<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Sports]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut http://www.nbcconnecticut.com en-us Mon, 25 May 2015 21:54:47 -0400 Mon, 25 May 2015 21:54:47 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Bears Release Ray McDonald]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 16:48:05 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/th-may-25-ray-mcdonald-mug.jpg

The Chicago Bears rolled the dice on signing defensive end Ray McDonald after a history of domestic abuse accusations and arrests, and on Monday their gamble didn't pay off as the team released McDonald following a domestic violence arrest

"We believe in second chances, but when we signed Ray we were very clear what our expectations were if he was to remain a Bear," Bears G.M. Ryan Pace said in a statement. "He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him."

McDonald, who played for the San Francisco 49'ers under Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, was released by the team last season after he was arrested for assault in California. 

That arrest (the charges were eventually dropped because of insufficent evidence) was one of several brushes with the law that McDonald has had over the past few years. He also was accused of sexual assault last year, and he was also arrested for DUI and charged with failing to appear in court on the charges. 

When the Bears signed McDonald, team chairman George McCaskey said that McDonald's case was one of "bad judgment" and that he believed that the lineman was a changed man. 

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<![CDATA[2015 French Open: Best Moments]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 14:37:29 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/474727000_master.jpg See photos from Roland-Garros, the 2015 French Open Tennis Tournament.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bears' Ray McDonald Arrested on Domestic Violence Charge]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 17:11:45 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/ray+mcdonald+getty.jpg

Former San Francisco 49er-turned-Chicago Bear Raymond McDonald has been arrested on a domestic violence charge, Santa Clara police confirmed. Hours after the arrest, the Bears released McDonald, only 62 days after he signed with the team. 

"We believe in second chances, but when we signed Ray we were very clear what our expectations were if he was to remain a Bear," Bears G.M. Ryan Pace said in a statement. "He was not able to meet the standard and the decision was made to release him."

According to Lieutenant Kurt Clarke with the Santa Clara police department, officers were called to McDonald's home in Santa Clara just after 3:45 a.m. for a report of a disturbance. Police said McDonald was accused of physically assaulting a victim while she was holding a baby.

After the alleged assault, McDonald left the home and was arrested in the 2200 block of Terra Nova Lane in San Jose, Clarke said. 

Two San Jose police sources told NBC Bay Area on Monday that they assisted Santa Clara police with the detention.

According to the sources, McDonald was arrested at the home of retired 49ers defensive end Justin Smith. Another source said he rents an apartment in Santa Clara on Carlyle Court for his ex-fiancee and baby.

McDonald was arrested for misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment and was taken to the Santa Clara Police Department, police said. He is expected to be moved to the Santa Clara County Jail. 

McDonald was signed to a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears in March.

McDonald was released from the 49ers in December after law enforcement officials in San Jose, Calif., began an investigation into an alleged sexual assault.

He has since sued the woman who accused him of assault, and he has not been charged in the case as the investigation remains open.

The defensive end was also tangled up in a domestic abuse case involving his fiancee last August, but he was not charged in the case.

"I feel like I didn't do anything wrong but you know, still, it's in the spotlight," McDonald told reporters at the Bears minicamp last month. "I'm just trying to move forward from it."

Also last month, Bears Chairman George McCaskey said he talked to McDonald about the incidents before signing him. 

"I made it clear to him what was expected of him if he were to become a Bear," McCaskey said. "I was confident at the end of that conversation that he'll do what needs to be done."

Reached by phone in Florida on Monday, McDonald's mother, LaBrina McDonald, told NBC Bay area that she knew nothing about the arrest.

"I'm not dealing with any more of this negative stuff," she said.

She did say that McDonald's baby, Amari, was born in March to his ex-fiance and that sometimes he visited his newborn son in Silicon Valley.

The Chicago Bears could not immediately be reached for comment. Neither DeFilippis nor McDonald's criminal attorney, Joshua Bentley, returned immediate requests for comment.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Rally for Tom Brady]]> Sun, 24 May 2015 19:32:24 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/free+brady.JPG

Tom Brady is living legend to the hundreds of fans who rallied at Gillette Stadium Sunday.

"He's a good player, he does nothing wrong," said one fan.

"Tom Brady's the greatest quarterback of all time," said another.

"I'm here for him," said another. "I got the sweater - it's a little hot for a sweater, but I'll take the heat."

Heat is what they are hoping this "Free Tom Brady" rally will put on NFL officials to remove the Super Bowl MVP's four game suspension.

"We're crazy when we're unified," said organizer Paublo Munoz. "We're an amazing team - as Patriots Nation, that is - and this really shows it."

Some came from New Hampshire and Rhode Island just to show their support and purchase shirts, dawning the words "Free Brady".

After getting married earlier this month, one couple had a change of plans for their honeymoon in hopes of a change in plans with disciplinary action taken against Brady.

