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Sports briefs


AGGIE A.D. CANDIDATES: Bruce Van DeVelde, an associate athletic director at the University of Missouri, said he is a leading candidate for the athletic director's job at Utah State.

"I have emerged as a leading candidate, but nothing has been firmed up," Van DeVelde told the Associated Press on Friday. "Something will be announced early next week."

Utah State officials were completing interviews with five finalists this week. A call seeking comment from the university Friday was not returned.

The other finalists were Marc Amicone, an assistant athletics director at Utah; Craig Angelos, an associate athletic director at Miami; and Val Hale, an assistant athletic director at Brigham Young; and North Dakota athletic director Terry Wanless.

The group was picked by a search committee from 59 applicants. Former athletic director Chuck Bell left in March to take a similar job at San Jose State.


CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE: Johnny Miller has finally chosen a partner for the inaugural Champions Challenge that he is bringing to Thanksgiving Point Golf Course next week.

He'll team with his son John Jr., joining four other father-son teams in the $550,000 tournament set for Monday and Tuesday at the Lehi golf course.

Other father-son teams in the tournament are Jack and Mike Nicklaus, Gary and Wayne Player, Billy and Bobby Casper and Hale and Steve Irwin.

Miller had reportedly been trying to lure another big-name golfer to Utah but settled for his oldest son, who has teamed with him in several other events over the years.

The other teams include John Daly-Laura Davies, Fuzzy Zoeller-Craig Stadler and Juli Inkster-Liselotte Neumann.

The tourney begins at 8 a.m. Monday with the Wasatch Advisors Pro-Am. The main event is set for Tuesday beginning at 10 a.m.


HERNANDEZ TO BE QUESTIONED: Miami investigators are waiting to talk to Florida Marlins pitcher Livan Hernandez before deciding whether to charge him with beating his ex-girlfriend, ripping a gold chain off her neck and holding her against her will.

The MVP in last year's World Series will be questioned when he returns to Miami on Wednesday after games in New York and St. Petersburg, police spokesman Angel Calzadilla said Friday.

Alina Elgarresta, 25, told officers that Hernandez ripped the chain off her neck during an argument over car keys last Saturday and that he had hit her in the past. She also said the pitcher kept her in his car for three hours last Friday and at one point pulled her into the car by her hair.

JETER ACTIVATED: New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter was activated from the disabled list Friday night and was back in the lineup for the first time since June 3.

NO-TRADE CLAUSE FOR HUND-LEY: Todd Hundley and the Mets announced an agreement Friday on a no-trade clause that will keep him in New York - at least for now.

Hundley, yet to play this season after offseason elbow surgery, will play a position other than catcher upon his return and has been assured he won't be dealt this season.

WOHLERS OPTIONED: Mark Wohlers, ineffective since returning from the disabled list more than a month ago, was optioned by the Atlanta Braves to a rookie league team on Friday to help him regain the form that produced 105 saves over the last four years.

Wohlers was to begin working out today with the Gulf Coast League Braves at Atlanta's Disney World spring training complex near Orlando, the team said.

Track and field

GOODWILL INVITEES: Three world record-holders - pole vaulter Sergei Bubka, hurdler Colin Jackson and marathoner Tegla Loroupe - were among seven athletes added to the track and field competition Friday for the Goodwill Games in New York July 19-22.

Joining them were 1997 world champions Tomas Dvorak of the Czech Republic (decathlon), Cathy Freeman of Australia (women's 400) and Sabine Braum of Germany (heptathlon), along with Maria Mutola of Mozambique, the 1995 world champion in the women's 800.

Among the athletes previously announced were Maurice Greene, Ato Boldon of Trindad & Tobago and Donovan Bailey of Canada in the men's 100, Allen Johnson in the 110 hurdles, Dan O'Brien in the decathlon, Marion Jones, Gail Devers and Merlene Ottey of Jamaica in the women's 100, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee in the heptathlon.

Auto racing

POCONO 500: Scraping the wall might have cost Jeff Gordon a shot at breaking his own track qualifying mark, but his flawed lap Friday did nothing to hurt his chance for another record.

Seeking to become the first driver to win the Pocono 500 three years in a row, Gordon sped around Pocono International Race-way at 168.042 mph to easily win his fourth pole this year. It also was the fourth top start in the last six races and the 20th of Gordon's career.


THE CHALLENGE: John Mc-Enroe beat Yannick Noah 6-1, 6-3 Friday to advance to the final of the Challenge at the Palisades Tennis Club in Newport Beach, Calif.

McEnroe, who holds three Wimbledon and four U.S. Open singles titles, will play the winner of Saturday's Bjorn Borg-Jimmy Connors match in Sunday's final of the $370,000 event.


ALL-STATER MISSING: The All-State soccer list omitted Jason Chamberlain of 3A state champion Lehi. The team - voted upon by coaches - should have included Chamberlain on the first team.