NOME, Alaska (AP) — Two Alaska mushers arrived Monday morning at the second-to-last checkpoint of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race: a four-time champion and a competitor seeking to become only the third woman to win the race. Jeff King was leading Aliy Zirkle by less than an hour as they pulled in to White Mountain, about 80 miles from the finish in Nome. Teams must take an eight-hour layover at the checkpoint. King reached White Mountain at 7:02 a.m., while Zirkle arrived at 7:59 a.m. King, 58, of Denali, last won the Iditarod in 2006 and is trying to be only the second musher to win five races. Zirkle, a 44-year-old from Two Rivers, has finished in second place in the nearly 1,000-mile race for the past two years. The last woman to win the Iditarod was the late Susan Butcher in 1990. Zirkle was leading Sunday afternoon when she arrived at the Norton Bay village of Koyuk one minute ahead of King. Other front-runners Monday were 2012 champion Dallas Seavey, who left Elim at 2:52 a.m., followed at 4:40 a.m. by four-time champion Martin Buser. Defending champion Mitch Seavey, father of Dallas Seavey, was next out of Elim, departing at 4:47 a.m., followed at 5 a.m. by veteran musher Sonny Lindner. As King attempts to hold them off in the last stages of the race, the town famous for the finish line is preparing for their arrival. The racers are expected to begin arriving in Nome no later than Tuesday. The finish line banner was set to be hung Monday morning on Front Street in Nome with help from the local electric utility. On Sunday, city crews moved the actual finish line, the burled arch, into place, and public works employees trucked in snow to give the mushers a path once they leave the Bering Sea ice. "Yeah, I know, it's funny to see people dumping snow on a street instead of taking it off the street," said Greg Bill, the Iditarod's development director. "To really dress it up and make it safe for the dog teams, we have to spread a layer of snow down for them to run on." About 200 volunteers also have descended on Nome to make other last-minute preparations, including getting the dog lot ready to receive teams, constructing the finish chute and prepping the souvenir stand. Bill McCormick of Greensboro, N.C., volunteered for his first Iditarod in 1998 and has been back every year since. "I like being part of putting something on," said the retired engineer whose job as a volunteer in Nome is to drug test the dogs. "I enjoy the people. It's like family now." Scott Hughes was helping hammer in the final nails at the finish line Sunday afternoon. The University of Pittsburgh student made his first trip to the Iditarod and the nation's northernmost state as part of a church group doing mission work. "It's amazing," Hughes said of his visit to Nome. Temperatures in Nome hovered slightly above zero Sunday, which brought clear skies and brilliant sunshine. Snowfall has been light this winter in the frontier town of nearly 3,700, so the city has been stockpiling snow, which was being trucked to Front Street for the final stretch to the finish line. What little snow was on the ground, along with the cooler temperatures, were welcomed by fan Nina Cross of Brandon, Miss. She attended the start of the race last year in Anchorage, fell in love with the event and decided she needed to see the finish in person, too. She said she remembers as a child reading about the 1925 serum rum by sled dog teams to deliver diphtheria serum to Nome after an outbreak. "Nome was this mystical destination, and it never occurred to me that I would get there some day. So, for me to be here is a real event in my life," she said. And she loves the dogs. "Any dogs that can laugh when they run, with their tongues hanging out, they got my heart right now," said Cross, who just learned about the volunteer programs and already is making plans to be back in Nome next year. The race began March 2 in Willow with 69 teams. As of Monday morning, 16 mushers had scratched, leaving 53 teams on the trail, which was marked by long stretches of bare and rocky ground that made for an icy, treacherous trail in the early part of the race. The first to reach Nome receives $50,000 and a new truck. The 29 teams after that win cash prizes decreasing on a sliding scale. All other teams finishing the race receive $1,049. ___ Associated Press writer Rachel D'Oro in Anchorage contributed to this report.
The Beat goes on for Berry baseball.
