways, the 2016 Chicago Cubs were an inimitable team. They started with one of the most hyped rosters in MLB history, somehow surpassed even those lofty expectations for most of the regular season, then survived a treacherous postseason to win the World Series and finally set down a burden they’d carried for 108 years. For better and for worse, that’s not a path most franchises are in a position to take.But it won’t stop other clubs from trying to replicate elements of the Cubs’ success. And one major area where they might try to borrow from Chicago’s blueprint is in the reinvigorated notion of the “success cycle.” Longtime friend-of-FiveThirtyEight Jonah Keri introduced the concept in the early 2000s as a way to formalize the idea that teams undergo a cycle of rising and falling, building and tearing down rosters at regular intervals. Keri later disavowed the idea, but it might be on the way back after the Cubs’ rebuilding (or, as the less charitable among us might call it, “tanking”) effort under GM Theo Epstein bore such delicious fruit the past few seasons.At the same time that Epstein was executing his rebuild in Chicago, the Houston Astros were doing something similar (to good effect, with even more success potentially on the way), and the Brewers, Braves and Phillies are currently letting their fields lie fallow. League-wide, just two key characteristics — a team’s payroll and its average age1Weighted by batters’ plate appearances and pitchers’ total batters faced. — explained a whopping 58 percent of the variation in win-loss records during the 2016 season, the highest that mark has been since at least 1998.2When the 30-team era began. Both of those characteristics are strongly associated with how a team tries to manipulate where it is in the success cycleIt’s hard to blame Keri for writing off the success cycle; when he was re-evaluating it after the 2010 season, age and payroll had just gotten done explaining a mere 14 percent of the variation in records. In other words, as recently as a few years ago, the familiar patterns of team-building seemed to have been broken. But in an odd twist, maybe the relevance of the success cycle follows its own cyclical pattern. If that’s the case, the Cubs capitalized on it at exactly the right time. –Neil For a long while, MLB was slouching toward mediocrity — or at least uniformity. In 2014, 23 of the 30 MLB teams won between 70 and 90 ballgames, a relatively narrow range differentiated only by an extra win every 9 days or so. Things got even more compressed in 2015, when a third of the league squeezed itself between 76 and 84 wins, which is far more teams around .500 than usual and indicative of a broader trend in baseball: The spread between the best and worst teams had shrunk rapidly, hitting its lowest level in decades. We can illustrate this by tracking changes in the standard deviation of wins (and wins above replacement) over time — essentially measuring how compressed the range of talent across the game has been.This trend had a number of consequences, including making the sport less predictable and allowing luck to play a larger role in the outcome of the season.But 2016 was the year baseball may have begun to swing back in the opposite direction. Last year, far fewer teams were stuck in that middle range of wins compared to the previous two seasons. More clubs were either clearly good or clearly bad — as symbolized by the symmetry of a league-best 103 wins for the Chicago Cubs and league-worst 103 losses for the Minnesota Twins.Moreover, the correlation between payroll and wins (or WAR) in 2016 was easily the highest it had been for MLB since the late 1990s. Back then, the relationship between money and wins triggered a moral panic of sorts in the commissioner’s office,3With the obvious ulterior motive being to reel in payrolls across the entire sport. so it remains to be seen whether a similar crisis will emerge again 20 years later. But last season’s strong correlation — in conjunction with 2017’s unusually top-heavy projected standings — suggests that teams are getting more of what they’re paying for now than they have in a while, and we’re probably due for less parity as a result. –Neil Will the shift keep getting more popular?Baseball’s swift adoption of the defensive shift stands as one of sabermetrics’ shining achievements, turning what was a seldom-used tactic in the early 2000s into a strategy that was deployed on nearly a third of all balls in play in 2016: But that trend was not to last. The WAR-weighted age ticked upward in 2016, caused in part by the aging of that young cohort. It still remained the second-lowest figure in 30 years, but the abrupt increase suggests that rather than a general youth movement, baseball may have experienced a one-time spike in young talent, one that may lead to a golden generation.The next couple of seasons should provide some clarity. If another class of rookies starts accomplishing amazing things, then perhaps baseball has made a long-term shift toward younger players. In contrast, if Bryant, Lindor, et al. remain dominant, then maybe 2015 was a unique event, the arrival of a new wave of great players who will drag the production-weighted average age up as they get older. Either way, baseball fans are witnessing a major shift in the game’s talent. –RobIs the bullpen takeover here to stay?Postseason fads — which often replicate