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Chinese Olympic Teams Arrive

Marquette County, October 14

Athletes from four Chinese Olympic teams arrived in Marquette Saturday night. And beginning Monday, the athletes will be attending a 10-day training camp followed by a competition against the United States Olympic Education Center athletes.

Members of the women's freestyle wrestling and men's Greco-Roman wrestling teams spent Sunday afternoon relaxing, which included a trip to the mall.

This is the first time the USOEC has hosted China.

"There's always been a great camaraderie within the sport of wrestling," says U.S. wrestling assistant coach Jim Gruenwald. "And this brings you half a world a way. And the great thing about it, it gives our athletes the feel of foreign competition."
China will compete against the USOEC athletes on October 23 at 7 p.m. in the Berry Events Center.


Rogers Schools to Issue New Bonds To Pay Ongoing Construction Costs

School Board Will Consider Wrestling As High School Sport

This article was published on Sunday, October 14, 2007 4:27 PM CDT in News

By Lana F. Flowers

ROGERS -- New buildings and property value appreciation made a mill generate twice the money for the Rogers School District than in 2000.

The district will use that additional worth to issue a second set of bonds to generate $20.36 million for capital improvements and continuing construction projects.

The Rogers School Board at its Tuesday meeting will consider an agreement with Stephens Inc. to issue the bonds.

The district has more revenue than it takes to meet expenses, partly because a mill is worth more money than seven years ago, said Dennis Hunt, senior vice president of Stephens Inc.

The assessed value of property within the district now is $1.3 billion, nearly double the 2000 assessed value of $759 million, Hunt said.

A mill now generates $1.3 million, compared with the $759,000 a mill generated in 2000.

 A mill is one-tenth of a cent. A mill produces $1 of tax for each $1,000 of assessed valuation on property. A property's assessed value is 20 percent of its appraised value.

The district could use proceeds from the bond issue to fund several ongoing construction projects, including construction of the $38 million Rogers Heritage High School; construction of a $16 million football stadium and other athletic facilities at Rogers High School; and additions to Greer Lingle Middle School to accommodate eighth graders and add locker rooms for varsity sports.

"We're going to run out of money pretty quick on those projects. We are at about $12 million in bond money left and the construction costs are running about $3 million to $4 million per month," said Kathy Hanlon, district treasurer.

District officials will need more money by January to pay construction crews, she said.

The district doesn't have enough money to pay all its expenses out of pocket from the additional millage value, Hanlon said.

But, that added value will make more bond payments, so the district can get a lump of cash at once and pay the debt through 2033. Hanlon said it's very similar to a home mortgage.

In other business, the School Board will consider adding wrestling as a club sport for ninth through 12th grades starting in November.

About 120 students, including 10 girls, indicated an interest in wrestling, Athletic Director Mark Holderbaum said.

A federal law passed in 1972, Title IX of the Educational Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, requires any entity receiving federal funds to give equal opportunities to males and females.

That includes allowing girls to participate in public school sports, like football and wrestling, that traditionally are male-dominated.

The Elmwood Junior High School football team had girls in the past and Oakdale Junior High School has a female player this season, Holderbaum said.

Girls who make the wrestling team won't be separated by gender. They'll wrestle boys who are in the same weight class, Holderbaum said.

Female high school athletes exceeded 3 million nationally for the first time, with 3,021,807 females participating in high school sports in 2006-07, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations, based in Indianapolis.

"The girls' participation figure is particularly exciting since this year is the 35th anniversary of Title IX," said Robert F. Kanaby, associations executive director. "We are pleased that more and more girls are taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in high school sports."

The associations includes all state activities associations governing public high school sports, including the Arkansas Activities Association.

The number of high school athletes increased by 183,006 to 7.34 million in 2006-07, according to the high school associations.


Rogers School Board Agenda

The Rogers School Board will hold a study session at 5 p.m. Tuesday and a board meeting at 6 p.m. Both meetings are at the School Administration Building, 500 W. Walnut St.

The School Board will:

* Hear Superintendent Janie Darr's annual report to the public.

* Review Oct. 1 enrollment numbers and growth projections through 2018. The projections are based on three-, five- and 10-year histories of district enrollment.

* Review results of Rogers High School students' Advanced Placement test scores.

* Consider hiring Milestone Construction to be construction manager and general contractor for a 19,524-square-foot addition to Greer Lingle Middle School.

SEA Games athletes keep eye on Olympics

I love this game: Wrestler Le Thu Trang pins her opponent for silver at the Asian champs. She’ll compete at upcoming SEA Games in Thailand in December. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Duc


by Thanh Ha and Cong Thanh

Bui Thi Nhung, Viet Nam’s "queen of the high jump," expects to win a ticket to the 2008 Beijing Olympics by passing a height of 1.90m at the 24th Southeast Asian Games in Thailand this December.

Nhung, who participated at the Athens Olympics in 2004, set the 1.94m Southeast Asian high jump record at the Thailand Open Track and Field Competition in Bangkok two years ago.

The Asian women’s champion, Nhung is certainly one athlete who must shoulder the heavy task of bringing home gold medals from the coming event.

Men’s and women’s high jumping, the women’s 100m, 200m, 800m and 1,500m, the men’s decathlon and 10,000m are Viet Nam’s strong points, in which Vietnamese athletes are expected to clinch 5 or 6 gold medals.

"I have passed 1m95 during training with a foreign coach. But it is a little difficult because not many athletes in the world can fly over 1.90m," said Nhung.

"I hope to break the record, but honestly I think that the moment I conquered 1m94 was a one time occurrence. We should not say anything about the achievement when we are training because it puts us under a lot of pressure."

