Briefs: Shimko begins quest

Jack Shimko, a Newport Beach native, begins his 10-day, 150-mile open ocean paddle-board journey to raise money for cancer research today in Santa Barbara.

The water marathon is called, "PADDLE2LIVE," which will raise $500,000 for UCLA Jonsson Cancer Foundation and Livestrong.

From Santa Barbara, Shimko will go through the Channel Islands and end in Newport Beach, at the Newport Aquatic Center Oct. 2.

Shimko begins today at 4:30 a.m. There will be a paddle-out ceremony at 5 a.m. in Santa Barbara.

Shimko produced PADDLE2LIVE after a successful battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"During the toughest times, I would find peace by picturing myself on my board in the ocean," Shimko said in a release. "I am so thankful and lucky that I am at a place now where I am able to chase my love of paddle boarding. If I can put that love toward a great cause like cancer research and helping people who are battling cancer get the care they need, well, there is nothing more important than that."

To track Shimko's daily progress or to find out about how to make a donation, visit

— From staff reports

Lofgren on U.S. team

Esther Lofgren, a Newport Harbor High alumna, has been named to U.S. women's eight that will compete in the World Rowing Championships Oct. 31 through Nov. 7 in Lake Karapiro, New Zealand, USRowing announced Tuesday.

Lofgren, who also competed for Newport Aquatic Center, won a silver medal in the women's four at the 2009 World Rowing Championships.

The U.S. women's eight was one of six camp-selected boats announced to represent the United States next month.

— From staff reports

Smith back at UCI

Brett Smith, a former star pitcher at UC Irvine, will return to the school in 2011 as the Anteaters' undergratuate assistant coach.

An anchor in the pitching rotation from 2002-2004, Smith was drafted in the second round (42nd overall) by the New York Yankees in 2004. He was a first-team All-Big West Conference performer in 2004, when he went 8-5 with a 2.54 earned-run average and led the team with 113 strikeouts.

As a junior, he led UCI to the program's first Division I postseason appearance and fnished with 21 career wins and 270 strikeouts.

A shoulder injury ended his professional career.

— From staff reports

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