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Sports briefs

Track

JACKSON SETS RECORD: For the fourth time this season, BYU runner Elizabeth Jackson has set a new American record in the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase. In finishing third (9 minutes, 43.36 seconds) Monday at the Nikaia meet in Nice, France, Jackson demolished her previous American record of 9:48.72 set on July 1 in winning the Norwich Union Challenge in Glasgow, Scotland.

Basketball

UTAH SKY WIN GAME: At Oregon City, Ore., the Utah Sky, a girls basketball club comprised of Utah High School players, defeated Minnesota Metro Monday 40-33 in Utah's third game of the End of the Oregon Trail basketball tournament. Members of the Utah Sky are Natalie Barney, Bingham; Nina Brunt, Kearns; Shalee Fackrell, Wasatch; Vanessa Hutson and Jara Ludlow, Brighton; Monica Miller, Cyprus; Tiffany Peterson, Orem; Alofa Toia and Lei Toia, Hunter.

In its 22nd year, the End of the Oregon Trail tournament is one of the most prestigious summer basketball tournaments with 128 teams from all over the country participating. Over 300 college coaches are in attendance evaluating players.

Baseball

SUU SIGNS 9 PLAYERS: SUU baseball coach Kurt Palmer announced Monday the signing of nine players to national letters of intent to play for the Thunderbirds next season.

Eight of the nine players are from Utah junior colleges, five of which are from Utah Valley State College, including outfielders Jake Reynolds (5-8, 175, Lugoff, S.C./Lugoff Elgin HS), Aaron Lancaster (6-4, 220, Orem, Utah/Mountain View HS) and Tom Ford (6-2, 220, Elberta, Utah/Payson HS) and pitchers Taylor Ehat (LHP, 6-3, 200, Mountain View HS) and Nick Huntsman (RHP, 6-4, 180, Pleasant Grove, Utah/Pleasant Grove HS).

Reynolds was a .340 hitter in two seasons at UVSC and was 14 out of 17 in the stolen base department, while Lancaster combined to hit .282 with seven homers and 49 RBI and Ford batted .278 with five home runs and 57 RBI in two seasons with the Wolverines. Ehat went 4-5 last season with a 4.25 ERA, with three complete games and 70 strikeouts in 59.1 innings and held opposing batters to a .210 average. Huntsman had a 1-0 record with a 6.97 ERA in 10.1 innings, with 21 strikeouts and held opposing hitters to a .227 average.

The T-Birds also landed 3B Dan Polhamus (6-0, 180, Taylorsville, Utah/Taylorsville HS) from Dixie State College, which was the runner-up in the 2001 Junior College World Series, outfielder Ryan Duvall (5-8, 170, Pleasant Grove, Utah/Pleasant Grove HS) from College of Eastern Utah and lefthander Shane Perkins (6-4, 180, Tremonton, Utah/Bear River HS) from Salt Lake Community College.

Polhamus drove in 79 runs in his two season at Dixie, while batting .270 with a combined seven home runs. Duvall was 30-for-34 in stolen base attempts last season at CEU and hit .341 with one home run, 26 RBI and had an on-base percentage of .481 after drawing 44 walks. Perkins was 3-3 last season at SLCC, with a 2.87 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 53.1 innings and held opposing hitters to a .252 average.

SUU also inked one prep athlete in catcher Jared Meek (6-1, 195) from Templeton High School in Paso Robles, Calif. Meek hit .540 with five home runs and 27 RBI and had an on-base percentage of .750 as a senior.

MANAGER SUSPENDED: The Lincoln (Neb.) Saltdogs suspended manager James Kash Beauchamp on Monday, the day after he was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge.

The 38-year-old Beauchamp pleaded innocent Monday to the charge. He is accused of fighting with a girlfriend at a Lincoln diner around 2 a.m. Sunday.

"Obviously, the coach has a very deep regret on what happened and feels badly for both the Saltdogs' organization that's been very supportive and the city of Lincoln," said Bob Bartle, Beauchamp's lawyer.

Beauchamp, who was released from jail Monday afternoon, was suspended indefinitely.

"Unfortunately, we haven't been able to spend much time with Kash to understand the circumstances of the incident. We need to do what's best for the organization at this time," Saltdogs president Charlie Meyer said.

Saltdogs pitcher Les Lancaster was appointed interim manager before Monday night's Northern League game against Fargo-Moorhead.

Tennis

VENUS' PLANE HAS TROUBLES: A plane taking Wimbledon champion Venus Williams to Milan, Italy, had to turn back to Heathrow Airport after the crew smelled oil in the cockpit, British Airways said Tuesday.

The airline said the crew and passengers were never in danger during Monday's flight on a Boeing 737, which was interrupted about 30 minutes into the scheduled trip from London to Milan.

The passengers were flown to Milan in another aircraft.