Hawaii decathlete Clay wins in Austria
Hawai'i's Bryan Clay easily outpointed the field yesterday to earn his second decathlon victory at the 36th Hypo-Meeting at Goetzis, Austria.
Clay, who was second after the first five events on Saturday, took the lead after yesterday's first event, 110-meter hurdles, and never trailed thereafter.
He finished with 8,483 points. Romain Barras of France was second (8,297), followed by Leonel Suarez of Cuba (8,286) and Jake Arnold of the United States (8,253).
Clay, the Olympic champion, won the 100 meters, discus and javelin in the 10-event competition. The Castle High alum from Kāne'ohe also won this meet in 2006.
Trey Hardee of the U.S. did not finish.
The Hypo-Meeting was the second leg of the 2010 IAAF Combined Events Challenge.
FIU'S WITTELS UPS STREAK TO 54 GAMES
Florida International's Garrett Wittels is taking his pursuit of the Division I hitting-streak record to the NCAA tournament.
Wittels got a hit in his 54th straight game and FIU beat Troy, 14-10, yesterday in the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament in Murfreesboro, Tenn., clinching a berth in the NCAA field.
The Golden Panthers (36-23) will find out which regional they'll be sent to today, knowing they're probably off to either Gainesville, Fla., or nearby Coral Gables this weekend.
"We don't want this to end," Wittels said by phone as FIU started the 18-hour bus ride back to Miami. "We're going after it every day, playing hard and swinging the bats really well."
None better than Wittels, of course.
The sophomore infielder was 2 for 6 yesterday. He moved within four games of matching Robin Ventura's record of 58 straight games with a hit set in 1987 for Oklahoma State.
U.S. TEAM MAKES BACKDOOR MOVE
The U.S. World Cup team pulled off a trick play, going in through the "out" door as they arrived at the airport for their flight to South Africa.
The team entered Dulles International Airport in Virginia through the arrivals area — instead of departures — and went straight through security yesterday, bypassing the ticket counter and a handful of disappointed fans who hoped to wish the team well.
Their South African Airways flight was set to take off later yesterday and land in Johannesburg today.
The Americans' first World Cup game is June 12 against England.
PLAYERS RIP QUALITY OF WORLD CUP BALL
Several players are going all out in criticizing the new World Cup ball, with more than one comparing it to those bought at a supermarket.
And this time it's not just goalkeepers who are complaining. Strikers, defenders and midfielders are also lashing out at the Adidas ball less than two weeks before the monthlong tournament is to begin in South Africa.
The ball is called Jabulani, which means "to celebrate" in isiZulu, but not many are celebrating it so far. It's hard to find a player happy with it, and those who don't like it are not hesitating to voice their displeasure.
Brazil striker Luis Fabiano said yesterday "it's like it doesn't want to be kicked," and called it "supernatural."
MARYLAND WINS TITLE, BEATS NORTHWESTERN
Northwestern's lacrosse dynasty is over, courtesy of a stunning comeback by Maryland.
Maryland won its 10th NCAA women's lacrosse title yesterday, rallying from a six-goal deficit to defeat the five-time defending champions, 13-11, at Towson, Md.
The Terrapins (22-1) earned their first title since 2001 and preserved their record of seven straight titles, set from 1995-2001. Maryland also ended Northwestern's run of 23 consecutive tournament wins.
The game was played before 9,782 fans, the largest crowd to watch a women's lacrosse event in United States history.
The Terps were down 6-0 with 8 1/2 minutes gone and 8-3 midway through the first half.
MEN'S, WOMEN'S SINGLES FINALS SET
Unseeded Austen Childs of Louisville beat Auburn's Tim Puetz, 7-6 (2), 6-0, yesterday to reach the men's NCAA tennis singles final against Stanford's Bradley Klahn at Athens, Ga.
Klahn eliminated top-seeded Henrique Cunha of Duke, 6-2, 6-2, to earn a spot in today's title match. He is looking to become the 12th player from Stanford to win a college singles crown. Childs is the first Louisville player to even reach the quarterfinals.
Chelsea Gullickson of Georgia, playing on her home courts, will take on second-seeded Jana Juricova of California in the women's championship match. Juricova beat Miami's Laura Vallverdu, 7-6 (6), 6-2.
Gullickson, who lost in the semifinals to Vallverdu last year, defeated fourth-seeded Hilary Barte of Stanford, 7-6 (6), 6-3.
FLYERS AREN'T DOWN ABOUT GAME 1 LOSS
The Philadelphia Flyers aren't fretting about starting the Stanley Cup finals with a loss.
The Flyers, after all, have faced bigger deficits before. They overcame a slew of injuries to barely make the playoffs, then rallied from three games down in the second round to survive elimination, beat the Boston Bruins and advance.
So after their 6-5 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1, the Flyers expressed calm and confidence after practice yesterday.
Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette pulled goalie Michael Leighton for Brian Boucher in the opener, but named Leighton the starter for Game 2 today. But the players say the decision doesn't matter to them. They are focused on strengthening their defense in front of the net.