Palmer, Plake headline Toyota Grand Prix |

Palmer, Plake headline Toyota Grand Prix

From Tribune Staff Reports

Very few people wish to race South Shore’s Shaun Palmer and Glen Plake down a mountain.

But multi-Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis and singer Donny Osmond – 1991 champion – will take their chances against Plake, who helped revive freestyle and extreme skiing, and Palmer, who USA Today suggested in an article last year is the world’s greatest athlete, in a celebrity auto race next month.

They, along with film star Vince Vaughn and television star Melissa Joan Hart, are among 18 entrants for the 23rd annual Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race April 16 in Long Beach, Calif.

Highlights of the 10-lap race around the 1.85-mile Champ Car track will be shown by ABC during the telecast of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach at approximately 1 p.m. April 18.

The 10-lap celebrity race will be shown in its entirety April 25 at 2 p.m. on ESPN.

As part of the race event, Toyota helps raise close to $100,000 for “Racing for Kids,” a fund-raising program beneifiting Southern California children’s hospitals. Hospitals in Long Beach, Los Angeles and Orange County will receive $5,000 from Toyota in the name of each racer. An additional $5,000 will be awarded to me racer winner’s charity of choice.

Thomas named president of Sac-area pro teams:

Joe and Gavin Maloof have announced that John Thomas will become president of the Sacramento Kings, Monarchs and Knights and Arco Arena effective July 1.

“We are pleased to announce the addition of John Thomas to our management team,” the Maloofs said in an organization press release. “He has a tremendous background in sports administration and marketing, and we believe he is the right person to lead our organization as we strive to become the best organization in professional sports.”

Thomas comes to Sacramento from Houston, where he was the leader of the business operation for the Houston Rockets, Comets and Thunderbears for five years.

“I am thrilled with the prospect of coming to Sacramento,” Thomas said. “The fans are known to be among the best, if not the best, in the NBA. The national attention the team is drawing because of their performance this year gives us a tremendous base on which to build an even better organization in the future.”

Vikings runneth over:

The South Tahoe High girls track and field team is chock full of underclassmen, but the group would rather worry about outclassing the competition.

“I’m quite pleased with what the girls are doing right now. They work very, very hard and they are competing with a lot of class,” said South Tahoe coach Jerry Carter, who took his team to Carson High on Saturday for the 4A season opener. “And they’re showing the other teams that there’s some potential here and they better look out when the zone championship comes around.”

Senior Dawn Hock laid down a 4-foot-6 mark in the high jump, while freshman Sarah Belair opened her high school career with a promising 4-2 leap.

“I think everybody did pretty well for only having two weeks of practice,” Carter said.

Senior Launa Giordano raced to a 2:46 time in the 800-meter run, while freshman Amy Carter sauntered to a 55:36 mark in the 300-meter hurdles. Senior Julie Tam finished with a 44.75 in the 200-meter dash.

The next meet for South Tahoe will be Saturday morning at Reed High School.

Pin the wrestler on the mat:

The South Tahoe Wrestling Club logged some final mat time Sunday in preparation for this weekend’s freestyle state championships in Las Vegas.

First-place prizes went to the following grapplers: Cole Baginski (freestyle), Cavin Ross (freestyle, Greco-Roman). Second place went to Zack Williams, Francisco Salas, Cody Reeder, Miles Wallace, Gabriel Salas, Jeremy Hubble, Travis Shindelbower and coach David Borges.

Third-place awards went to Justn Dalton, Cameron Roth, Joshua Reeder, Kevin Maslow, Ryan Wallace, Brad Ross and Loren Roth; Cody McCullough took a fourth place on Saturday.

Nine Timberwolves medal

Nine South Tahoe Middle School wrestlers earned medals at a meet Saturday in Lovelock.

Kenny Craig led the Timberwolves medal haul by placing second in a seventh-grade 90-pound division. Craig lost a four-point lead in the final 30 seconds of the match, necessitating two one-minute overtimes before falling to an Incline wrestler, 7-5.

Other STMS seventh-grade medal winners were Adam Fountain, third, heavyweight; Matt Bobman, fourth, 95 pounds; and Evan Maclean, fourth, 85. The latter three medalists are freshmen.

Eighth-gradeers earning medals were Dan Lucero, fourth, 90 pounds; Brian Burns, fourth, 125; Kyle Martinez, fourth, 140; Dan Wexelblatt, fourth, 150; and Tyler corey, fourth, 160.

“They’re improving every time out, and a lot of them are first-year wrestlers,” said STMS coach Dennis Romero.

On Saturday, the Timberwolves will compete in a state-qualifying tournament at Carson Middle School. Matches begin at 9 a.m., with the top four finishers in each class advancing to state March 27 in Yerington.

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