whatever novel development some team rides to the World Series — are usually quickly dropped in subsequent seasons. (Remember when we thought MLB would be overrun by a horde of speedy, contact-hitting Kansas City Royals clones two Octobers ago?) But last fall’s bullpen craze might be a rare playoff trend with staying power. That’s because the Cubs and Indians’ dominance in relief was just the most visible manifestation of a pattern that’s been building for years.Over the past couple decades, bullpens have become central to teams’ plans. Relievers pitched 33 percent of available innings in 1997; that number reached an all-time high of 37 percent in 2016. More importantly, relievers also generated 24 percent of all pitching wins above replacement (WAR) last season, the most they’ve ever contributed. The latter number has been growing fast in recent seasons, up from just 16 percent as recently as 2005: Are the kids still all right?Kris Bryant burst into baseball in 2015, performing like an All-Star right out of the gate and earning Rookie of the Year honors at age 24. He improved in 2016, elevating his on-base percentage and isolated power on the way to being crowned the National League’s Most Valuable Player (not to mention leading the Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years).Bryant was emblematic of a larger trend in baseball: the rise of a new generation of talent. Driven by Bryant, Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, and a host of other exciting rookies, 2015 featured the lowest average age (weighted by production, as measured by FanGraphs’ wins above replacement) in more than three decades. Will rule changes really speed up the game?MLB unveiled some controversial rules changes this offseason, primarily targeted at speeding up the pace of the game. A couple of new wrinkles concern replays: managers will have only 30 seconds to decide whether to call for a replay, and reviews will be capped at two minutes. The most significant alteration eliminates the ritual of the intentional walk, requiring only a hand signal to send the batter off to first base.The impact of this rule change will be minor because intentional walks are already uncommon and becoming more so. The same goes for the new replay rules, which might shorten a handful of interminable delays per season, but won’t affect most umpire reviews, which don’t last long enough to run into the new restrictions.The real objective in these changes is Rob Manfred’s crusade since becoming commissioner: to speed up the pace of game. But if that’s the goal, Manfred is focused on the wrong things. Since 2008, most of the slowdown has come from players taking their sweet time between pitches, not uncommon events like replays and intentional walks. To truly pick up the pace of play, the commissioner will likely need to deploy an even more radical solution, like adding a pitch clock. But doing so would require the cooperation of the players’ union, which doesn’t want to disrupt the current pace. As a result, Manfred will likely have to chew on the edges without ever solving the underlying problem. –Rob The shift’s popularity has exploded since 2011, with each subsequent season setting new records for how frequently it was used. But given all of this shifting, it’s fair to wonder when the tactic will reach its peak — when hitters will have adjusted enough to keep the defense honest by, say, going to the opposite field, or hitting more fly balls, or even dropping down bunts.We probably aren’t there yet. Even though the league’s batting average on balls in play (BABIP) has stayed relatively constant despite the ridiculous uptick in shifting, there’s also evidence that the shift has hampered the production of the players who face it the most. Then again, Cubs manager — and former shift-master — Joe Maddon used the tactic less than anybody else last season, instead employing a pitching staff who induced unusually soft contact to allow the league’s lowest BABIP. If the rest of baseball ends up copying the champs, maybe the shift will reach a high-water mark after all. –Neil Just when it seemed like Tommy John surgery was becoming a generation-defining problem, it has almost disappeared. Many of the ace pitchers who lost a year to the ailment have returned in force, including Darvish, who has regained most of his efficacy. Even when pitchers suffer ligament damage, doctors are increasingly prescribing less disruptive treatments than the operating table.In prior eras, when one pitching injury died down, another one appeared. Before Tommy John, there were more severe shoulder injuries, which claimed many a young pitcher’s career. With one problem solved, we could be waiting for another crisis to begin. But let’s take a rare opportunity to be optimistic: we could be entering a new golden era of pitcher health! Back to the pessimism: That notion should frighten MLB’s hitters. If pitchers don’t need to worry about their shoulders or their elbows, they could dominate hitters like never before. –Rob Will the offensive renaissance continue?The long ball is back. In the last two years, offense has spiked from a three-decade low, a surge powered almost entirely by home run rates reminiscent of the Steroid Era. And no one is sure why.There are theories. Some have proposed that players are attempting to hit more fly balls, which are more likely to get over the fence. Others