AKRON, Ohio - Girls had their most dominant showing in the history of the All-American Soap Box Derby on Saturday, winning five of six individual titles for the first time and sweeping the three major divisions for only the second time.
The performances came during the 71st year of the grand prix of gravity-powered racing in Akron. A record 606 finalists from 160 cities and six nations competed.
Courtney Rayle, representing Washington, D.C., and one month shy of her 17th birthday, became the oldest champion in the Masters Division.
“It was the lucky number seven that did it,” Rayle said after winning on her seventh and final try in the finals at Derby Downs. “My seventh time and I had car No. 73 in the 71st race. I’ll never forget any of it.”
Johanna Barnowski drove to victory in the Stock Division, giving Akron its record 14th individual champion, and Haley Beitel of Tullahoma, Tenn., won the Super Stock Division.
Megan Newcomer of Danville, Ind., won the Rally Stock; Caitlin Smith of Federalsburg, Md., was the Rally Super Stock champion and Brandon Feagan, a 15-year-old racer from Richardsville, Va., was the lone boys champion, winning the Rally Masters Division.
“We needed one of us guys to come through,” said Feagan, adding that the experience of being in the finals for the second consecutive year helped him.
Rafa Nadal made short work of his great rival Roger Federer to win the Italian Open, while Serena Williams took down Victoria Azarenka in the women's final.
Duke coach said that after winning his second gold medal in men's basketball would be his Team USA finale. That may not be the case anymore.
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