Top Ram swimmer aims for additional success

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Mar 312009
 
Authors: Keith Robertson

Breann Fuller steps into the arena, the tiles slick and comforting on the soles of her feet. The familiar feeling reassures her as she prepares for this race as she has every other race in her freshman-swimming career. But this race is special.

Fuller is the first Ram to travel to the NCAA championships since 2004.

The 5-foot 6-inch Colorado native followed her breakout season by finishing with record times in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke the Mountain West Conference Championships, earning her an automatic bid to the NCAA’s in College Station, Texas.

“Every day I’m getting more and more excited,” Fuller said a week before the meet. “I’m expecting more than one swim.”

But it didn’t pan out for her. Fuller finished in 48th-place in both events, a spot that did not allow her to get that second swim opportunity.

“I’m disappointed in how things turned out,” Fuller said. “I would have liked to have done better. I don’t think I did very good.”

Anything could have contributed to the lack of success in the meet — the crowd, the competition, the first time at nationals, but Fuller isn’t making any excuses. She said that she will treat this as a learning experience and put the blame on herself.

Fuller, who says she feeds off pressure, was not the only one to notice that she had little experience competing at that high of a level.

“She had a little bit of the freshman jitters,” said head coach John Mattos after the meet. “Her first swim in the 100 backstroke was a very nervous swim. She didn’t look at all like she normally looks.”

Mattos, who expected Fuller to finish in the top three of her heat, was surprised at how the atmosphere affected her.

CSU’s most successful swimmer really had no plans of being a Ram a little over a year ago. She earned six letters in four years at Brighton High School, but after getting tendonitis, Fuller believed her time in the pool was over.

A meeting with coach Mattos and a trip to CSU changed her mind, Mattos knew she could be great.

“Watching her start, watching her underwater work and watching her dive on her freestyle and how she used her body to get up and into her strokes, was just exceptional,” Mattos said of Fuller’s recruitment. “I just knew she had a lot of potential.”

Fuller expected to be successful because of her raw talent and work ethic, though she does acknowledge her strengths and weaknesses.

Her start is strong and her largest limitation comes into play during long races, as she lacks endurance she says. Mattos ranks her strong legs and underwater work as the most valuable of her abilities, and he believes the only weakness in her swimming is experience.

When asked about her favorite type of swim, Fuller says the answer is easy: The backstroke-because you can keep breathing.

Pre-race routines are not uncommon for athletes, but Fuller has only two things to do before each race: Pray and dance around, shaking her limbs, a practice that has received some unusual looks.

But looks don’t decide races. All the gyrating is part of Fuller’s personality. She is the one always looking to crack a joke at the blocks or goof around when the coaches aren’t looking.

“She is just a good teammate, a good friend, a good person,” said Mattos. “She’s just real easy to get along with.”

Fuller is also a college student who lives in cramped dorm room, spending what extra time she has with friends and family.

Because the team’s schedule is so demanding she splurges on sleeping, eating, watching comedies like “Anchorman” and listening to the sounds of The Fray and One Republic.

With three years left in the pool, Fuller expects to build on this season’s success.

Swimming beat writer Keith Robertson can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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Offense sputters during practice

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Mar 312009
 
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

With the unexpected departure of redshirt freshman Alex Kelly yesterday from the CSU football team, the starting quarterback position this spring has suddenly become a two-horse race between Grant Stucker and Jon Eastman.

While it was expected that either Stucker or Eastman would be the player who ultimately received the nod for starting signal caller next fall, without Kelly in the mix the other quarterbacks will still have to adapt to practices differently.

“Well it’s kinda good and bad because from a quarterback’s standpoint, you get more reps in, you get to know the offense much better, which is especially good for Jon (Eastman),” Stucker said. “On the other side, you’re getting guys in there so much without rest, and that’s a big part of the game as well. I guess it’s more beneficial towards us to really get those reps in and get on the same page.”

But “getting on the same page” was something that the quarterbacks and wide receivers had a difficult time doing on Tuesday afternoon. Head coach Steve Fairchild said the entire offense looked awful.

