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Sports briefs


U.S. NATIONALS: The Magnificent Seven is now down to three.

Jaycie Phelps joined Shannon Miller in withdrawing from the U.S. Gymnastics Nationals after Thursday's all-around preliminaries. Both are petitioning for a spot at next month's Olympic trials in Boston.

Phelps injured a tendon in her right thigh before she came to nationals, said her coach, Geoff Eaton. She managed to do all four events but finished 17th with 35.625 points Thursday night.

The top 12 gymnasts at nationals advance to the Olympic trials. Gymnasts will be ranked on their combined scores from nationals (40 percent) and trials (60 percent), but a selection committee headed by Bela Karolyi will pick the six-person team.


UTAHNS FINISH SECOND: The Southeast Valley All-Stars of Draper finished second to Southwest Seattle in the Northwestern Regional Pony League Bronco (11- and 12-year-olds) tournament in Farmington.

LEGION TOURNEY: The annual State American Legion baseball tournament began Friday without its defending champion Mountain View, which failed to qualify for postseason play. Sixteen teams will battle for a spot in the regional championships to be held in two weeks at Lindquist Field in Ogden. All the action for the state tourney will take place at the two fields at Oquirrh Park (5624 S. 4800 West) for the next week, with the exception of Sunday.

TRADEWINDS: The New York Mets got shortstop Mike Bordick and reliever Rick White, Cleveland acquired closer Bob Wickman and two starting pitchers and more trades were pending Friday as contenders prepared for the stretch run.

Bordick and Wickman, both coming off their first All-Star selections, were the biggest names to move. But there was talk that Texas closer John Wetteland, Montreal outfielder Rondell White and Milwaukee outfielder Jeromy Burnitz soon might change teams.

The deadline for making trades without waivers is 2 p.m. MDT Monday.

BOY INJURED: A 5-year-old boy whose skull was fractured when he was hit in the head with a baseball at a minor league game was in serious condition Friday.

Brian Cwalinski was sitting in the second row behind the home dugout as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre hosted the Columbus Clippers on Thursday night when he was struck by a ball off the bat of the Red Barons' Fausto Tejero.

The boy was taken to Community Medical Center in Scranton, where the skull fracture was confirmed, then transferred to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

Tejero immediately left the game for the hospital and spent time with the boy's family before he was flown to Danville.

STRAWBERRY'S WOES: Darryl Strawberry's cancer has returned, adding to the string of misfortunes and legal problems besetting the suspended New York Yankees slugger.

As he faced questions about his probation, Strawberry said Friday his first priority would be to fight his cancer.

The 38-year-old outfielder would not comment on the possibility that he violated terms of probation on April 1999 charges of possessing cocaine and soliciting a prostitute.

Strawberry was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1998 and underwent surgery and chemotherapy.

Track & Field

WORLD RECORD: Trine Hattestad broke the women's javelin world record Friday at the Bislett Games with a throw of 227 feet, 11 inches.


FIGHT TONIGHT: A long way from his Australian home, WBC super lightweight champion Kostya Tszyu is taking a low-key approach to his fight with Julio Cesar Chavez.

All the attention has been on Chavez, who has made this a crusade for pride and dignity in what the 38-year-old fighter says is his last fight — win or lose.

Chavez said he is "mentally and physically ready" for the fight Saturday night, a bout many have said should never be allowed. One of the loudest critics, Arizona Sen. John McCain, said it is an absolute mismatch because Chavez is finished as a fighter.


ANNOUNCER DIES: Gordon Solie — considered the most famous announcer in the history of professional wrestling — was found dead Friday at his home in New Port Richey, Fla. after succumbing to brain cancer. He was 71.


MERCEDES-BENZ CUP: Michael Chang isn't quite ready to pronounce himself back. His results indicate otherwise.

"I never tried to go anywhere. I just had some struggles and some difficulties," he said Friday after rallying from a 3-5 deficit and facing two set points in the tiebreaker to beat fifth-seeded Wayne Ferreira 6-3, 7-6 (7) at the Mercedes-Benz Cup.

Chang, who has yet to lose to Ferreira in seven career meetings and hasn't dropped a set in three matches here, advanced to Saturday's semifinals against Justin Gimelstob.


NEW ASSISTANTS AT UTAH: Darin Mai and Carrie Ziebarth will join the swimming and diving coaching staff at the University of Utah. The announcement came today from new head coach Michael Litzinger. Mai, who will be the men's assistant coach, comes to the U. after spending the past two years as an assistant men's coach at the University of Texas, helping to lead the Longhorns to the 2000 NCAA Championship. In addition to his on deck duties at UT, he also directed the dryland and weight training programs. Ziebarth, who will be the Utes' new diving coach, recently concluded a stellar diving career at Ohio State University. Ziebarth left her mark on one of the most storied diving programs in the country. She was an All-American in the one and three-meter events in 1997, then repeated on the one meter in 1998. Ziebarth was also the Big Ten Conference champion on the platform in 1997 and the one meter in 2000.


5K RACE: Preregistration is currently under way for the Midvale Harvest Days 5K. The race starts and ends at Midvale Elementary (362 W. 7720 S.). For more information call 255-5386.


FRAGILE LEAF: So much for Ryan Leaf getting through the first 10 days of practice unscathed. Leaf missed his second straight practice Friday because his surgically repaired right shoulder was sore and stiff, proving that winning back the San Diego Chargers' starting quarterback job won't be a quick, painless process.