have suggested that players are using more granular data to improve their swings. But most explanations don’t survive scrutiny.In a series of articles, Ben Lindbergh and I developed the theory that a different ball is the source of the offensive spike. If a juiced ball is to blame, then MLB’s offensive explosion ought to continue. And since MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has made it a priority to increase offense in the league, runs per game may soar even higher. Still, without knowing definitively why offense has spiked, it’s impossible to say whether the trend will continue. –Rob It’s long been known that a pitcher is more effective out of the bullpen than as a starter, so it’s not too surprising that by shifting a greater share of the workload to relievers, managers have gotten more value out of their ’pens. But the gap in effectiveness between the two types of pitchers is also growing at an incredible rate. In 1995, the first season of the post-strike era, relievers and starters posted basically identical fielding independent pitching (FIP) rates. Since 2012, however, the average FIP for relievers (3.79) has been 0.25 points lower than the average for starters (4.04).That quarter of a run quickly begins to add up to wins, especially as relievers are called upon to pitch more and more — and, increasingly, in more important situations. Toss in the fact that there are more hard-throwing relievers than before, as well as more managers like Cleveland’s Terry Francona — who experimented with the kinds of revolutionary bullpen tweaks SABR-heads have been advocating for decades — and we might find ourselves looking back at 2016 not as the year relief pitching peaked, but rather as just another waystation on the road to total bullpen dominance. –NeilCan we finally measure defense?Since the inception of sabermetrics, defense has always stumped the statheads. Without the detailed data — like pitch location and exit velocity — that’s available to measure pitching and hitting, defensive metrics have been unreliable and inaccurate. Adam Eaton was one of the best fielders in baseball in 2016 … and, according to those same metrics, a below-average defender in 2015.But the future of defensive stats looks brighter: MLB’s new Statcast system can measure everything about a defensive play, from the running speed of the fielder to the exact landing point of the ball. Armed with that new data, MLB’s statisticians have crafted impressive new metrics to quantify the difficulty of every outfield catch over the last two seasons, a huge upgrade on the information we had available before. (Kevin Kiermaier, your Gold Gloves appear to be well deserved.)Still, the stats aren’t perfect. They don’t account for the direction the fielder has to run in, which means that they treat running forward the same as backpedaling. They don’t incorporate any information about an outfielders’ throws, so a strong and accurate arm counts for nothing. And they are only available for the outfield. Statcast still has major issues tracking grounders (losing as much as 20 percent of all balls in the dirt), so for now, the much more complex mystery of infield defense remains unsolved.Perhaps the biggest problem with these defensive statistics is that they are not being released in full to the public. While MLB is providing snippets of the data in leaderboards and tweets, the complete data set is being kept under wraps. Front office insiders I’ve spoken to have pointed to issues with the data’s quality and the influence of teams eager to keep their analytics edge as two barriers to the data set’s full release. At a crucial point in Statcast’s development, it’s reasonable to wonder whether the data stream will eventually become fully public (like PITCHf/x) or whether it will remain a tool primarily for the front office (like the NBA’s SportVU camera system). –RobIs the Tommy John era over?Two years ago, we were in the midst of a Tommy John epidemic. Elbow ailments felled major stars like Yu Darvish and laid waste to pitching staffs. But last year, Ben Lindbergh and I noted that Tommy John surgeries had suddenly dropped. And so far this spring — usually the most active time for players to be diagnosed with elbow issues — the scourge of Tommy John has become almost a nonissue. Is pitch framing still worth anything?Pitch framing was once a darling of sabermetrics, a stat and a method by which catchers could prove that they provided more value to their teams than the guys competing for their roster spots. For many of those catchers, all those frames add up to several wins over the course of a season. At least, they used to. Pitch framing might be be losing its value.In recent articles, Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan has argued that as more teams have exploited pitch framing, the gap between the best and worst catchers has shrunk. With no absolutely terrible receivers in baseball any more, the average framing skill jumped and the value of being a great framer has declined. Paradoxically, all the attention paid to the significance of pitch framing has made it less significant.In hindsight, the demise of framing seems inevitable. Modern front offices eagerly target undervalued skills until they aren’t undervalued anymore. Once they discovered framing and learned to target or develop the skill, it was only a matter of time before most