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Armstrong’s ultimate goal still lies ahead

by Tom Scott

Bio | Follow: @thescottslant


Posted on July 30, 2012 at 7:33 AM

Updated Monday, Jul 30 at 7:37 AM

Monday, July 30, 2012.

It wasn’t her specialty, but Boise’s Kristin Armstrong still expected to finish better then 35th yesterday in the women’s road race at the Summer Olympics.  It wasn’t the heavy rain that bothered the 2008 gold medalist, but the crashes.  Armstrong was delayed by one; then later in the race, another cyclist fell and Kristin was knocked over in the process.  It was a scary moment, as she fell on her left side, where a broken clavicle took her out of the Exergy Tour in Boise in May.  But she did not aggravate the injury.  Armstrong now looks forward to Wednesday when she races the event she won in Beijing in 2008, the time trial.  She hasn’t lost a time trial that she’s started this year—but, of course, the field in London will be something else. 

One-time Centennial High student Breeja Larson will be prime time on NBC tonight.  Larson qualified fourth in the preliminaries of the 100-meter breaststroke yesterday and will race in the finals.  We have to be clear that Idaho didn’t “produce” Larson as a swimmer.  She attended Centennial her sophomore and junior years and was a track athlete for the Patriots.  But Larson’s passion was swimming, and she moved in with an aunt and uncle in Mesa, AZ, her senior year in order to return to a high school with a swim team—and to compete for the elite Mesa Aquatics Club.

If the first few days of training camp are any indication, Doug Martin is poised to become Tampa Bay’s feature running back.  The first round pick out of Boise State has Buccaneers beat writers buzzing so far.  Martin has been getting more reps than LeGarrette Blount since day one of camp and continuing through yesterday’s first practice in pads.  “Martin clearly the top dog so far,” tweeted WDAE’s Tom Krasniqi.  “Very impressive.”  All that thankless work Martin did while pass-blocking as a Bronco is really paying off.  That’s what is separating him from Blount more than anything else early on.

Martin appears to be one squared-away hombre judging by his first-person mini-essay in the new Sports Illustrated.  He talks about all he’s learning, from his NFL playbook to the things he took from the league’s rookie symposium.  Martin spent a lot of time in his SI space on the issue of health.  He said he will play hurt—but will not play injured.  “I really don’t have any fears about playing in the league,” Martin said, adding that the rewards are greater than the risks.  “The bond you form with your brothers on the team, and the feeling you have after winning a game and eventually a championship—that feeling is why you play the game.”

Here are a couple observations from the opening of Detroit training camp pertaining to former Boise State stars.  They come from Anwar Richardson, who covers the Lions for “Backup quarterback R.J. Archer may end up making his battle with Kellen Moore an interesting one.  Archer's arm is notably stronger, but Moore's college resume is definitely impressive.  Moore is receiving more reps right now, but keep an eye on how each player performs during the preseason.”  Also: “Titus Young's offseason momentum continued as the receiver grabbed everything thrown his way.  He was definitely impressive on day one.”

If you were gone over the weekend and were checking Boise Hawks scores, certainly you did a double-take.  The Hawks did, too.  They beat Tri-City Saturday night 1-0—and then did it again last night.  Those were Boise’s first back-to-back shutouts since 2006, but certainly those would be the first back-to-back 1-0 wins in Hawks history.  So let’s roll out the names.  Saturday it was Tayler Scott yielding just four hits as he threw the first five innings.  Hayden Simpson came on for the next three and gave up one hit, and Eddie Orozco tossed a scoreless ninth.   Last night Ian Dickson went the first five innings and allowed three hits, and Hunter Ackerman finished with a masterful four frames in which he allowed only one hit.  The only run of last night’s game came on a third inning solo home run by Gioskar Amaya. 

Stephen Fife’s first major league start for the L.A. Dodgers was against Philadelphia standout Roy Halladay, and Fife was brilliant.  The Borah High grad’s second start came Friday night in AT&T Park against rival San Francisco and Matt Cain—he of the perfect game in June—and Fife was even better.  The 25-year-old right-hander, who had been called up again from Albuquerque, went 6 1/3 innings and allowed just one run on six hits.  Fife left the game with a 3-1 lead, but just like in his debut, the bullpen couldn’t hold it.  This time, however, the Dodgers recovered for a 5-3 win.  In two big league appearances, Fife is sporting a sparkling ERA of 1.46.  Maybe L.A. will keep him around this time.

Graham DeLaet turned in a consistent four days at the RBC Canadian Open, but it was only consistent enough for a tie for 56th.  Still, the Saskatchewan native and former Boise State standout took home $11,468 from the biggest tournament in his home country.  DeLaet dropped one spot in the FedEx Cup standings at No. 109.  Nampa native Robert Garrigus finished second in the event to Scott Piercy.  Former Bronco Troy Merritt, by the way, missed the cut Friday on the Tour in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational at Columbus, OH.

A “Mountain West Forgotten Fact of the Day”: Of the eight WAC schools that were left behind when the Mountain West opened for business in 1999, two of them will finally be in the Mountain West this season.  And one more will join them in the MW’s 2013 configuration.  Hawaii, Fresno State and San Jose State were left at the altar 13 years ago.  It was a bitter turn of events for Hawaii, which had been in the WAC since 1979.  Fresno State was part of WAC expansion in 1992, and San Jose State was added for the WAC’s ill-fated move to 16 teams and four divisions in 1996.  The Warriors and Bulldogs were coveted as Mountain West additions this season, while the Spartans were more of a case of “last resort” to help replace Boise State and San Diego State in the MW next year.

This Day In Sports…July 30, 1990:

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner is banned from baseball for life by Commissioner Fay Vincent.  Steinbrenner had paid $40,000 to a small-time gambler in an attempt to gather damaging information on Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield.  Steinbrenner had failed to pay Winfield’s foundation $300,000 as promised in his contract, and Winfield sued the owner.  Steinbrenner was eventually reinstated to baseball in 1993.

(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.)