Tourney is ready to roll
Bowling will be under the spotlight in the county the next two weekends.
The Greater Citrus Championship begins Saturday and concludes the following Sunday.
The team event will be at Sportsman Lanes in Inverness on Sunday and March 24. The singles and doubles will take place at Parkview Lanes in Holder on Saturday and March 25.
Competitors will have the option of bowling all of their respective events on one weekend instead of two _ a change from past years. The handicap has been changed to 100 percent from 220, which organizers think will make the event more fair. Participants will be able to bowl singles and doubles on different weekends. For more information, call Bob Hacker, (352) 465-0828.
Young gun takes aim
Saturday's Shamrock Scamper 5K in Inverness should have a youthful flavor.
Tara Gruber of Flower Mound, Texas, won the women's overall title as a 12-year old last year with a time of 20 minutes, 30 seconds, and is expected to compete Saturday. Gruber outran all but nine of the race's male competitors as well in 2000 to finish 10th in the overall standings.
Gruber recently clocked in at 19:44 in the Friendship Trail 5K in Tampa. She owns the top mile time (5:42) in her middle school district and claimed the Texas middle school state title in the 2-mile with a performance of 12:04.
Gruber's main competition could come from local favorite Jennifer Schmidt of Inverness.
Schmidt, a 30-year-old mother of two, has established herself as one of the area's top female runners. In recent months, she captured the Paper Chase 10K at Rock Crusher Canyon, the Jingle Bell 5K in Inverness and the Reindeer Run in Ocala.
In February, Schmidt won the Ocala Half Marathon in 1:28.20. She recently qualified for the Boston Marathon by posting a 3:23.50 in the Disney Marathon.
"The story of this race is the women," said Shamrock Scamper organizer Colon Joiner. "I am really excited about the race between Schmidt and Gruber. The times of the two are almost identical. This is a flat, fast course with shade on the southside, so we may see times from those two women down around 19 minutes."
The race, which begins on Stadium Drive behind the football field at Citrus High School, starts at 7:45 a.m. For more information, call John Bianco, (352) 527-2760.
Scouts get look at Capel
Brooksville's John Capel had an important day as NFL scouts convened in Gainesville on Wednesday to watch he and his ex-teammates go through formal workouts.
Capel, who applied for early entry to next month's NFL Draft even though he played sparingly in two seasons with the Gators, has been projected as a late-round pick, primarily due to his world-class speed.
The Olympic sprinter had a solid showing in the NFL combines in Indianapolis. Capel's best 40-yard dash time was 4.40 seconds, according to NFL Draft Digest, giving him the second-fastest mark out of the 34 receivers who participated. Capel's vertical leap was listed at 36.5 inches, putting him in the middle of the pack among receivers. But the former Hernando track standout had a standing broad jump of 10 feet, 6 inches _ the seventh best at his position.
Broken any clubs lately?
Citrus County Parks and Recreation is offering a club-making and repair seminar March 29 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Beverly Hills Community Building. Pre-registration is required for the seminar, which is limited to 25 students.
Jim Goodwillie, a club maker, fitter and repairman for 20 years, will be the instructor. He is a Class A member of The Professional Clubmaker's Society and an advanced professional of The Golf Clubmaker's Association. He will discuss what training, equipment and cost is involved to begin a hobby or business in making and repairing clubs.
For more information, call (352) 795-2202.
Water aerobics classes
Citrus County Parks and Recreation will offer water aerobics classes at the Bicentennial Park Pool in Crystal River from April 2-29. Classes will be held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:15-6 p.m. Instructor Nancy Todd is certified by the Aquatic Exercise Association. The cost is $2 per class.
Any person requiring reasonable accommodation for any program because of a disability or physical impairment should contact the parks and recreation office 72 hours prior to the activity. For more information, call (352) 795-2202.
_ GREG AUMAN, KEITH NIEBUHR