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Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Metro Sports Report

Saxen headed to Missouri Western

Alex Saxen's real first name is Alexandria, but most people just call her Alex.

"Pretty much," she said, "except when I'm trouble."

Saxen probably doesn't have much time for trouble, considering her busy schedule at Xavier High School. She's a three-sport athlete, belongs to numerous clubs at school and has maintained a healthy 3.5 grade point average.

Her next stop will be Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., where she plans to play basketball for the NCAA Division II school and possibly study pre-medicine.

"I'm real excited, but I'm kind of nervous, because I'm not going to know very many people there," she said. "I'm nervous, but I'm excited."

Saxen, who stands about 5-foot-10, averaged 10.1 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Saints last season. She could be a swing player at Missouri Western State for Coach Lynn Plett, who led the Griffons to a 14-13 record this year.

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Wes Washpun picks Tennessee

Wes Washpun had two important phone calls to make Sunday afternoon, one of them easy and one of them hard.

The easy call went to Tennessee Coach Cuonzo Martin. The hard call went to Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery.

Washpun, the talented point guard from Cedar Rapids Washington, committed to Tennessee Sunday and needed to inform both coaches.

The call to Martin was easy. "He was really happy," Washpun said.

The call to McCaffery was hard. "It was definitely hard," Washpun said. "Not only have I grown up a Hawk fan, he's a good guy and I respect him as a man and what he's doing with the Iowa program."

Martin beat McCaffery to the punch. Martin offered Washpun a scholarship to join him at Missouri State and quickly extended the offer after he became the new head coach at Tennessee this spring.

"I had a relationship with Coach Martin since late November or early December, while Iowa has just come on late," Washpun said. "Him getting the job at Tennessee didn't slow down his recruiting of me at all. He called me the day after he got the job and told me he wanted me to be his guy down there."

McCaffery offered Washpun a scholarship early last week and met with Washpun for the first time on Thursday night.

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Sweeney down but not out of A's plans

You may have noticed Metro Sports Report is carrying a daily update on its front page of the progress of Ryan Sweeney, the Oakland Athletics outfielder from Cedar Rapids.

Unfortunately in the early part of the baseball season, the updates have been nearly nil with only two pinch-hit appearances.

Sweeney, a regular the past three seasons in Oakland, didn’t get his first start of 2011 until Sunday at Minnesota. He was slotted in the No. 5 hole and played right field as Manager Bob Geren sat Coco Crisp.

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Kasey Semler picks Kirkwood

Kasey Semler likes the tradition, coaching staff and location of Kirkwood Community College, so he stopped sifting through his college offers on Friday and picked the Eagles.

Semler also likes what might happen if he continues to improve and has a good career at Kirkwood. He'd like to play for an NCAA Division I school some day, and he thinks Kirkwood Coach Doug Wagemester can help him get there.

"That was a big part of it," Semler said Sunday. "I could have gone to a Division II or an NAIA school, (but) I was told by a lot of people that I had the chance to play at the Division I level and it kind of excited me.

"Coach Wags seems to think the same, and he'll do everything he can, he said, to help me reach my full potential, wherever that may take me."

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Foreman turns in fastest 400 hurdles time

Brooke Foreman clipped a hurdle and struggled at the end of her favorite race Saturday afternoon at the 25th Annual J-Hawk Relays, but it hardly mattered.

Foreman smashed a 23-year-old meet record in the 400 meter hurdles and ran the fastest time in the state this year, posting a 1:04.831 at Kingston Stadium.

She knew it was a meet record, but had no idea it was the fastest time in Iowa this spring. "Wow!" she exclaimed when told the news, breaking into a big smile.

Foreman, a junior at Cedar Rapids Washington, has been winning races all spring and was aiming for the record. "My coach was telling me I could get it," she said, but added, "I kind of died at the end."

Foreman clipped the next-to-last hurdle, undoubtedly costing her a few tenths of a second.

"Yeah, because when I land (after hitting a hurdle), I'm completely off-balance," she said. "I have to regain my stride, and it's just hard.

"I've never felt so bad on the last stretch. I just had to give it my all."

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