sports

Stephanie Christian

The winner of the All-American Soap Box Derby World Championships in Akron, OH., is once again a Bowling Green native.

Nate Christian, 16, won first place in the super stoc division at the competition.

"As soon as I won, it didn't feel real. I still couldn't believe it. Still to this day, it's sinking in. It's definitely a dream come true," Christian said.

Christian, who has been racing at Phil Moore Park in Alvaton, KY since 2013, said this was his fourth time competing on the world stage. He says his success is due in large part to his experience taking part in rally races.

"For people that do rally races compared to people that do local races, I would say the rally people have more experience because you race more and you know more of the soap box people," Christian said.

J. Tyler Franklin

  Two Kentucky lawmakers say they will file a bill allowing student athletes to make money off their name, image and likeness (NIL) during next year’s legislative session.

The move comes amid increased pressure for elected officials and the NCAA to allow players to profit from their contributions to the multi-billion-dollar college athletics industry.

Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order last week allowing student athletes to do just that starting July 1—meaning players can profit off endorsements, sponsorships, autographs, appearances and other ventures.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey, a Democrat from Louisville, and Sen. Max Wise, a Republican from Campbellsville, want to go beyond the governor’s order and pass the policy into law.

Joseph Lord

Gov. Andy Beshear has signed an executive order allowing student-athletes to make money off their name, image and likeness.

The move will allow players to profit off endorsements, sponsorships, appearances and other ventures. It comes amid increased pressure on lawmakers across the country and the NCAA to allow student-athletes to receive fair compensation.

Beshear said he arrived at the decision after talking to the state’s university and political leaders.

“This action ensures we are not at a competitive disadvantage in recruiting, and also that our student-athletes have the same rights and opportunities as those in other states. For any individual athlete, their name, image and likeness are their own and no one else’s,” Beshear said.

Jessica Coulter

It's nearly race day in Warren County, as dozens of people ages 8-20 in and around southern Kentucky will gather Saturday at Phil Moore Park in Alvaton. They're coming to town for what organizers describe as one of the largest double-elimination soap box derby races in the world.

Everything leading up to the 23rd annual BB&T All-American Soap Box Derby has to be done by the book, including race assignments, inspections, and car impounding prior to race day.

Four class divisions will be competing Saturday: Stock, Super Stock, Masters, and Super Kids. Stock caters to smaller children, while Super Stock and Masters allow for bigger and more experienced racers. The Super Kids race allows for those medically unable to drive on their own to also take part.

For most of the divisions, a win in Bowling Green means getting to compete at the World Chapmionship in Akron, OH. There, former Bowling Green winner and current race organizer Anthony LaPointe, said everybody calls you "champ."


J. Tyler Franklin

Embattled Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit will run in this weekend’s Preakness Stakes.

The Maryland Jockey Club and a lawyer for trainer Bob Baffert said Tuesday they had reached an agreement involving increased testing and monitoring of three Baffert horses ahead of the races.

That follows an announcement earlier Tuesday from Baffert that Medina Spirit was treated with an antifungal ointment that contained betamethasone. After the Derby, the horse tested positive for 21 picograms of the substance, more than the allowed limit.

Churchill Downs suspended Baffert following the initial positive test. If another test reveals the same finding, the horse could be disqualified as the Derby winner.

Baffert: Anti-Fungal Meds Given To Derby Winner Had Steroid

May 11, 2021
Ashlee Clark Thompson

Trainer Bob Baffert says Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit was treated with an antifungal ointment containing the steroid betamethasone that caused the horse to fail a postrace drug test.

Baffert in a statement sent out by his lawyer says Medina Spirit was treated with the ointment for dermatitis once a day leading up to the race and that experts have told him this could explain the test results. Baffert says the horse tested positive for 21 picograms of the substance, which would lead to a disqualification if upheld with another test.

Lawyer Craig Robertson says the plan is still for Medina Spirit to run in the Preakness on Saturday.

