Sports Briefs

Posted: Friday, February 16, 2001

Silver Salmon Swim-a-thon set for today

The Soldotna Silver Salmon Swim Team will participate in a swim-a-thon today at the Soldotna High School pool.

The swim-a-thon will provide funds which enable the club to maintain its strong swimming program. The team currently has 61 swimmers in the program, including several high-caliber swimmers.

Swimmers from the Silver Salmon are soliciting sponsors for the swim-a-thon. The swimmers will swim up to 200 lengths or one hour -- whichever comes first -- to earn a specified amount of money.

Swim-a-thons are conducted nationwide by many of the over 2,600 USA Swimming member clubs. The Silver Salmon will keep 95 percent of the proceeds from the event and send five percent to USA Swimming.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a swimmer should contact coach Sohail Marey at 262-7419 or Robin Coursen at 262-6347.

Seward Nordic Classic set for March 10

The Seward Nordic Ski Classic 2001 is slated for March 10 at the ski trails on Exit Glacier Road in Seward.

Six-kilometer and 12-kilometer classic races are scheduled to start at 10 a.m., followed by 6-kilometer and 12-kilometer freestyle races at 11 a.m.

A 20-kilometer skijor race will cap the day's events, kicking off at noon.

Prizes will be awarded to overall and age-group winners, and door prizes will be given away.

Preregistration is $10 or $18 for both skiing races. Race-day registration is $12 or $20 for both races. The suggested donation for the skijor race is $20 for adults and $15 for juniors to benefit the Alaska Sea Life Center.

For more information contact the Seward Chamber of Commerce at 224-8051 or the Seward Military Resort at 224-5559.

College football 'classics' explode

College football is on the verge of an explosion of ''extra'' games to open the 2001 season, with no less than nine in the works for the final week in August.

With NCAA legislation eliminating such fund-raising games after 2002, several sports foundations are jumping on the ''classic'' game bandwagon. They figure there's publicity to be had, money to be made and plenty of schools ready to pocket a minimum of $600,000 for squeezing in a 12th regular-season game.

''If we can do something to help out our association, now is the time to do it before it's too late,'' said Lynne Draper, executive director of the Jim Thorpe Association, which is putting together the Jim Thorpe Classic.

Four new games are in the works for this season, adding to the five played last season. The up-and-comers joining the Thorpe game are the John Thompson Classic, the Michigan Charities Classic and a second Black Coaches Association Classic to make up for last year's canceled game between Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

In addition to the Kickoff and Pigskin classics, there's also the Eddie Robinson Classic, the Hispanic Fund Classic and the BCA Classic I.

Three matchups are set: Syracuse vs. Georgia Tech in the Kickoff, Virginia at Wisconsin in the Eddie Robinson, and North Carolina at Oklahoma in Hispanic Fund.

Liverpool fans stabbed in Rome

ROME -- Four Liverpool fans were stabbed before the team's UEFA Cup game against AS Roma on Thursday night, the latest outbreak of violence in and around Italian soccer stadiums.

Just before the game, which Liverpool won 2-0, Roma fans throwing rocks and bottles fought with police outside the stadium and beat up an Associated Press Television News crew.

Three Roma supporters attacked two 27-year-old Norwegians outside Olympic Stadium, police said. A British man needed surgery after another attack near the arena, while another Liverpool fan was hospitalized with stab wounds to the arm and thigh from a pre-dawn fight.

A gang of about 30 people kicked and punched an APTN cameraman and a reporter and destroyed their camera. The cameraman was treated at a hospital for a head cut.

About 4,000 Liverpool fans were in Italy's capital for the teams' first meeting since the English club beat Roma on penalty kicks in the 1984 Champions Cup final.

Canucks trade Potvin to Kings

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Kings, who have allowed the second-most goals in the Western Conference, acquired struggling goalie Felix Potvin from the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday for future considerations.

Potvin, who was waiting in Vancouver for immigration papers before reporting to the team's IHL affiliate in Kansas City, became expendable last week when the Canucks added Dan Cloutier in a trade with Tampa Bay.

Prosecutors drop assault investigation of Benitez

NEW YORK -- For the second time in as many months, prosecutors said Thursday they will not file criminal charges against New York Mets relief pitcher Armando Benitez, accused by his former girlfriend of attacking her.

An investigation determined there was ''an insufficient legal basis on which to proceed with a criminal prosecution,'' said Mary DeBourbon, spokeswoman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

''Obviously, we're pleased with the results,'' Mets general manager Steve Phillips said in Port St. Lucie, Fla., where the team opens spring training Friday.

Phillips said he hoped it was ''a chapter closed and one, hopefully, we can put behind and move forward fresh.''

Stacey O'Neill, Benitez's former girlfriend, filed a complaint at the 109th Precinct in Queens on Jan. 3. She said the pitcher punched her and left her neck with a scar from a scratch on Oct. 18, an off day between the NL championship series and the World Series.

In the police report, O'Neill said she did not alert police at the time because she was afraid of Benitez.

Brown's office said that in a letter dated Feb. 6, ''the young woman who filed the original complaint requested that this office not prosecute charges.''

Last month, Baltimore prosecutors announced that a domestic abuse case filed against Benitez by O'Neill had been dismissed, citing insufficient evidence. O'Neill had filed a complaint against Benitez in December saying he slammed a door against her during an argument on Nov. 8.

Notes: The Mets replaced Dr. David Altcheck of the Hospital Special Surgery, their team physician since December 1991, with Dr. Andrew Rokito of the Hospital for Joint Diseases and NYU Hospitals Centers, which become the ''official hospitals'' of the Mets. It appeared the move had more to do with money than medicine. ''We feel that we have a stronger business relationship with this deal as well as maintaining the high quality of care for our players,'' Phillips said. ''There was no lack of quality care given by David Altcheck.'' Dr. Orrin Sherman becomes the Mets' associate team physician.

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