The Warriors Odds Of Going 739

5511<0.1100.0 WINSSIMSCHANCE OF EXACTLY THIS MANY WINSCHANCE OF AT LEAST THIS MANY WINS Remember that two-month stretch in the summer of 2009 when Steph Curry might have gone to the Knicks, before Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni went around telling anyone who would stand still long enough to hear it exactly why Curry would be a superstar? And remember how disappointing it was, then, when Curry landed on a Warriors team that didn’t use him at all in the way fans dreamed he might be used by the Pringles ‘stache? Well, Curry found his way into the seven-seconds-or-less offense anyway. By NBA.com’s count (which can lag a game or two behind), the Warriors have taken 299 threes in the first seven seconds of the shot clock and made 48.5 percent of them. The next closest by percentage is Indiana, at 42.5 on 167 attempts; Houston, first in attempts with 301 (in four more games than Golden State) has made 38.9 percent of its own; and the Thunder have found a way to make just 31.6 percent on 171 attempts. On all field goals in the seven-seconds-or-less window,1NBA.com doesn’t have free-throw data for these, for some reason. the Warriors have a 68 percent effective field-goal percentage — the next closest is the Cavs, at 63.4 percent. The Knicks, meanwhile, are last in the league at 51.4 percent. 608091.698.5 73680.10.1 74803116.136.9 Oh, here’s a scatter plot of 3-point attempts vs. 3-point percentage since the 1979-80 season, the first year of the 3-pointer: 6335447.189.3 663140.699.6 7712242.52.9 676341.398.9 532<0.1100.0 6925855.294.9 6813682.797.7 7632076.49.3 521<0.1%100.0% 7028075.68.9 In order to match the best 3-point-percentage season of Reggie Miller’s career (42.9 percent), Steph Curry (45.4 percent from three on 10.8 per game) would have to miss 31 straight threes; to match Larry Bird’s best (42.7 percent) he’d need to miss 34 straight; to match LeBron’s mark this season (27.4 percent) he would have to miss 354 straight 3-point shots. 75575411.520.9 651380.399.8 73855917.154.0 65622812.572.1 71599612.081.7 72785715.769.8 7112182.43.3 Curry’s 646 3-point attempts last season were more than those Miller and Bird seasons combined — and he’s on pace to demolish that number this year. 64530.199.9 This foolishness: 593940.899.3 625<0.1>99.9 68631712.631.2 542<0.1100.0 50,000 CARM-Elo simulations of the Warriors’ season with data through Feb. 18 The Warriors create 70.4 points per game through assists. The rest of the league has a fairly linear progression from the bottom on up — the Lakers are the worst, at 43.2, and the figure creeps up team by team until it stops with the Hawks, in second place, at 60.3. That isn’t adjusted for tempo (the Warriors play at the second-fastest pace in the league), but the Dubs are also comfortably in first in percentage of passes that are assists, are secondary assists or lead to free throws. 611<0.1>99.9 (While we’re digging out old charts, get a load of Draymond in these.) As things stand coming out of the All-Star break, the Warriors will probably catch Michael Jordan’s 1995-96 Bulls, which own the record of 72 wins, and are a little better than a coin flip to pass them.Last time we checked in on Golden State’s run to 73 was back in December, when the model gave the Warriors a 54 percent chance of getting at least 72 wins and a 44.1 percent chance of at least 73. A little more than two months later, the Warriors are 48-4 and those chances are 69.8 percent to hit 72 and an even 54 percent to reach 73. From where we sit, at least, the Warriors now appear likely to break the ’96 Bulls’ record. 