ICYMI: Weekly sports wrap-up
Charles Cooke staying for his senior season
After declaring for the NBA draft, Dayton guard Charles Cooke rescinded his name before the May 25 deadline to retain his NCAA eligibility for the 2016-17 season, which will be his senior year.
Cooke did not sign an agent, which was another criteria for maintaining his collegiate eligibility. Rather, he used the pre-draft experience to learn about his standing among prospects and hone in on his weak points should he pursue the NBA after graduation.
“Having the ability to work out and get feedback couldn’t have been more helpful in terms of what I need work on,” Cooke said in a statement.
He further explained the importance of finishing his degree at UD.
“My focus now is back on helping to build on what we have established at UD, and earning my degree next spring. My family, coaches, and teammates couldn’t have been more supportive and my focus is on being a part of even more success for our team moving into the last step in my college career,” he said.
Softball has disappointing A-10 finish
The Flyers softball team couldn’t quite get their bats going when it counted during the Atlantic 10 Championships, which were held May 12-15 at George Washington University.
In the double-elimination tournament, Dayton dropped its first game to UMass 5-0 before defeating Saint Louis. The Flyers then fell to eventual-champion Fordham in a 12-inning thriller, which they lost 1-0. Sophomore Manda Cash, the A-10 Pitcher of the Year, threw the complete game for the Flyers, but they were ousted on a walk-off hit by the Rams.
Dayton finished the season 27-21-1 overall and 14-5-1 in the conference.
Co-Champions declared at Scripps National Spelling Bee
Nihar Janga and Jairam Hathwar were declared co-Champions of the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee, the finals of which were held at National Harbor, MD May 26. The two exhausted a 25-round list of “championship” words before the competition was called a draw. It is the third consecutive year the Bee has ended with co-champions.
Nihar, a fifth grader from Texas, wowed the crowd with his prior knowledge of the meanings of the obscure words he was tasked to spell. He confidently riddled spellings, and sometimes definitions, of the words in impressively little time.
Jairam, a seventh grader from New York, was just as impressive, though. Despite misspelling two words in the championship rounds, Jairam stayed in the competition as Nihar failed to correctly spell the clinching words. Jairam’s older brother was a co-champion in 2014.
Sharks, Penguins set to square off in Stanley Cup Finals
The San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins, after winning their respective conferences, will face off in the 2016 NHL Finals beginning Monday, May 30.
Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski lead the sharp-shooting top line for the Sharks, who enter the Finals averaging 3.5 goals per game thus far in the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Penguins have won with their speed and deep, talented roster. Phil Kessel, the leader of Pittsburgh’s blue line, recorded 18 points in his first 18 playoff games including nine goals.
Ichiro is still a wizard
He may be long past his days of 200-hit seasons and tearing up the basepaths at Safeco Field, but Japanese baseball icon Ichiro Suzuki is still more than productive in his fourth outfielder role with the Miami Marlins.
The 42 year-old has collected 26 hits in 77 at bats this year, and was for a short time hitting above .400. He recorded four hits in a single game two times over a three-game span last week.
Ichiro is less than 40 hits away from 3000 for his Major League career, a significant milestone that puts a player on the short list for Hall of Fame entry.