DAVENPORT, Iowa – The chase for the 2014 track championships at the Davenport Speedway will begin with the Koehler Electric season opener this Friday, April 25. All five weekly classes, Petersen Plumbing & Heating IMCA Late Models, EMS IMCA Modifieds, Koehler Electric Street Stocks, Hawkeye Auto IMCA SportMods, and Roto-Rooter 4-Stocks, will see action on the quarter-mile dirt oval. Davenport Speedway is located at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, on West Locust Street. Pit gates will open Friday at 4:30 p.m., with hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m. For additional information on DRT TRAK Racing events, visit our new website at www.davenportspeedway.com or call 563 652-5302.
By Ian ChadbandLONDON-(Reuters)-Roger Federer warned on Saturday that he and the rest of the big four of men’s tennis were going to be as tough to beat as ever at Wimbledon this year as they seek to continue their astonishing monopoly of the event.In the last 14 editions, one of either Federer, the seven-times champion, double winners Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, or triple victor Novak Djokovic has lifted the men’s singles title at The All England Club.While reporters quizzed Federer on Saturday about who in the game’s young brigade could become the first man outside that quartet to win since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002, the Swiss felt it would be best to keep faith with the usual suspects.Federer’s rivals have had mixed preparations for Wimbledon. Murray’s harboured hip trouble after an early exit at Queen’s, Nadal decided to skip grasscourt warm-ups to rest his body after winning the French Open while Djokovic burst into life earlier on Saturday by winning the Eastbourne title.Do not be fooled, suggested Federer. All these 30-something luminaries would again be “tough to beat”.“Depending how fit it is, if he’s anything close to 100 percent physically, I consider him (Murray) one of the big favourites to win the tournament. It’s that simple. It’s the same for Novak and the same for Rafa,” reckoned Federer.“I think it’s very even when we put it all out on the line. Everybody has their own little story right now.“Queen’s for Andy (where he was knocked out early) doesn’t matter so much because I feel like he’s one of the best players in the first week at Wimbledon, so I don’t worry too much for him there. He can play himself into shape for week two.“Novak is just coming back from winning Eastbourne now. Rafa is coming in red hot from the clay. So I see it positive for them rather than negative in some shape, which I’m sure people will try to see that way.“But I see that they are going to be tough to beat here.”Federer himself seemed to have recaptured a touch of his fantastic early-season spark which saw him down Nadal in an epic Australian Open five-set final as he lifted his favourite pre-Wimbledon grasscourt title in Halle.Yet the 35-year-old is too old a hand to insist that this is going to be a four-horse race.“Yeah, it’s been very dominant by a few players here at Wimbledon. That’s surprising. It’s like that — but it can change tomorrow very quickly.”It is not just the younger guns, headed, he says, by Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Dominic Thiem who “are in a good spot right now where they can go very deep”.“Then, I do believe the favourites are the other players. I include the likes of (Marin) Cilic into that, Stan (Wawrinka), guys who have done it before,” added the Swiss.Nobody, of course, has done it before as often as the 18-time grand slam champion Federer himself, who admitted it “hurt” to miss out on competing on the sapping clay of the French Open when he knew he was fit and raring to go.“No compromise really. I gave myself the best chance for the grass, so I would never look back and have regrets once I came here,” he said.“Even though I was happy on the clay for a couple days, I just felt like, you know what, anything other than winning there feels like I’m not giving myself the best chance for Wimbledon.”