“I didn’t see a running back on the field today that was worth a … Not one running back came to practice today, they were awful,” Fairchild said after practice. “If we had to play a game based on today’s practice I would have played five receivers, but the receivers were awful too, so maybe we’d just go goal line. The receivers looked like last spring where they were just good enough to get you beat, but the running backs were worse.”

As often is the case in many instances, Fairchild seemed to find something good in what looked to be a bad situation. While CSU was running their “third down” portion of practice cornerback Nick Oppenneer and wide receiver T.J. Borcky got in a brief scuffle following a play where the two were matched up in coverage.

“Well, actually I was happy to see it. It was the only emotion we had from anybody on offense during the whole practice. They just got in a little scuffle is all.”

Despite the winds howling over 20 mph, Fairchild said there are no excuses for the poor performance by the offense. The Rams will return to the practice field on Thursday with the hopes of having a more focused offense.

Sports writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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Lining up

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Mar 312009
 
Authors: Adam Bohlmeyer

Mychal Sisson is 20 years old, a redshirt sophomore and very possibly the newly crowned leader of the CSU Rams defense.

Sisson, a linebacker, is expected to be the only member of last year’s CSU linebacker corps to be returning for the 2009 season. The Rams lost middle linebacker Jeff Horenik to graduation and outside linebacker Ricky Brewer to a one-year suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Because of the heavy losses, head coach Steve Fairchild is expecting Sisson, an all-American his freshman year, to play a critical role in heading CSU’s defensive attack this season.

Fairchild explained he is confident in the native Texan’s ability to guide the Rams.

“He had a tremendous year for us last season, he’s very experienced and he’s a high effort guy,” the second year CSU coach said. “I think he is ready and we need him to be ready.”

In his freshman year, Sisson put up impressive numbers for CSU, posting 108 tackles — eight for a loss — and two fumble recoveries.

Sisson, 5-feet 11-inches and weighing 200 pounds, said he’s ready for his new role, adding that he started becoming a leader last season.

“Even when Ricky (Brewer) was there, I knew I had to step up and play a lead role,” he said. “Now with him gone I have to play more of a lead role, and some other players have to step up. Right now, I have to lead the defense and show them how things go.”

Defensive coordinator Larry Kerr said that Sisson is more of a lead by example type of player, which is exactly what the Rams need.

“There’s no doubt he’s ready to do it and does most of it by example and not by talking,” Kerr said. “Just the way he plays is leadership. As long as he’s going out and getting after people, other guys will respond to that. He’s got that in him.”

With Sisson expected to retain his starting position from a season ago, Fairchild and Kerr are still working to fill two vacant spots in the linebacking corps. In the first few spring practices, both coaches have given the majority of starting reps to sophomore Michael Kawulok and junior Alex Williams.

Fairchild he has liked what he’s seen from the duo early on, but explained it’s hard to truly get a feel for linebacker’s abilities at this point in the season.

“It’s hard to really evaluate linebackers until they can put pads on and have to tackle,” he said. “The next 12 or 13 practices will be a good evaluation of what we have there and who’s going to win the starting job.”

Kawulok, who started one game last season, said that he is trying to make the most of any opportunity he is given. The Boulder native posted six tackles last season.

“It’s a good opportunity for the younger guys to step up and prove to the coaches what they can do,” Kawulok said. “It feels good, but it’s still early. It’s nice to get a bunch of reps.”

Even though the start of the regular season is five months away, questions are already being raised about the linebacker corps’ inexperience. Fairchild admitted that he shares this concern, but believes that with time, CSU linebackers will remain a strength of the team.

“If you’re young and talented, that’s better than older and not playing very well,” the one time CSU quarterback said. “It’s the same as last year, we’ll just hope to keep getting better every day and we’ll eventually be where we want to be.”

Football beat reporter Adam Bohlmeyer can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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RamTalk

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Mar 312009
 
Authors: Compiled Nina Beitz

If a girl who is smoking complains about you chewing, simply respond with, “Some people like good-tasting tobacco.”