All 67 of the upcoming men's March Madness games will be played in Indiana, the NCAA announced Monday, in a bid to stage the college basketball tournament that had to be canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization said it's still determining whether fans will be able to attend games.

"The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball.

J.C. Kirby & Son Funeral Chapels

Western Kentucky University is mourning the loss of one of the school’s most beloved athletics figures.

John Oldham passed away Monday morning in Bowling Green.

He was 97 years old.

“We are very saddened to learn of the passing of John Oldham,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said.  “Coach Oldham is one of the all-time iconic figures in Western Kentucky University Athletics history who impacted the Hilltoppers as a player, head coach, athletics director and developer of the Red Towel athletics logo."

The Ohio County native played four seasons with the WKU men’s basketball team, and served three years in the U.S. Navy during World War II after his freshman season.

Churchill Downs To Run Fall Meet Amid Surge in COVID-19

Oct 23, 2020
Stephanie Wolf

Churchill Downs plans to open for its 131st Fall Meet this weekend as the state contends with a third surge in COVID-19 infections. 

The racetrack has announced plans to kick off a 24-day stand on Sunday with 11 races. It will be the first time the track has opened to spectators this year. The opening day arrives as Louisville experiences what the White House considers “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19.

Cases are on the rise around the state and country. Over the last week, Kentucky reported 25.5 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any number over 25 is considered uncontrolled spread.

Authentic Wins 2020 Kentucky Derby

Sep 6, 2020
Stephanie Wolf

Authentic has won the 146th Kentucky Derby in a quiet Churchill Downs.

The horse is trained by Bob Baffert and was ridden by jockey John Velazquez. Authentic nudged out a crowded field to finish first; unofficial results include Tiz the Law and Mr. Big News coming in second and third, respectively.

This year’s Kentucky Derby was delayed for only the second time in history; the other time was in 1945, because of World War Two. Churchill Downs officials pushed the race from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in September due to the coronavirus pandemic; in August, amid rising case numbers, they decided the race would be run without in-person spectators.

Lisa Autry

Some baseball players from the Class of 2020 haven’t played their last game just yet.  Although the coronavirus canceled their senior season, some Warren and Logan County high school baseball players have a final chance to take the diamond this weekend courtesy of the Bowling Green Hot Rods. 

Among them will be Ethan Gregory, 18, who was heading into his senior season of baseball at Greenwood High School.  He says it was going to be “their year”.

“We were looking forward to this season. We thought we were going to be the top dogs," he told WKU Public Radio. "We just had it all put together this season. We worked hard in the off season, so it was rough.”


Colin Jackson

The COVID-19 pandemic means stadiums and ballparks nationwide have been empty since mid-March.

Weeks later, the teams and fans that normally fill those venues are feeling the pain.

Everyone on the Bowling Green Hot Rods roster has been back home since the league suspended spring training. 

To make up for it, team broadcaster Shawn Murnin has been challening players like Chris Betts to play him in MLB The Show live on a Twitch stream.


J. Tyler Franklin

The University of Louisville has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA regarding alleged recruiting violations by the men’s basketball program under former head coach Rick Pitino.

The notice lists four allegations, including an improper recruiting offer and extra benefits to the family of a student athlete. It says the benefits were arranged by two former U of L assistant coaches and representatives from the Adidas sports apparel company.

In 2017, U of L fired head basketball coach Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich after federal prosecutors implicated the school in a pay for play scheme involving recruit Brian Bowen.

Updated at 6:08 p.m. ET

The NCAA has announced that it is canceling its Division I men's and women's college basketball tournaments. This year, there will be no March Madness.

"This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities," the NCAA said in a statement Thursday.

KHSAA

High school basketball tournaments have been postponed in Kentucky and some schools have closed due to the new coronavirus.

The girls' state basketball tournament, already underway, was cut short and next week’s boys’ tournament was also postponed indefinitely. The Kentucky High School Athletic Association made the announcement Thursday.

Meanwhile, several school districts announced that classes were being canceled temporarily due to the virus. Eight cases have been diagnosed in Kentucky.

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