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first_imgWith his profound impact off the course, it would be easy for most to overlook Takamura’s natural running ability.Takamura, who was a seven-time all-state selection in cross country and track, is a talented part of the Gophers team.After competing in only three meets a season ago, Takamura is now a strong contributor on a team that is ranked 12th in the country by the latest coaches poll.Vega – Minnesota’s No.1 runner – said Takamura has improved every year since joining the team.“He’s really determined and dedicated to improving himself,” Vega said. “You can just see that as he’s progressed through his freshman year until now, he’s definitely stepped it up quite a bit.”Last year, Takamura missed making the team that competed at the Big Ten Championships by one spot.But Plasencia said Takamura is definitely in the hunt for one of the last spots on the Gophers’ nine-person traveling team this season.Plasencia said this weekend’s event, the Jim Drews Invitational, will be crucial in determining if Takamura can make the Big Ten squad.Last season, Takamura posted a season-best eight-kilometer time of 25:44.9 at the competition.By his actions and his words, Takamura continues to prove why he is not only a leader of his team but of all athletes at the University.Takamura said he was more concerned with helping his team become a top-10 team in the country than with his personal agenda.“I guess more importantly than me being on the roster for the team is doing what I can to help the rest of the team push ourselves into that new level,” Takamura said.With an attitude of that nature, it is easy to understand why he plays such a vocal role in the athletics community and on his team.“He’s real positive and kind of a natural born leader,” Vega said. “He really helps motivate everyone around him and kind of keeps the team in a good mood. He’s a good guy to have on the team.” Takamura helping all athletes excelTakamura has a shot at making the team that will go to the Big Ten Championships. Zach EisendrathOctober 11, 2006Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintIn many ways, Minnesota men’s cross country runner Seijen Takamura’s impact off the course is just as important as his contributions on it.The redshirt sophomore is an executive member of the Student Athlete AdvisoryCommittee and is instrumental in connecting athletes with the University’s administration.Each team at the University has two representatives on this committee, which works closely with Associate Athletics Director Leo Lewis and Athletics Director Joel Maturi. But Takamura is one of only five executive members who oversee the group.Takamura, who applied and was appointed to the position after being encouraged by teammate Ben Hanson last fall, said he took the job because he feels comfortable in leadership roles and wanted to make a direct impact on helping student-athletes become more well-rounded individuals.The North Mankato native is no stranger to being in a leadership position. At Mankato West High School, Takamura was student council president and a National Honor Society member.The habit of athletes to hang out solely with their teammates and shy away from the rest of the college community is one glaring problem Takamura said the Student Athlete Advisory Committee is working to address. He described many athletes as “isolated.”“We kind of want to break down some of those barriers and make everyone more accessible to each other,” Takamura said.A commitment to volunteering in the community and increased graduation rates among athletes are other goals Takamura said the organization has.But his leadership extends beyond his position on the committee. Takamura is a leader on his team as well.Coach Steve Plasencia, who said he faced recruiting competition for Takamura’s services primarily from Ivy League schools because of his high academic standards, said one of Takamura’s greatest qualities is his leadership.“For a third-year guy, he’s in many respects mature like a fifth-year senior,” Plasencia said. “One of his great assets is that level of maturity.”On a team composed predominately of underclassmen, senior captain Antonio Vega said Takamura relates well to the youngsters, who might be intimidated when coming into the program.“He really gets them involved as being part of the team,” Vega said. “Seijen really steps up and goes out of his way to make sure everyone feels comfortable.”last_img read more

