April Ross, Kerri Walsh Jennings

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross complete perfect AVP season after wardrobe malfunction

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Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross won the season-ending AVP Championships in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Sunday, completing a sweep of all seven AVP tournaments this season with a 36-0 match record and 72-4 set record.

Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic champion, and Ross, a 2012 Olympic silver medalist, defeated Heather Hughes and Whitney Pavlik 22-20, 21-17 in the AVP Championships final. Walsh Jennings and Ross are in their first full season together as partners.

“To have done it together as a new team, chasing big dreams, it feels really, really good,” Walsh Jennings said, according to The Associated Press. “We’ve grown so much on our push toward Rio [2016 Olympics]. It’s the best thing in the world to have the biggest target on your back. It means you’re the best.”

Walsh Jennings and Ross played in Huntington Beach with keys looped through chains around their necks. Walsh Jennings’ key had the word “breathe” inscribed, and Ross’ had “dream,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

The tournament victory didn’t come without a little drama. Ross’ bikini top snapped off during play Friday. The (Torrance, Calif.) Daily Breeze has the report:

She immediately hit the sand on her stomach while the crowd tried to absorb what just happened.

As Ross lay on the sand, Walsh Jennings trotted over to the sideline to pick up a towel so she could escort her partner and solve the wardrobe malfunction.

“It was a very dramatic moment,” Walsh Jennings said, smiling.

But they were ready for the contingency, since it happened during a practice this week in Hermosa Beach.

“It’s happened to us a couple times, so we were prepared,” Ross said. “I brought an extra bathing suit top, so we were good. Good thing my reactions are so quick. I think I did OK.”

Walsh Jennings, 36 and a mother of three, won her 124th career beach volleyball tournament. She’ll go for No. 125, with Ross, at the final FIVB World Tour Grand Slam event in Sao Paulo this week. They’ve won four FIVB World Tour events this season, twice as many as any other pair, but the new Brazilian team of Larissa and Talita captured the last two tournaments.

“By the end of a tournament my nerves are fried,” Walsh Jennings said, according to the Daily Breeze. “It’s great to have that problem, and I want to have that problem until I retire.”

Kerri Walsh Jennings, April Ross would not go back to old partners

Bobby Joe Morrow, triple Olympic sprint champion, dies at 84

Bobby Joe Morrow
AP
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Bobby Joe Morrow, one of four men to win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at one Olympics, died at age 84 on Saturday.

Morrow’s family said he died of natural causes.

Morrow swept the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, joining Jesse Owens as the only men to accomplish the feat. Later, Carl Lewis and Usain Bolt did the same.

Morrow, raised on a farm in San Benito, Texas, set 11 world records in a short career, according to World Athletics.

He competed in one Olympics, and that year was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year while a student at Abilene Christian. He beat out Mickey Mantle and Floyd Patterson.

“Bobby had a fluidity of motion like nothing I’d ever seen,” Oliver Jackson, the Abilene Christian coach, said, according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “He could run a 220 with a root beer float on his head and never spill a drop. I made an adjustment to his start when Bobby was a freshman. After that, my only advice to him was to change his major from sciences to speech, because he’d be destined to make a bunch of them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
Getty Images
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

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