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Published: Thursday, 11/9/2006

Sidelines: Ottawa Hills tennis courts to be named for Bob O Connell

The Ottawa Hills tennis courts will be named in honor of Bob O Connell at ceremonies to be held Saturday starting at 10 a.m.

O Connell, who served as tennis coach at Ottawa Hills from 1967 to 1989, posted an overall record of 459-159.

He also coached two state championship doubles teams John Buckey and Craig Burkhart, who won in 1969, and MikeRiedmeyer and Jim Ketcham, who won back-to-back crowns in 1974-75. He also coached Adam Bottorff, who was the state singles champ in 1980.

O Connell, who also coached tennis at Rogers for seven years, was inducted into the Ohio High School Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1991.

Emily Pendleton a three-time state discus champion has made her college plans official. The Woodmore senior signed a letter-of-intent to attend the University of Michigan.

It was the perfect school for me with good academics and good coaching, Pendleton said. I wanted something close enough but not too close.

Pendleton, arguably the top high school girls discus thrower in the nation, had dozens of colleges express interest.

She ll get a big school experience and it s close to home, said Mike Pendleton, Emily s father, who also has served as her throwing coach at Woodmore.

Emily, who recorded a career-best throw of 172 feet, 8 inches in the spring, was recently named an All-American in the November issue of Track and Field news after competing well during a busy summer schedule.

She posted victories in the discus event at the Nike Outdoor National championships, U.S. Junior National championships and the U.S. Junior Olympic championships. Emily represented the U.S. in an international meet in Beijing in August.

With more than 180 countries represented, Emily finished 14th in her first international experience. Her career-best toss last spring was tops among high school discus throwers nationally. She will enter her senior season looking to challenge the high school discus records for Ohio (181-11) and the nation (188-4).

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