New rubber at New Balance for my barking dogs
A world out of balance - Heading south on Route 1, my 11-year-old Tundra pulled to the right just past Burger King. Homey don't need no breakfast Whopper; that's the absolute truth, Ruth, but I did have a $50 gift certificate for New Balance from my daughter Carrie, and my dogs were barking, so I thought I'd get some new tires. Ellis Gaulden, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound sales technician with a serious rep, hooked me up with some “limousines for the feet,” a pair of 4E 993 running shoes. I told Ellis I was a sportswriter and that he looked athletic, so like, where did he go to high school and what were his sports. When he told me he went to Amos P. Godby High School in Tallahassee, Fla., and later graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2009 with a degree in human development and that he played wide receiver in football and ran track, I moved in for verification. “And what track events did you do and what are your personal bests?” He modestly admitted that he was a 25-foot-2 long jumper and a 7-foot-2 high jumper and that he was Big East champion three years in a row. So the big old guy with 4E feet went to his Tundra truck and returned with his heavy-duty Nikon camera and captured Ellis and his story and planted the seeds for him volunteering at Cape this spring.
Heavy du crew - I have interviewed five 400-pound men over the last two weeks and because I'm a member of the Linemen for Life tribe, I get an easy pass to the inside skinny. Mike DeNiro, 42, from Michigan by way of North Wilmington, placed 276th at Saturday's Race Into the New Year 5K in Rehoboth with a time of 58:18. Mike received a finish-line ovation from skinny people eating pancakes and syrup from Catchers off paper plates. "It was my 21st 5K for the calender year," said Mike, who is 6-foot-2 and weighs 415 pounds. “I guess if I trained between races and lost 200 pounds I'd run faster.” “You would,” I said. “But I wouldn't be here talking to you; I'd have bigger fish to fry.”
Brice is nice - Brice Howard went to Cape then to St. Andrew's, where he was an all-state long pole defenseman on a Saints team that won the state championship in 2004. Brice then matriculated at Kenyon College, where he played lacrosse for the Division III Lords in the tough North Coast Athletic Conference that includes Ohio Wesleyan. Kenyon leads all Division III colleges with 57 national championship trophies including 30 in a row in swimming. Paul Newman and Johnathan Winters are graduates. On Dec. 21, the 24-year-old Brice placed ninth in the Race Into the New Year 5K and won his age group with a time of 19:39. He came up to me after his race. ”I don't know if you remember me. I'm Brice Howard, I was in your class.” “Brice who?” I think Brice was surprised that the Savant of Sportswriters knew all about him. A great kid for sure.
Strong showing - The Cape Henlopen wrestling team placed second in the Dec. 29 11th Annual Ralph Wetzel Holiday Classic Invitational at Hatboro Horsham, Pa., scoring 163 points. Mathacton High School was the winner with 170 points. Rounding out the top five in the field of 22 were Malvern Prep 129, Upper Moreland 128 and Downingtown East 126. Cape crowned three champions: Garret Smith 138, Sammy Mohr 152 and Tommy Ott 220. Aaron Dennis reached the finals of the 170-pound class, where he lost an 8-5 decision and placed second. Justin Lopez of Cape finished third in the 145-pound class. The Vikings are home Wednesday, Jan. 4, hosting powerhouse Caesar Rodney. Varsity action is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The Riders are coming off a team championship at the prestigious Conestoga Valley Invitational, where they defeated defending champion Westfield, Va. 171-169.
Polar pressure - New Year's Day 2011, I ruptured a thigh muscle from the quadriceps group running into the ocean with the Lewes Polar Bears and wasn't sure if it was the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, or vastus medialis - or whether they were Italian girls from South Philly stored in my repressed memory bank. But this New Year's Day after doing “the stack” multiple times on the leg extensions machine at Club Fitness, I opted out of the ocean swim, breaking a 30-year streak, but at least my Bear buddies busted on me unmercifully. Grandchildren Lina and Will, along with their parents Suzannah and Jack, went in, so that counts for something. I'm out! Cape boys' basketball plays at home Tuesday, Jan. 3, against Sussex Central and Wednesday, Jan. 5, the wrestling team hosts Caesar Rodney. Get out there and support some kids. Go on now, git!