Chattanooga beat the overall percentage by a substantial margin in the Leadville Trail 100 Run this past Saturday and Sunday in Colorado. The 497 finishers represented 48 percent of the runners who started the 100-mile race from the highest-elevation incorporated town in the United States, but seven of the 10 from the Chattanooga area got done before the 30-hour cutoff, led by first-time 100-miler Samuel Hammonds in 93rd place at 24 hours, 11 minutes. "That's phenomenal. He's been ultra running not even a year," said the local contingent's Randy Whorton, a past Leadville finisher who was hit by pulmonary edema and struggled to get to the final aid station at 87 miles. Brian Costilow finished his ninth consecutive Leadville 100 in 27:42, 234th place, and Daniel Lucas and Robin Crump were 291st and 292nd in 28:23 in their first 100s. Lindsay Crawford didn't finish in his first try last year but came in this time in 29:02, and golf caddie Pete Persolja and Chad Wamack finished in 29:25 and 29:45. Great Britain's Ian Sharman and Nick Clark were first and second in 16:30 and 17:06. "This is one of the toughest ultra marathons in the world and maybe the second most prestigious 100 trail race, to Western States in California, so this was a great showing for Chattanooga," Whorton said. "There were a dozen or so countries and 30 states represented."
• The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was picked to finish fifth out of 11 teams in Southern Conference volleyball this season. The balloting by the league's coaches was announced Monday with Samford getting six first-place votes and outpolling lameduck SoCon member Georgia Southern 95 points to 89. Furman was third with 79 points, followed by UNC Greensboro with two firsts and 67 points, UTC with 63 and Elon with 60. No Lady Mocs made the nine-player preseason all-conference team.
• UTC's annual "30 Minutes or Less" football season-ticket promotion is today for the 2013 campaign, and again head coach Russ Huesman will join members of the Mocs team, the athletic staff and the Spirit Squad in delivering tickets within a five-mile radius of McKenzie Arena. Any tickets in that driving range not delivered within a half-hour of being ordered by phone at 266-MOCS (6627) between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. are free. Season tickets start at $40 for youth, alumni, faculty and staff. UTC is approaching 2,500 season tickets sold for the fifth year in a row, and the goal today is to break the previous record of 106 for a "30 Minutes or Less" day. The Mocs open their season on Aug. 29 with a 7:30 p.m. home game at Finley Stadium against UT-Martin.
• Carson-Newman University will start the 2013 football season as the No. 17 team in NCAA Division II, according to the American Football Coaches Association poll. The Eagles have been picked to win the South Atlantic Conference by a slight nod over defending champion Lenoir-Rhyne, which Carson-Newman beat twice last year. Lenoir-Rhyne is ranked 23rd in the AFCA poll. Also from Super Region II are Gulf South Conference teams Valdosta State at No. 1 and West Alabama at No. 16. Valdosta State beat Carson-Newman in the 2012 playoffs on the way to the national championship. The Eagles wound up 13th in the final 2012 AFCA balloting.
• Fort Payne Motor Speedway avoided rain again while other area racetracks were weather victims Saturday night, and Kasey Hall of Rainsville, Ala., won the $2,000 featured Crate Late Model Championship 40 race. And he won it in Brent Rhodes' 13 car because his own 42 wasn't ready to race. Elbert McCullough of Cedar Bluff was second, and Jimmy Elliott of Cleveland, Tenn., was third. Kyle May of Pisgah and Lee Burdett of Hueytown completed the top five.
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