CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. was out front on the final lap for the first time in 105 races, and the only thing standing in the way of a victory was the gas, or lack of it, in his tank.
The crowd roared as he took the white flag, the fans stomping in the stands in near hysteria over the almost certain ending of Earnhardt’s nearly three-year losing streak.
In a blink of an eye, it was over.
LITTLE ROCK — Batesville’s Betsy Tucker set a new state record when she crossed the finish line of the Rock Run 8K at Murray Park here Saturday.
Tucker, 54, finished the 4.97-mile race with a time of 34 minutes 56.78 seconds to set the 8K Grand Master record. Her pace of 7:02 per mile was a personal best.
Tucker didn’t start road racing until three years ago and this is her first year to compete in earnest. She has run in eight races since January 1 and won two.
Batesville High junior Tanner Ring was recently named to the Class 5A All-State team for baseball, and he’s part of the reason Coach Mark Rush has high hopes for the immediate future.
“The best part of the whole deal is we have not only Tanner, but the rest of these all-conference guys coming back next season,” the coach said.
Along with Ring, classmates Cody Vaughn, Ryan Coles and Hayden Cockrill were named to the 5A-East All-District team.
Six Guard-circulation area high school baseball players were recently named to Arkansas Activities Association all-state teams, and one of them is a 3-time selection.
Hillcrest senior Dylan Wooten accomplished the 3-peat on the Class 1A squad while helping the Screamin’ Eagles to a 16-7 record and the 1A 2-East District’s regular-season and tournament championship.
Jed Yarnell, a senior from Izard County, is another returner to the Class 1A team. Yarnell was an all-state selection last season.
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Arkansas took advantage of two wild pitches and two fielding errors by Mississippi State in a 7-2 win Thursday that eliminated the Bulldogs from the Southeastern Conference baseball tournament.
The Razorbacks advance to this afternoon’s third-round game against the Alabama Crimson Tide, a 6-0 loser to Florida on Thursday afternoon. Alabama defeated Arkansas 7-4 in a first-round game Wednesday. (see other SEC tournament scores on page 18).
The first pitch for today’s Arkansas-Alabama game is 3.
Better than half of the Guard-circulation area track and field athletes earning all-state recognition this spring are proven talents.
None more so than Mollie Matthews. The Batesville Lady Pioneer senior collected her fourth straight all-state certificate as part of the winning 3,200-meter relay team at the Class 5A State Track and Field Meet.
All-state recognition goes to the athletes who win or place second in state meets (classes 7A, 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A) or the Meet of Champions.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cliff Lee drove in three runs and worked eight effective innings, leading the Philadelphia Phillies to a 10-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday.
Raul Ibanez hit a 3-run homer, and Chase Utley also connected to help the Phillies take three of four from the Reds. The teams were playing with little rest following a 19-inning game ended at 1:19 a.m. Thursday, after 6 hours, 11 minutes and 600 pitches.
Lee (4-4) threw 114 pitches in eight innings. But the Arkansas native’s biggest contributions came at the plate.
HEBER SPRINGS — A fishing fly tying seminar will be held in the auditorium of the William Carl Garner Visitor Center from 4-6 p.m. June 2, according to a news release.
The class is limited to 15 participants.
Those participating must be 12 or older.
Call the visitor center in advance at (501) 362-9067 to sign up. That is also the number to call for more information.
The William Carl Garner Visitor Center is north of Heber Springs at the west end of the Greers Ferry Dam on Highway 25. The Visitor Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Eagle Mountain Magnet Archery Team finished as runner-up in the recent national tournament in Louisville, Ky., in competition between 78 schools from across the nation, said Coach Susan Parker.
The local team scored 3,237 points out of a possible 3,600.
A mere seven points separated Woodlawn Elementary and Eagle Mountain Magnet. The teams had competed against each other at the World Championships in October 2010 at Disney World with Woodlawn placing first and Eagle Mountain Magnet finishing third.
CAVE CITY — Matt Hall and Vaughn Hall weighed in five bass totaling 11.45 pounds Saturday to win the Cave City Bass Club’s tournament on Greers Ferry Lake, tournament director Ron Watkins reported.
Mark Johnson, fishing by himself, had five bass and 8.80 pounds for second place and Tracy Hunter and Shawn Drake were right behind with five bass and 8.70 pounds for third place.
Matt Hall’s 4.65-pound bass was the biggest of the tournament.
Fourteen boats were in the tournament.
The next tournament starts at 6 p.m. June 18 on Crown Lake and continues until midnight.
MELBOURNE — The Melbourne Bearkatz’ first experience in spring football was a successful one, Coach Clinton Gore said.
“We finished up (last) Thursday and I think we wound up using seven,” he said, referring to the 10 practices in full pads the Arkansas Activities Association allows during the spring. The practices are also limited to students currently in grades 9 through 11.
Batesville Future, a basketball team made up of seventh-grade girls from Batesville and Melbourne, concluded its season this past weekend with a second-place finish in a Hoopplay USA tournament.
After going 0-2 in pool play, the local team rallied from behind to beat the Missouri Hoopsters 18-14 before losing to the Memphis Superchamps 21-17.
Playing in tournaments across the state, Batesville Future posted two second-place finishes, placed third three times and finished fourth once.