Sports Briefs

Posted: Sunday, March 07, 2004

Woods running out of time to make charge

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Tiger Woods is running out of time to make a charge at the Dubai Desert Classic.

Woods made four birdies in the third round Saturday, finishing with a 3-under 69. He trails co-leaders Mark O'Meara and Paul McGinley by six strokes heading into the final round.

O'Meara, Woods' friend and Florida neighbor who is winless on the PGA Tour since 1998, carded a 4-under 68, while McGinley shot 69 for a tie at 202.

England's Brian Davis was three strokes off the lead after a 69, while countrymen Simon Dyson (70) and Paul Casey (70) and first-round leader Bradley Dredge (72) were five back.

Lebedeva, Isinbayeva break world records

BUDAPEST, Hungary Two Russian women set world indoor records Saturday, and Allen Johnson won the 60-meter hurdles for the third time at the indoor world championships.

Long jumper Savante Stringfellow gave the United States a third gold medal to match Russia in titles entering Sunday's final day of competition.

Yelena Isinbayeva cleared 15 feet, 11 1/4 inches to regain the world mark in the pole vault, and Tatyana Lebedeva first equaled and then twice beat the record to win the triple jump in 50-4 3/4.

Johnson appeared sluggish in the heats and semifinals. He finished third in both and made the final as one of the two fastest losers. The American then won by a big margin in a season-best 7.36 seconds to equal Greg Foster's 17-year-old U.S. record.

''The semifinal was a total disaster, my legs went dead when the gun sounded, which worried me a lot for the final,'' Johnson said. ''I knew I had to pull out something out of my bag of tricks.''

Johnson has a record four 110-meter hurdles outdoor world titles and was the 1996 Olympic champion.

China's Liu Xiang was second, lowering the Asian record for the second time in the day to earn the silver in 7.43. Jamaica's Maurice Wignall was third in 7.48.

Stringfellow's winning long jump was 27-6 3/4. Jamaica's James Beckford was second at 27-3 1/4, with Russia's Vitaliy Shkurlatov third at 27-2. Olympic champion Ivan Pedroso of Cuba failed to win a record sixth indoor title, finishing eighth at 26-6 1/2.

Alaska Fairbanks tops Alaska Anchorage

ANCHORAGE, Alaska With a goal from forward Ryan Lang in the post-game shootout Saturday night, the University of Alaska Fairbanks defeated the University of Alaska Anchorage to win the shootout 3-2, the game 6-4 and keep the Alaska Airlines Governors Cup for the third straight year.

UAF scored two goals in all three periods to tie the Governors Cup race at two games apiece before the game went to overtime.

The Nanooks (16-17-1, 14-13-1 CCHA) opened the scoring on their third shot of the game on a redirection from Nanook Jason Grinevitch.

UAA (11-20-3, 7-18-3 WCHA) tied it with a goal from Martin Stuchlik at 15:40. The Nanooks ended the period with a severe-angle wrist shot from Adam Voros to head to the locker room, up 2-1.

Nanooks Ryan Lang and Nathan Fornatora scored in the second period sandwiched around a Seawolves goal from Charlie Kronschnabel.

Kronschnabel would start a wild final two minutes of the game as both teams combined for four goals. His second tally of the night with an extra attacker at 18:06 pulled UAA to within one at 4-3.

Fifty-two seconds later, UAF would answer with an empty netter from Kelly Kuzy to make it 5-3. UAA made it 5-4 before another empty netter completed the scoring with 25 seconds left.

Harvick wins wild Las Vegas race

LAS VEGAS Kevin Harvick took advantage of Matt Kenseth's late-race misfortune to grab the lead, then held off hard-charging Kasey Kahne to win Saturday's Busch Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kenseth appeared to have the best car on the 1 1/2-mile oval, but got caught up in a crash on a restart 21 laps from the end of the 200-lap Sam's Town 300. The reigning champion in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series, a part-time Busch driver, was able to continue, but the damage to his car slowed down Kenseth considerably.

After the restart on lap 186, Harvick took only one lap to grab the lead from his fellow Cup star.

Kahne, who finished second to Kenseth two weeks ago in the Cup race at Rockingham and will start from the pole in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 here Sunday, took second place from the slowing Kenseth on lap 192.

The 23-year-old racer trailed Harvick by 1.563 seconds at that point, but cut into the margin by about two-tenths of a second on every succeeding lap.

Going into the final lap, Kahne trailed the leader by about four car lengths. He made a run at Harvick coming off turn four, but the veteran drove down onto the apron to keep the youngster behind him and won by 0.119 seconds about one car length.

''We didn't have a dominant car and won the race,'' Harvick said. ''I'll take that any day. It's all about putting yourself in the right spot and we were in the right spot.''

Kahne said, ''We definitely were making up a lot of ground the last 10 laps. But once I got close, got in some of his bad air, we weren't quite as fast.''

Kenseth, who led three times for a race-high 68 laps, came out of a caution flag pit stop on lap 170 trailing Johnny Sauter, who took the lead by staying on track.

Coming off turn four after the restart on lap 180, Sauter suddenly veered left and banged hard into the right side of Kenseth's car. Kenseth than hit Dave Blaney, who spun up the banking into the wall.

Kenseth wound up in the lead, but the damage was too severe to stay there. He eventually slid to sixth.

David Stremme wound up third, followed by Michael Waltrip, who made up three lost laps, and Bobby Hamilton Jr.

NASCAR now allows the first driver a lap down to get back on the lead lap during each caution period. That caused considerable confusion earlier in the race.

At first, NASCAR mistakenly gave Greg Biffle back a lost lap, but quickly determined the lap should have gone to former Busch champion Randy LaJoie. They made Biffle stop on track and wait for the pace car to drive past him, putting him back in the proper place, but also told LaJoie to go around the pace car and catch up to the lead lap cars.

The problem was a number of cars had made green-flag stops before the caution and were just in front of the leader, nearly a lap down. LaJoie was allowed to drive by all of them, putting him fifth instead of 16th.

''We made a mistake,'' NASCAR president Mike Helton said. ''We should have put (LaJoie) right in front of the leader. We realized the mistake after the race had restarted and decided it was better not to try to fix it at that point and cause more problems. Sometimes, we make mistakes.''

Later, Stacy Compton was given his lap back and was put in front of the leader instead of being allowed to drive all the way around. His crew chief, Jeff Chandler, was irate, arguing there were no other lead lap cars in front of the leader at that point and Compton should have been waved past the pace car.

Chandler raised his fist toward the control tower across the track. He was summoned to the NASCAR transporter to discuss the matter following the race.

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