"God bless Brady, because we're backing him, no matter what," said new husband Paul Goodrow. "We're not going on our honeymoon until that ban is lifted." 

Last week, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he won't appeal the punishment dealt to the team. But these fans say the $1 million fine and losing two draft picks is way too harsh.

They also had some choice words for the NFL commissioner and Indianapolis Colts.

"Goodell is stupid," said a young fan.



Photo Credit: necn
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<![CDATA[Fan Attempts Selfie With Federer at French Open]]> Sun, 24 May 2015 10:33:23 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP978212670959.jpg

For Roger Federer, the menace did not come from the other side of the net.

After dispatching Colombian Alejandro Falla in straight sets, the 17-time Grand Slam winner was about to leave center court Sunday when a young man ran down the stands and made his way to the Swiss star unhindered. The fan brazenly put his hand across his shoulder to try and get a selfie with him.

Federer looked surprised, then a bit uncomfortable as he seemed to question with a hand gesture why the security guards did not intervene. One of them finally grabbed the man and took him away.

While there was no ill intent from this fan, the incident raised concerns about security at the event and clearly riled Federer.

"I'm not happy about it. Obviously not one second I'm happy about it," Federer said, adding that he received an apology from tournament director Gilbert Ysern. "It happened yesterday in the practice, too. I think it's true for all players that you have to feel safe when we play, feel safe on the courts. It shouldn't happen too often. It's happened twice in two days and also in 2009 during the final. I think people should react more quickly. First, it should never happen."

That was the only incident in an otherwise smooth start to the French Open for Federer, who advanced to the second round with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Falla.

Facing a player who pushed him to five sets at Wimbledon five years ago, the 2009 champion was never threatened this time, extending his unbeaten run against the 111th-ranked Falla to 8-0.

On a sunny first day of play at Roland Garros, last year's runner-up Simona Halep also advanced in straight sets in the women's draw.

Federer put Falla under pressure in the eighth game of the first set, breaking for a 5-3 lead when the Colombian could not handle a good backhand return. Federer shouted "come on" after earning a set point in his next service game and closed it out when Falla sent a backhand into the net.

Federer's flashy outfit, with pink shorts and a lilac shirt, was almost as eye-catching as some of the shots the former top-ranked player produced. The 17-time Grand Slam winner broke again for a 2-1 lead in the second set following a game in which he left Falla stranded with a perfectly hit defensive lob.

Federer wrapped up the second set with another break in the ninth game. At 4-3 down in the third set, Falla called a trainer to get his right thigh massaged. The Colombian held his next serve but could not prevent Federer from breaking him in the 10th game as the Swiss unleashed a forehand attack that he returned wide.

On the women's side, the third-seeded Halep hit an ace on match point to beat Russian Evegenia Rodina 7-5, 6-4, while ninth-seeded Ekaterina Markova breezed past American wild card Louisa Chirico 6-4, 6-2.

Halep made a big breakthrough at the French Open last year, losing in final to Maria Sharapova after not conceding a set in her previous matches.

Halep, who said she is stronger than last year both physically and mentally, is bidding to become the first Romanian to win a Grand Slam title since Virginia Ruzici at the French Open in 1978.

"I have stronger body and I have improved a lot in my game," she said. "Serve is better, so I feel more confident now with my game."

Up againt Halep in the second round will be veteran Mirjana Lucic-Baroni, who defeated American Lauren Davis 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. Lucic-Baroni, who won her first match at Roland Garros since 2002, upset Halep at the U.S. Open last year.

"I have not good memories from that match," Halep said. "I just was blocked and I couldn't hit the ball."

On paper, the 33-year-old Federer has a relatively easy draw until the fourth round, where he could meet 13th-seeded Gael Monfil before a potential quarterfinal with his Davis Cup teammate Stan Wawrinka, who beat Marsel Ilhan 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.

Federer, who achieved a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open in 2009 after three runner-up finish, has not made it to the final on the Parisian clay since 2011. He lost in the fourth round last year but has been playing excellent tennis recently and has a 26-5 record in 2015. On clay, he lost in final in Rome after claiming an 85th career title in Istanbul.

Among the seeded players to advance to the second round Sunday were also No. 19 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 22 Philipp Kohlschreiber. The first seeded player to bow out was No. 25 Ivo Karlovic, who lost 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-4 to Marcos Baghdatis.



Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Is Chargers Move to LA Legal?]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 14:30:57 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/172*120/GettyImages-457517872.jpg

For quite some time now, the Chargers have been laying the ground work for a move to Los Angeles if the team and the San Diego government cannot come to an agreement on a new stadium in either Mission Valley or Downtown.

Carson is calling. Inglewood could be, too. But one major issue could prove to be an obstacle too large to overcome: Moving a football team from San Diego to L.A. might not be legal.

Chargers fans are dedicated to keeping their beloved team in America’s Finest City, even if it means they have to sue the NFL to do it, and they have found someone willing to help them if necessary.

