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Mystics’ Delle Donne named WNBA player of the year

Elena Delle Donne put together a historic season in Washington and has been named the Associated Press WNBA player of the year.

Delle Donne became the first WNBA player to shoot over 50% from the field (51.5%), 40% from behind the 3-point line (43%) and 90% from the foul line (97.4%). Only eight NBA players have accomplished that milestone. She helped the Mystics finish with the best record in the league and the top overall seed in the playoffs.

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“It wasn’t something I thought about, but for a month or two months the media has been talking about it,” Delle Donne said of the 50-40-90 club. “I kind of knew what was happening. I’m happy I will go down in history for this. it’s really hard to accomplish and I appreciate all the hard work that went into it.”

The 6-foot-5 Delle Donne was selected by the 14-member media panel that votes on the weekly AP power poll. Delle Donne received 12 votes.

Mystics coach Mike Thibault, who was voted the AP coach of the year, saw changes in Delle Donne on and off the court this season.

“I think the taste in her mouth from losing in the finals drove her in the offseason,” he said. “Working on rehabbing her knee and being in the weight room helped her improve her body. The second thing was is she’s way more comfortable in her own skin being a vocal leader on our team. She’s always been a good leader by how you go about your business, but her first year here she didn’t want to step on toes a little bit."

Delle Donne also headlined the AP All-WNBA team. She was joined by Brittney Griner of Phoenix, Chelsea Gray of Los Angeles, Courtney Vandersloot of Chicago and Jonquel Jones of Connecticut.

Swimming: Jessica Long of Baltimore won a silver medal at the World Para Swimming Championships at the London Aquatics Center in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Wednesday. Long had a second-place finish in the women’s 100-meter butterfly (S8).

College field hockey: Five Terps scored as the fourth-ranked Maryland rolled to a 5-0 win at Towson on Wednesday afternoon. Junior Hannah Bond, sophomore Linda Cobano, senior Madison Maguire, freshman Emma DeBerdine and senior Jen Bleakney scored for the Terps (4-1).

Horse racing: Phlash Phelps, a four-time turf stakes winner and the 2015 champion Maryland-bred grass horse for Ellen Charles’ Hillwood Stable and Laurel Park-based trainer Rodney Jenkins, has been retired. The gelded 8-year-old son of Great Notion bred by Carol Kaye was winless in three 2019 starts, most recently finishing fifth by 2 ¼ lengths in the 5 ½-furlong Ben’s Cat Stakes July 14, beaten two heads for third.

Named for Gordon ‘Phlash’ Phelps, the Towson native and popular host of a Washington-based morning drive-time program on SiriusXM satellite radio, Phlash Phelps had worked once since the Ben’s Cat, a 5-furlong breeze in 1:02.60on Aug. 25 at Laurel.

Phlash Phelps is now in the care of Sabrina Morris, a long-time exercise rider for Jenkins that has been getting on the horse since he first came into the barn. Morris also competes in three-day eventing and is eager to help Phlash Phelps make the transition to a new career.

Major League Lacrosse: For the second year in a row, the Chesapeake Bayhawks are in the Major League Lacrosse playoffs. Despite losing in Boston this past weekend, Chesapeake was able to slide into a playoff spot thanks to an Atlanta victory over Dallas. The Bayhawks (8-6) are currently the third seed with two regular-season games recemaining, in in the MLL postseason, matching them up against the Blaze. This opening round matchup can still change as all four postseason teams have two games left to play against first-place Denver (9-5).

Men’s college soccer: St. Mary’s (4-0) broke into the D3Soccer.com national rankings this week, coming in as the 25th ranked team in NCAA Division III.

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