SAINT CLOUD, MINN. > HOCKEY
Austin, a junior at Cloud Cathedral, had a team-best four goals and one assist to help the U.S. Under-17 team go undefeated at the Five Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic. Austin scored two goals in under a minute to earn U.S. player of the game honors in a 6--2 tournament opener win over Germany, and he sealed a 4--2 win over Slovakia in the final game on a third-period power play. This fall he will play club hockey in the invitation-only Upper Midwest High School Elite League.
OWENSBORO, KY. > BASKETBALL
Rebecca, a 6'1" senior guard at Owensboro Catholic, scored 22 points—including 17 in the first half's final six minutes—to lead the Tennessee Flight to a 68--61 victory over Virginia's Boo Williams in the elite Gold Division at Nike Nationals in North Augusta, S.C., for her third career tournament title. Last year she helped the U.S. to gold and was named co-MVP of the FIBA Americas U-16 tournament. She is competing with the U.S. squad at the U-17 worlds in Amsterdam this week.
SAN JOSE > TENNIS
Novikov, a sophomore at UCLA, swept the USTA Boys' 18s singles and doubles nationals to earn wild-card entries into the men's main draw at the U.S. Open next week. The No. 3 seed, he defeated No. 8 Alexios Halebian (Hollywood, Calif.) in four sets in the singles final in Kalamazoo, Mich. He then teamed up with Duke's Michael Redlicki (Hawthorn Woods, Ill.) to win the doubles title. Novikov, who helped the Bruins to the NCAA semifinals this year, is ranked 21st in the U.S. among boys 18 and under.
BRADENTON, FLA. > TENNIS
Victoria, 16, who studies at the U.S. Tennis Association training center in Boca Raton, Fla., won the USTA Girls' 18s national singles championship to earn a wild-card entry into the women's main draw at the U.S. Open. She defeated five of the tournament's top 10 seeds, including No. 3 Alexandra Kiick (Plantation, Fla., who went on to win the doubles title) 3--6, 6--1, 6--0 in the final, held in San Diego. Victoria is ranked 21st in the country among girls 18 and under.
BRICK, N.J. > SAILING
Jonathan, a senior at Christian Brothers Academy who sails for Metedeconk Yacht Club, became the first in International Lightning Class (a three-person 19-foot centerboard sloop) racing history to follow a Junior North American Championships win with a victory in the North American open. He skippered Jonathan Pottharst and Reed Balderidge to the junior title at the Houston Yacht Club. A week later Jonathan won the open there, crewing under his father, Jody, with his uncle, Jay Lutz.
STERLING, ILL. > WATERSKIING
Kunde, a 75-year-old retired factory superintendent and entrepreneur, set a pending age-group national jumping record (88 feet) and took second in the tricks and slalom events to win the men's 75--79 overall title at the U.S. Water Ski national championships in West Palm Beach, Fla. Kunde, a grandfather of 10 who is known for dyeing his hair orange when competing at nationals (a tradition he has upheld for the past 10 years), also holds U.S. jumping marks for ages 70--74 and 65--69.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL has already begun to feel the effects of the global helium shortage. Specifically, Nebraska will be unable to continue its tradition of releasing as many as 5,000 red balloons after the first Cornhuskers touchdown of every home game. Instead, the school plans to release only 2,500 on Sept. 1, during the season opener against Southern Mississippi. There is no timetable for the tradition's return. Helium is extracted from natural gas wells. When the price of natural gas is low, as it is now, production of helium is less profitable. Other lighter-than-air gases either don't provide enough lift (such as nitrogen) or are too flammable (hydrogen, which was used in the Hindenberg). According to Ethan Rowley, the school's director of athletic marketing, "We don't want to take away helium from hospitals and industries that need it more than we do right now."
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STEVEN BRANSCOMBE/SOUTHCREEK/ZUMAPRESS.COM (BALLOONS)
R.TAMM PHOTOGRAPHY (POGANSKI)
STEVEN MAIKOSKI/USA BASKETBALL (GREENWELL)
DANNY HARRINGTON/UCLA SPORTS INFORMATION (NOVIKOV)
DAVE RAMOS (DUVAL)
COURTESY OF THE LUTZ FAMILY (LUTZ)
SCOTT N. ATKINSON (KUNDE)