Nhung now trains with local coach Vu My Hanh after the departure of the Russian expert. Nhung remains confident with her peak.

"Misha [her Russian coach] taught Hanh technique and experience. Now my challenge is to maintain my energy before the competition. My target is to defend my champion title. I want to fly over 1.90m or 1.91m, which will give me a ticket to Beijing," Nhung said.

According to Duong Duc Thuy, head of athletics at the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nhung is guaranteed a gold at the SEA Games if she can maintain her form.

Starry-eyed: High jumper Bui Thi Nhung hopes to hold the national flag during the 24th SEAGames in Thailand this year as she did in the previous Games in the Philippines. — VNA/VNSPhoto

Nhung is expected to grab Viet Nam’s second ticket to Beijing after the 100m sprinter, Vu Thi Huong.

Huong finished second at the women’s 100m event at the 17th Asian Athletics Championship held in Amman, Jordan in July. This triumph was enough to get her to Beijing next August.

"In a beautiful day in December, Nhung may soar over the height of 1.90m, as she did when she triumphed with 1.94m two years ago," Thuy said.

Lady wrestlers

The 24th SEA Games have 45 medal sets for athletic events. The prediction stands that host Thailand will pocket 20 to 22 golds. The rest will fall between Viet Nam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines who are ranked at the same level.

Viet Nam’s wrestling team was set for success at the Southeast Asian Games in Thailand when junior wrestlers bagged two gold and two silver medals at the Asian Junior Wrestling Championships in the Philippines in July.

Nguyen Thi Loc, who made a golden debut in the women’s 44kg division, along with Le Thi Trang, who grabbed another gold in the women’s 51kg division, are the key wrestlers of Viet Nam women’s team.

In recent years, Vietnamese female wrestlers have rapidly progressed against other regional opponents. They expect a tough battle against Thai and Filipino rising star wrestlers, who have trained with experienced foreign coaches.

The women’s squad may swap female wrestler Nghiem Thi Giang, who pocketed a bronze at the Asia Junior Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling Tournament in Wuhan City, China two years ago, for Pham Thi Hue who bagged a silver medal in the Asian Junior Wrestling Championships in the Philippines.

Giang still dominates her class and the coaching team would rearrange their squad to compete in the SEA Games.

Suc, the team’s freestyle coach, added Giang is a gold medal contender for Viet Nam in the regional championship as he recognises that Giang rivals Hue in skill and experience.

Women’s wrestling has become more popular since the sport was re-established at the 19th SEA Games in Indonesia 10 years ago. Currently, Viet Nam has one of the strongest women’s teams in Asia, after China, Japan, South Korea, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The team coaching board will unveil their best bets before submitting a list before Viet Nam announces the official squad to compete in the SEA Games later this year.

As earlier this year, the team target was to win four gold medals, a responsibility shouldered by Giang and Trang in the women’s event, and Man Ba Xuan and Le Duy Hoi on the men’s side.

Hoang Vinh Giang , head of Viet Nam sports delegation in the upcoming SEA Games, complained in a meeting that the wrestling team’s target of four golds was too modest.

The wrestling section chief of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Ministry, Le Ngoc Minh offered that Vietnamese wrestlers have progressed in competition recently. However, Thailand and the Philippines are also good bets on the wrestling event in the SEA Games.

"We set a target of winning four golds. But I think our wrestlers could do more than that. I don’t want to put pressure on my athletes during training for the SEA Games," Minh, vice chairman of Asian Wrestling Federation, said.

According to Minh, Man Ba Xuan is favoured to win the gold at the SEA Games as he has maintained his position at the top since the 19th SEA Games in Indonesia in 1997.

After a decade, Xuan, 29, from Ha Tay still dominates rivals in the 84kg class both in Greco-Roman and freestyle.

Other wrestlers who expect to win big include Nguyen Thi Lua and Can Tat Du, who took home two bronze medals from the women’s 46kg division and men’s 54kg class of the Asian Junior Wrestling Championships in Chinese Taipei in July, and have been part of the national youth team since 2005.

Viet Nam’s 12-member squad will compete in the men’s and women’s nine weight categories of freestyle only. — VNS

Ashana to revolutionise local wrestling

    October 16 2007 at 01:59PM

By Arthi Sanpath

Standing almost two metres tall with long hair and a bright smile, Ashana Dipnarain doesn't look as though she is capable of any harm.

But don't be fooled, this 18-year-old Hammarsdale resident packs a mean punch.

As Durban's first Indian female wrestler, Dipnarain is set to change the face of local wrestling in the near future.

"My interest in wrestling began a few years ago after watching it on television," said the soft-spoken former sales assistant.

The teenager started her professional training more than a month ago, and is confident enough to challenge one of the other more established wrestlers at an event on Sunday.

Under the mentorship of well-known local wrestler Tiger Ellappan, Dipnarain is on her way to becoming a professional wrestler.

"My younger brother and sister used to watch and I decided that wrestling was what I would like to get into professionally," she said.

She hopes to one day enter the paid ring of such famous WWE wrestlers as John Cena and Booker T.

Dipnarain trains every day at the Pro Wrestling Alliance, founded by Booker T.

Some Durbanites will remember her from SunCoast Casino's Living in a Bed competition, where she lived in a glass cage with complete strangers for a R100 000 prize.

Starring alongside Ashana will be Diablo, Tsotsi, Mad Mike the Scotsman, Jaws, Ice, Bhagat Singh and Nightmare.

You can catch Ashana taking on a mystery contestant at the Arena Park Regional hall on Sunday at 5pm.

The PWA has four tickets to give away. Call Marlon Pillay at 076 736 0247.