“The Chargers and the NFL are basically saying give us what we want or we’re going to move the team,” says former City Attorney Mike Aguirre. “That really is a violation of the anti-trust laws.”

San Diegans who have followed the last decade and a half of stadium wrangling may have memories of Aguirre being a thorn in the Chargers’ side. He says he’s always been pro-Chargers, that he’s learned from those days and sees a constructive way of moving forward.

“It’s easy to come across as being anti-Chargers,” says Aguirre. “That’s where you have to be super, super cautious to say this is not anti-Chargers, this is pro-keeping the Chargers here in San Diego.”

The meat of the idea comes from a few different places. One is the Sherman Act. Another is the anti-trust lawsuit a group of NFL players brought against the NFL during the 2011 Lockout. Another is Boltman.

“What we would like to do here is get support and feedback from the fans that this is the best option if the Chargers turn their backs on us,” said Dan Jauregui, better known to many by his alter-ego Boltman. “The beauty of all this is it is not coming from the Mayor’s office or the city or CSAG. It’s coming from the Charger fans. No political issues from the city.”

In a written statement entitled, Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures, Jauregui outlines the idea of bringing a lawsuit against the NFL:

“We strongly feel that if the Chargers continue to threaten our city and hold fans hostage after a fair and reasonable finance plan has been submitted, we will have no choice but to prepare to make our case in court under the laws that prohibit unfair competition. I have also prepared a “demand” letter to the city of San Diego, requesting they file an injunction against the NFL to protect the rights of San Diego fans by asserting the city’s rights under anti-trust law. This demand letter has not yet been served to the city. We have arrived at this point very reluctantly, but we believe as Americans we have the duty to assert our rights under the laws that require our markets to be kept open and free. The NFL cannot be allowed to use unlawful monopoly power to deprive us of what the fans have worked and sacrificed to make possible: a very successfully NFL team.”

It is extremely difficult to win an anti-trust case in America. If any current business knows that, it’s the National Football League.

“What’s great about this issue is the NFL has already lost,” says Aguirre. “So if the city were the raise it as a serious issue and really get behind it the hope would be the NFL would see the city is serious and force everybody in to a position of, Let’s try to work this thing out.”

The case most germane to the idea came about in 2011. A group of NFL players led by Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and a few others filed a class action suit against the NFL and its 32 member teams on anti-trust grounds. Their complaint read, in part:

“The NFL Defendants comprise the only major professional football league in the United States. Together, they monopolize and/or restrain trade in, and/or have combined and conspired to monopolize and/or restrain trade in the United State market for the services of major league professional football players.”

That phrase, restrain trade in, is one of the keys here. Section 1 of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act says, in part:

“Every contract … or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal …”

That’s the verbiage that could cause serious problems for the Chargers and the NFL if an attempt is made to move the team to the Los Angeles market. The NFL lost its case in 2011 (a decision “overwhelmingly” upheld by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals) and would face a similar argument in San Diego.

According to Aguirre, restraining trade is legal if it’s done under reasonable circumstances such as a financial hardship.

“Normally what you would say is, look we can’t make money there. We can’t make a go of it. We’re not making as much as we need to keep the team going,” says Aguirre. “None of that argument can be made. (The Chargers are) making plenty of money. They’re making more money than they’ve ever made.”

According to numbers from the statistical website www.statista.com the Chargers have seen an increase in revenue every season for the last 15 years. In fact, the team’s revenues reportedly doubled from $131 million in 2001 to $262 million in 2013.

NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman has even said, “We have a healthy business. We are not losing money. We have never said that.” As a fun side note, Grubman’s Twitter handle is @EricNFLMoney.

Another reason for relocating the Chargers, says Aguirre, is the possibility of giving the San Diego market another NFL franchise.

“There’s no way for them to leave under the circumstances of the NFL saying we won’t give you another team. If the NFL were to say well we’ll give you another them, that’s a different story. They’re basically exploiting the fact that the NFL controls the number of teams. If you restrain trade it’s OK if it’s reasonable. If a monopoly restrains trade, then that’s a much more difficult case to make.”

Once again, Grubman’s response to whether or not San Diego would get an expansion team was less than favorable. He told the San Diego Union-Tribune it’s a “low probability.”

So if the groundwork for the lawsuit is there, another big question is money. Attorney fees are not cheap so who pays for it? Although it could be a taxpayer lawsuit, the taxpayers could avoid footing the bill.

“The taxpayers would not pay the legal fees unless the city council decided to invest in it and do it themselves,” says Aguirre. “Then it would be a combination of the city attorney and outside counsel. It could be structured in a lot of different ways.”

Taking this approach could get messy, and would likely be used only in a worst-case scenario to help level the playing field against the financial superiority in Los Angeles.

“It would not be requiring the city of San Diego to try to match the economic abilities of a much larger market like Los Angeles,” says Aguirre. “That’s the idea, to use all the arsenal if necessary.”