By Nick SaidCAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) – India’s batsmen must show a more positive mindset to combat the South Africa bowling attack, their captain Virat Kohli said after losing the first Test yesterday.The match was effectively over in three days with Sunday washed out as 18 wickets fell in 64 overs on day four on a seamer-friendly Cape Town wicket and South Africa won the match by 72 runs.Set 208 for victory, India were bowled out for 135 in under 43 overs with South African seamer Vernon Philander collecting career-best figures of 6-42.”The pitch was outstanding. I really like the type of wicket this was,“ Kohli told reporters. ”It was great for Test cricket and we got a result within four days having lost a day.“It was not one-sided; both teams were in it at different stages. As a team, we really enjoyed being part of this Test match and so did South Africa.”Kohli says the failure of his side to build partnerships was ultimately the difference between defeat and what would have been a sweet victory in such unfamiliar conditions.”It was a wicket where things were happening every day and we let ourselves down with the bat,“ he said. ”We wanted one big partnership to get the job done, which we failed to do.”Kohli suggested that with tracks that are likely to have even more bounce and pace to come in Pretoria and Johannesburg for the rest of the series, his batsmen needed to find a way to transfer the pressure on to the South African bowlers.”The mindset matters when you’re travelling away from home on pitches which challenge you. You need to be positive in defence and when you’re leaving also. You need to grab scoring opportunities.”We need to think about taking the attack to the South African bowlers more. That is something for all the batsmen, starting at the very top.“They (South Africa) force you to play good cricket in every over that you play against them, which I think is a good credit to their bowling attack. As batters we need to step up.”The second Test in Pretoria starts on Saturday.
DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoAfter a cold winter, spring is usually the season of new beginnings, a time to shake off those winter blues and wipe the slate clean. The women’s soccer team on the other hand isn’t looking toward a new beginning.After struggling during the Big Ten regular season in 2005, the women’s soccer team dominated the competition during the last month of the season, in which they won seven consecutive games and won their first Big Ten tournament title since 1994. Although some key personnel are missing from last year’s team, the lady Badgers are poised to make a run deep into the postseason in the upcoming fall.The key thing for Wisconsin in the 2006 season is replacing the four seniors that were instrumental to their success last season. Forwards Marisa Brown, Katy Lindenmuth and Amy Vermeulen comprised 66 of Wisconsin’s 137 points last season. Additionally, Wisconsin lost first team Academic All-American Jessica Ring, who anchored a Badger defense that gave up only 31 goals last season.With most of the scoring gone from last season, Wisconsin is looking toward senior captain Kara Kabellis. Named to the All-Big Ten first team, Kabellis hopes to surpass the numbers she put up last season, scoring seven goals and six assists in Wisconsin’s 24 games. Looking to help take some of the scoring load off Kabellis will be sophomores Taylor Walsh and Elise Weber. Both Walsh and Weber highlighted an outstanding freshmen recruiting class for the Badgers, with both of them playing in every game for the Badgers last season and combining for eight goals.Wisconsin head coach Dean Duerst maintains that the Badgers will be just as potent on offense this season, with the addition of nine red-shirt freshmen competing for playing time.”We’re going to have no problem scoring goals this year,” Duerst said. “We have Weber, Walsh, Kabellis and players like Lindsay Walker and Shannon Terry, who didn’t play a lot of minutes last year but still are dangerous players. We have the personnel to score goals.”In addition to the red-shirt freshman competing for playing time, Wisconsin ushers in a balanced 2006 recruiting class that includes three midfielders, one forward and one goaltender. Out of the five recruits, Ashley Hedges shows the most potential of seeing a lot of time on the field. Hailing from Carmel, Calif., Hedges led Carmel High School to three state championships, in addition to being named twice to the all-state and all-district teams in California. With all this firepower coming in next season, there figures to be a real battle for playing time at the start of the season.”Everybody asks if you see anybody in your recruiting class being able to come right in and play and I think every year is that you just don’t know,” Duerst said. “I think the recruits are really going to help challenge a lot of players … The last [few] recruiting classes have played very good together, where you had multiple players at different positions and that’s what we have with this latest class.”The most interesting battle to watch going into the season will be which goalie Wisconsin decides to use. Junior Lynn Murray saw the majority of action in 2005, playing in 22 games for the Badgers, winning 13, and allowing only 1.11 goals per game. Murray also registered five shutouts and was named the Big Ten’s defensive player of the week in October.On the other hand, senior captain Stefani Szczechowski has proven that she is a capable goalie over her three seasons at Wisconsin. After getting the majority of playing time in her first season, Szczechowski time in goal has varied. She saw action in only seven games last season, but showed a strong defensive presence in the net, allowing only seven goals while notching 10 saves during her time in the net. Although it is feasible to have the two goalies play on a rotational basis, the Wisconsin coaching staff looks to try and avoid that a pick a number one goalie.”As Lynn and Steph are here together, they have always been battling and competing for time and it’s been that way since Lynn has come on board,” Duerst said. “Steph knows what is in front of her. They both have experience and they both will continue to have experience with our backs. You want to keep things competitive but ultimately, coaches and the team want to stick with a number one goalie who has risen to be that number one.”Through three games this spring so far, Wisconsin appears equally as powerful offensively and defensively as they did last season. In their recent match against UWM, Wisconsin got goals from Kabellis and assistant captain Allison Preiss, while the youthful defense didn’t allow a score in the Badgers’ victory.That said, Duerst looks to use this time to try different things on both sides of the ball to give Wisconsin that extra kick it was sometimes missing in games last season.”In essence, spring season is the molding for your year and the beginnings of that mold and what we need in order to play,” Duerst said. “I think what we are really looking at, and the players understand that, is an extension of last year’s play and try to get everything more connected. As coaches, we really have to teach more in the spring because we have more time and that has been a real value so far.”
