SMU's Sturdivant named to Nagurski Trophy watch list

Parkview grad Joey Sturdivant, a senior on the Southern Methodist football team, was among the 58 players nationally named to the 2006 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the best defensive player in college football.

Sturdivant was SMU's co-defensive MVP as a junior, when he also was named second team All-Conference USA and twice won the league's defensive player of the week award. He led SMU last season with 112 tackles (33 more than his closest teammate and fourth in the conference) and 14 passes defended, which was best in Conference USA.

Weir posts fastest U.S. 100 free of year

Brookwood grad Amanda Weir won the 100-meter freestyle at last weekend's Charlotte (N.C.) UltraSwim in 55.11 seconds, the fastest time in that event this year by an American swimmer.

Weir, who will be a sophomore at Southern California next season, also broke the UltraSwim meet record in the 100 free, which was set 10 years ago by Olympian Jenny Thompson.

Carey to join SwimAtlanta program

Longtime local swimming coach Debbie Carey, a high school coach at North Gwinnett, is joining SwimAtlanta's coaching staff. She begins working with SwimAtlanta on Aug. 21.

Carey has plenty of coaching experience, and is well known for her years of coaching with the Thunderbolts of the Gwinnett Swim League.

"Debbie has just a tremendous reputation in the community, both at the high school level and the swimming league level," SwimAtlanta's Chris Davis said. "Her expertise in stroke mechanics and conditioning is excellent. To add her to our staff really helps us."


Atlanta holds New York-style marathon

ATLANTA - Atlanta, noted until now in the running world for its 10-kilometer race on July 4, is adding an annual marathon.

Mayor Shirley Franklin announced Friday that the city will host its first Georgia Marathon on March 25. The race is expected to draw 15,000 people to run in the 26.2-mile race through some of city's most historic neighborhoods.

She challenged downtown and intown neighborhoods along the race route to create ''a unique viewing area'' and said she'd issue a personal challenge of her own.

''Maybe I'll challenge the governor,'' Franklin said. ''Or maybe I'll challenge all the elected officials in Atlanta and the state.''

The winning neighborhood group will receive a $5,000 prize from ING, the financial services company sponsoring the race. The money can be used to build a neighborhood walking or jogging path. The company will also provide two runner-up prizes of $2,500.

- From staff, wire reports