Aguirre would likely not be involved in the actual litigation. He suggests the same attorneys who helped the NFL players in 2011 take the lead on a lawsuit.

So what would be the underlying motivation of such a drastic course of action? To force the Chargers and local government to work together and truly pull out all the stops to make a stadium deal in San Diego.

“We are only trying,” says Jauregui, ”to help keep the Chargers in San Diego.”

Boltman is simply to make sure the Chargers don’t bolt, man.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clock Ticks But Fortune Smiles for Federer at French Open]]> Sat, 23 May 2015 20:53:22 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP896641031794.jpg

There are two distinct sounds when Roger Federer graces the courts of Roland Garros. One is the pop of backhands and forehands kicking up puffs of red clay. The other, getting ever louder, is the scratchy tick of life's clock.

At age 33, with 34 bearing down in August, time is increasingly the enemy to Federer's quest to add to his already record haul of Grand Slam titles.

The count climbed to 17 with his seventh win at Wimbledon in 2012, when he was still a young 30-year-old. Then, abruptly, it stopped. In Federer's golden spell from 2004-2009, there were 24 Grand Slam finals. Federer played in 20 of them, winning 14. But since his 2012 Wimbledon win against Andy Murray, just one of the 10 subsequent Grand Slam finals featured the Swiss: an epic five-setter lost to Novak Djokovic last year.

Of all places for Federer to prove that he still has another major title in him, Roland Garros would seem the least favorable. The slow red dust blunts nuances of his game so effective on other, faster surfaces. Having one of the sharpest tactical minds and best right hands tennis has ever seen were never quite enough for Federer at the only major he's not won multiple times. He needed a sprinkling of luck, too. Federer's only victory at the French Open, in five finals, came in 2009 against Robin Soderling, who did him the favor of taking "King of Clay" Rafael Nadal out of the picture in the fourth round.

Good fortune, in the shape of Maria Sharapova's fingers, is smiling on Federer again this year. The defending women's champion, called upon to pluck out the seeded men's names in Friday's draw, delivered a road map that could hardly be more favorable for Federer.

Sixth-seeded Nadal and third-seeded Murray were both drawn in the half of top-seeded Djokovic. That means second-seeded Federer would only have to play, at most, one of those infernal three who beat him at the semifinal or final stage of majors in 2013 and 2014. And such a blockbuster match could only happen in the June 7 final, if Federer gets that far.

"There is a chance to go very deep," he acknowledged. "How deep remains to be seen depending on the level of play."

Federer opens his 62nd consecutive Grand Slam campaign, extending his record, on Sunday against a qualifier. In the women's championship, last year's losing finalist Simona Halep, seeded three, opens against Evgeniya Rodina, ranked 91. The 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic plays Yaroslava Shvedova, quarterfinalist in 2010 and 2012.

Federer has a relatively easy-looking path until the fourth round, where he could meet 13th-seeded Gael Monfils before a potential quarterfinal against his Davis Cup Swiss teammate Stan Wawrinka, seeded eight. In the semifinals, a possible meeting with either Japan's Kei Nishikori, seeded five, or fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych looms.

But all that is just on paper. The end, in the Wimbledon second round in 2013, of Federer's astounding streak of 36 Grand Slam quarterfinals or better punctured the idea that he's assured a place in the second week of a major tournament. Roland Garros last year ended in the fourth round for Federer, with a five-set loss to Ernests Gulbis. The Latvian, ranked 25, is in Federer's section of the draw again this year.

"There (are) a lot of good players out there that want to win the tournament that can win the tournament. Others that are dangerous on the day," Federer noted. "Whether it's in semis or in the finals, if you lose, you lose at one point or another, and that's not funny. So my objective is to not lose."

Nadal's seeding dropped lower than ever at Roland Garros this time, leaving him vulnerable in the draw, after the nine-time champion endured his worst season on clay in 10 years. The 14-time Grand Slam champion enters the tournament with five losses in 2015 on the surface where he used to be superhuman, accumulating a 66-1 record at Roland Garros.

Federer has been playing excellent tennis and has a 25-5 record in 2015. On clay, he lost a final in Rome to Djokovic after claiming an 85th career title in Istanbul. His previously aching back is now old history.

"I feel like I have had a great last 12 months," Federer said. "I've just got to make sure I adjust my game according to the playing conditions here, and then we will see how far it takes me."

After his Rome final, Federer returned to Switzerland for a family break before touching base with coach Stefan Edberg, the former player who has been instrumental in adjustments to Federer's game following a below-par 2013.

"2013 cost me a lot of energy," Federer said. "We now have a good momentum; 2014 and 2015 have been good. I feel much better. But that doesn't mean anything when it comes to results."

Time will be the judge of that.

