National Sports Briefs
AUSTIN, Texas ó The best small high school track team in Texas is once again a freckle-faced girl named Bonnie Richardson.
Richardson, the valedictorian of her 59-student class in the tiny farming town of Rochelle, ó and the lone girl competing in track and field at the school, won the Class A team state title Saturday for the second consecutive year.
She won the gold in the long jump and high jump, took silver in the discus and bronze in the 200 meters. She also finished fourth in the 100 meters.
There are no other girls on the Rochelle High School track team. Richardson is the only girl in state history to win a team title on her own.
DUBLIN, Ohio ó Matt Bettencourt ran off four straight birdies Saturday on the super slick greens of Muirfield Village, survived a few scary moments on the back nine and wound up with a 4-under 68 for a share of the lead in the Memorial.
Two-time tour winner Mark Wilson had a 69 to match Wilson at 9-under 207, with a pack of major champions lurking at Jack Nicklaus’ tournament, including Tiger Woods.
– SPRINGFIELD, Ill. ó Cristie Kerr made a big jump into a tie for the lead with Kristy McPherson at the State Farm Classic, delivering a dominant showing before a late fade in the windy third round.
Four strokes back after the second round, Kerr settled for a 6-under 66 after bogeying two of the final three holes.
– LAKEWAY, Texas ó Bernhard Langer shot a 3-under 69 in warm conditions to maintain a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Triton Financial Classic.
PARIS ó Svetlana Kuznetsova conquered her nerves and beat a shaky Dinara Safina to win the French Open.
Showing uncharacteristic calm, Kuznetsova earned her second Grand Slam title Saturday by defeating Safina 6-4, 6-2 in an all-Russian matchup. Jitters have often betrayed Kuznetsova down the stretch in big matches, but she swept the final four games with steady play.
Instead it was the top-ranked Safina who battled her emotions. She double-faulted seven times, struggled with her movement and appeared near tears late in the match.
Four-time French Open champion Justine Henin and others have criticized Safina’s ranking because she has yet to win a major. She climbed to No. 1 in April and will remain there through at least late July, but she’s now 0-3 in Grand Slam finals.
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. ó The Atlanta Falcons have signed cornerback William Middleton, their fifth-round draft pick. Middleton, an Atlanta native, had seven career interceptions at Furman, including four in his senior season.
INDIANAPOLIS ó The NCAA met with Memphis officials on Saturday to discuss major violations and the school must now wait at least six weeks for a ruling on whether its 38 wins from the 2007-08 season will count.
The most serious allegation taken up at the meeting was whether an unknown person took the SAT for a player.
– TUCSON, Ariz. ó All Pac-10 point guard Nic Wise decided to return to Arizona for his senior year and forgo the NBA draft.
Wise, who averaged 15.7 points last season, called new head coach Sean Miller with the news.
– HACKENSACK, N.J. ó Tom Green has been fired as the basketball coach at Fairleigh Dickinson after leading the Knights to 407 wins and four NCAA tournament appearances in 26 years.
DENVER ó Michelle Kwan has a college diploma to add to her resume.
The five-time world champion figure skater earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of Denver.
The 28-year-old skater Kwan is a nine-time U.S. champion. She won a silver medal at the 1998 Nagano Olympics and a bronze at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.
By Cyntra Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Hats with feathers, flowers and fur paint the history of accessories from the early 1900s through... read more