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Sports briefs

Cross country

WEBER COACHES HONORED: Weber State's men's and women's cross country coaches, Chick Hislop and Jim Blaisdell, have been named the 1997 Big Sky Conference Cross Country Coaches of the Year.

Friday's announcement marked Blaisdell's second coach of the year award, Hislop's fifth.

Hislop and Blaisdell both led their squads to Big Sky cham-pi-on-ships.

Hislop led the Wildcats to a first-place finish at the Big Sky Championship. The men finished second at the Mountain Regional, earning an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship Monday in Greenville, S.C.

Blaisdell also led his Wildcats to a first-place finish at the Big Sky Championship in Rocklin, Calif., on Nov. 1. The women also placed fourth at the NCAA Mountain Regional last week in Ogden.


SAMPSON LIKELY TO REMAIN: It appears Steve Sampson will get a new contract to coach the U.S. soccer team, but U.S. Soccer Federation president Alan Rothenberg said Friday no final decision has been made.

ESPN reported Sampson will be retained to lead the Americans through next summer's World Cup in France. Sampson's contract expired last weekend at the end of World Cup qualifying.


RED SOX SIGN KOREAN PITCHER: The Boston Red Sox agreed Friday to a minor-league contract with Korean pitcher Sun-Woo Kim and re-signed infielder Mike Benjamin to a one-year deal worth $242,500.

JOHNSON FEELS BETRAYED: Pitcher Randy Johnson says he feels betrayed by the Seattle Mariners' refusal to give him a contract extension and expects to be traded.

But if no trade is forthcoming, Johnson says he'll give his best effort during the 1998 season.

In an interview published Friday with Steve Kelley, columnist for The Seattle Times, Johnson said he does not understand the Mariners' unwillingness to extend his contract beyond the 1998 season.

Without a contract extension, Johnson becomes a free agent after the 1998 season - available to any Major League team willing to pay the salary Johnson can command. By shopping Johnson around before he becomes a free agent, the Mariners can pick up another player or players in return. To extend his contract, the Mariners would almost certainly have to offer Johnson more money.

ANDERSON WANTS BIG $$$: If the Baltimore Orioles want to keep Brady Anderson, they're probably going to have to make him the highest-paid player in franchise history.

The Orioles' only other option is to make a five-year commitment to the free-agent center fielder, who attracted a lucrative offer from the Atlanta Braves, before they signed first baseman Andres Galarraga.

Anderson also is expected to receive similar bids from Toronto and the New York Yankees.

MCGRIFF HAPPY TO BE A DEVIL RAY: Fred McGriff made the 40-minute drive from his home to Tropicana Field and declared himself happy to be with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"As a player, you love challenges. Coming to the Devil Rays is a challenge," he said Friday.

McGriff did his best to hide the disappointment of leaving the Atlanta Braves, the most successful franchise in baseball this decade, for an expansion team that's still trying to put together a lineup for its inaugural season.

At 34, he's coming off a season in which his batting average dipped from .295 in 1996 to .277 this year. His home run production dropped from 28 to 22, and his RBIs slipped from 107 to 97.

PADRES SIGN VOSBERG: Left-handed reliever Ed Vosberg agreed to a $1.25 million, two-year contract with the San Diego Padres on Friday, a day after he was acquired in a trade with Florida.


BOUNTIFUL BOYS QUALIFY: Two boys who train at USA Gymnastics World in Bountiful have qualified for the U.S. National Development team and will receive a week-long gymnastics camp in Houston in January because of their finishes recently in the Future Stars National Development Team Championships at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Stevie Vuong won the 12-year-old division's all-around national championship and took national titles on still rings and parallel bars with seconds on ring strength and parallel bar strength events. Cody Rasmussen was fourth in the national all-around and won two event championships on rings strength and parallel bars strength and was second nationally on rings and bars.