SUN DOWNS: Spring meet still a possibility

Tri-City HeraldMarch 7, 2013 

Horse racing fans in the Mid-Columbia have been wondering if there is going to be a spring meet at Sun Downs.

The short answer is: hopefully.

The Tri-Cities Horse Racing Association and the Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo Board are currently in negotiations to resolve contract issues.

The Fair Board took over the running of the grounds from Benton County on Feb. 1.

If the two parties can come to some sort of agreement, there will be three weekends of racing covering Saturdays and Sundays.

Those race dates are April 20, 21, 27, 28, May 4 and 5, with post time each day at 1 p.m.

But the timeline is getting tight. In fact, the bridge that’s used to go over the track for the rodeo is still up, and can’t be there if horses are to race.

Meanwhile, Kennewick trainer Bill Hoburg has been running the Sun Downs training center for young horses out at the track, mainly using the back stretch.

College swimming

Here’s some swimming updates from staff writer Katie Dorsey:

Biola University sophomore Christine Tixier (Hanford) won the 100-yard butterfly for the second year in a row at the NAIA Swimming and Diving National Championships last Friday in Oklahoma City.

Tixier, who set the NAIA record of 54.60 seconds in last season’s championships, won this year’s final in 54.75.

The next day, Tixier took second in the 200 fly, finishing in a school-record time of 2 minutes, 3.43 seconds.

She also was third in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:06.36 and was named an NAIA All-American.

In the relays, Biola benefited from Tixier’s speed. The Eagles took fourth in the 400 medley relay, and Tixier helped set school records in the 200 free (fifth, 1:38.99) and 200 medley relays (fifth, 1:47.58). She also was on the fifth-place 800 free relay and seventh-place 400 free relay.

Roberts still flying: UNLV’s Cody Roberts remains the man to beat in the 100 fly.

The former Richland standout, who won the Mountain West Conference title in his first two years at UNLV, set a meet record at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships on Feb. 22 in Monterey Park, Calif.

The senior was timed at 46.71 seconds, beating Hawaii’s Luca Mazzurana and Denver’s Kyle Milberg, who tied for second in 47.62.

The next day, Roberts’ team won the MPSF championship with 613 points, beating Wyoming (603.5) and BYU (598). Seattle (134) was ninth.

During the four-day meet, Roberts helped the Rebels set meet records with their victories in the 200 medley (1.25.63) and 400 medley relays (3:10.30). Both times were NCAA “A” automatic qualifying marks.

Roberts was eighth in the 50 free and helped UNLV take second in the 200 free relay.

The Rebels will compete March 28-30 at the NCAA Division I championships in Indianapolis. Roberts was 19th in the 100 fly at last year’s NCAAs.

Another former Richland swimmer, Nick Connors, competed at the MPSF meet. The Seattle freshman finished 24th in the 1,650 free with a time of 16:18.54, ranking him fifth in school history.

Connors’ teammate Joe Wertz (Hanford) placed sixth in the consolation final of the 200 IM, finishing in 1:51.98.

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