7040088.089.8 According to nbaminer.com, Curry has scored 10 straight points for his team 10 times, the most in the league (James Harden is second with nine); he’s scored 15 straight team points three times (Harden is second again, two) and 20 straight once (only Paul George has also done that this season). Curry has scored five straight unanswered points 55 times (Harden is second with 47, followed by George and Klay Thompson at 30).2Reggie Jackson is the only player to score 15 unanswered points this season. Only three players have done it since the 1996-7 season — Jackson this year, Jamal Crawford in 2013-14 and Brandon Jennings in 2012-13.Probably the most alarming thing about the Warriors this season is how thoroughly they are outpacing the Spurs, another omega-level team stalking around the league. Also according to nbaminer.com, the Warriors’ average first-quarter margin is +6.04. The Spurs are second at +2.98. The Spurs remain ahead of the Warriors on the overall marks, +12.7 to +12.5, but this difference is more than accounted for in the fourth quarter, where the Warriors are -0.12 and the Spurs are an NBA-best +2.56. The Warriors’ average margin per overtime period is +4.0, best in the league.And here’s the same display of possible records we generated for the Warriors above, but for the Spurs. 601<0.1>99.9 56360.1100.0 57880.299.9 6223724.794.0 The Warriors are shooting 46.3 percent from three on “wide open” (defender more than 6 feet away) threes, best in the league. They also lead the league in “open” threes at 41 percent and “tight” coverage threes at 37.3 percent. They do fall to fourth in “very tight” threes (36.1 percent) but have taken only 36 of those all season. 6321<0.1>99.9 WINSSIMSCHANCE OF EXACTLY THIS MANY WINSCHANCE OF AT LEAST THIS MANY WINS 6114502.996.9 782430.50.5 64502210.082.2 Steph Curry is 11 for 24 on threes from 30 feet or more, according to nbawowy.com. Six of those shots (and one of the makes) were from beyond half court, meaning he’s 10 for 18 between 30 feet and the center line. (The rest of the Warriors are 1 for 14 from 30-plus.) Consider this a reminder that Ben Morris dug into Steph’s imperious shot selection in December. 66715314.359.7 67710514.245.4 582030.499.7 6947919.618.5 If the Warriors completely gave up the 3-pointer and shot none of them per game from this point forward, the Timberwolves, who take the fewest threes per game, would need 50 games to catch up in attempts and 83 games to catch up in makes, pulling even right around the 137th game of the season. 591<0.1%100.0% 723790.80.9 Our colleagues at ESPN Stats & Info once again have a less optimistic outlook, today giving the Warriors a 37 percent chance of hitting 73 or more wins. The explanation for the difference in the two models is the same as it was in December, when we were also more bullish than our colleagues: We devised a different rating system, called CARM-Elo, which allows good (or bad) runs of play in the simulations to inform a team’s simulated strength through the rest of the simulated season. Basically, this means that it allows for extreme performance to be reflected in the results, and the Warriors are certainly extreme.Still, all of the back-and-forth over exactly how good the Warriors are is more than a little backward. Any serious debate over whether Golden State is an all-time team dried up months ago; all that’s left now is the dreary accounting of decimal points next to the team’s name. Screw that. NBA nerds slapfighting over some grandiose meaning of the Warriors is boring — it’s the spectacle that matters, the crossovers and no-looks and nonsense transition threes, and how those feats of skill translate to the stat sheet. That in mind, here’s a bunch of Warriors facts aimed at appreciating the wild mess they’re accomplishing this season, rather than simply measuring it.The Warriors would have to miss their next 545 3-pointers to bring their team mark of 42.4 percent down to the level of the league-worst Lakers, at 31.5 percent. 50,000 CARM-Elo simulations of the Spurs’ season with data through Feb. 18Before Thursday night’s loss, the Spurs’ chance for 70 wins was 19.4 percent. With the loss, it fell to 8.9 — still absurdly high, but well back of the Warriors.Andrew Flowers and Jay Boice contributed research. read more

