Ron Agostini

May 10, 2008

These Relays have symmetry

Reading time, two minutes:

Lauryn Williams' speed, Christian Cantwell's power and Suzy Powell's determination: Ladies and gentleman, today's 67th California Invitational Relays in one easy-to-digest package.

Want some symmetry? Tom Moore died six years ago today.

Want more? It's Save Mart's 10th Relays.

Say hello to Modesto Junior College Stadium's new Atlas synthetic track. And a fond farewell to the Chevron 400 surface that did its job for 27 years.

Say goodbye (for now) to the video board, a victim of an unexpected advertising loss last month. "It was either a few athletes or the board," meet director Gregg Miller said. "I promise you it will be back next year."

Another one-year absence, we hope: the men's high jump.

The passing of the torch three months before Beijing: Stacy Dragila to Jenn Stuczynski in the women's pole vault.

Today's best athlete who won't merit a headline but could make major news this summer -- national heptathlon champion Hyleas Fountain.

Every day and every year: taxes, sunrise and the Sharks out after six games in the second round.

The Sharks have won an NHL-leading 28 playoff games since 2004. They're like tough-luck wrestlers -- they ride, they lead, they're pinned.

About critics who blame Eight Belles' death in the Kentucky Derby on "a filly who tried to run with the boys": She smoked 18 of those boys.

Please: A Triple Crown race devoid of tragedy.

Big Brown delivered like its namesake (UPS).

When you lose 13 of 15 to the Pirates (15 consecutive losing seasons), you're doomed: the Giants.

Every acquisition pays off, every youngster comes through, and every no-name singles with the bases loaded: the Athletics (22-15).

NFL spin aside, what the latest chapter of Spygate affirms: Bill Belichick cheated. A lot.

Mike Martz likes J.T. O'Sullivan. Mike Nolan is giving Shaun Hill his chance. Question: Are the 49ers determined to ruin Alex Smith?

Incredibly, he slid beneath the radar screen for a full season until the playoffs: the Hornets' Chris Paul, the NBA's best point guard.

Boston is stretched to the max by the 37-45 Hawks, who chalk up all of 65 points in Game 7. LeBron James then goes 8 of 42 the first two games against the Celtics. Feel the thunder from the NBA's Eastern Conference.

Oregon's successor to quarterback Dennis Dixon will be either 6-foot-6-inch Justin Roper or Hilmar's Nathan Costa (still recovering from his knee injury).

A salute to one of the best: Cal State Stanislaus' Jim Hanny, who coached the Warrior golf team for the last time this week.

The Marlins (21-14) top the NL East. For relief, take two aspirin.

Just a hunch: Tiger Woods' recovery from knee surgery will be quickened by the emergence of 22-year-old Anthony Kim.

The Cowboys' Tony Romo tried to qualify for the U.S. Open. He failed. His fans blamed Jessica Simpson.

Plan your lunch date with Powell, who throws the discus today at noon (about four hours earlier than normal).

This weekend's track schedule: Oil money at Doha, Qatar; appearance cash at Osaka, Japan; and a track meet and barbecue at Modesto.

Wonder if the other two will last 67 years.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at or 578-2302.

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