BY JOHN PAPENDICK, firstname.lastname@example.org
1:05 AM PDT, August 7, 2012
The 2012 American Legion Baseball State A Tournament is in the books. Good thing, the five-day, double-elimination, eight-team event at Fossum Field in Aberdeen produced so many numbers that we were running out of space: 467: Games played this season by the eight
Olympic 10,000: American Galen Rupp won the Olympic silver medal in the 10,000 meters Saturday in London. His time of 27 minutes, 30.9 seconds was 0.48 seconds behind gold medalist, his best friend and training partner Mo Farah of Britian.
Rupp joined South Dakota's Billy Mills (gold in 1964) and Lewis Tewanima (silver in 1912) as the only American medalists in the event. Mills of Pine Ridge won his gold medal in 28:24.4, setting a new Olympic record at the time. Mills' winning time was almost 50 seconds faster than he had run before.
Another S.D. connection: Author and playwright Gore Vidal died July 31 at age 86 at his home in Los Angeles.
Vidal's dad, Gene Vidal, was born in Madison on April 13, 1895, and graduated from Madison High School in 1912, University of South Dakota in 1916 and West Point in 1918. Gene Vidal finished seventh in the decathlon in the 1920 Olympics. Vidal sprained his right wrist in a car accident just before the 1920 games, forcing him to do the throwing events with his left hand.
Vidal was a coach for Team USA at the 1924 Olympics and played for the Washington Senators in the NFL.
He was a track, basketball and football star at Madison, USD and West Point. At West Point, he scored three touchdowns and drop-kicked a 45-yard field goal in a 30-10 win over Notre Dame in 1916.
Gene Vidal, a former head football coach at Army and Oregon, was a pioneer in the commercial aviation field, helping form both TWA and Northeast Airlines. Vidal, who was said to be a close friend of Amelia Earhart, died Feb. 20, 1969.
Olympic watch: The 21-year-old Olympian from Sturgis will begin competing Friday. Paige McPherson will compete in the under-67 kg class in taekwondo. There are 16 athletes in her division.
South Dakota Open: All three Team USA pole vaulters have connections to South Dakota. Brad Walker was born in Aberdeen; Derek Miles is the University of South Dakota pole vault coach and a USD graduate; and Nebraska native Jeremy Scott's sisters ran track at USD.
The men's pole vault in London will begin with the qualifying round at 4 a.m. (Central time) Wednesday. Finals are at 1 p.m. Friday.
John Papendick is the managing news-sports editor for the American News. Reach him at email@example.com.