If you weren’t already blown away by the big-time wind that blew into the area last week, there was plenty to celebrate as our spring sports wrapped up and the PRCA came through Cedar City for the 11th straight year.
Here’s a salute to the whole crew.
-Southern Utah track and field made a little more history this weekend with another qualifier for the NCAA National Outdoor championships in Eugene, Ore. Jayson Kovar advanced in the discus throw for the second year in a row and duplicated the achievement of his big sister, Kayla.
The impressive part is how she didn’t let a back injury derail her from returning to compete in the hammer throw the following year. Kayla didn’t return until April, but did more than enough to make it back to the national meet.
If there’s such a thing as sibling rivalry, it’s clear the Kovars used it to their advantage and came out as clear winners for their efforts.
-When I interviewed Ken Jenson on Saturday after he paired with Laird Campbell to win the Elite Division men’s doubles gold medal at the Utah Summer Games, it was a perfect reminder of how nothing is over until the final points are recorded. The pair won the last nine in a row to claim the top stair on the medal stand.
A perfect example on the professional side came from the women’s singles final that happened earlier in the day at the French Open. Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia was down a set and 0-3 in the second, but rallied back and beat No. 3 seed Simona Halep to claim the crown.
In what was purely maximum effort, Ostapenko needed three sets in five of her seven matches on the red clay at Roland Garros Stadium to hold her first major championship trophy.
-Dodgeball made its debut at the Utah Summer Games and was reduced to a single-day tournament that happened Saturday. Once word spreads – and it should because everyone had a good time – next year’s event should be even better.
Sources say there won’t be any plans for ESPN The Ocho to broadcast a championship final, though. If you saw the 2004 movie “Dodgeball,” you get where that joke came from.
-The Golden State Warriors had their shot to complete a sweep of the NBA playoff year at 16-0, but the Cleveland Cavaliers made sure they would get to hang around for at least one more game. The Cavs scored 49 – that’s one short of 50 – points in the first quarter and made 24 3-pointers in a 137-116 Game 4 rout to keep the series alive Friday night.
Game 5 was scheduled for Monday in Oakland, and by the time this column returns next week, it’s not likely we’ll be talking about how Cleveland came back from a 3-0 series deficit.
It’s never happened in NBA history. Don’t expect it here.
-The Pittsburgh Penguins made some history Sunday night, becoming the first National Hockey League team to repeat as Stanley Cup champion in 20 years with a 2-0 shutout over the Nashville Predators in Game 6. The Penguins are the first team hold hockey’s Holy Grail in consecutive seasons since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1997 and 1998.
In one of the more ironic twists to the feat, the Penguins denied Detroit a second repeat when they beat them in the 2009 Cup final. That’s pretty darn impressive, but this isn’t the only time Pittsburgh’s done the back-to-back thing themselves.
Behind team owner Mario Lemieux, the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 1991 and 1992. Living proof that when greatness happens, it can come in waves.
That’s why sports is so much better. It’s reality TV without the bad acting.
Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter @TommyZee81 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.