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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

The Whole Idea Is to Flatten Your Opponent

March 02, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Here's a race to literally flip out about. Lisa Spillman, 24, set a record in the traditional Fat Tuesday sprint that pits pancake flippers in Liberal, Kan., against rivals in Olney, England.

She carried a skillet and pancake over the 415-yard course in 58.1 seconds, beating her British counterpart, Juliette Minter, by nearly 10 seconds. The temperature at race time in Liberal was 18 degrees with a stiff wind and several inches of snow. Conditions in Olney were reported to be "fine and dry."

Reuters says the race originated in the 15th century in Olney, where legend holds that a woman engrossed in using up the remainder of her cooking fat, forbidden during Lent, heard the church bells ringing to signal the start of Ash Wednesday and raced to the church, skillet in hand.

A race developed, and in 1950 people in Liberal heard about it and challenged Olney to a simultaneous race.

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Trivia time: When did the USC-Stanford basketball series begin?

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Trunk therapy: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "Rae Carruth says he was hiding in the trunk of that Toyota to 'clear his head.' Which if you think about it, makes sense.

"Who needs to escape to the mountains when you can spend the weekend getting in touch with your spare tire's inner self?"

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Sharing: With Virginia students camping out for nine days to get tickets to the basketball game against North Carolina, Coach Pete Gillen did his part to keep the kids fed.

"I lost half my budget bringing doughnuts and wings and pizzas," he said. "For an Irish guy to spend money for doughnuts, that's tough. My money is in tin cans in the backyard."

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Fits right in: Washington Wizard Coach Leonard Hamilton, after newly acquired Courtney Alexander missed all 11 of his shots in Sunday's loss to New Jersey: "I'm thrilled by what I see in Alexander. He grasped our offense faster than we expected."

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Rallying cry: When Dikembe Mutombo made his 76er home debut Monday in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer notes, boxing announcer Michael Buffer appeared on the Jumbotron scoreboard and shouted, "Let's get ready to Mutombo."

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Looking back: On this day in 1962, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points to lead the Philadelphia Warriors to a 169-147 rout of the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa. Wilt was 28 for 32 from the free-throw line.

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Trivia answer: 1917, with Stanford winning two games, 43-28 and 32-10.

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And finally: Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post, noting that the Capitals were 9-1-1 in February:

"Shall we compare and contrast that with MCI Center's other tenant, the Wizards? They're 1-9 in February. One team is so hot they can melt the ice they skate on; the other is so cold they may as well play their games in the Fortress of Solitude."

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