The Lady Hawks came up just short Sunday afternoon, falling to No. 2 Alabama Huntsville, 5-4.
UAH completed the three game sweep of the Hawks Sunday afternoon; topping Shorter 9-4.
Kenneth Fleming had to get up early Saturday and make the drive from northeast Gordon County to State Mutual Stadium, but it was worth it.
In order to prepare for a season that will be a milestone in the program’s history, the Shorter University football team is putting the past behind them.
The Lady Hawks split a pair of contests with No. 2 Alabama-Huntsville Saturday afternoon at home, winning the first 2-0 before dropping the second 2-1 in 11 innings.
Florida Southern men 28, Shorter 6
Get ready to scout out some cool treasures and some hot seats for the 2014 Rome Braves season, this morning.
The Chargers fought back from a 13-point deficit to take the lead with 18 seconds, but Georgia Highlands’ men’s basketball team couldn’t hold on, falling to Central Georgia, 78-77.
The Hawks along with Rome Gastroenterology Associates will be hosting the inaugural Walk for Colon Cancer Awareness on the campus of Shorter University.
Model boys 3, Armuchee 2
Norman Arey talks about the upcoming NCAA men's basketball tournament in his column in Friday's print edition of the Rome News-Tribune.
The Shorter softball team took the field for the final time this week in Tennessee, sweeping a doubleheader at King University, 11-3 and 11-0.
The YMCA’s Arsenal Rome Soccer Club began their spring 2014 season with a busy weekend.
Tickets for the Atlanta Braves exhibition game as well as single game tickets for the Rome Braves 2014 schedule go on sale Saturday at 9 a.m. The annual Redneck Rummage sale will also take place from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Atlanta Braves will take on the Braves future stars March 29 at 2:05 p.m. at State Mutual Stadium.
DALLAS (AP) — Heisman Trophy winning running backs Rashaan Salaam of Colorado and Ricky Williams of Texas are among the stars making their first appearance on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot this year.
Some of the other notable first-timers on the ballot released Thursday are Iowa State running back Troy Davis, a two-time Heisman finalist, Miami linebacker Ray Lewis, Southern California receiver Keyshawn Johnson and Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch.
Alabama linebacker Derrick Thomas and Nebraska Heisman winner Eric Crouch are among the holdovers on the 75-player major college ballot. There are also six coaches up for selection, including Mike Bellotti of Oregon.
More than 12,000 National Football Foundation members receive ballots. Their votes are tabulated and then given to the NFF's 17-member honors court, which selects a class of about 14 players and two coaches.
Salaam won the Heisman in 1994, leading the nation in rushing and scoring. Williams was the 1998 Heisman winner and finished his career as the leading career rusher in major college football.
The 2014 Hall of Fame class will be announced in May and inducted in December at the National Football Foundation's awards banquet in New York. The new class will be enshrined at the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta in 2015. The new Hall of Fame is expected to open in time for the 2014 college football season.
Rome, GA – The Rome Braves and Rome Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority announced today that registration for the 2014 Braves Miracle Field of Rome baseball season will begin on Friday March 7th. New & returning athletes can register through RFPRA or find the registration form available online at www.romebraves.com. Registration will close on Friday March 28th. Opening day for the upcoming season will be Saturday April 12th with the first game scheduled for 10am. The registration fee is $50 per player. Scholarships are available.
ATHENS — Coming off a disappointing season, Georgia coach Mark Richt is looking forward to shaking things up.
Sebring, Fla. — Shorter golf was back in action Monday and Tuesday for the first time this spring at the Warner Invitational in Sebring, Fla. The Lady Hawks finished tied for fourth place with Webber International, while the Hawks finished ninth.
Pensacola, Fla. — Shorter’s tennis team traveled Sunday to Pensacola, Fla., to take on West Florida and Florida Tech. The Lady Hawks split the day, winning the match over FIT but falling to UWF. The Hawks, however, dropped both matches.