Hancock’s Bagley overcomes obstacles to claim international free-throw title

first_img Bio Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) Latest Posts Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at mmandell@ellsworthamerican.com.center_img Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 HANCOCK — For the past year and a half, nothing has stopped Kaylee Bagley’s mission to improve.From making less than one-third of her attempts in her first free-throw shooting competition to dealing with illnesses on two separate competition days, Bagley has faced her share of obstacles. Despite everything, the 10-year-old Hancock native has continued her drive toward becoming one of America’s best young free-throw shooters.That journey saw a rewarding conclusion Saturday as she received the international title for her age group in the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship. As a reward for beating out thousands of other girls from the United States and Canada, Bagley received a glass trophy commemorating her achievement at a ceremony in Brewer.“She’s come a long way from when she got started,” said Kaylee’s mother, Christine. “She loves basketball, and she’s just been so determined and stuck with it no matter what.”This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textBagley’s first competition came as an 8-year-old 18 months ago. In her first competition at the local level, she made just 7 of 25 from the free-throw line.Instead of giving up, Kaylee set an ultimate goal for herself. As she and her parents walked toward the car to go home that day, Kaylee told them her goal was to make it to nationals.“I knew I could make more shots every day if I tried,” Kaylee said. “I knew I could do it if I worked harder and just kept practicing.”Kaylee said she practiced her free throws for an hour and a half in the buildup to the competition. Her parents made trips with her each day to the Hancock Grammar School gymnasium, where Kaylee would practice free-throw shooting for an hour and a half.Kaylee Bagley poses with her trophy and medal after winning the state’s Elks Free Throw Hoop Shoot for the 8-9 age group Jan. 28, 2017, in Bath. Bagley, who made 18 of 25 free throws at the 2017 Elks event, improved her total to 23 of 25 at this year’s Knights of Columbus state championships to win the international title. FILE PHOTOEach day, Kaylee got better and better. Then, on Jan. 28, 2017, she made 18 of her 25 shots to win the 8-9 age group at the state’s Elks Free Throw Hoop Shoot in Bath.“It was amazing how much better she got in just a short amount of time,” said Kaylee’s father, Shawn. “She went in with her goal of how many she wanted to make, and she kept increasing them every day.”In 2018, though, Kaylee was faced with some untimely setbacks. When a stomach bug forced her to forego this year’s Elks competition, she was forced to compete in the Knights of Columbus event instead.Yet the day before the Knights of Columbus district championships, Kaylee fell sick once again. Fortunately, an impending snowstorm that was set to hit eastern Maine the next day forced tournament officials to postpone the event.“I remember picking her up from school that day, and I said, ‘Honey, they postponed it,’” Christine said. “All of the sudden, I see tears of joy on her face and a look that said, ‘Thank God.’”Another complicating factor was that the free-throw lines used in the Knights of Columbus competition were slightly farther back than those used in the Elks competition. It also didn’t require other contestants and spectators to sit in complete silence as competitors were shooting.To get used to the new distance, Kaylee used a tape measure to adjust the distance of the shot she had to make. Her parents and brother, Jacob, helped her adjust to the noise change by making animal sounds and creating other distractions in the background as she shot.After strong showings at the district championships and regional championships, Kaylee made 23 of 25 at the state championship to claim the Maine title. Her score there was compared to others from the same age group in the United States and Canada to determine the international champion, and after the final results were tallied over the next several weeks, Kaylee was the winner.“The first week of May, we got a letter from the Knights of Columbus corporate office in Connecticut saying she had placed the highest in her age group,” Shawn said. “She’s wanted Saturday night to come ever since.”Although Kaylee has been playing basketball since before she was kindergarten, her interest in free-throw competitions came from watching Jacob take part in them. Although she wasn’t old enough to compete when Jacob, now 11, became eligible, seeing him compete inspired her to do so herself.Despite the fact that Kaylee and Jacob have what Christine called a “rivalry” between the two of them in the sport, Jacob is also his sister’s biggest fan. When Kaylee won her first competition at Elks last year, Jacob was there applauding his sister and yelling her name in celebration. His display was so exuberant that a committee member later recognized him for his passion.“He came over and pointed to Jacob, and he said, ‘You, young man, are the reason why we do this,’” Christine said. “As a parent, to see both of them recognized like that was very special.”As for Kaylee, she will continue to play on her AAU team, Black Bear North, as well as in local recreational leagues. If her massive improvement at the free-throw line is any indication of how far she can go, the sky is the limit.“Your kids can surprise you in amazing ways,” Christine said. “When she made those seven shots the first time, we never thought she would be here then. She proved everybody wrong.” MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

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USC hires Jeremy Kipp as head swim coach

first_img“We are delighted to welcome Jeremy Kipp back to the Trojan Family,” Bohn said in a press release. “He was highly regarded during his time at USC as an assistant, then he quickly built a strong program at Boise State and made a remarkable and immediate impact at Northwestern. Recognized throughout the swimming profession as a rising star, he possesses a unique talent to lead, empower and relate to today’s student-athlete, which is consistent with our student-athlete centric leadership model.” Kipp also spent eight seasons with the UC Santa Barbara men’s and women’s teams, coached the Austria national team at the 2009 European Championships and has mentored 25 Olympic qualifiers who have won a combined 17 medals. Kipp served as the head coach at Northwestern the past two seasons, leading the Wildcats’ men’s team to the No. 22 national ranking in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season as well as their highest finish — fifth place — in the Big Ten since 2007. He helped the team score 665 points this year, the most in the school’s history, while producing seven All-Americans. Kipp led the women’s team to the No. 25 national ranking, fourth place in the Big Ten — the team’s best since 2002 — and 907.5 points, also a program record. Jeremy Kipp, USC’s new swimming and diving head coach, worked as an assistant at USC from 2008 to 2015. (Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information) Kipp served as an assistant at USC from 2008 to 2015, including the last five years working as the head assistant. Kipp helped lead USC’s recruiting program and worked primarily with the team’s sprinters. USC’s men’s swim and dive program has won nine NCAA championships and the women have won one. “There is no tradition like that of the USC swimming and diving program, one that is near and dear to my heart,” Kipp said in the same press release. “I am honored and committed to leading USC to the highest level in and out of the pool. To our current Trojan swimmers and divers, I look forward to our journey together in consistently becoming one of the nation’s top programs.”center_img The men’s and women’s team earned a top-eight NCAA finish in each of Kipp’s last five years, churning out 107 All-Americans and 38 individual champions during his eight years as an assistant. USC also brought in top-five recruiting classes for seven consecutive years. Kipp’s hire comes four months after Dave Salo announced the 2020 season would be his final of 14 as USC’s head coach. The USC women’s team ranked No. 8 nationally in the shortened 2020 season while the men finished No. 21.  Kipp was the women’s head coach at Boise State from 2016 to 2018, winning the Mountain West Conference Women’s Coach of the Year award each year and taking home the conference championship in 2017 and 2018.  Jeremy Kipp, a former head coach at Boise State and Northwestern and previously an assistant at USC, is taking over as the newest head coach of the USC men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, athletic director Mike Bohn announced Tuesday.  “Jeremy is the right person to elevate our historically successful men’s and women’s swimming programs,” Bohn said. “We are thrilled that he is our new head coach.”last_img read more

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