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first_imgI’m away on vacation this week, so here’s a column from last Valentine’s Day.Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love. It’s a day for the sappiest of hopeless romantics, the most hopeful romantics, and everyone in between. You can get creative, go lavish, or do the anti-Valentine’s Day thing . . . whatever floats your [love] boat. It’s not just a holiday for candy and flowers anymore — not that there’s anything wrong with candy and flowers! It’s time to think outside the chocolate box. Here are just a few fun ideas to give you inspiration this Valentine’s Day, however you choose to celebrate.You can never go wrong with a nice romantic dinner. Top picks for a romantic evening on the East End are as follows: 1770 House, Nick & Toni’s, Il Capuccino, Stone Creek Inn, North Fork Table & Inn, and Cappelletti. A staycation at one of the East End’s many inns is another great way to celebrate. Try The Maidstone, Topping Rose House, White Fences Inn, or Baker House 1650.Looking to skip town for something a bit more adventurous? Head to Manhattan for Sugar Tooth Tours’ dessert filled excursion, the Sweeter Than Sugar Valentines Dessert Tour. Guests can walk arm and arm through Chelsea while enjoying half-pound cookies. Throughout the tour, guests will learn about Chelsea’s culinary past as well as Valentine’s history and trivia as they mosey down the High Line sipping hot chocolate until heading to the Meatpacking District. The tour winds down in the West Village, where tour-goers will create their own cupcakes.Looking to go a more traditional route? You can never go wrong with a glass of champagne at The Plaza or a carriage ride (horse or human-drawn, whatever’s your preference) though Central Park.Staying local? Create your own East End sweet tooth tour. Stops along the way could include Tate’s in Southampton, Grindstone in Sag Harbor, Sant Ambroeus in Southampton, Dylan’s Candy in East Hampton, Dreesen’s Donuts in East Hampton, the East End’s Blue Duck Bakery, Montauk Bake Shoppe, The Candy Man in Orient, or Hampton Chocolate Factory in Westhampton.Maybe a fine wine experience is more your speed. For a Valentine’s filled with vino, create a wine tour of the North Fork. Fun fact: Raphael’s 2014 First Label Riesling is listed as one of the top 10 romantic wines for Valentine’s Day by The Daily Meal. Why not stop by Raphael Vineyard in Peconic to give it a try? The vineyard provides a very romantic setting.You could also go for a trifecta of desserts, dinner, and wine. Stop by Kontokosta Winery followed by chocolate from Sweet Indulgences in Greenport. Finish the night with dinner at Noah’s. Who says you can’t have dessert before dinner?Feeling anti-Valentine’s this Valentine’s Day? Invite your friends over for a romantic slasher film. Grab yourself an anti-Valentine’s day piñata and fill it with anti-Valentine’s Day candy.If you’re looking to do something special but you’re on a budget, try creating a heart-shaped meal. A quick Google search will present recipe ideas for heart-shaped eggs, heart-shaped bacon, heart-shaped pancakes, heart-shaped cupcakes . . . you get the picture. Making your Valentine’s gift from scratch can get you some serious brownie points.A nice way to make all of your friends and family know you’re thinking of them on Valentine’s Day is to send Valentine’s Day cards. Happy Valentine’s [email protected]@hamptondaze Sharelast_img read more

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first_imgThe government is reviewing its Welsh language scheme as part of efforts to improve court services in Wales.HM Courts & Tribunals Service said today that it takes the obligations of the scheme seriously but wants to ensure it ‘more adequately reflects’ the needs of Welsh speakers.The scheme, set up in 2013, encourages Welsh-speaking HMCTS staff to use the language when they do their daily duties.A Welsh Language Scheme 2013-16 paper prepared under the Welsh Language Act 1993 states that HMCTS aims to increase its capacity to provide bilingual services by raising awareness of court and tribunal users’ rights to use Welsh, develop a further Welsh language telephone contact centre at its Welsh language unit in Caernarfon, improve the provision of bilingual IT services, and increase the number of staff who are able to speak Welsh.HMCTS said today that users can already get help with fees, enter a plea or pay a court fine in Welsh.However, as well as reviewing the language scheme, it will also examine ways to raise awareness that Welsh speakers have an absolute legal right to speak Welsh in any court or tribunal hearing in Wales.It added: ‘As we develop our online services we are making sure that Welsh speakers can access these services in Welsh, and [we] recently conducted focus groups with them to better understand what, in their opinion, makes a great Welsh digital service.’last_img read more

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first_imgThe husband of the blonde Zlatka and former national football player Blagoy Georgiev is interested in the property of the football club Vardar from Northern Macedonia. A meeting between the former midfielder and the executive director of the club Samoil Simev took place today, sport1.mk reports.According to the information, Blagoy Georgiev is a representative of a consortium of companies from Eastern Europe, interested in taking control of Vardar, which is in a difficult financial situation. Former handball player Naumche Mysoski also attended the meeting.“It is true that I have a plan to have a football club and I am in advanced negotiations for this purpose. The team will not be from Bulgaria, but from a country close to ours. The fact is that every year he plays in European club tournaments, in particular the Europa League “, Blago Georgiev shared in March in the” Nikolaos Citiridis Show “, where he is a guest together with his wife Zlatka Raykova.In its article, the North Macedonian edition points out that Georgiev is a teenager of Slavia and is a former national with 5 goals in 50 games for Bulgaria. Vardar is the most titled team in our western neighbor, having ten national titles in its history.last_img read more

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