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Tony Parker Expected to Play in Olympics Despite Eye

Basketball star Tony Parker is recovering from eye surgery in Paris after he suffered a corneal laceration during the Chris Brown-Drake brawl in the W.i.P. nightclub. It is still unclear whether Parker will be healed in time to play for France in the Olympics, which begin in five weeks in London.Parker’s attorney Elizabeth Eilender told E! News, “We hope and expect he will be able to play, but that is between him and his doctor.”After he was injured, the San Antonio Spurs all-star filed a $20 million lawsuit against the club owners, accusing them of negligence by “sitting persons known to be hostile to each other at the same time in order to generate funds for themselves” and “in serving liquor to intoxicated persons after they were obviously intoxicated.” It’s unclear why Parker limited his lawsuit to the club and didn’t include Drake or Chris Brown or any of the people who actually engaged in the brawl and bottle smashing. read more

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Nnamdi Asomugha Ate in His Car Instead of With

Nnamdi Asomugha, the shut-down cornerback who was supposed to galvanize the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense, used to eat  lunch in his car during practices instead of dining with his teammates last season, according to a report on WIP Radio in Philadelphia.WIP Radio’s Hollis Thomas, who played for the Eagles from 1996 to 2005, cited unnamed sources in making the report. Thomas said the source told him that Asomugha called it “me time” and chose to eat in his car over eating with other players.It was an example of how detached the Pro Bowl player was to his team. Meanwhile, the Eagles have asked Asomugha, 31,  to restructure his contract scheduled to pay him $15 million in 2013, $4 million of which is guaranteed. If he does not agree to a restructuring the team will cut him, according to ESPN.The sides met Friday in Indianapolis at the NFL scouting combine.A three-time Pro Bowler with the Raiders from 2003 to 2010, Asomugha has been a major disappointment with the Eagles since signing a five-year, $60 million contract in 2011. Philadelphia thought it was assembling an all-star team that would compete for the Super Bowl, but the Eagles finished 8-8 in 2011 and 4-12 last season, leading to the firing of longtime coach Andy Reid.Defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins, another member of the Eagles’ 2011 free-agent class that bombed, was released Monday. read more

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Charges Dismissed Against UNC Player Accused of Sexual Battery

Former North Carolina football player Allen Artis takes questions from the media in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Charges have been dismissed against a North Carolina football player for misdemeanor sexual battery and assault on a female student.Allen Artis was charged in September and attorneys on both sides said last week they were preparing to go to trial in July. Instead, Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall signed a document Thursday allowing for the dismissal of the charges because “the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the parties.”Artis, flanked by his attorneys and joined by family members, said in a news conference on campus Thursday afternoon that he was thankful the case was resolved.“I’ve lost a lot,” Artis said, pausing once to fight back tears. “My grades have suffered. I had to change my graduation date, and my postgraduate plans have suffered, and just career plans — like moving forward with my life, searching for a job. It’s going to be hard.”Artis, a reserve linebacker from Marietta, Ga., has been indefinitely suspended from the team amid the case. He said last week he is still enrolled at UNC and is “keeping my options open” about returning to football.In a statement from the school, UNC Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham said Artis is “eligible for reinstatement” to the football program.“Coach [Larry] Fedora and I look forward to meeting with Allen and his family soon to discuss the next steps moving forward,” Cunningham said.According to an arrest warrant, Artis had sex with the student against her will in February 2016 when he should have known she was “mentally incapacitated and physically helpless.” The warrant also said he pulled on her bra strap “causing an indentation on her shoulder/back.”Artis has said they had consensual sex and denied wrongdoing. His attorneys have said UNC determined he didn’t violate campus policy in his contact with the student, while a misconduct decision could have led to his expulsion.The Associated Press typically doesn’t identify people who say they are the victims of sexual assault, but the woman — Delaney Robinson — held a September news conference with her attorney Denise Branch, saying she had filed for the misdemeanor charges after police and prosecutors indicated there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue felony charges.“The parties worked diligently at mediation to resolve this matter to their mutual satisfaction resulting in a dismissal of the charges,” Branch said in a statement. “The resolution is confidential. Delaney has suffered immeasurably and hoped that today’s resolution could begin her healing.”The case was originally scheduled to go to trial in December. Attorneys for both sides met with a judge for several hours to discuss pretrial motions last week with the trial set to start July 18.“These are difficult cases,” Woodall told The Associated Press on Thursday evening. “They’re difficult for all the individuals involved. And I hope everybody can move on from this.” read more

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Serena Williams Named 25th Seed in PostPregnancy Wimbledon Return

