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SportsBeat: Things I'm Thinking

Thoughts about some great performances turned in by area athletes.

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I'm thinking the story of will be one of the most compelling ones during the Summer Olympic Games in London. As a junior at he broke his throwing hand which derailed his baseball career. Kinsley picked up the javelin and went on to  become an NCAA champion for Brown University in 2010. Two years later, Kinsley earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic team by placing third at the trials.

I'm thinking that is a big believer in the saying, "timing is everything." The goalie of the Los Angeles Kings, who is a Milford native but also played at and Avon Old Farms, was in line for a contract extension heading into this season. Quick was brilliant, posting 10 shutouts and 1.95 goals against average. He led the Kings to their first-ever Stanley Cup title and won the Conn Symthe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs after recording three shutouts. The Kings rewarded Quick with a 10-year contract worth between $50-$60 million. Talk about security! Quick definitely earned it.

I'm thinking that it's pretty cool for Connecticut to have two athletes who will be playing in the Futures Game during All-Star festivities in Kansas City next week. of Bethel and a 2011 first-round pick of the Boston Red Sox was selected after dominating hitters during the first half of the minor-league season. Barnes, a hard throwing right-handed pitcher, is 7-1 with a 1.70 ERA in two stops between Salem (VA) and Greenville (SC).

Also playing in the game for top-level prospects is of Branford. As a member of the the Texas Rangers' AA affiliate in the Texas League, Olt, who played at UConn, has put up some eye-popping numbers. He's currently hitting .300 with 21 home runs and 60 RBI's. Baseball America rated Olt the best defensive third baseman in the Rangers' farm system.

I'm thinking that of Hamden is my new favorite athlete. She has completed the Kona Ironman triathlon in Hawaii and the Florida Ironman. Those events comprise of a 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run. Burns finished strong in the Rev3 Half-Ironman in Middlebury in early June. Burns is 70-years old, proving once again that age is only a number.

Well-Earned Accolades

I'm thinking that recent selection to the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame was long overdue. The graduate of was a two-time All-State selection in basketball and played at Villanova University. As a sophomore at Villanova, Jensen came off the bench to help lead the Wildcats to one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history, scoring 14 points in a dramatic championship game victory over Georgetown in 1985.

Other selections include:

  • Sue Merz of Greenwich High School. She won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic hockey team in 1998.
  • of Masuk High School. Coached girls basketball for 35 years, leading Masuk to 704 victories and three state titles. Retired in 2011.
  • Wes Matthews of Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport. Led his school to a state championship and enjoyed a nine-year career in the NBA.
  • Jim Penders, Sr. Was a true legend in Stratford. Coached baseball at for 23 years, racking up 282 victories and four state titles. Penders also coached track for 13 years and was the school's athletic director.
  • Ed Finnegan of Stratford High School. Played baseball for Penders and went on to achieve legendary status as a softball player.

The former athletes and coaches will be inducted into the Fairfield County Sports Hall of Fame during a ceremony on October 15.

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