Originally created 05/18/99

Overtime: NCAA picks 16 schools for regionals



Six newcomers and perennial choice Florida State were among 16 schools selected Monday as regional hosts in the NCAA's expanded 64-team baseball tournament, up from 48 teams previously.

The host schools are all guaranteed invitations to the tournament. The entire field will be announced on May 24.

The regional hosts are: Alabama; Arkansas; Auburn; Baylor; Florida State; Houston; Louisiana State; Miami; Notre Dame; Ohio State; Southern California; Stanford; Texas A&M; Texas Tech; Wake Forest; and Wichita State.

Arkansas, Baylor, Houston, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wake Forest will all be serving as regional hosts for the first time. It will be Auburn's first since 1978.

For perennial power Florida State it's the 15th time in 17 years.

Each of the four-team, double-elimination regionals will be held May 28-30. The champion of each regional advances to the "super regionals," at eight sites to be announced May 31. The winners of the best-of-3 super regionals will play in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., beginning June 11.

GOLF:

None of the four Augustans playing in Monday's U.S. Open local qualifier at Old Town in Winston-Salem, N.C., advanced to the sectionals.

Former Richmond Academy star John Engler, now at Clemson, had a 71 to lead the Augusta contingent, but he was not among the nine players who qualified at Old Town. Brian Sharp of Winston-Salem was medalist with a 65.

Cortland Lowe, former Augusta Prep golfer, posted a 74, while Jay Mundy, the Lakeside senior who won the Georgia Class AAA championship and led the Panthers to the team title this year, had a 77. Josh Kelley, also a senior golfer at Lakeside, recorded an 84.

This year's U.S. Open will be played June 17-20 at Pinehurst (N.C.) No. 2.

BOXING:

Super heavyweight Zaranton Bowles and 156-pounder Clint Tapley of the North Augusta Police Athletic League Boxing Club and Marchello Danley (95-pound class) of the Aiken Boxing Club qualified in last week's regionals for berths in the nationals in Marquette, Mich., next month.

Other winners in the regionals in Sumter, S.C., last week were North Augusta's Josh Durden (95 pounds) and Antonio Kemp (178) in the 13-14 bracket. Silver medalists are North Augusta's Austen Taylor (90) and Jonathan Weathers (132) and Aiken's Christopher Jordan (106).

AUTO RACING:

John "Big John" Arrington, 58, of Harlem, Ga., who died May 14, was a former stock car racer who got his start at the old Speedway Park in Martinez, according to auto racing historian Joe Cawley of Augusta.

Arrington also raced at the Augusta International Raceway on Tobacco Road where he won four hobby class features in 1966 and one the next year, Cawley said. He later raced on the "Bullring" circuit of Swainsboro and Dublin, Ga., notching several wins in the late model sportsman division.

He raced in the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman series and in 1971 was nearly killed in an accident at Columbia (S.C.) Speedway. He retired as a driver after that incident, Cawley said, but set up front ends of the race cars of many novice and professional drivers in the Augusta area.

GOLF:

USC Aiken's golf team will compete in the NCAA Division II national championships starting today at Valdosta (Ga.) Country Club.

The Pacers are Brock Ehler, Mikal Mustonen, Gary Shankland, Matthew Avinger and Frankie Hamer.

USC Aiken has competed in the NCAA nationals under coach Michael Carlisle eight times in nine years. Its best finish was second in 1995 and in 1996.

BASKETBALL:

Greg Spurgeon, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound shooting guard from Marshalltown (Iowa) Community College, has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Georgia Southern University.

Spurgeon, who averaged 14.6 points per game and 4.3 rebounds, is the third junior college product and fifth player overall to be signed by first-head head basketball coach Jeff Price.

SOCCER:

An anonymous bettor collected nearly $960,000 on a $208 wager after correctly predicting the winner of all eight British soccer divisions.

The gambler placed a series of bets last August and September, predicting the champions in each of the four divisions in England and Scotland. The bettor hit the jackpot Sunday when Manchester United won the Premier League title.

Bookmaker Corals, which must pay out a total of $942,000, said the prize represented the largest return on an original stake in soccer betting history.