FILE – In this Saturday, July 9, 2016 file photo, Serena Williams of the U.S holds her trophy after winning the women’s singles final against Angelique Kerber of Germany on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London. Williams has been seeded 25th for the women’s singles tournament at Wimbledon, the All England Club announced Wednesday, June 27, 2018. The 36-year-old American, who has returned to competitive tennis following the birth of her daughter last September, is currently ranked 183rd. The All England Club usually follows the latest ranking list but can make a change if deemed “necessary to produce a balanced draw.” (AP Photo/Ben Curtis, File)Serena Williams was seeded No. 25 for her return to Wimbledon after having a baby, a decision by the All England Club announced Wednesday that elevates the tournament’s seven-time champion above her ranking of 183rd.While WTA rules allow women who miss time because of a pregnancy to enter events based on their pre-absence ranking, there is no guarantee of a seeding, a policy which has been the subject of much debate in recent months because of Williams’ status. The 36-year-old American gave birth to a daughter last September and was off the tour for more than a year.By moving Williams into the top 32, the All England Club afforded her “protection” from facing any other seeded player in either of the first two rounds — and, of course, allowed the other seeds to avoid facing her that early, too. Williams is a former No. 1 whose 23 major singles championships are a record for the professional era, which began in 1968. She missed Wimbledon in 2017, but won the title the last two times she was in the field, in 2015 and 2016.FILE – In this Tuesday, May 29, 2018 file photo, Serena Williams of the U.S. clenches her fist after scoring a point against Krystina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their first round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France. Williams has been seeded 25th for the women’s singles tournament at Wimbledon, the All England Club announced Wednesday, June 27, 2018. The 36-year-old American, who has returned to competitive tennis following the birth of her daughter last September, is currently ranked 183rd. The All England Club usually follows the latest ranking list but can make a change if deemed “necessary to produce a balanced draw.” (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)Putting Williams at No. 25 now means that she could face someone seeded No. 1 through No. 8 in the third round.The draw for Wimbledon is Friday; play begins Monday.Wimbledon and other Grand Slam tournaments have leeway to stray from strictly following the WTA and ATP rankings when determining seedings. That’s why, for example, eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer’s success on grass courts was taken into account when the All England Club bumped him up a spot to No. 1 on Wednesday, while top-ranked Rafael Nadal is seeded No. 2.When Williams entered the French Open in May, her first Grand Slam action in 16 months, she was not seeded by the French tennis federation. She wound up beating the women ranked No. 11 and No. 17 en route to reaching the fourth round. But because of an injured pectoral muscle, Williams pulled out of Roland Garros before what would have been a showdown against five-time major champion Maria Sharapova.At 17 after her first Grand Slam title, the U.S. Open.The U.S. Tennis Association says it does intend to seed Williams for the U.S. Open, which begins in August. That is part of a new plan, first reported by The New York Times, to take into account if a pregnancy affected a player’s ranking.“Pregnancy will not be penalized,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said. “If Serena Williams enters the 2018 U.S. Open, the USTA will recognize her accomplishments, recognize her return to the workplace and will seed her, regardless of what her ranking is.”One effect of Williams’ being seeded at the All England Club: The 32nd-ranked Dominika Cibulkova, a two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist and the 2014 Australian Open runner-up, will not benefit from a seeding and could play anyone in the field in the first round.“I don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” Cibulkova told British broadcaster BBC ahead of Wednesday’s seeding announcement. “I think it’s just not fair.”No unseeded woman has won the Wimbledon singles championship. Only two unseeded men have raised the trophy at the All England Club: Boris Becker in 1985, and Goran Ivanisevic in 2001.Aside from the All England Club’s placing of Williams, the women’s seedings align with the rankings. So French Open champion Simona Halep is No. 1, Australian Open Caroline Wozniacki is No. 2, reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza is No. 3, and U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens is No. 4.Sharapova is seeded 24th.In the men’s draw, after Federer and Nadal, 2017 runner-up Marin Cilic is No. 3, followed by Alexander Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro. read more

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Rooting For Armageddon At The World Chess Championship