The Liberian Ambassador accredited to the Holy See and the Sovereign Order of Malta, Ambassador Rudolf von Ballmoos has presented his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father, Pope Francis at the Vatican City and the Prince and Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, His Eminence Fra’ Matthew Festing at the Magisterial Palace in Rome, Italy.A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in the United Kingdom says during separate statements at the two ceremonies, Ambassador Rudolf von Ballmoos extended special thanks on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to the Holy See and the Sovereign Order of Malta for the enormous support provided Liberia over the years in the areas of education, health and humanitarian services in support of government’s effort to eradicate poverty and consolidate the peace process.He made a specific request to the Holy See to support a regional education and awareness campaign with specific focus on religious tolerance, noting that “with the spread of different religious beliefs across the continent of Africa, it is prudent for people of different faith to coexist peacefully and tolerate one another”.On the Global scene, Ambassador von Ballmoos noted that “Liberia will continue to support dialogue and non-violence in the resolution of internal conflicts. He said, Liberia is pursuing a long-term national development agenda, The Liberia Rising Vision 2030, which aims to propel Liberia into a middle-income country capable of meeting and sustaining its own development aspirations by the year 2030.Towards, this end, we encourage Foreign Direct Investment in the vast resource based of the country, including the Agriculture and Mining sectors”. In response, the Holy Father, Pope Francis said” the proliferation of weapons of every type leads in the opposite direction of peace that we all speak about. The arms trade has the effect of complicating and distancing us from a solution to conflicts, all the more so since it takes place to a great extent outside the boundaries of the law.Therefore, I consider that, while we are gathered in this Apostolic See, which by nature is invested in a special service to the cause of peace, we can unite our voices in expressing hope that the international community may make new, concerted and courageous efforts against the proliferation of weapons and to promote their reduction”.The Holy Father mentioned that another challenge to peace, which “unfortunately takes on, in certain regions and in certain moments, the nature of a full-blown human tragedy”, is that of forced migration.He commented that it is a very complex phenomenon, and recognised that important efforts are being made by international organisations, States, and social bodies, as well as religious communities and volunteer groups, to respond “in a civil and organised way to the most critical aspects, emergencies, and situations of greatest need”.Pope Francis lamented that the global community cannot limit itself to reacting to emergencies, but rather the moment has arrived to face it with a serious and responsible political outlook, involving all levels: global, continental, macro-regional, in relations between nations, and finally at national and local levels”.Also speaking at a separate ceremony, His Most Eminent Highness Fra’ Matthew Festing said beyond its humanitarian activities, the Sovereign Order of Malta is also committed both to building new bridges of understanding so as to foster dialogue and respect for cultural diversities and to promoting human dignity as the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups.”I am certain that the recent accreditation of the first permanent representative of the Sovereign Order of Malta to the African Union will enable an even more effective collaboration among the different countries for improvement in the living conditions of the populations of Africa.In addition to our engagement in Liberia, we have identified new projects relating to the training of dentists and doctors, as well as the fight against epidemics and renewed shipments of medicines and medical equipment for hospitals in Liberia” he concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)