Local Sports Briefs

Staff and Wire reports

Posted: Friday, July 02, 2004

'Fools' hit the city's streets tonight

JUNEAU - Even the race director for tonight's "Only Fools Run at Midnight" hesitates in calling it a race.

Don Eagle said there will be running and some walking involved tonight through downtown Juneau. He said there could be 300 people or more involved, and some will be serious runners. Awards, though, won't cover times, but different costume categories.

"We haven't decided the categories yet," Eagle said Thursday. "We'll probably tweak the categories when we see what shows up."

The five-kilometer run, or mile walk, is set to begin at 11:59 p.m. today at Centennial Hall. People are expected on many downtown sidewalks, shoulders and intersections from 11:45 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Saturday for the event.

The event is a fundraiser for SAIL - Southeast Alaska Independent Living - which helps disabled residents lead independent lives. Executive Director Joan O'Keeffe described it as "a novelty race." She said that this year individual times of runners won't be kept, but a large running clock will display times for runners interested in logging their marks when they cross the finish line.

Most of the fun comes from the costumes, O'Keeffe said. She described some of the successes from last year's run, the first that SAIL sponsored. She recalled a three-headed man and characters from the Wizard of Oz.

Eagle said judges will get a chance before the run to see the costumes. People interested in the participating can begin showing up at Centennial Hall at 10:30 p.m. The first 300 will get T-shirts, and he recommended coming early.

The entry fee will be $20 for adults, $10 for children 14 and under and $50 for families of four. A dance will be held after the run at Centennial Hall.

The T-shirts will not glow in the dark this year, he said. The Empire, taking incorrect information from the calendar on the Southeast Road Runners' Web site, previously reported they would glow. There also will be no airline tickets as door prizes, as was reported from the same source.

Senior Softball-USA to play two today

JUNEAU - An international tour group from Senior Softball-USA will be in town today to play two games against local teams at the Savikko Park fields in Douglas.

Senior Softball-USA, which is based in Sacramento, Calif., is in its 17th year of touring and the group is just wrapping up its 14-day 2004 Alaska Midnight Sun Tour. The group has been touring Alaska since arriving in Fairbanks on June 22, picking up a game or two in each town it visits. It played in Skagway on Thursday and will play in Ketchikan on Saturday.

"They're seniors, staying active, staying young," said Sandy Williams of Douglas, who organized today's two games. "The average age is 67 on this tour. Most of the 30,000 (Senior Softball-USA) membership are from southern states. Most play up to 200 games a year."

The tour group arrives in town early this morning on the Dawn Princess. The first game it plays will be at noon on Sandy Beach Field No. 3 against the First National Caps, a team that has been sponsored by the same group since 1967. The second game is at 1:30 p.m. against the Pat's Douglas Inn women's team.

Juneau players help Alaska hoops team win

JUNEAU - Two Juneau-Douglas High School girls basketball players helped the Alaska Youth Basketball Association's tour team win its opening game of a trip that includes six tournaments in five states this summer.

Playing in the Oregon City Shootout, the AYBA squad beat Tri-Cities Blue of Washington 60-46 on Thursday.

Katelyn Stearns of East Anchorage High School led the Alaska team with 12 points, while Juneau's Mary Rehfeld had seven. Ariel Tweto of East added six points, while Juneau's Talisa Rhea scored five points and had four rebounds.

The AYBA squad is coached by East Anchorage coach Dorena Bingham, who has led the team on summer tours for 16 years. The team will play in two tournaments in Oregon, then heads to Washington, Tennessee, California and Arizona. Bingham said she expects the team will play more than 40 games this summer.

Gopher coach explains Shootout withdrawal

ANCHORAGE - The Minnesota women's basketball coach on Thursday blamed "miscommunication" for the team's decision to pull out of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Pam Borton said the school signed up for a second preseason tournament a year ago, not realizing that both the Shootout and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Classic in Seattle were NCAA-certified tournaments.

"We wouldn't schedule two certified events on purpose and then cancel one of them," Borton said in a telephone interview.

Great Alaska Shootout host Alaska Anchorage, an NCAA Division II school, announced this week that Minnesota had withdrawn. Its late replacement for the Thanksgiving week tournament will be Maryland-Eastern Shore. The field also includes Stanford, Eastern Washington and UAA.

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