Friday, January 17, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Marion City Council supports Prospect Meadows

Members of the Marion City Council liked what they saw Tuesday afternoon of the proposed $9.4 million baseball and softball complex north of the city.

Developers of the Prospect Meadows Ball Fields are not asking the city for anything, but merely wanted to update Marion officials on their progress.

The 17-diamond facility, to be located near the Abbe Center at Highway 13 and County Home Road, is intended for local league play for all ages and as a site for major tournaments drawing teams from throughout the Midwest.

Last week, the local non-profit group planning the 120-acre development was cheered when the Linn County Board of Supervisors seemed prepared to donate the county-owned land.

"We should know for sure by the end of August," said longtime Marion businessman Dick Bice, one of the prime movers in the project. "If we get the land, then you'll really see us moving along. That's the next big step."

It is hoped that play can begin in 2013.

Tuesday's presentation at the council's work session was the first time Marion officials were given a broad overview, although there have been informal discussions since the facility was first proposed more than a year ago.

A scale model of the park in the lobby at Marion City Hall has drawn considerable interest, officials said.

Megan Furnish

Megan Furnish 71st at PGA Junior event

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Megan Furnish shot a 21-over-par 93 Wednesday in the second round of the 36th Junior PGA Championship at Sycamore Hills Country Club.

Furnish has posted rounds of 92 and 93 for a 36-hole today of 185, which is 41 strokes over par.

Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand has fired rounds of 69 and 68 for a 36-hole score of 7-under 137 in the four-day tournament.

Furnish stands in 71st place out of 78 golfers in the event, which is for players under 19 from around the world. Furnish will be a senior at Cedar Rapids Jefferson this year.

Austin Christensen

Christensen named 4A all-state team captain

Some people thought it was premature when Austin Christensen was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in May when only a handful of baseball games had been played.

As it turned out, Gatorade got it right.

The Iowa Newspaper Association named Christensen the captain of the Class 4A all-state team on Tuesday, putting the Cedar Rapids Kennedy senior at the head of his class. Christensen made the all-star squad as an outfielder.

Christensen hit .555 with 19 homers and 52 RBIs for the Cougars this season. He also compiled an 8-1 record on the mound and helped Kennedy reach the state tournament for the ninth time in 12 years.

Megan Furnish

Furnish shoots 92 at Junior PGA tourney

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Megan Furnish of Cedar Rapids struggled Tuesday and shot a 20-over-par 92 in the opening  round of the 36th Junior PGA Championship at Sycamore Hills Golf Club.

Furnish is tied for 74th place in a field of 78 golfers. She is 24 strokes behind the leader. Casey Danielson of Osceola, Wis., fired a 4-under-par 68 in the first round.

The 72-hole tournament continues through Friday.

Furnish will be a senior at Cedar Rapids Jefferson this year.


Zach Johnson (left) jokes with LPGA golfer Taylor Leon during the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic in Cedar Rapids on Aug. 1. PGA golfer Kyle Stanley is in the middle. (Photo by Margaret O'Banion)

Zach Johnson shows funny side in C.R.

Zach Johnson is funny.

Who knew?

When Zach gives TV interviews he's kind of, well, dull. There's no other way to describe it.

But when Zach took the microphone Monday at Elmcrest Country Club in Cedar Rapids, he was downright funny. He had everyone laughing, despite the scorching heat and brilliant sun.

The occasion was the inaugural Zach Johnson Foundation Classic, a wonderful event that raised money to help local kids with unmet needs. "Kids on Course," he calls it.

The event took in an estimated $500,000. Zach announced Monday that he will be donating another $500,000 of his own money to make the amount raised  $1 million.


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