Blitz Match 50.373.626.4 Tiebreaker games at the World Chess Championship will begin this afternoon. Over the past 19 days, Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the defending champion, fought his challenger, Sergey Karjakin of Russia, to a 6-6 tie in their best-of-12 match and the battle for chess’s top prize.And they’re not done yet. According to the FIDE match rules, this is how the tiebreaker will go:First, a mini-match of four rapid games will be played. Each player gets 25 minutes for all of his moves, plus 10 bonus seconds after every move played.If the players remain tied after those four games,1Wins are worth 1 point, draws are worth a half-point for each player, and losses are worth zero points. they’ll play a mini-match of two blitz games. Each player will get five minutes, plus three seconds after every move. They’ll keep playing those, if the two-game mini-matches are tied, for up to five total mini-matches (10 total blitz games).Finally, if none of that settles it, they’ll play one sudden-death game using a format known as Armageddon. White gets five minutes and black gets four minutes, but a drawn game counts as a win for black.I’m not supposed to root from the press box, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued by the possibility that the World Chess Championship will be decided by Armageddon. So what are the chances of that happening?To find out, we need to know the likelihood of draws in individual games in the rapid and blitz matches. In last year’s World Chess Rapid Championship (Carlsen won, Karjakin finished 19th), 29.9 percent of the games in the tournament were draws. So let’s suppose a 30 percent chance of draws in the individual rapid games. In last year’s World Chess Blitz Championship (Carlsen finished 6th, Karjakin 17th), 20.2 percent of the games were draws. So let’s say there’s a 20 percent chance of draws in the individual blitz games.2In the rapid and blitz championships, the time controls are similar to today’s tiebreakers, but slightly different. Players in those tournaments received 15 minutes rather than 25 for rapid, and three minutes rather than five for blitz. I’ll also use the two players’ listed rapid and blitz ratings from the FIDE website throughout my analysis to estimate chances that individual games in the two formats are won by either player. Blitz Match 40.873.526.4 When will the chess end? Blitz Match 120.268.924.3 Rapid Game 3100.028.46.7 Rapid Game 1100.0%0.0%0.0% CUMULATIVE CHANCE OF WINNING CHAMPIONSHIP Blitz Match 26.972.025.7 Rapid Game 464.959.720.1 TIEBREAKER ROUNDCHANCES OF PLAYINGCARLSENKARJAKIN ARMAGEDDON!0.173.626.4 Blitz Match 32.373.126.2 Rapid Game 2100.00.00.0 I simulated tens of thousands of iterations of this afternoon’s tiebreakers using the same basic method I used to forecast the 2016 chess championship before it began. We’re guaranteed to see the first three games of rapid chess, as no player will be able to clinch the match in only two games, but there’s a 35 percent chance that one player will have clinched after those first three games. That would end the mini-match and thus the championship. There’s a 20 percent chance that Carlsen and Karjakin will be tied at the end of the rapid mini-match and that we will move on to the five-minutes-a-side blitz segment. According to my simulations, the two-game blitz mini-matches would each wind up tied about a third of the time.What all that means, sadly, is that there is just a 0.1 percent chance that Armageddon will decide the 2016 World Chess Championship.The tiebreakers begin this afternoon, and a world champion will be crowned. I’ll be covering them here and on Twitter. read more

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Opinion How former Buckeyes are exceeding in the NFL

