Maryland State Fair racing begins Friday, runs 10 days
The Maryland State Fair in Timonium — the only state fair east of the Mississippi River with a sanctioned 10-day thoroughbred meeting — will host live racing beginning Friday at 1:05 p.m. and ending Labor Day. During that run, only Tuesday will be dark. This year's meeting has grown from seven to 10 days after the Maryland Horsemen's Association contributed money to subsidize added programs. Purses also have increased. Friday's races will be the first in Maryland since Pimlico Race Course ended its spring meeting June 8. There will be nine races opening day. Dining is offered on the second level of the grandstand, and simulcasting is available on both levels on live race days. Lawn chairs and cameras are welcome. Travis Dunkelberger will defend his 2012 riding title. Last year he won with 10 of 23 mounts. His previous heroics at Timonium include winning seven races on one program, on two different occasions. Mid-Atlantic mainstays Hugh McMahon, Jamie Ness, Dale Capuano and Scott Lake aim to share in a $10,000 training bonus, awarded for most wins and most starters during the meet. McMahon will saddle the speedy 5-year old Ellipse in the 4-furlong allowance feature.
Viewing for Devin Gray set for Friday; wake, funeral Saturday
There will be a viewing for former NBA player Devin Gray on Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Phillips Funeral Home, 1727 N. Monroe St. in Baltimore. The funeral will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, preceded by a wake at 9 a.m., at St.Frances Academy, 501 E. Chase St. Gray, 41, who starred at St. Frances and Clemson, died of a heart attack Saturday in Atlanta. An account has been set up at Wells Fargo bank to help the family with funeral costs. Contributions may be made by contacting Casey Ring at the Wells Fargo Owings Mills branch at 410-654-6207.
Ex-Terp Zink named MLL's top defensive player again
Denver Outlaws defenseman Lee Zink (Maryland) became the second player in Major League Lacrosse history to earn back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards, the league announced Wednesday. Zink earned all 16 possible first-place votes from the league's coaches and general managers, making him the only player to win an end-of-the-year award unanimously this season. Brodie Merrill of the Hamilton Nationals and Michael Evans (South River, Johns Hopkins) of the Chesapeake Bayhawks trailed with five second-place votes each and four and two third-place votes, respectively. Jim Stagnitta Zink, a former Baltimore Bayhawk, started in all 14 games for the 14-0 Outlaws. He had 21 ground balls, including a season-high four on two occasions.
More MLL: The Bayhawks assigned midfielder Kevin Cooper (Archbishop Spalding, Maryland) to the active roster ahead of Saturday afternoon's semifinal against the Nationals.
College men: Division III Wittenberg has announced the hiring of Jay Owen (Salisbury) as coach. Owen played for the Sea Gulls from 1994 to 1997, earning All-Capital Athletic Conference honors the final two seasons, and returned to work as an assistant coach for much of the past 15 years. A player on teams that won two national championships and three conference titles, Owen served as an assistant coach for Salisbury teams that won nine CAC championships and five NCAA Division III national titles between 1999 and 2007. ... Division III Mitchell College in New London, Conn., has named former Baltimore Bayhawk John Keysor coach of the men's and women's lacrosse programs. Keysor, who played midfield for the Bayhawks in 2006 after being drafted that year, has spent time as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Dartmouth. ... Archbishop Curley defenseman Johnnie Tornabene has committed orally to UMBC, and St. Paul's senior defenseman Bennett Moore has chosen Hobart. Both are three-year starters.
—Inside Lacrosse contributed the men's recruiting news.
Three tied for boys second-round lead at Leadbetter
Kevin Conners of Downington, Pa., Patrick Cover of Huntersville, N.C., and Tyler Joiner of Albany, Ga., are tied at the top of the boys division of the Jos. A. Bank/David Leadbetter Championship at 3-under-par 139 after two rounds. The 54-hole American Junior Golf Association stroke-play event is being competed on the par-71 Original Course at Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City. In the girls division, Khushboo Thiagaraj of Haymarket, Va., is one stroke ahead after a 3-over 74 second round. Top Maryland boys include Will Halamandaris of Crownsville at 144; Jake Leavitt of Woodstock and Nathan Tenpas of Chevy Chase at 146; and Anthony DeNapoli of Catonsville and Evan Santa of Edgewater at 147; and William Rosenfield of Baltimore, Errol Clarke of Mitchellville and Luke Schaap of Potomac at 6-over 148. Top Maryland girls include Allison Wong of Rockville at 148; Jane Moon of Lutherville Timonium at 150; Delaney Shah of North Potomac at 153; Sydney Mills of Severna Park at 154; Mary Bryan Owen of Baltimore and Bryana Nguyen of Columbia at 155; and Killian Casson of Ellicott City at 159.
Men's golf: Tucker Sampson, a Caves Valley Golf Club member from Chevy Chase, posted a 3-under 67 to take one of the seven available championship places during U.S. Mid-Amateur qualifying at Bethesda Country Club. Keith Unikel of Potomac, a former Maryland Open winner, earned the medal with a 64. There was a 9-for-5 playoff at 70 for the remaining spots, and the only other Marylander to get one was Mark Cusic of California in St. Mary's County, who qualified for his third USGA championship of the year on the first playoff hole.
College football: Senior Peter Athens and sophomore Connor Frazier turned in strong showings in Towson's final scrimmage of the preseason as they continue to vie for the starting quarterback job. Athens completed six of nine passes for 70 yards and a touchdown. Frazier was 12-for-16 for 128 yards. "I thought our first-team offense and our first team defense looked sharp," coach Rob Ambrose said. "We aren't ready to win a game yet, but we will be ready by next Thursday." The Tigers open their season next Thursday at Connecticut.
NFL: Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards will host a football round-table discussion Sept. 17 from noon to 1:30 p.m. with members of the local sports media. The panel of Baltimore media experts will consist of Pete Gilbert (WBAL-TV, WBAL Radio, 98 Rock & Ravens broadcast team); Bruce Cunningham (Fox 45 sports director & public address announcer at M&T; Bank Stadium); Nestor Aparicio (WNST founder and author of "Purple Reign" and "Purple Reign 2"); and Jeff Zrebiec (Ravens beat reporter for The Baltimore Sun). The panelists will discuss the Ravens' offseason moves, provide their insight and predictions for the 2013 season, and take questions from the audience. Tickets are $25 and include lunch, the round-table program and admission to the galleries at Sports Legends Museum. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the latest additions to the Ravens Gallery featuring new artifacts from the Super Bowl XLVII championship season. Artifacts include Ravens kicker Justin Tucker's cleats worn during Super Bowl XLVII; Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones' jersey worn during the Wild Card game against the Indianapolis Colts; and a reproduction of the Super Bowl XLVII ring presented to Joe Flacco with his name and "MVP" engraved on the side. To order tickets, contact Ashley Serano at 410-727-1539 x3013 or AshleyS@BabeRuthMuseum.org.
—From Sun staff and news services