Mitch's Sports Report: Vermont's Unified Special Olympics Hoops Team Takes Gold At USA Games
Vermonters competing in the Special Olympics USA Games held in Seattle performed brilliantly and have the hardware to show for it. The Special Olympics USA Games offer athletes with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to compete on the national stage.
Yesterday, Vermont put the finishing touches on a perfect undefeated run in the interscholastic unified basketball tournament, beating Connecticut, 38-29 to take Gold and the title as 2018 National Champions.
Vermont trailed by a point at half time but took over in the second half after a key three pointer by Gary Whalon.
Whalon's teammates on the unified hoops roster included Lindsey Albertelli, Haley Clos, Kevin Conger, Wayne Elias, Robert Ellis-Clark, Paul Keen, Shannon Loiseau, Graham Walker, and Erin Watson.They were coached by Peter Booth.
The Vermont squad won its first four games in pool play before taking the title game against Connecticut, and while all the squads did have help from some players without intellectual disabilities, those players on the Vermont team scored only 10 points of the team's 38 in the final.
And there were some great individual performances as well. Aaron Sanville of Greensboro Bend won Gold in the 200 meter dash, the first ever individual gold medal for Vermont in USA Games Special Olympics competition. The 36-year old Sanville got in shape for these games with help from coach Selina Hunter.
In the water, Jericho's Zada Anderson took a silver medal in the top women’s division of the 50 meter butterfly, followed by a bronze in the 100 freestyle. Teammate Christopher Mitchell of Sudbury turned on the jets in the last lap of the 100 freestyle for a silver medal and earned a second silver in the 50 freestyle.
Congratulations to the entire squad of Vermonters competing in those 2018 Special Olympics games in Seattle.
To the pros, and there was a day of rest for many Major League Baseball teams yesterday after inter-league match-ups wrapped up over the July fourth holiday.
The Boston Red Sox, fresh off a sweep of the Washington Nationals, resume their road trip in Kansas City tonight against the Royals with ace Chris Sale on the hill.
The NY Yankees visit Toronto to take on the Blue Jays, with the Yanks still just one game behind the Red Sox for first place in the A.L. east. Sonny Gray gets the start for the Yankees, hoping to bounce back from his last start, which produced the only loss in a three game series against Boston.
The NY Mets aren't done with inter-league play just yet as they host the Tampa Bay Rays at Citi Field tonight with their best pitcher Jacob deGrom getting the start.
To the NY Penn League and the Vermont Lake Monsters were taking on the Tri City Valley Cats in Troy, New York, with an interesting start from Jhenderson Hurtado. He allowed just one hit over five innings, but he also threw four wild pitches that helped the Tri-City ValleyCats plate a pair of runs in a 4-2 victory.
Equally as good and not as wild was Tri City starter Bryan Abreu, who yielded only a Jose Rivas infield single in the third. He walked one and struck out nine in just four innings.
In the New England Collegiate Baseball league the Vermont Mountaineers were idle yesterday. They host the Sanford Mainers tonight at Recreational Field in Montpelier.
The Upper Valley Nighthawks were in action and continued their hot season, winning their third in a row with a 12-4 win over the Keene Swamp Bats.
At Wimbledon more frustration for Montreal native Eugenie Bouchard, who failed to advance to the third round with a 6-4, 7-5 defeat against 17th ranked Ashleigh Barty yesterday and the loss was particularly tough because after dropping the first set Bouchard led 5-2 in the second and was primed to force a deciding third set but failed to gain the final set point and then lost the next five games, ending her hopes of a deep run at the All-England club. Bouchard was not long ago considered one of tennis' rising stars but her world wide ranking has now dropped to 188 with this latest defeat.
And the upsets continue in the women's bracket, in fact the defending women's champ Garbine Muguruza was ousted yesterday by Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium, a stunning result with the third seeded Muguruza falling in three sets after winning the first against the 47th ranked Van Uytvanck.
That means that already the 2, 4, 5 , 6, and 8 seeds have all been sent home on the women's side, not to mention five time major champion Maria Sharipova.
Matches to watch today include eight time Wimbledon champ Roger Federer in action against Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff, and both Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, on the courts today.
The World Cup resumes today with eight nation teams left battling to take the title as best on the planet. Two games are featured today with Uruguay taking on France at 10am eastern standard time and at 2pm a very compelling match as tournament favorite Brazil runs against Belgium, which advanced with a thrilling two goal deficit comeback against Japan in the round of sixteen.