Utah Olympian Ed Eyestone will be among the favored contestants entered in the Boston Marathon next Monday morning - more proof that distance runners have short memories.
It was just four years ago at the Boston Marathon that Eyestone finished in a disappointing (for him) time of 2:19:19 and vowed never to return to Heartbreak Hill. "After I threw up, I remember telling my wife, Lynn, that if I ever said I wanted to do this again, to talk me out of it," says Eyestone now. "I was really hurting. I'd hit the proverbial wall, and it was reinforced with rebar."So why the change of heart?
"Aw, 30 minutes after I told Lynn that, I was secretly plotting revenge," says Eyestone. "I was pretty much a 10K runner trying a marathon in that first one. Now, I think I'm more of a marathoner." Since '86, the Utah native has competed for the U.S. in the Olympic marathon in Seoul, and has lowered his personal best time to 2:10:59, which he recorded last fall in Chicago.
"I'm a glutton for punishment, I guess," says Eyestone. "And besides, (Boston) made me an offer I couldn't refuse."REDEMPTION, AT LAST: The Salt Lake Golden Eagles finally get a chance to avenge themselves against the Phoenix Roadrunners in the playoffs when their first-round International Hockey League series begins tonight in the Salt Palace.
For 18 years now, Phoenix has held a kind of bragging right over Salt Lake - ever since the last time the two Western Hockey League franchises met in the playoff finals, in 1972-73.
Phoenix won in four straight games.
The cities went their separate hockey ways after that. The Western Hockey League folded the next season, after which Phoenix fielded an entry in the World Hockey Association for a time, then briefly played in the Central Hockey League before going dormant until joining the IHL a year ago. Salt Lake played in the Central League prior to the IHL.
"There aren't a lot of minor-league rivalries that date back as far as this one," says Eagles publicist Mark Kelly, who notes that the Eagles went 8-7 against the Roadrunners during this year's regular season, and 16-8 last year. That means the Eagles are up 24-15 in the modern era. But in the old days, Phoenix had the won-lost edge, 29-36-9, including that 4-straight playoff sweep in '73. For their histories, Salt Lake and Phoenix are 53-51-9 on the ice, with the slight advantage going to the Eagles.WEBER JOB: Latest odds from the Pahrumph (Nev.) Sports Book on Weber State's basketball position: Ron Abegglen 2-1, Neil Roberts 21/2-1, Joe Cravens 3-1, Fred Trenkle 20-1, Dick Motta 1,000-1, Roger Reid, There-Isn't-Enough-Money-In-Ogden.
A decision should be made either later this week or early next week - effectively missing Wednesday's letter-of-intent signing day and putting the new coach, whoever it is, in a catch-up position before he sets foot in his new office.ADD EAGLES: Although Salt Lake earned the home-ice advantage for the first-round series against Phoenix, only Tuesday's opening game will be played in Salt Lake. Games two and three will be Thursday and Saturday in Phoenix, with game four scheduled for the Salt Palace Wednesday, April 17, and game five, if necessary, Friday, April 19.
The hockey playoff schedule was shifted to accommodate other events in the Salt Palace this week - namely, three Jazz games and a Kenny Rogers concert.INVESTMENTS FOR THE FUTURE: Jazz guard John Stockton is virtually assured of setting yet another single-season NBA assists record - he needs to average less than 10 a game in the final seven games - and that means the Jazz will be sending another record-setting basketball to Stockton's dad's tavern in Spokane, Wash.
"We always send the balls to his dad," explains Jazz publicist Kim Turner. "And when his dad comes to Salt Lake, we load him up with other awards and things John has accomplished. John never takes any notice. He always says the only thing that's important is staying focused and helping the team. So his dad loads up the stuff and takes it home. He says the time's going to come - one of these years you just know John's going to appreciate what he's done."