The Jonas Brothers: So deep in the closet, they’re having adventures in Narnia.

Whoever wanted the “I know sex shirt”, you can have mine. I don’t need to advertise it, your boyfriend already knows.

To the Collegian: Thank you giving me false hopes by posting an employment advertisement in the March 31 issue where the application deadline was March 25.

If boobs were a stock they would be recession proof.

The best thing about the girls of Fun-Ology is that Andrew Woods was always on top of them.

Hugs, 25 cents. Kisses, $1. Free condoms that actually work … priceless.

I don’t know who all these ASCSU candidates are, but they sure are pissing me off with all these flyers.

To the couple in Weber trying to figure out who it was that kept you from finishing their reading last night, you are the reason I usually just pay to print at the library.

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‘Sexting’ not cause for legal intervention, charging for pornography

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Mar 312009
 
Authors: Margaret Micelli Daily Collegian Penn. State

A 14-year-old girl in New Jersey has earned the dubious honor of possibly becoming the youngest person ever to be charged with the distribution of child pornography.

The girl, from Passaic County, was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography after police say she posted nearly 30 explicitly nude photographs of herself on MySpace.

Prosecutors nationwide have been cracking down on the process of sending revealing photographs of teenagers through cell phones and e-mail. Known as “sexting,” the act can have some pretty severe consequences.

If the photographs are of a minor, owners can be charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, a felony. If convicted, they would face years in jail and would have to register as a sex offender.

A case in Pennsylvania is challenging this trend. Officials at Tunkhannock Area High School in Wyoming County confiscated five cell phones and found that boys had been trading photos of scantily clad, semi-nude or nude teenage girls. Prosecutors in the town met with about 20 students and offered a deal — no charges if the teens would take a class on sexual harassment, sexual violence and gender roles. But two students, a pair of thirteen-year-old girls, are fighting back.

The two were photographed in the summer of 2007 wearing opaque white bras, talking on the phone and flashing a peace sign. Last Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge to block the county district attorney from filing charges, saying that the teens didn’t consent to having the picture distributed, and that in any event the image is not pornographic.

Under Pennsylvania’s child pornography law, it’s a felony to possess or disseminate photos of a minor engaged in sexual activity, “lewd exhibition of the genitals” or nudity that is meant to titillate.

While it’s true that very few people under the age of 18 attend the university, students here could still find themselves in trouble with this law.

If that cute young high school student you were chatting up last week at a party sends you a naked photograph of herself, and she happens to be 17 years, 11 months, and 29 days old, you’ve just received child pornography. If you happen to have a naked photograph of yourself stored on your phone that you took before you turned eighteen, you’re in possession of child pornography. If you send someone else that photograph, both you and the person you sent the photo too are liable.

Child pornography laws exist for a reason. But there’s a huge moral difference between a pedophile taking a picture of an 8-year-old against her will and posting it on the Internet and a 17-year-old taking a picture of her body and sending it to her boyfriend.

The law is intended to prevent the exploitation of children — i.e., it’s intended to prevent other people from taking nude photographs of children for their own sexual or monetary gain. Sexting doesn’t fall into this category.

By the time you’re 17, barring any medical abnormalities, your body no longer looks like a child’s. Moreover, if a teenager freely chooses to take a picture of him or herself, I fail to see how that could be considered exploitation by another person.

In a nationwide poll taken this year, 20 percent of teens admitted to engaging in the practice of sexting. Attempting to prosecute all teens caught with racy photographs could soon get a little ridiculous. Shouldn’t our judicial system have more important things to worry about?

Prosecuting those who take the pictures of themselves defies logic. By the logic of that law, teenage masturbation should garner a charge of child molestation. These teenagers need help, not legal trouble.

Let me be clear: I am in no way supporting the practice of sexting. Taking racy pictures and sending them to people is a seriously bad idea. But it’s simply a bad idea, not a criminal one. Slapping criminal charges on a dumb teenage mistake is an extreme overreaction and a waste of the judicial system’s time and resources.

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Our View: Happy April Fools’ — good luck

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Mar 312009
 
Authors:

As many of you know or have experienced, today is the most frustrating and hilarious day of the year, April Fools’ Day.