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<![CDATA[CT Woman Is 5th Globally to Finish "Chipper" CrossFit Challenge]]> Sat, 23 May 2015 17:07:59 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Kaleena+Ladeairous+1200.jpg

The CrossFit Regionals are underway as athletes from across the globe compete for the title of "Fittest on Earth" and one of the Connecticut participants is just became the fifth woman in the world to finish one of the challenges to put her on top of the female leaderboard for the regional event.

The XL Center was roaring when CrossFit Milford's Kaleena Ladeairous became the fifth woman globally to complete the third event at this weekend's competition, the "chipper." The grueling workout includes a one-mile run, followed by 50 overhead squats at 95 pounds, 100 GHD sit-ups, 150 double unders, 50 sumo deadlift high pulls at 95 pounds and 100 18-inch box jump-overs.

The workout has a time cap of 26 minutes. Most do not finish and are then scored based on how many reps they can do. Ladeairous finished in 25:32.

Danae Brown, of Melbourne, Australia holds the world record at 24:31:09, which she set in the Pacific regionals.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[CrossFit Milford Places Second at Regionals]]> Mon, 25 May 2015 19:33:35 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/CrossFit+Milford+1200.jpg

It’s the quest to find the "Fittest on Earth." The 2015 CrossFit Regionals are underway across the globe during the month of May, and this weekend, the Eastern regional competition at the XL Center in Hartford has come to a close.

Competitors vied for a spot at the worldwide CrossFit Games this summer in Carson, California. Connecticut had six individuals and two teams in the mix. CrossFit Milford placed in second, qualifying them for the CrossFit Games.

The event was formerly held at Reebok world headquarters outside Boston. This is the first time the East Regional has been held in Hartford.

"It’s a big plus, having the community support and having my fans up there I get to point at and they cheer me on, I feel the energy on the floor so it’s been great," Zachary Moran, of Columbia, said.

CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro, also a former Navy Seal, does all the workout programming for CrossFit HQ and said the XL Center was the perfect venue for the growing sport.

"The reason we made the move was we wanted all of our venues to be indoors," he said. "In the past we've had regionals held outdoors and those are very demanding on individuals in terms of heat, in terms of tears, in terms of exposure

The CrossFit Games are a three-stage journey, beginning with the Open, a five-week competition held in early spring in CrossFit gyms around the world. Anyone can enter, and this year, more than 270,000 athletes put themselves to the test.

Although the increasingly popular sport of CrossFit attracts people of all fitness abilities, the road to the worldwide CrossFit Games is only for the elite. Less than one percent – only 660 people – qualified to advance from the Opens to the next step: Regionals.

Hartford hosted the Eastern regional, where 40 individual men, 40 individual women and 30 teams from the Northeastern United States and East Canada competed over three days. Only the top five individual men and women advanced to the Crossfit Games. Three teams advanced to the CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup.

"It's been been great from what I've seen and from what I've heard from the fans is they're really enjoying it," Castro said.

Connecticut’s Contenders
Connecticut’s entries to the Eastern regional include six individual athletes – three men, three women – and two teams.

NBC Connecticut’s Heidi Voight was covering the CrossFit Regionals all weekend. Follow Heidi on Twitter or Facebook to see all of her updates.

CONNECTICUT INDIVIDUAL ATHLETES – FEMALE:
Megin Oczkowski, Shoreline CrossFit
Kaleena Ladeairous, CrossFit Milford
Sarah Scholl, CrossFit Stamford

CONNECTICUT INDIVIDUAL ATHLETES – MALE:
Craig Kenney, Branford CrossFit
Kurt Garceau, North Haven CrossFit
Zachary Moran, Columbia CrossFit

CONNECTICUT TEAMS:
CrossFit Brickyard, South Windsor
CrossFit Milford, Milford
 

DAY THREE RESULTS

Connecticut Individual Men:

Branford's Craig Kenney came in 6th on the overall leaderboard. He finished 5th in event 6, the second to last event, which includes 25 calorie rows, 16 chest to bar pull-ups, 9 strict deficit handstand push-ups with a 16 minute cap.

Zachary Moran, of Columbia, finished 17th in his first regional CrossFit competition. Forty of the fittest men from the Northeast U.S. and Canada competed. Moran came in as a rookie people were unfamiliar with and caught attention by smashing two word event records.

But he will also be remembered for one of the East Regionals' most heartbreaking-turned-inspiring moments. The last athlete still on the course for the final event, Moran tried but failed multiple times to complete the final 265 pound squat clean. With his family in the stands and his competitors by his side cheering him on, Moran refused to quit. He took a moment, composed himself, made the sign of the cross on his chest... and walked forward to nail the lift as the entire XL Center roared.

Connecticut Individual Women:

Milford's Kaleena Ladeairous finished in seventh overall. She competed in the worldwide CrossFit Games back in 2013.
 
CrossFit Milford finished second overall in the Team Division and advances to the worldwide CrossFit Games that will be held this summer in Carson, California.

Here are the results from earlier in the weekend.

