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Sports briefs


PAIRING RETOOLED: With former doubles partner Gordy Sheer retiring in May, three-time Olympian and 1998 Olympic silver medalist Chris Thorpe has paired up with Clay Ives for the 2000-2001 season.

The Thorpe-Sheer duo was USA Luge's all-time leader in international medals won with 26 in the past five seasons, two World Championship silvers and the 1997 overall World Cup gold.

Ives is a two-time Olympian who finished 15th in last season's overall World Cup singles standings and has been sliding in singles events since joining USA Luge in the fall of 1998 after becoming a dual citizen and leaving the Canadian luge federation. He competed in doubles for Canada, placing ninth in the 1993 World Championships and eighth at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.


SALT LAKER SHINES: Despite allowing its first run and actually finding itself trailing on the scoreboard, the USA Softball Men's National Team improved to 5-0 at the World Championship with a 4-1 decision over the Philippines Tuesday evening.

Salt Lake's Peter Meredith threw a two-hitter with no walks and 13 strikeouts to improve to 2-0 in the tournament, while Brian Martie and Trent Rubley each had two hits for the U.S.

They improved to 6-0 at the World Championship with a 12-1 five-inning victory over the Czech Republic Wednesday morning.

SHOCKERS WIN STATE TITLE: The Utah Shockers, despite having to come through the losers bracket, won the 16-under state championship on Saturday. After losing their opening game, the Shockers were forced to win nine games in a row to win the tournament. They did just that, outscoring opponents 73-7 in the process.


ELLIOTT FOR ONE MORE: San Antonio Spurs forward Sean Elliott said Tuesday he is leaning toward returning for at least one more season.

"You don't want to go out losing," Elliott said in the San Antonio Express-News for Wednesday's editions. "That has really bothered me. Watching someone else win the championship after you did is not fun."

Elliott said Tim Duncan's decision to re-sign with the Spurs, announced Tuesday, increased the likelihood he would return. He also said he would prefer not to end his career after losing in the first round of the playoffs last season.

MACK ARRESTED: Sam Mack, released by the Golden State Warriors in March, was arrested Tuesday after officers said they found 19 bags of marijuana in his car.

Mack, a 6-foot-7 swingman, ran a stop sign, prompting a high-speed chase through Phoenix, Ill., a Chicago suburb, Lt. Vernon Mitchell said.

Mack, 30, refused to pull over and led police on a chase that began at 7 p.m. EDT and reached speeds of 70 mph on city streets where the speed limit is 25 mph, Mitchell said. After about six blocks, police forced Mack to pull over his Range Rover and arrested him.

MAGGETTE TOOK CASH: Former Duke player Corey Maggette admitted he took cash payments from a summer league coach while he was still a high school student.

CONRAD McRAE: Former Syracuse center Conrad McRae collapsed and died on his first day of practice with the Orlando Magic's summer league team Monday. He was 29.


SWANN RELEASED: The Arizona Cardinals released defensive tackle Eric Swann.

STEED RETIRES: Steelers nose tackle Joel Steed retired because of knee problems and his impending release after an eight-year career with Pittsburgh. He was twice selected for the Pro Bowl.


TIGER WINS: Tiger Woods warmed up for the British Open — the one major he has yet to win — with a six-stroke victory in the JP McManus Pro-Am. He had rounds of 64 and 68 for a 12-under-par total of 132.

Woods would have been beaten by Stuart Appleby, but Appleby was disqualified for using an illegal laser measurement device during Monday's first round.


EAT YOUR WHEATIES: Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras has become the first active tennis player to appear on a Wheaties box since Chris Evert in 1987.

General Mills unveiled the package Tuesday, after Sampras' record-setting 13th Grand Slam title.

Sampras said it was "a great feeling to join the likes of Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali and all the other great athletes who have been on the Wheaties box."

Tennis great Arthur Ashe appeared on a commemorative package posthumously in 1997. Other tennis players who have been featured on the orange box include Don Budge in 1939 and Jack Kramer in 1952.