The day traditionally lends itself to pranks and practical jokes, an institution that seeps into every facet of daily life.

Some may play jokes on coworkers. Others prank family members. And the tradition does not usually evade college newspapers.

Each April 1, many campus news sources usually play some subtle or outstanding joke upon its readership —- and the Collegian is no exception.

For instance, in last year’s April 1 edition, the Collegian played a practical joke on readers by creating a sudoku that was unsolvable.

For those who were irate by the false numbers game, we apologize. But honestly, that was hilarious.

This year, however, we’ve decided to take a higher road.

Instead of some harmful, insidious prank like the sudoku fiasco, we’ve left just one joke in today’s paper.

And for those who stumble upon it, congratulations. You’ve solved this intensely hard and downright tricky puzzle constructed by only the best and the brightest: The Collegian Editorial Board.

So for all your hard work, we’ve decided to grace the first reader who can locate the joke to come to the front desk of Student Media, at the bottom of the main stairs in the Lory Student Center, with a reward.

But you might want to hurry because who knows who might be looking over your shoulder, stealing your answer? And shh, the prize is a secret.

Good luck.

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Prostitution stories highlight problems

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Mar 312009
 
Authors: Brian Lancaster

I don’t know what’s going on with people. I can’t help but notice the odd bits of news that make their way across my computer screen and wonder if everyone has lost their damn minds.

There have been two news stories recently that have caught my eye. Both of these stories have both entertained and confused me, both involved sex, and both articles involved prostitutes. If that isn’t an equation for a good news story, then I don’t know what is.

But anyway, the first of these news stories that I saw was titled “‘Will anyone sleep with my Down’s syndrome son?’ Mother makes appeal for a lover for 21-year-old Otto” printed in the Daily Mail Online on March 17.

When I first read this story, I was amused. That this mother would go to such lengths to find her son someone to sleep with was both impressively unique and rather endearing. Not to mention the fact that soliciting sex in a newspaper, even one that may not be taken as seriously as others, is an idea that I would have never even considered.

But as I continued reading the article, something got me thinking: This would be this young man’s first time, and the mother said she would consider finding a prostitute or funding a trip to a brothel if necessary.

This is when my amusement started turning into something else. I think that if this mother really loves this young man, she’ll reconsider her brothel/prostitute idea and just stick to trying to get her son a girlfriend.

The first time for someone should be something special, and I may be wrong, but I would not consider sex that you pay for to be something special.

I would implore this woman to concentrate on helping her son find love, rather than sex. Sure, sex is great and all, but love is more important and definitely more special.

The second article, the content of which has been the buzz recently in the circles that I hang out in, is titled “ShamWow Guy In Slap, Chop Bust,” printed on March 27 by TheSmokingGun.com.

If you haven’t been following the crazy commercial guy news recently, here’s the gist of the story: The Vince Shlomi, also known as the ShamWow guy, was arrested recently for beating a prostitute after she bit his tongue.

I know what a lot of you are thinking: But Brian, why would he hit her? Some guys pay extra for that!

I know, dear reader, I know. But apparently he wasn’t in the mood to be bitten. But I do wonder if he shouted “ShamPOW!” just to be funny. I know I would.

Anyway, there’s your monthly dose of odd news that relates to prostitutes. Is this a sign of our society entering some kind of moral sewer? I don’t honestly know.

It would seem to me, however, based on the input from these two articles put together, that prostitutes are in high demand, even though there’s a chance they may get assaulted by an infomercial star.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Getting assaulted by an infomercial star, I mean. Prostitution seems fairly easy and straightforward.

Brian Lancaster is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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Colorado Joint Budget Comittee cuts $300 million from state education

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Mar 312009
 
Authors: Aaron Montoya

Early this afternoon, the Colorado State Joint Budget Committee cut the higher education budget for next year in half.

According to The Denver Post, the JBC was considering cutting $50 million from the higher ed budget earlier this week. But, today they decided to cut $300 million Eric Kurtz, a JBC legislative analyst for higher education confirmed.