catchers in baseball became good at it. Rather than being a bonus, pitch framing is now a prerequisite. –Rob Is MLB’s era of parity over?We tend to think parity in sports is a good thing. A more level playing field means a higher chance that any team could win, after all. But there’s a fine line between a league with a healthy competitive balance and one where every team is just plain mediocre. The first days of spring are the perfect time to kick back, relax and get ready for a new MLB season and all the possibilities it might bring. We’ve previewed all six divisions already at FiveThirtyEight, but we still had some deep thoughts about baseball’s Big Questions. That’s why we’ve prepared a guidebook of sorts for what to watch for in 2017, with an eye on where the game is headed. Here are 10 topics we’ll be thinking — and writing — about throughout the season:
Many of the outliers aren’t much of a surprise — Peterson has seen some of the finest rushing seasons in league history over that period, and Bell may be the best back in the league today. But others require a bit more strain on the memory, such as Penn State’s Larry Johnson, who had two outstanding seasons after he emerged from behind Priest Holmes on the Kansas City Chiefs’ depth chart.More relevant, though, are the players who not only didn’t come up playing against SEC speed, but were outside the Power Five altogether. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, Alfred Morris, Doug Martin, LeSean McCoy and a cavalcade of high-performing backs have combined for 187 player seasons with at least 100 carries since 2001. (This includes players such as Clinton Portis and Willis McGahee, who played for Miami before it joined the ACC in 2004.)1Likewise, McCoy played for Pitt before it joined the ACC and Tomlinson played for TCU before it joined the Big 12. And today’s top backs also include Jay Ajayi out of Boise State and David Johnson out of Northern Iowa.Not that any of this falls on the head of Fournette, whom everyone is taking a little too seriously. The SEC does put a lot of players in the league, and in positions to contribute for their teams. But if Fournette runs over the NFL the same way he did those SEC run defenses, he’ll be the first to do so in quite a while. When Jacksonville Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette said the jump to the NFL was “really easy” after his time playing in the much-hyped SEC for LSU, a lot of observers raised an eyebrow. Things certainly haven’t always looked easy for SEC backs drafted in the first round.Todd Gurley, who was taken 10th overall out of Georgia in 2015, had an outstanding rookie season but struggled badly as a sophomore. Alabama’s Trent Richardson was out of the league in just four seasons after the Browns used the third overall pick on him in 2012. Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno had one 1,000-yard season among the six he lasted in the NFL after going 12th in 2009.The most productive highly drafted SEC backs around these days are likely Mark Ingram and Darren McFadden — neither of whom has ever looked like the star he was in college.Still, while the SEC hasn’t had the standouts of the Big 12 (Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma) or even the Big Ten (Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State), it has put a lot of backs in the league. Since 2001, there have been 97 player seasons in which a player from the SEC has had at least 100 rush attempts in a season, according to ESPN Stats & Information, compared to only 58 for the Big Ten, 43 for the Big 12, 68 for the Pac 10/12 and 38 for the ACC. This complicates the SEC’s reputation for turning out relative busts at the running back position a bit, since its players have at least shown the capacity to earn carries in the league.Here’s a chart showing each individual player season for SEC backs drafted since 2001:
Ohio State’s track and field team will compete this weekend in the Big Ten Conference Championships in Bloomington, Ind. Events begin today and continue through Saturday and Sunday.The men’s track and field team is coming off of an impressive performance in the Billy Hayes Invitational, which was also held at Indiana University.Senior Elon Simms won the 400-meter hurdles event with the seventh-best time in the Big Ten season, 52.13 seconds. OSU had seven additional top-four placements in various events.Senior Jeff See, OSU’s top distance runner, said the team has a good shot at winning and he is looking forward to his races.See will be running the 1500-meter, which he has placed second and third in before, and the 5K, which he has not yet placed in.“I’m much fitter heading into championship season than I’ve been in the past, so hopefully that will be the difference maker,” he said. “I’m going into both races with the expectation of winning them. Top three is fine, but I don’t see any reason to count myself out of winning.”The women’s track and field team is also returning on a good note after 10 top-four placements in the 25th Jesse Owens Track Classic.Among these placements are two first-place finishes. Sophomore All-American Christina Manning clenched the 100-meter hurdles title, and Shaniqua McGinnis and Latoya Sanderson had a season-best performance in the 4×100-meter relay, also the third-best performance this season in the Big Ten.Junior sprinter and hurdler Letecia Wright said her team is prepared.