DAY TWO RESULTS

Connecticut Individual Men:

Columbia's Zachary Moran emerged from obscurity as a first-timer to smash world records in two events, flirting with the top five ahead of seasoned veterans.

"It’s nice to be in the same league as those guys, and have those big names next to you," Moran said.

Connecituct Individual Women:

In a stunning victory, CrossFit Milford's Kaleena Ladeairous became the fifth woman in the world to finish event three, the "Chipper."

In CrossFit lingo, a Chipper is a grueling, long-format event, which included two different Olympic lifts, a mile run, double unders, GHD situps and box jumpovers.

Ladeairous finished 28 seconds before the 26 minute cap, bringing the crowd at the XL Center to its feet.

"It was good. I like that workout. I wanted to finish it," she said.

Team highlights:

CrossFit Milford was in third place on Saturday after events four and five, which included the snatch, an Olympic lift and handstand walks.

"So to do well in an event like this that’s so skill-oriented that we’ve been working on all year is a big accomplishment," Elizabeth Warren, of CrossFit Milford said Saturday. "It’s still only one event, we have to stay consistent the whole weekend, we’re trying to move up."

DAY ONE RESULTS

Here's how the Connecticut competitors stacked up after two events on day one Friday.

Connecticut Individual Women:

  • Kaleena Ladeairous, 3rd
  • Megin Oczkowski, 24th
  • Sarah Scholl, 32nd

Connecticut Individual Men:

  • Zachary Moran, 5th
  • Craig Kenney, 7th
  • Kurt Garceau, 32nd

Athletes from South Windsor's CrossFit Brickyard and CrossFit Milford continued on in the teams division too.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com
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<![CDATA[Ollie Excited About New Faces]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 10:54:17 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/kevin+ollie+uconn+against+bryant.jpg

Kevin Ollie's Huskies went through a lot last season, most of which had to do with overcoming the loss of key players Shabazz Napier, Niels Giffey and DeAndre Daniels. In the end, Ryan Boatright couldn't carry the load himself, and youth and inexperience proved to be too much.

Now, some two months after UConn's season ended, the team already appears to be in better shape. Boatright is gone, but freshman standout point guard Jalen Adams is on the way, as is Seton Hall transfer Sterling Gibbs, who scored averaged 16.7 points per game last season to go along with 3.8 assists. He also led the Big East in three-point shooting percentage (45). There's also Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year Steven Enoch and Cornell transfer Shonn Miller.

Not surprisingly, Ollie likes how the roster is taking shape.

"I like the experience we have, especially with our young guys working very, very hard," the coach said Tuesday, via the Hartford Courant. "I like the new additions. I think we've got a very deep team, and guys are going to challenge each other every day in practice. That's what we want, that breeds success when everybody's competitive for minutes. ...

"It's going to be interesting," Ollie continued. "A of guys who can put the ball in the hole, and I think a lot of hungry guys. Everybody felt bad Selection Sunday when our name wasn't called and took that pain into the offseason."

Ollie, who was speaking at the Open Hearth's annual Overcomer Breakfast in Harford, also addressed the annual speculation about him leaving for an NBA job.

"I want to be your head basketball coach for a long, long time," he said. "Everybody's got these [theories]: I'm going here. I'm going there. ... I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere, because my family's first, and you guys are my family."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Crozier Named to Remington Watch List]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 10:51:44 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/uconn+football_generic+shot.jpg

Earlier this month former UConn center Alex Mateas was the first overall pick in the CFL Draft. On Tuesday, the Huskies were celebrating sophomore center Ryan Crozier's selection to the Remington Watch List, which is awarded every season to the best center in college football.

Details via the press release:

Crozier played ten games last year as a true freshman on the offensive -- starting the final three at left guard. He was moved to the center position during 2015 spring practice.

Since its inception, the Remington Trophy has raised over $2.6 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised over $115 million for CF Research.

Dave Remington, the award's namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the Outland Trophy's only double winner as the nation's finest college interior lineman.

Crozier played tackle and guard in at national powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas HS. He helped the squad to a 10-3 record in 2013, including the top spot in the 7A District 15 standings. As a junior and senior, named Class 7A All-State second team.

Crozier is the only true sophomore to make the watch list.



Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com]]>
<![CDATA[Jefferson Excited About Representing USA]]> Fri, 22 May 2015 10:52:03 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP944992913622.jpg

Moriah Jefferson has quietly become one of the most dangerous players in the college game. Often, most of the attention is paid to Breanna Stewart, but Jefferson is the engine that makes that offense run smoothly. And now she's representing her country as part of the United States Pan-American Games, an honor, despite all the success, she's not taking for granted.

“I’m really happy to make the team and represent my country again,” Jefferson said, via SNY.com's Carl Adamec. “I’m looking forward to playing in the Pan-Am Games and playing with Stewie again. Playing with her is always exciting and always fun and it’s the third time in the last four summers that I’ve been able to do it.”

