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Selected local Sports for August 10, 1998

Anglin confident he can kick

by Chris Errington


(August 10) Ohio State players stand a mere 10 yards away, Mountaineer Field is packed beyond its 63,500-seat capacity and millions of fans watch from their homes. The date is Sept. 5, and true freshman Zach Anglin of Bridgeport is about to kick off the biggest game of his life -- literally.

Scared? Nah. He's more nervous about being out of shape for the beginning of West Virginia University's preseason practices.

"I've been in big games before and I've always done really well under pressure. Plus, I've wanted to go up there my whole life, so I won't be nervous at all when the game starts," Anglin said. "But I am nervous that I didn't do enough over the summer to get ready for practice."

Anglin, a favorite to capture the kickoff duties for the Mountaineers, and 30 other freshmen football players reported to Morgantown Sunday for the beginning of WVU's preseason practice. Veterans report to camp on Tuesday.

Anglin, the 1997 All-Big 10 and All-Harrison County kicker and punter during his senior season at Bridgeport High School, said he found out he has an opportunity to claim the kickoff spot following a conversation with kicking consultant Randy Brown.

"I talked to coach Brown back in June, and he told me that he wants one of the other kickers to take the kickoffs away from Jay Taylor," Anglin said. "He said I've got a big leg, so I really expect to be kicking off that first game. Since we talked, I've been lifting and running five to six days a week.

"I hope I'm ready. I just wish I had another week to prepare, but I don't."

Another week? Anglin's been lucky to have a day off since high school ended in June thanks to the success of his Clarksburg Moose 52 Palomino baseball team.

He admits baseball probably hurt his kicking game, but he has no regrets and is confident he can contribute at WVU this season.

Anglin said his sights aren't just set on kickoffs. He also expects to take over WVU's punting job later in the season.

The place kicking situation however, is quite different. With Taylor, a Lou Groza finalist last year, back for his senior season, Anglin said field goals are out of the question -- for now.

"I want to do both kickoffs and punts this year, but Taylor's too good to beat out for placements," Anglin said. "Maybe next year I can win that job too."

With four weeks to go before the Buckeyes come to Morgantown for the season opener, Anglin knows there's a lot more work to be done before he can worry about that.

"I know it's going to be real tough up there," Anglin said.

"The coaches expect a lot from us and I expect to kick at least 150-200 balls a day. That's going to be a lot more than I ever did in high school."

With that much practice, it's no wonder Anglin is counting on big things this year.

"I really expect to do well up there this year," Anglin said.

"Every once in a while I used to think about if I'm really good enough to play Division-I football. "Now I know I am."

"It would be a shame to do all this work and have to watch from the sidelines."

City gets high marks for event

by Chris Errington


(August 10) The 2-year-old Greater Clarksburg 10K already has been ranked as one of the top races of its kind in the country.

Saturday's race likely solidified its standing.

The 10K was ranked seventh among U.S. 10Ks by a national publication, a spot usually reserved for races with more history.

By its third year, many runners believe the 10K will be even higher on that list.

"This 10K really is that good," men's overall winner Simon Morolong said.

"This is a great course to run, especially at this time of year," American champion John Sence said. "It's challenging, but it's also fair. They're doing something right."

Olympic marathon gold medalist Frank Shorter agreed the Greater Clarksburg 10K is off to a great start.

But, "the key to keeping this race going as well as it is is long-term management," Shorter said. Race Director Carl Hatfield "is a true afficionado of the sport and with him leading the way, this race is only going to get better as years go on.

"The ranking is definitely accurate."

While grand master's division runner Ron Bucy agreed with the ranking, he said the best aspect of the race was its proximity.

"Finally we have a race here in Clarksburg that we can call our own," Bucy said. "It's so nice to be able to run here instead of always having to go to other cities to race. I've heard a lot of people saying the only reason they're out here is because the race is so close. If that's what it takes to get people running and improving their lifestyles, then so be it."

For race chairman Larry Mazza, the 10K's success was the perfect ending to a near-perfect day.

"We've definitely got something special going on here and the people seem to know it," Mazza said. "With the amount of runners we had, a male course record broken (actually tied) and ESPN covering us, it just takes this race to the next level. I really believe we will only get better as we go on."

Hoffmans team up for inspirational 10K run

by Joedy McCreary


(August 10) Training solo for the Greater Clarksburg 10K is tough enough for Clarksburg resident Richard Hoffman.

But training -- and competing -- by pushing his wheelchair-bound daughter, Gretchen, 10 kilometers, proved to be twice as tough.

And 10 times as rewarding.

Richard Hoffman completed Saturday's Greater Clarksburg 10K in 1 hour, 3.06 seconds. Gretchen finished one-hundredth of a second sooner.

"It's hard. But it's a lot of fun, too," Richard Hoffman said. "We do all the 5K walks for MDA and MS and all that.

"(Doing the 10K race) was a natural progression for us," he said.

Richard Hoffman said Gretchen is a typical teen-ager. He often takes her to ball games, and the run just seemed natural.

"She enjoys the crowd," Richard Hoffman said.

"And the people yelling for her, and the stimulation -- she loves it. She's got an adventurous spirit," he said.

And most thrilling for Gretchen were the many hills of the Greater Clarksburg 10K's course.

"She loves going down the hills," said Hoffman.

"The faster I go with her, the more she likes it."

Hoffman said he didn't train hard enough for the race, their third together.

In addition to the two Greater Clarksburg 10Ks, the Hoffmans also competed in the Peachtree Classic in Atlanta in July 1997.

"I should have done more," Hoffman said. "We walk all the time.

"We spend time together walking in the park, about five miles per night."

The benefits of competing with his daughter are endless for Hoffman, who picked up running in 1990.

"Once you get your heart rate up, you've got to keep it up," Hoffman said. "It all was a natural progression.

"We said when she was born that we weren't going to let her condition change the way we lived," Hoffman said. "And we haven't."