(Tom Scott's column will return Thursday.)
Tuesday, May 29, 2012.
In 2½ weeks we’ll find out if Evelyn Stevens and Amber Neben successfully struck while the iron was hot in Kristin Armstrong’s absence. Stevens and Neben finished one-two in the inaugural Exergy Tour with Armstrong watching her hometown event from the sidelines after breaking her clavicle Thursday night. The trio is jostling for two time trial spots on the U.S. Olympic team this summer, and Stevens and Neben took advantage of the last major opportunity to impress the committee. Most damaging to Armstrong, perhaps, was the one-two finish posted by Neben and Stevens in Kuna in Saturday’s time trial, Kristin’s specialty. The committee will have to be reminded that Armstrong was on pace to smoke the field in the prologue Thursday before her devastating crash.
Overall, the first Exergy Tour was a rousing success. After a rather brilliant stretch of May weather, the Treasure Valley saw the Memorial Day weekend curse the first four days of the race before crowds were blessed with a beautiful day for yesterday’s final stage, the Boise-Hyde Park Road Race. I was positioned at the bottom of the “Dump Loop,” and it was a sight indeed to see the tightly-packed peloton blast down Seaman’s Gulch Road. Here’s hoping the Exergy Tour is a regular on the Boise sports calendar.
Certainly the fact that Prosser and Sunnyside in the state of Washington are separated by a mere 14 miles on Highway 12 isn’t going to make it any more likely that Kellen Moore makes the Detroit Lions roster. Moore is from Prosser, and Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is from Sunnyside, and their families know each other. (The fact that one played quarterback for Boise State and the other for Idaho is beside the point.) I wondered what it would be like once the two guys worked together in Detroit. Well, Linehan has raved about Moore’s accuracy and also said he had a “sneaky good arm.”
Dan Pompei of National Football Post had some good Linehan quotes after the Lions’ rookie camp. “Kellen has some physical things he will have to work on, shore up, adjust,” Linehan told Pompei. “But the guy has what it takes, the ‘It’ factor or whatever people want to call it, to get it done. I think he’s ready to come in and transition to the NFL game right away, do it his way. You aren’t going to last long as a quarterback in the NFL if you don’t have it upstairs. That won’t be an issue for him.” Linehan likes the way Moore plays within himself. “Kellen is a great example of somebody who has a real good idea of what he can do, and he does it very well,” said the one-time St. Louis Rams coach. “People focus on a lot of his deficiencies as far as height. He has a good enough arm, it’s not a great arm. He can get things done in a different way.”
Pompei had some interesting stats regarding Moore being tall enough to see over linemen and get passes off during his Boise State days. Only five of Kellen’s 439 passing attempts were batted down at the line of scrimmage last year. Stanford’s Andrew Luck had only two of 409 passes deflected at the line. But Baylor’s Robert Griffin III had nine out of 402 knocked down, and Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill had 19 of 531 swatted.
Every phase of the reloading process is important for the 2012 Boise State football team, and another one starts today. Six weeks after the completion of spring football, the Broncos reconvene for summer conditioning and player-run practices. In the practices, the players are on their own—no coaches allowed per NCAA rules. Summer workouts have become a bonding bonanza for a team renowned for its chemistry during the extraordinary 13-year run that has seen it ring up a 146-22 record.
Davey Hamilton had a decent start as a full-time owner at the Indianapolis 500. After starting in the race 11 times in his career, Hamilton was at the Brickyard this year as co -owner of Schmidt Hamilton HP Motorsports. His lead driver, Simon Pagenaud, finished 16th at Indy Sunday, overachieving his Row 8 start. Hamilton isn’t totally out of the cockpit—he raced at Oswego Speedway in New York three weeks ago and will occasionally do some short-track racing to have fun and stay involved in that side of the sport.
One Boise State track athlete made it through the NCAA West Preliminary Round Saturday in Austin, TX. Emma Bates advanced the NCAA Championships in the 5000-meters by smashing the school record in the event by more than four seconds. Bates, a sophomore from Elk River, MN, finished 11th overall. Idaho also had one athlete make nationals, as Mike Marshall qualified in the javelin. The NCAA meet begins a week from Thursday in Des Moines, IA. Elsewhere, Mountain View High grad Hillary Holt became the first individual NAIA national champion in the nearly 100-year history of College of Idaho track and field, winning the 1,500-meter final at the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Saturday.
The College of Idaho baseball team has something it can build on despite a two games-and-out experience at the NAIA World Series in Lewiston. The Coyotes finished the season 41-21 and proved they can again play at the NAIA’s highest level. The Yotes’ quest at nationals was abruptly halted Saturday by old nemesis Lewis-Clark State, which got a three-run homer in the first inning from Braxton Miller and cruised from there in a 5-1 win.
Idaho Steelheads goaltender Jerry Kuhn will be doing a different kind of netminding later this week. Kuhn has been chosen by USA Hockey to the American team that will compete at the 2012 International Ice Hockey Federation InLine World Championship in Ingolstadt, Germany, beginning Thursday. Kuhn was stellar between the pipes for the Steelheads in the recently-completed season, making a staggering 1,942 saves during the regular season and another 362 in the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
This Day In Sports…May 29, 1955:
Arnold Palmer, the 1954 U.S. Amateur champion, wins his first money as a professional golfer, earning $145 for finishing in a tie for 25th place in the Fort Wayne Open. It would take Arnie 13 years, 2 months—and 52 victories—to pass $1 million dollars in earnings. Fifty years later, Tiger Woods would get that much money in his sleep.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)