In addition to Stewart, Jefferson got to watch some of UConn's incoming freshman; Katie Lou Samuelson and Napheesa Collier were recently named to U-19 national team that will play in the world championships later this summer.

“It looked like they were doing some real good things,” Jefferson said. “Katie Lou was knocking down shots and Napheesa and De’Janae (Boykin) were aggressive going for the ball. It already seems like they play really well together.”

It's hardly surprising that the Huskies will be prohibitive favorites to win their fourth straight national title next season.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Local Little League Chooses Wood Bats]]> Thu, 21 May 2015 12:24:37 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/woodbats052115.jpg Southington West Little League made the decision to abandon the ping of aluminum for the crack of wood bats. NBC Connecticut's J.W. Stewart has the story.]]> <![CDATA[World War II Hero Still Competes]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 19:20:58 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/roy_rodriques_1200x675_448473667578.jpg Ninety-year-old Roy Rodriques, of Southington, won the Purple Heart for heroism in World War II. The 2014 Connecticut Masters Games athlete of the year continues to do the unthinkable. ]]> <![CDATA[Top French Open Stars, and 1 Who Missed the List]]> Thu, 21 May 2015 13:28:27 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/thumb-458711872.jpg

NBC’s coverage of the 2015 French Open begins this Sunday, May 24, at 1 p.m. ET. Follow along for live opening-round coverage, and don't miss the the live Women’s Final on June 6 and the live Men’s Final on June 7.

TV SCHEDULE

Sunday, May 24 1 - 3:30 p.m. ET First round (LIVE)
Monday, May 25 12 - 3 p.m. (all) First round (LIVE ET)
Saturday, May 30 12 - 3 p.m. ET Third round (LIVE)
Sunday, May 31 12 - 3 p.m. ET Fourth round (LIVE)
Thursday, June 4 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (all)  Women's semifinals (LIVE ET)
Friday, June 5 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. (all) Men's semifinals (LIVE ET)
Saturday, June 6 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. ET Women's final (LIVE)
Sunday, June 7 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. ET Men's final (LIVE)



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Twin Power on the Track]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 12:05:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/dropsisters052015.jpg Jessica and Sam Drop are hoping two run away with the state track championships. Kevin Nathan introduces us to twin sisters from Coginchaug High School.]]> <![CDATA[Blackhawks Offer Late-to-Work Note After Longest Game in Team History]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 07:46:15 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/blackhawks-ducks-G2-3.jpg

Can you call in "hockey" to work? The Blackhawks say so. 

Following the Blackhawks' triple overtime win in Game 2 against the Anaheim Ducks, a game that is now the longest game in Hawks history, the team shared their latest excuse note for fans who stayed up late to watch the game. 

The note, signed by the Chicago Blakchawks, asks for employers and teachers to excuse fans from their "lateness" or "sleepiness" Wednesday.

"He/she was up too late celebrating the win," the note reads.

But fans won't have much time to recover. The Blackhawks will look to defend home ice when the series resumes at the United Center Thursday night. The puck will drop at 7:00 p.m.



Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn, Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Blackhawks Beat Ducks 3-2 in Triple Overtime]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 03:53:52 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/474027552.jpg

The Blackhawks tried just about everything to get a puck past Frederik Andersen while Game 2 of the Western Conference finals wound through three overtime periods and deep into the night, eventually becoming the longest game in Chicago's 89-year history.

Andrew Shaw even headed the puck into the net — which was amazing, but illegal.

After nearly 110 consecutive scoreless minutes by Chicago, Marcus Kruger got it done with plain old work in front of the net, ending a landmark game and evening a series that's already the endurance test everyone expected.

Kruger batted home Brent Seabrook's shot 16:12 into the third OT, and the Blackhawks earned a 3-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 2 on Tuesday night.

"I got lucky," Kruger said. "Happy to see that go in."

Shaw and Marian Hossa scored power-play goals in the opening minutes, but Chicago couldn't score again in the longest game in Honda Center history until Kruger got in front and forced a ricochet past Andersen, who made a career-high 53 saves.

The Blackhawks celebrated with more relief than excitement, realizing they only had about 42 hours until the puck drops for Game 3 in Chicago on Thursday.

"I just hope we don't have any more like that," Shaw said. "I think this helps us, and showed us what can happen if we keep sticking to it and competing. We'll find a way to win."

Corey Crawford made 60 saves as the Blackhawks finally handed the Ducks their second loss of the postseason.

The game was the 17th-longest in NHL history, and the longest since Dallas and San Jose went four overtimes on May 4, 2008.

Shaw attempted to end it during a power play 8:47 into the second overtime by knocking a high-arching rebound of Patrick Kane's shot into the net with his helmet in a stunning soccer-style play, but the goal was illegal. The officials briefly conferred before waving it off — NHL rules prohibit players from deliberately knocking the puck into the net with anything except their sticks.

