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Hawaii Beat


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POSTED: Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wie, McLachlin in contention

Honolulu's Michele Wie and Parker McLachlin remained in contention yesterday in their respective tour events.

Wie followed her stellar 66 on Thursday with a pedestrian 2-under 71 to fall from a tie for second to a tie for sixth at 9-under 137 for the LPGA Tour event held in Morelia, Mexico. She sat six shots behind leader Lorena Ochoa.

“;It was kind of frustrating today,”; Wie said. “;Hopefully tomorrow I will make some birdies. It's going to be a great weekend. I am really looking forward to it. It's just a privilege to be able to play with the best players in the world.”;

Meanwhile fellow Punahou School graduate McLachlin remained in contention at the Zurich Classic with a 69 for a two-day total of 136. He trailed second-round leader Jerry Kelly by two shots and is currently tied for fourth.

Nitoto leaving UH for family reasons

Hawaii point guard Kareem Nitoto is leaving the Rainbow Warriors basketball team after his sophomore season, becoming the fourth player to depart the program following the 2008-09 campaign.

The Berkeley, Calif., native will return home to be closer to his ill mother.

“;I want to thank Coach (Bob) Nash and UH for giving me this opportunity to be a part of the program,”; Nitoto said yesterday in a release. “;I've made a lot of good friends and teammates which made this decision difficult. But my concerns for my mother's health and the rest of my family forced me to make this very difficult decision.”;

Nitoto started 23 games last year, averaging 7.1 points and a team-best 3.4 assists per game. He was named to the All-Western Athletic Conference defensive team after gathering 33 steals and being the Rainbows' best on-ball stopper. He was a reserve his freshman year, appearing in 29 games.

“;He's a tremendous young man,”; Nash said. “;He's done a good job in the community, he's represented himself very well. This past season he stepped up, and played his best basketball (near the end of the season). He was on his way to being our lead guard for the next couple of years.”;

Nitoto's departure would open up a fifth scholarship for next season. Point guards Jeremy Lay and Dwain Williams have signed commitments to play for UH, leaving three available.

Guards Lasha Parghalava and Conrad Fitzgerald and forward Adam Jespersen previously said they were leaving.

Chun helps U.S. wrestling team win

Kapolei's Clarissa Chun helped the United States wrestling team win the title at the Pan American women's freestyle championships last night in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

She was one of three individual champions, capturing her 105.5-pound weight class to continue a dominant path since her fifth-place finish at the Olympic Games in China. Chun and 138.75-pound winner Elena Pirozkhova won Pan American titles for a second straight year.

The U.S. finished first with 62 points, with Canada placing second with 56. Chun, the 2008 world champion, won three matches to rule her weight class, beating Canada's Lindsay Rushton in the final..

By the Numbers

5: Home runs in his last six games for Hawaii junior first baseman Kevin Macdonald. He has nine for the season.

1: Career grand slams for Maui native Shane Victorino of the Phillies. He hit his first last night.