West Florida Cross Country Teams Running to Help Arthritis Share Aug. 15, 2007PENSACOLA, Fla. – The University of West Florida Men’s and Women’s Cross country teams will be running for a cause this Friday, August 17th when they participate in the first “From Jay to the Bay Charity Relay.”The 30 UWF student-athletes and coaches will participate in this inter-squad relay race to raise funds for the local office of the North Florida Arthritis Foundation.”The arthritis foundation helps a lot of people in the Pensacola Bay area,” said UWF Head Cross Country Coach Matt Dobson. “One of my goals for the new team this year is to see more community involvement among the student-athletes. I’ve had the vision of this inter-squad relay race for a long time and I’m glad we are going forward with it this year.”The runners will participate as co-ed teams and start from the parking lot of Cora Baptist Church in Jay. They will run south on Chumuckla Highway, turn right onto Highway 90, go across the Causeway and end with a lap around the UWF track. A distance of approximately 32 miles.In 2006, 46 million people were found to be suffering with some form of arthritis. Arthritis is second only to heart disease as a cause of work disability. Arthritis limits everyday activities such as walking, dressing and bathing for more than 7 million Americans. It affects people in all age groups including nearly 300,000 children and costs the U.S. economy a total of $128 billion annually. Baby Boomers seem to be at prime risk and most people don’t think anything can be done to help them.”I think it will be a good thing to see strong, healthy athletes, young adults taking time to do something for an organization that helps people with the debilitating disease of arthritis,” said Dobson. “There will be no trophies at the end of this race, just the satisfaction of doing something noble while promoting team spirit.”The UWF athletes and coaches are still currently collect donations and pledges for the event. All money raised will go directly to the Arthritis Foundation. If you are interested in donating, please contact the UWF Cross Country office at 850-474-2141. If you want more information about what the local Arthritis Foundation can do for you if you suffer with this disease, contact Teresa Mepham at 850-432-4348. Print Friendly Version
This weekend, a guy jumped over a mascot and dunked a basketball. No big deal. Sure, it wasn’t Taylor Swift dissing Kanye at the Grammys or a political statement by Kendrick, but man, was it entertaining.The dunk contest at the NBA All-Star Weekend can be a thing of beauty, and this year it was. It was a phenomenal display of athletic talent by two young men no older than myself. Aaron Gordon and Zach LaVine dueled Saturday night and showed the world why nothing beats the NBA’s All-Star Festivities.Who doesn’t want to watch athletes show off their superior athletic talent and do tricks in the air that leave you wondering how it was even possible. The slam dunk is not only one of the most entertaining plays in basketball, but also all of sports.It doesn’t carry the same weight as a Grand Slam or a Hail Mary, but those are special; the dunk is normal. It happens in every basketball game we watch, and yet it got the most special treatment when two spectacular athletes battled each other, topping each other again and again to earn the crown of Slam Dunk Contest champion.The SDC shows the most basic beauty and love for the game, something easily translated across languages and cultures to fans of all ages around the world.Aaron Gordon showed us his stuff when he leaped over Stuff the Magic Dragon, the Magic’s aptly named mascot, doing something seemingly even more impossible each time. He jumped high enough in one dunk to have earned a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.On the other hand, champion Zach LaVine displayed the power and agile movements of a cat, soaring through the air with grace, speed and force only to slam the ball down at the last moment after executing a series of turns and spins that would make a gymnast do a double take.The roots of the love for the game of basketball were exposed in this contest. There was competition, finesse, grace, power and execution, but most of all there was fun. All of the dunk contest participants and other NBA players sitting courtside looked like they had the joy of young kids playing ball in the park. The show being put on was unlike any NBA game where millions of dollars and playoff berths are on the line; this was purely for the love of the dunk.Nothing is more electrifying to an arena of anxious fans than a dunk. Nothing puts an exclamation point on the game quite like a dunk can do in the final seconds and nothing quite impresses like a dunk if for no other reason than everyone is aware of how physically incapable they are of emulating it. This translates well to our own basketball team that is one of the most electrifying teams in the conference, if not the country. The rate and skill with which the Trojans dunk the basketball is an absolute joy to watch.The team has a total of 86 dunks through the first 23 games of the season, more than doubling their opponents’ total of 41. Freshman dunking phenom Chimezie Metu has 36 dunks. Junior Julian Jacobs is second to Metu with 23 on the year, already surpassing his 19 from last season.This exponential increase in dunking has led to an increase in excitement and is one of many reasons why the Trojans are such a fun team to watch.The glee and fierce competitiveness that comes from a slam dunk is so unique to the game of basketball. Within the select number of athletes who can execute it, there is then another level of athleticism required to make it memorable.During a fast break during USC’s game against ASU, Metu threw the ball off the backboard to himself and finished it with a slam. The creativity or perhaps desperation of this move is something that can stand on his personal highlight reel for years to come.In the same way, LaVine and Gordon have made a name for themselves from the unbelievable performances they gave Saturday night.The dunk is exhilarating, majestic and captivating all in the span of a few moments and that is why the dunk is so special. So for all those who have the capability to dunk, please let this be your go-ahead. We all love it. Thank you for letting us vicariously soar through the clouds for a few moments every time you reach up for that hoop and throw the ball down.Hailey Tucker is a sophomore majoring in broadcast and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Tucker Talks,” runs every other Wednesday.
JOHNSTON — Governor Kim Reynolds Thursday said she’s confident in the results from the COVID-19 test kits that Utah companies are providing for the “Test Iowa” program.The Salt Lake Tribune reports medical experts are questioning the accuracy of the “Test Utah” program the same companies are running. Reynolds says the state lab processing Test Iowa kits is taking all precautions necessary to validate results.“Test Utah is located at a regional hospital. We decided to bring ours into the State Hygienic Lab through the University of Iowa,” Reynolds said, “….to make sure that we can assure Iowans that the results we are getting are accurate and what they should be.”Reynolds suggested the high number of negative COVID-19 test results in the Test Utah program is related to the expanded amount of testing in that state.“They’ve opened it up to anyone who wants to test,” Reynolds said during her daily news conference. “We’re still keeping ours very narrow.”Iowa is limiting testing to essential workers in health care and meatpacking, as well as Iowans who have symptoms or who’ve been around someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19. Reynolds said the test kits the Utah companies developed are F-D-A approved, but the governor suggested Utah’s process of confirming test results may be different from what’s happening at the lab in Coralville.“I can assure you, because we’re on the phone with them every day, that they’re taking every measure and taking every step that they can to make sure that they are doing the validation process accurately and they can be confident in the results they’re reporting out to Iowans,” the governor said.Test Iowa drive-through sites are operating in Des Moines and Waterloo. State officials do not intend to break out Test Iowa results in their daily reports of COVID-19 data.