Dallas Cowboys rookie and former OSU running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) leads the NFL in rushing yards with 799. Credit: Courtesy of TNSIt’s halfway through the NFL season, but former Ohio State Buckeyes have already asserted their NFL dominance. With half of the season still remaining, here are a few former Buckeyes who have been top performers around the league.Ezekiel Elliott has been as good a running back as anyone else in the NFL. As a rookie, Elliott is leading the league in rushing yards as a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He has already reached 799 yards through seven games, and he still leads the league after he’s had a bye week. Playing behind the best offensive line in football, Elliot is on record pace. Many people believe he has a chance to break Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,000-plus yards by a rookie, which would be an incredible feat.Malcolm Jenkins is poised for back-to-back pro bowl seasons, leading the new-look Eagles defense that has been performing at one of the highest levels in the NFL. Jenkins has been making key plays for Philadelphia all year thus far with a 66-yard pick six against Washington and a huge fumble recovery for a touchdown in a winning effort against Minnesota. Jenkins, a former cornerback, has made the switch to free safety and has been playing all over the field for the Eagles. He is a jack of all trades when they need him to be.A bright spot on a not-so-bright team is Carlos Hyde with the 49ers. He has racked up six touchdowns this year while carrying much of the load for the San Francisco offense. Hyde is one of the few backs in the league with multiple games of two touchdowns or more. As of now, he is on pace for a 1,100-yard season along with 16 touchdowns. Needless to say, his Pro Bowl level of play is something San Francisco fans can look forward to.An overlooked performer is Terrelle Pryor with the Cleveland Browns. It’s easy not to pay attention when his team hasn’t won once in eight weeks, but he really is talented. He is on pace for a more than 1,000 receiving yards this season, which is not bad for a former quarterback making the switch to receiver. With a key touchdown over Josh Norman, one of the league’s premier corners, Pryor showed his ability to perform against good competition. In an outing against the Tennessee Titans, he had 75 yards receiving to pair with two touchdowns. A possible Pro Bowl selection, Pryor is making sure his name is heard throughout the league.Arguably the most impactful player for their respective team is Joey Bosa of the San Diego Chargers. He has been an absolute monster this year and has played only three games. Through three games, he has four sacks, 11 tackles and a safety. For a rookie to dominate at the line of scrimmage this early in his career is an exciting sign for Chargers fans. As of now, he is on pace for 16 sacks in 12 games. As the third overall pick in this year’s draft, Bosa has lived up to every ounce of the hype to this point and Chargers fans can finally rejoice after his contract holdout.The Buckeyes’ early success in the NFL is a true testament to Urban Meyer’s ability to develop his players. After their record year of 14 NFL draft picks, former Buckeyes have not let their foot off the gas. With many exciting Buckeyes around the league, the future looks very promising. read more

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Womens gymnastics No 18 Buckeyes spring into competition against Iowa

The Buckeyes placed first in their home quad-meet last Saturday against No. 11 Michigan, Kent State and Washington, topping the Wolverines for the first time since the 2012 Big Ten Championship.After earning their first Big Ten win and their second consecutive win of the season, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team plan are carrying that momentum into their second conference meet against Iowa this Saturday.“We’re happy about the win over Michigan, but we’re really focused on this weekend,” coach Carey Fagan said. “They’re a good team, so we’ll have to be on our A-game if we’re going to remain undefeated in the conference.”With a mindset of continuing to make improvements, OSU focusing on small, but crucial details in practice that the team missed in its last meet.Two OSU competitors stepped out of bounds on floor last week, which has prompted Fagan to contemplate a lineup change in the event.OSU has 12 athletes on the team with only six competition spots per meet based on NCAA guidelines.Even with the small mistakes made on floor, the OSU team performed very strong on vault, scoring 49.125, with bars and beam as a close second and third.The team saw three competitors score career-highs, including junior Alexis Mattern who scored a 9.9 on vault. Senior Jaine VanPutten and freshman Olivia Aepli each posted 9.825 on bars.“What’s so great about this team this year is that we have so many people fighting for lineups,” VanPutten said. “The depth of the team, it’s incredible, and we’re pushing each other, day-in and day-out. And by us pushing each other, it’s making the people that are in lineup have to push and go harder.”The Buckeyes are ranked No. 18 in the country, which puts them on the track to be a contender in the Big Ten and reach NCAA qualifiers at the end of the season.“It’s been a couple of years since we qualified for NCAAs, and we’re on track to do it [again],” said Matter. “It’s just going to be a lot of continued hard work and dedication in and outside of the gym. I think that everyone has started to put in that work, and only good habits can form from here.”Riding on their collection of wins, and with their focus on the common goal of improving each week, the Ohio State women’s gymnastics team is heading into what they deem as a very successful season.“This is our year, and we know it,” said VanPutten. “We went into (the last meet) knowing that this was our meet to beat Michigan, and we did it. So with that mindset, we can conquer anything.” read more