"It was just a reaction right there," Shaw said. "You do whatever you can to get that puck across the line. But we just kept working and competing, and we got lucky. ... Overtime goals are huge, so I tried to sell it as much as I could. It was just exciting, the reaction at the net. I was just out there using my head, I guess."

Corey Perry tied it late in the second period for the Ducks, who dropped to 9-2 in the postseason with their first home loss in seven games, missing numerous chances to end it. Andrew Cogliano also scored for Anaheim, which was shut out over the final 78:42.

"There were a few posts, a few crossbars," Perry said. "It's a tough one to swallow, but you get right back at it, put it behind you and get ready for the next one."

These Western powers came into the series with ample rest after easily winning their second-round series, but they used up much of that extra energy in a marathon Game 2.

Anaheim hadn't played a game with multiple overtimes since May 3, 2009, while Chicago won two multiple-overtime games in the first round against Nashville. The game was the second-longest in Ducks history, trailing only a five-overtime game at Dallas in 2003.

Two days after Anaheim comfortably won the series opener to improve to 6-0 at Honda Center in the postseason, Kruger's fortunate goal ended a nail-biting rematch.

"You just try to limit the mistakes as much as possible," Cogliano said. "You're drained. I think both game plans on both teams get a little lax, because you're out there for so long. Physically it's tough. Guys cramp. You're out there for so long, going through so many hits, and the game is so fast-paced, especially against this team. It's a tough pill to swallow right now, but you've just got to get over it. We've got to recover."

Perry put a shot off the crossbar roughly 10 minutes into the first OT, and Sami Vatanen hit the posts behind Crawford twice in extra time. Andersen made two enormous saves early in the second overtime, and Crawford matched him with a handful of stunners late in the period.

The Blackhawks never led in Game 1 while struggling to match the Ducks' depth and going scoreless on three power plays. Chicago kept its bench short in Game 2, largely playing only four defensemen — Duncan Keith logged just under 50 minutes of ice time, while Niklas Hjalmarsson and Brent Seabrook both topped 47 minutes — and relying on its top-end talent.

In the end, Kruger came up with his second goal of the postseason.

Chicago capitalized twice in the opening 6:19 after poor penalties by the Ducks. Shaw and Hossa both scored their second goal in three games after nine-game droughts to open the postseason.

Anaheim played a dominant second period, outshooting the Blackhawks 17-1 in the final 13 minutes. Perry finally evened it late, deflecting a long shot from captain Ryan Getzlaf for his eighth goal in 11 games.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Curry's Daughter Steals the Show]]> Wed, 20 May 2015 21:38:21 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/0519-2015-RileyCurry.jpg

Few, if any, can steal the spotlight away from Steph Curry during this year's jaw-dropping, MVP season.

But 2-year-old Riley Curry did just that Tuesday night after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

Curry, who dropped 34 points en route to the 110-106 win, brought along his daughter to the post game press conference.

Riley instantly stole the spotlight, waving to the media and telling her All-Star dad to "be quiet" after he was talking "too loud."

At one point during the press conference, Riley got off Curry's lap and disappeared from the camera's view while her father fielded questions from reporters.

But moments later she re-appeared under the press table and again waved at the audience.

Riley Curry, you are the real MVP.

Visit NBC Bay Area's Warriors page for more team coverage.


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<![CDATA[Patriots Won't Appeal Punishment]]> Tue, 19 May 2015 16:17:47 -0400 http://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/vlcsnap-2015-05-19-13h12m20s15.jpg

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Tuesday that the team will not appeal the penalty handed down by the National Football League in the wake of the Deflategate controversy.

Speaking from the NFL owners' meetings in California, Kraft said he decided to accept the punishment in an effort to "end the rhetoric." He said that while he still believes the penalty handed down was "unreasonable and unprecedented," he respects Commissioner Roger Goodell.

"The entire process has taken way too long," he said. "I can try to end it, or extend it."

Kraft also acknowledged that his position on how to handle the situation has changed.

"I think maybe if I made the decision last week it would be different than it is today," Kraft said.

The NFL fined the Patriots $1 million and took away two draft picks as punishment for the deflation of footballs below the league-mandated minimum for the AFC championship game. 

Quarterback Tom Brady was also issued a four-game suspension, which he has already appealed. His appeal must be heard within 10 days of its filing on May 14.

The NFL Players Association formally requested Goodell recuse himself as an arbitrator in Brady's appeal later Tuesday afternoon and asked for a neutral party to set in.

"If the NFL believes the Ted Wells report has credibility because it is independent, then the NFL should embrace our request for an independent review," the union said in a statement.

If it is upheld, Brady would miss the first four games. The Patriots open the NFL season at home against Pittsburgh on Sept. 10, then travel to Buffalo before a home game against Jacksonville. After a bye week, their fourth game will be in Dallas.

Brady would be eligible to return for the fifth game on Oct. 18 at Indianapolis. The probe began after the Colts complained that Brady used deflated footballs in their 45-7 loss to the Patriots in the AFC title game.

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