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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Spalding bids for Women's Open Billings golfer Leslie Spalding will make her bid for a sixth appearance in the U.S. Women's Open when she takes part in a 36-hole sectional qualifying tournament Tuesday, June 10 in Summit, N.J.

Spalding, 34, will be playing at Canoe Brook Country Club. The top players there will move on to the 58th U.S. Women's Open July 3-6 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.

Spalding, who is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour, has played in the last two U.S. Opens in Hutchinson, Kan., in 2002 and Southern Pines, N.C. in 2001.

Her other U.S. Opens took place in Kohler, Wis., in 1998, Pumpkin Ridge in 1997 and Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1995.

Spalding tied for 44th at last year's U.S. Open and won $11,121. Her highest finish is a tie for 36th in 1998.

She will be heading to the sectional tournament in New Jersey after playing at the McDonald's LPGA Championship June 5-8 in Wilmington, Del.

Anderson shooting for Senior Open Tom Anderson, head pro at Laurel Golf Club, will be competing in a U.S. Senior Open sectional qualifying tournament on Monday, June 9 at Waverly Country Club in Portland, Ore.

Around 60 players will be participating in the 18-hole qualifier. Players must be at least 50 years old and have handicap indexes of 3.4 or less to compete.

Sectionals will be held at 44 sites around the country. Anderson, who turned 50 last August, isn't sure how may players will advance from the Portland site.

The 24th U.S. Senior Open will be held June 26-29 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. Its starting field will consist of 156 players.

Besides Anderson, the field in Portland will include Missoula's Gary Koprivica, who advanced all the way to last year's U.S. Senior Open in Baltimore, Md.

A total of 2,788 entries, including 10 past champions, were accepted by the United States Golf Association and a total of 79 players are exempt from having to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open.

Anderson played in the U.S. Open in 1998 in San Francisco, Calif.

Bees wraps up AFL season BUFFALO, N.Y. — Bob Bees wrapped up his season as quarterback for the Buffalo Destroyers last Sunday by throwing for five touchdowns in a 55-38 Arena Football League loss to the Las Vegas Gladiators.

The former Rocky Mountain College quarterback started the Destroyers' final four games after serving as the backup quarterback for the San Jose SaberCats for most of the season. He completed 20 of 37 passes for 232 yards and two interceptions at Las Vegas.

The 30-year-old Bees was 1-3 as a starter for Buffalo, which finished 5-11 overall.

In four games, Bees completed 72-of-128 passes for 847 yards and 16 TDs. He was intercepted five times.

Lulay rated high by Sports Network Tony Moss of the Sports Network ( rates Montana State sophomore Travis Lulay as the ninth-best returning quarterback in Division I-AA college football.

Moss mentioned Lulay's prominent role in the reversal of the Bobcats' fortunes last season. "Most had written off Montana State when Lulay was introduced to the starting lineup on Oct. 12, as the Bobcats were 2-3 and coming off a horrific loss to Division II Central Washington," Moss wrote. "It was in the season's final month that Lulay's star began to shine. Displaying a veteran aura, the frosh led the 'Cats to four straight wins to begin November, including a historic 10-7 win at Montana that gave MSU an unlikely share of the league crown and its first playoff bid since 1984."

Lulay threw for 2,042 yards and 14 touchdowns with only five interceptions last season.

Moss rated Lulay as the top Big Sky returnee, and was behind the likes of Grambling State junior Bruce Eugene and Georgia Southern's Chaz Williams, who were ranked 1-2. Sacramento State's Ryan Leadingham was rated No. 15. Montana's Craig Ochs, who came to the Grizzlies from the University of Colorado, was rated the No. 3 impact (4-year) transfer in I-AA.

BAHL to hold sign-up meetings The Billings Amateur Hockey League will hold two informational meetings for parents interested in signing their kids up for leagues this fall.

The meetings will be June 4 at 7 p.m. at Big Sky Elementary, and June 11 at 7 p.m. at Castle Rock Middle School.

The BAHL is for players ages 5-18. The meetings will be conducted in question-and-answer format.

Registration forms will also be available at the meetings. For information, call Michell Lowther at 655-9110.

MSU volleyball signs blocker BOZEMAN — Middle blocker Raelene Purnell of Red Deer, Alberta, has signed a letter of intent to join the Montana State volleyball team, coach Miya Malauulu announced.

The 6-foot-1 Purnell led Lindsay Thurber High School to a 65-3 record last season. The team captured the gold medal at both the 2001 and 2002 provincial championships. Purnell was named to the first-team all-star squad.

Purnell also played club volleyball for the Queens Extreme squad that won a bronze medal at the 2003 Canadian National Championships.

MSU-Northern adds 3 wrestlers HAVRE — Montana State-Northern wrestling coach David Ray has added three more recruits for the 2003-2004 season.

They are Joe Tusick of Polson, Frank Jachetta of Newport, Wash., and Mark Brazones of Roscoe, Ill., who is transferring to Northern from Rock Valley Junior College in Illinois.

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Tusick finished third at state in his junior and senior seasons. During his prep career, Tusick compiled a 110-29 record with 56 points. He was voted Polson High's outstanding wrestler his senior year.

Jachetta compiled a 48-8 record over the past two seasons, winning a high school state title at 140 pounds. He also won a state freestyle championship as a junior.

Brazones was a two-time state qualifier for Rockford Hononegah High School, compiling a 108-28 record, mostly at the 152-pound classification.

Tusick and Brazones will also play football at Northern.

Real Bird signs with MCC women MILES CITY — Amber Real Bird of Hardin has signed with the Miles Community College women's basketball team, coach Dwight Gunnare announced Tuesday.

Real Bird averaged 7.5 points, two steals and two assists her senior year and was a two-time academic all-state selection.

Big Horn removes girls coach BIG HORN, Wyo. — Sheridan County School District No. 1 trustees have voted unanimously to fire girls basketball coach Rick Scherry.

Board members declined to say why they decided not to renew Scherry's contract. But board Chairwoman Anne Nickerson said the firing does not diminish the board's "respect and admiration" for Scherry.

"We do have a lot of appreciation for his years of service to the district," she said.

Scherry announced earlier this year that he intended to retire from his teaching job at the end of the school year but planned to continue coaching the girls basketball team.

Since becoming head coach in 2000, he compiled a record of 67-9, including two state championships, a fourth-place finish at state and three regional championships.

He also coached football for many years at Big Horn and was previously an assistant girls basketball coach. He was inducted into the Wyoming Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1994.