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Ohio State synchronized swimming takes first at Jessica Beck Memorial Meet

The Ohio State synchronized swimming team performs their routine during the Jessica Beck Memorial Meet Feb. 1 at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. OSU won with 93 points.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe pools of McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion provided a watery platform to allow fire to battle with ice.For the first time this season and the last time at home, the Ohio State synchronized swimming team performed its routines at the Jessica Beck Memorial Saturday. Hosting Miami (Ohio), Michigan and Ohio University, OSU proved to be in a league of its own, sweeping first place in all four categories as well as first place overall with 93 points. The next closest was Michigan, who finished 46 points behind OSU.With eight swimmers apiece — the maximum number allotted for team performance — the OSU Scarlet Team and the Gray Team portrayed the two elements of temperature. Donned in red, the Gray Team’s choreography and music portrayed fire, while the Scarlet Team sported blue and took on ice.The Scarlet Team, consisting of seniors Chelsea Aton, Yuliya Maryanko and Lauren Nicholson, juniors Katie Spada and Khadija Zanotto and freshmen Emma Baranski, Elizabeth Davidson and Lorraine Hack, placed first in the team division with a total of 88.1 points, while the Gray Team, composed of seniors Julia and Natalie Gaylard, juniors Cory Justice, Heidi Liou and Emily Muma and freshmen Alexa Aton, Jasmine Pulido and Natalie Huibregtse, took home second with a score of 84.05.The division of OSU’s varsity synchronized swimming team into two squads is based upon skill, with those athletes more refined in technicality and execution placed in Scarlet. However, Chelsea Aton, who serves as the Scarlet Team’s captain, and Natalie Gaylord, the captain who swims on the Gray Team, agreed the sub-squads make for friendly competition.“It’s really cool because we get to cheer each other on at practice and spur each other on every day, and I wouldn’t say there was any rivalry between us, but it is like a friendly competition, and we want to push each other and also encourage each other,” Chelsea Aton said after the meet.Although Scarlet and Gray secured the top spots in their first performances of the routines, coach Holly Vargo-Brown named endurance as a working point for the remainder of the season.“The routine is new, it doesn’t automatically come to you — the timing, the pattern changes, the lifts, making sure all of us are coordinated on the same effort to make sure they are super high,” Vargo-Brown said. “The Scarlet’s first lift was ‘wow’-high, super good, but it just takes time. It takes consistent practice every day next to the people around you, so it’ll come.”OSU swimmers also took the top spots in the trio, duet and solo divisions. Davidson, Maryanko and freshman Morgan Boneberg placed first in trios with 87.15 points, Baranski and Hack won duets with a score of 84.27 and Maryanko took first in solos with 89.9 points.Maryanko was one of seven seniors honored before the meet as part of senior night. Though the season is fresh in start and there is much time left before her final performance with the Buckeyes, Maryanko said the team’s support system is unmatched.“Right from the first day, I felt like I had 25 sisters,” Maryanko said. “I feel like an entire unit. We don’t feel a separation between two teams. We practice together, we always support each other no matter what, and even if one team has a day off and the other has practice, the team will come and support them.”However, the meet in itself, in memorial of former Buckeye synchronized swimmer Jessica Beck who died in her sleep Sept. 15, 2005, before her senior season, held a special place in Vargo-Brown’s heart, she said.“She was one of my swimmers at the time,” Vargo-Brown said of Beck, who was part of the Gray Team. “What’s cool about Jessica is that she continues to remain, in her passing she has continued to remain a part of this team in spirit. It’s just really nice to have been her coach and now still coaching and having an entirely new group of people who don’t know her, have never met her, we still know that her spirit has lived on and impacted the team, which is really, really a wonderful thing to see.”The team is set to compete next in Richmond, Va., Saturday.Correction: A prior headline of this article had Jessica Beck’s last name misspelled. read more

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