“Everyone’s been keeping their focus on championships throughout the season,” Wright said. “Every week, people strive to improve their marks because they know championships are a battle and everyone is bringing their A-game.”While optimistic, Wright knows the competition will be no a walk in the park for herself and her teammates.“I think the biggest challenge we face is not getting lazy or too comfortable after doing so well in indoor season,” she said. “As a team, we have to keep the intensity in training and I think we’ve done a good job with that.”Wright will compete in the 100-meter hurdles, 100-meter dash, and 4×100-meter relay in Bloomington. Though she said she has done “alright” so far in her events, she hopes to push herself harder than ever.“I want to run fast and give 100 percent in all the events so I can get set up for regionals and nationals,” she said. “As a team, I think we can get in the top five if everyone competes the way we know they can compete.”With high hopes from all parts of the team, OSU will stay focused this week on its weekend championship goals.“We’ve really done all we can to make sure we’re ready and a lot of our guys are running great,” See said. “We need to use each other’s performances as momentum in our own events. If we can build off of each other, it’ll be hard to stop us.”
Junior midfielder Turner Evans (5) cradles the ball during a game against Marquette Feb. 22 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. OSU won, 11-7.Credit: Brett Amadon / Lantern reporterNo leading scorer. No starting goalie. No problem.Playing without junior midfielder Jesse King and senior goaltender Greg Dutton, the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team snapped a three-game losing streak Friday, defeating the Bellarmine Knights, 10-7.Getting off to a quick start, junior midfielder David Planning opened the scoring for the Buckeyes, ripping a shot to the off-stick side of senior goaltender Will Haas, who finished the game with eight saves for the Knights.After freshman attackman/midfielder Matt Taulane scored his first career goal for Bellarmine to tie the game, the Buckeyes went on a three-goal run to take a 4-1 lead late in the second quarter.However, two Bellarmine goals, the second coming with 22 seconds left in the half, gave the Knights the momentum until OSU freshman midfielder Jake Withers won the ensuing faceoff and capped off the possession with a goal with only two seconds left before the break.Withers won 15 of 21 faceoffs in the game including picking up a team high 10 ground balls.OSU coach Nick Myers said Withers has been improving every week, and he did a good job helping OSU control the faceoffs, an area that’s been a question mark at times during the season.“Jake’s one of those freshmen that has been a work in progress,” Myers said. “To start the season, we knew we had something there. Give a lot of credit to (assistant) coach (Jamison) Koesterer, our faceoff coach, for really bringing him along and the wings as well. We knew it was going to be a key to the game and I thought Jake did a nice job there tonight.”Sophomore attackman Carter Brown, who led the Buckeyes with five points, recorded his second and third goals of the night in the third quarter to give the Buckeyes a 7-4 lead going into the final frame.Bellarmine (4-3, 0-3), , which is located in Louisville, Ky., started the fourth quarter with two unanswered goals by sophomore midfielder Taylor Stuart and senior midfielder Chad Mitchell, respectively, bringing the score within one.However, that was as close as the Knights got as OSU used its second three-goal run of the night to put away Bellarmine for good.Freshman attackman J.T. Blubaugh and junior attackman Reegan Comeault scored a pair of goals spanning a minute apart before junior midfielder Turner Evans scored a man-up goal for the Buckeyes to give them a 10-6 lead.OSU was 2-3 on its man-up chances in the game.Evans said the team had to change up its game plan because of the absence of King, but a lot of young players rose to the challenge to help get the win.“Jesse (King) is obviously a huge part of our offense, so we had to make some adjustments during the week to try and work around having him not play today,” Evans said. “I feel like a lot guys stepped up and contributed today and not having him in the lineup obviously hurt us, but we managed to get the win.”Bellarmine tacked on a goal in the final minute, but it proved to be too little too late as the Buckeyes held on for the victory.Brown, who is second for the Buckeyes with nine goals on the season, said it was good to start off conference play with a win, but there are still plenty of games left to be played.“It feels really good,” Brown said. “It’s kind of a new season right now in the conference. We just got to take it one game at a time and focus on ourselves.”Freshman goaltender Nick Doyle, who started in place of the injured Dutton, made nine saves in his collegiate debut, a performance that didn’t surprise his coach.“Doyle, I thought, did what we expect from our goalies,” Myers said. “He made some big saves, hung in there, did a nice job on the clear and helped us get a big win.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to be back in action Tuesday as they take on No. 9 Notre Dame at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. Game time is set for 4 p.m.