The Colorado higher education budget last year was about $600 million.

The state is looking for ways to make up for the drastic reduction in funding, including a plan to transfer $300 million from the state workman’s compensation fund.

State Rep. John Kefalas, who attended the JBC meeting, said that the state is looking to transfer that money from an entity called Pinnacle Insurance.

Due to this quick reaction by the state, some are optimistic about the situation, including CSU Interim President Tony Frank.

“Despite today’s situation, I’m still optimistic,” Frank said in an e-mail sent to the CSU community this evening.

“There are also discussions about sources of funds that may backfill significant portions of these reductions,” he said.

Frank is also confident in CSU’s legislative support at the capitol.

“We have friends and supporters within our state government … and the Department of Higher Education has addressed these cuts as ‘unacceptable.'”

Frank said that budget numbers flucuate constantly this time of year and that “Colorado’s higher-education system budget is far from finalized.”

See Thursday’s Collegian and Collegian.com for more updates.

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ASCSU Candidate Interviews: Conrad Miller and Jake Donovan [VIDEO]

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Mar 312009
 
Authors: Aaron Montoya

Associated Students of Colorado Presidential Candidate Conrad Miller and Vice Presidential Candidate Jake Donovan share their names and majors with the Collegian Editorial Board.


Associated Students of Colorado State University Presidential Candidate Conrad Miller and Vice Presidential Candidate Jake Donovan think there is a great benefit to be had by shuffling the final exam schedule around so that no tests would be taken before 9 a.m.


Associated Students of Colorado State University Presidential Candidate Conrad Miller and Vice Presidential Candidate Jake Donovan say the library is on board with providing students with free printing next year. They hope to fill the gap for what they claim will be the tightening of restrictions in several labs on campus that provide free printing now.


Associated Students of Colorado State University Presidential Candidate Conrad Miller and Vice Presidential Candidate Jake Donovan explain that though they can’t mandate the use of free online textbooks in classes, they would work towards encouraging professors via Faculty Council to do so and save students money.


Associated Students of Colorado State University Presidential Candidate Conrad Miller and Vice Presidential Candidate Jake Donovan have been privy to information regarding the changing parking system here at CSU and say that student input is vital while a committee decides what to do for the future.


Associated Students of Colorado State University Presidential Candidate Conrad Miller and Vice Presidential Candidate Jake Donovan believe they have the connections to get students the jobs they deserve.


Associated Students of Colorado State University Presidential Candidate Conrad Miller and Vice Presidential Candidate Jake Donovan would like to meet with students personally on the plaza each week and encourage Senate members to be involved in talking to students regularly.


Check Collegian.com every day this week for video interviews from each candidate pair.

Go to the ASCSU Election 2009 page for an archive of Collegian ASCSU election coverage.

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Obama arrives in London, 1st leg of Europe trip

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Mar 312009
 
Authors: Aaron Montoya

LONDON (AP) – President Barack Obama embarked on his Europe trip Tuesday, with a hefty economic and national security agenda for his first journey across the Atlantic since taking office two months ago.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama arrived in London Tuesday night local time. First up for the president was a summit of the world’s economic powers to address the global financial meltdown.

Obama planned to meet with leaders of Britain, Russia and China – major players in the U.S. financial system. He also scheduled meetings with leaders of India and South Korea while in London.

During his eight-day, five-country trip, Obama is scheduled to meet with European leaders who split with the United States over the war in Iraq and the treatment of suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under President George W. Bush.

He also will participate in a NATO summit marking the 60 years since the alliance was founded to blunt Soviet aggression in Europe.

Obama plans to attend international summits on urgent topics, including the downward-spiraling fight against terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also will make his first stop in a Muslim nation, Turkey.

Wildly popular around the globe but relatively inexperienced in foreign affairs, Obama and the first lady also will squeeze in a Buckingham Palace audience with Queen Elizabeth II. He will deliver a speech in France on the trans-Atlantic relationship and an address in Prague on weapons proliferation. And he will host a round-table session with students in Turkey.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm