December 30, 2012

Steve Solloway: The year of wonderful people and their wonderful stories

(Continued from page 1)

He skied the Stubai Glacier in the Austrian Alps this fall and trained at Mammoth Mountain in California over the summer, and won a Spartan obstacle course race at Vermont's Killington Mountain, crawling through mud under barbed wire.

Tom Knight still fights for minutes as a backup center for Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish were 12-1 heading into the Christmas break. Knight, the 6-foot-10 graduate of Dirigo High in Dixfield, has played in eight games, averaging a little more than five minutes.

"I'm sure he's had really tough days," Coach Mike Brey told the South Bend Tribune two weeks ago. "I've never seen it on the practice floor. That's being a man and handling things. It's funny how it comes back around and it will come back around 'cause he's done it before for us."

Brey was thinking of a nine-minute stretch in the second-round NCAA tournament game with Xavier, when Knight came off the bench to score four points and grab two rebounds.

Jen Small of Biddeford leaves Wednesday for Florida and the start of the Ragnar Relay, Miami-to-Key West race. The 38-year-old triathlete will be part of a team of dramatic weight-loss runners. Small weighed about 250 pounds some five years ago and is now half that.

Her husband, former Biddeford High football player Casey Small, has shed 45 pounds and ran his first 5K race on Thanksgiving Day, finishing in 24 minutes, 57 seconds, about five minutes faster than his goal. He plans to run another 5K on New Year's Day.

Union Rags' last race was his best. The bay stallion won the Belmont Stakes in New York, overtaking Paynter in the final strides, giving Phyllis Wyeth one of the happier moments of her long life. Before racing again, Union Rags sustained a tendon injury. In July it was decided he would retire to the breeding barn at Lane's End Farm in Kentucky. He has a Facebook page.

The banked indoor track once used by countless runners during high school meets at the Portland Expo couldn't be saved this fall. With meets now run at the University of Southern Maine, it was hoped someone could recycle the wood into award plaques or something similiar. No one stepped forward.

The sections of track were taken to a landfill.

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:



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Additional Photos

Tom Knight

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Union Rags got the riches by winning the Belmont Stakes and now, after a tendon injury, is living the good life.

The Associated Press


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