Katie Ledecky .jpg

Katie Ledecky competes in the women's 200 meter freestyle prelim race at the TYR Pro Swim Series swim meet Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Mission Viejo, California.

Katie Ledecky wins 200 free with world's fastest time

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. — Katie Ledecky won the 200-meter freestyle at the TYR Pro Swim Series meet with the world’s fastest time this year.

Ledecky touched first in 1 minute, 54.40 seconds in the outdoor pool Friday, April 9. She was well ahead of three-time Olympian Allison Schmitt, who was second in 1:58.04. Ledecky’s time tied Schmitt’s U.S. Open record set in 2012.

Ledecky’s best time in the event is 1:53.73 set at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where she won gold.

AP source: Portland gets Women's International Champions Cup

PORTLAND — The Women's International Champions Cup will be held at Portland's Providence Park in August, a person with knowledge of the event told The Associated Press on Thursday, April 8.

The Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League will host the four-team tournament, which will also include the Houston Dash, as well as European club teams Barcelona and Lyon.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event has not yet been announced.

Lyon, the 2020 UEFA Champions League winner, is the defending champion from the 2019 WICC. The Thorns qualified for the tournament as winners of the NWSL's fall series, while the Dash won last summer's Challenge Cup in Utah. Barcelona was the 2020 Spanish league leader.

The tournament, to be held Aug. 18-21, will be the third WICC. Last year's event was canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

New York-based Relevent Sports Group, which puts on the International Champions Cup for men's club teams each summer, added the women's competition in 2018. The 2019 edition was held in Cary, North Carolina, and hosted by the North Carolina Courage. The inaugural event was held in the Miami area.

Relevent plans to add two additional teams to the women's tournament next year and eight clubs in 2023.

The WICC's move in 2021 was first reported by the Washington Post.

Utah high school announces new mascot following backlash

SALT LAKE CITY — A mostly white high school near Salt Lake City revealed its new mascot Friday that will replace its contentious Braves mascot, as school and professional sports teams nationwide face increasing backlash about using Native American names and symbols.

The Redhawks will become Bountiful High School's mascot starting next fall, Principal Aaron Hogge announced. The school is still designing its new official logo.

He said the red-tailed hawk is the most common hawk species in North America and “is one of the biggest birds of prey found in the mountains above Bountiful.”

The Redhawks name was selected after the school received over 100 suggestions for a new name, Davis County School District spokesperson Chris Williams said. He said the most frequent name suggestion was “Brave” but that was rejected because it was too similar to the existing mascot's name.

Redhawks beat out three other nickname finalists — Bears, Lightning/Bolts or Trailblazers/Blazers.

Calls for Bountiful to change the name mounted last summer during a nationwide push for racial justice following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the decision by Washington's NFL team to drop its Redskins name.

Administrators began reviewing the mascot in early August and created a committee to identify and discuss concerns by people wishing to remove it. They sought input from representatives of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation based near Bountiful, students, faculty and staff and community members.

It’s not clear how many high schools across the U.S. have built their sports team imagery around Native Americans, but advocates have said the number is in the hundreds and down significantly from decades ago.

At the college level, Native American mascots seen as “hostile and abusive” by Indigenous communities have been banned in championship play since 2005.

Some colleges, including the University of Utah and Florida State University, have agreements with local tribes to use their names and imagery.

Professional sports teams that have Native American-themed names and mascots increasingly are facing backlash, including baseball’s Atlanta Braves and the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

— Associated Press

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