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Tuesday marks the first day for WKU as a member of Conference USA.  The conference includes universities in 10 states and includes Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP and UTSA.

The move follows more than 30 years for the Hilltoppers as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. 

Conference commissioner Britton Banowsky will be in attendance at a Conference USA kickoff party, tonight at 6-4-3 restaurant at Hitcents Park Plaza in downtown Bowling Green.

Kentucky grown food will be served up at Kentucky Speedway for the auto race on Saturday. State agriculture commissioner James Comer says "Kentucky Proud" foods will be served to fans at Saturday's Quaker State 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and for the remainder of the racing season at the track in Sparta.

Comer says the partnership with the Speedway brings the "Kentucky Proud" program to a wider audience.

A former Henderson County star and future WKU Hilltopper has been named Kentucky’s co-Mr. Baseball.

Third-baseman and outfielder Kaleb Duckworth recently graduated from school after hitting for a .450 average, with 40 runs scored and 35 runs batted in. Duckworth is sharing Mr. Baseball honors with Devin Hairston of Tates Creek, marking the first time there has been a tie for the award.

Duckworth led the Henderson County Colonels to back-to-back state semifinal appearances in 2012 and 2013. He committed to play his college baseball at WKU following his junior season, when he led the state in home runs and stolen bases.

Duckworth was also recently named Kentucky's Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year.

WKU Athletics

A former WKU basketball star is being honored for her prolific high school career.

Crystal Kelly is a member of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015, which was announced Sunday.

Kelly was named Kentucky’s Ms. Basketball in 2004, after leading Sacred Heart to three straight state championships. Kelly went on to become WKU’s all-time women’s leader in points and rebounds, and was taken by the Houston Comets in the 2008 WNBA draft.

Another member of the KHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2015 is Ron Bevars, who coached at North Hardin High School in Radcliff for 38 seasons. Bevars retired in 2013 after racking up 805 wins, the fourth-most in Kentucky high school basketball history.

Bevars led North Hardin to three Sweet 16 semi-finals appearances, and lost the 1982 state championship on a half-court, game-winning buzzer-beater by Laurel County’s Paul Andrews.

Shelby Osborne/Twitter

Shelby Osborne, a Jeffersonville, Indiana native who played defensive back for her  high school football team, has signed on to play NAIA collegiate football this fall. 

Osborne committed this week to play football at Campbellsville University in Taylor County. It’s believed she’ll be the first female to play on the defensive side of the ball at the college level since mid-1990s when Joyce Muntari played linebacker for two junior colleges.

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California Chrome is the 3 to 5 early favorite to win the Belmont Stakes and become horse racing's 12th Triple Crown champion.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will break from the No. 2 post under Victor Espinoza on Saturday at Belmont Park. Eleven Belmont winners have come out of that post, the last being Tabasco Cat in 1994.

Trainer Art Sherman says he’s happy with the draw.

"It gives you a chance to see who’s going to have the speed and where you’re laying going into the first turn," explains Sherman.

Wicked Strong is the 6 to 1 second choice and drew post No. 9.  The colt finished fourth  in the Derby and sat out the Preakness.

Tonalist was made the third betting choice at 8 to 1 odds and will break from the No. 11 post.

Eleven horses are entered in the Belmont Stakes.

WKU Athletics

The WKU Hilltoppers have added another SEC opponent to their 2016 football schedule.

The school’s athletic department announced Wednesday the ‘Toppers will be taking on Alabama on September 10, 2016 in Tuscaloosa. 

The two teams last met in 2012, when the Crimson Tide blanked WKU 35-0 en route to a national title that year.  Also in 2016, the Hilltoppers will face Vanderbilt as the Commodores become the first SEC team ever to visit L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.

A WKU-bound high school senior has been named the Gatorade Kentucky Baseball Player of the Year.

Henderson County third baseman and outfielder Kaleb Duckworth is batting .447 with seven home runs, 35 runs batted in, and 38 stolen bases. The Gatorade player of the year award is given annually to a player who demonstrates athletic excellence, academic accomplishments, and exemplary character.

Duckworth, who has a 3.8 G.P.A., will enroll in WKU this fall.

Duckworth and his Henderson County High School teammates are taking on Christian County Tuesday in the semifinals of the Second Region Tournament.

California Chrome will be able to race after all.

There had been some doubt about whether the winner of this year's Kentucky Derby and the Preakness would compete in the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of horseracing's Triple Crown.

The thoroughbred has run and won his last six races wearing equine nasal strips. It was uncertain whether the stewards who oversee the June 7 event in New York would allow the strips, out of concern they offer the horse an unfair boost.

California Chrome Wins The Kentucky Derby

May 3, 2014

California Chrome won the 140th running of Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville Saturday. The horse was favored to win, despite quirks that set him apart from his more traditional competitors.

"Derby dreams do come true," an announcer said after the race.

As NBC Sports reports:

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