Sports Briefs

Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2003

Americans continue raking in the gold

ANAHEIM, Calif. There's another gold rush for the U.S. gymnasts in California.

Paul Hamm followed up his all-around title with another electrifying performance Saturday night, winning gold on the floor exercise at the World Gymnastics Championships. Hollie Vise and Chellsie Memmel then tied for gold on the uneven bars.

''It's the perfect outcome,'' said Jim Chudy, Memmel's coach. ''Double gold for the United States.''

The Americans are heavy medal monsters these days. They've won five golds so far at worlds, and seven medals overall. It's their best showing at a world championships since the 1979 team took home eight medals, and their best finish at a major international competition since the 1984 Olympics just up the road in Los Angeles.

And there could still be more to come. Blaine Wilson qualified for Sunday's parallel bars final, while Memmel will be up on the beam.

Belarusian wins shot put at world meet

SAINT-DENIS, France Until three weeks ago, Andrei Mikhnevich of Belarus was a common drug cheater. On Saturday, he was crowned a world champion.

Adding yet another dubious chapter to an event riddled with doping, Mikhnevich became the first non-American in a decade to win the shot put world title just 19 days after completing a two-year drug ban.

American Adam Nelson matched the silver medal he won at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton, but his best toss was not as good as any of Mikhnevich's four best throws.

Mikhnevich said he tested positive for a gonadotropin and blamed it on a mistake by his doctor. Gonadotropins are protein hormones naturally produced by the pituitary gland and are essential to women during pregnancy. They can impair the production of sperm by men.

''The first year (of the suspension) was very difficult, because I don't consider myself guilty and psychologically it was very hard. The second year was a bit better because my objective was the World Championships,'' he said. ''Well, I wasn't exactly resting for two years. I worked flat out.''

The 27-year-old Mikhnevich won with a toss of 71 feet, 2 inches. He also had throws of 70-4 1/2, 70-4 and 70-1. Nelson's best was 69-9.

No. 7 Kansas St. trashes California

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Ell Roberson threw for 295 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and ran for 145 more yards and another score, leading No. 7 Kansas State to a 42-28 win over California on Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.

Darren Sproles ran for a career-high 175 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries for the Wildcats, whose win in the Black Coaches Association Classic was their 14th straight season-opening victory. Sproles' 11th career 100-yard game set a school record, and he extended his own record with his 10th consecutive 100-yard game.

Roberson threw TD passes of 5 yards to Travis Wilson and 57 yards to James Terry as the Wildcats took a 27-14 halftime lead. He finished 9-for-18 and carried 18 times.

Roberson's 11-yard scoring run and 2-point conversion carry midway through the third quarter gave the Wildcats a decisive 35-14 advantage. A holding penalty on Kansas State's next drive wiped out what would have been a 35-yard TD pass to Terry, but Roberson connected with Davin Dennis from 28 yards for a 42-21 lead in the fourth quarter.

Offense was rarely a problem for Kansas State, which scored on its first five possessions and rolled up 540 yards.

Defense especially pass defense was another story.

The Wildcats did have two sacks, one interception and a key fourth-down stop against Cal quarterback Reggie Robertson.

Robertson, who was lifted for Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter but returned when a hard hit knocked Rodgers out of the game, was 16-for-29 for 257 yards and three touchdowns against a secondary which lost two starters including All-America cornerback Terence Newman from last year's 11-2 team.

Rodgers was 9-for-13 for 121 yards with one touchdown, a 22-yarder to J.J. Arrington that cut Kansas State's lead to 35-21 early in the fourth quarter.

With just under 4 1/2 minutes left in the game, Robertson's 7-yard shovel pass to Arrington cut Kansas State's lead to 42-28. The Bears tried an onside kick, but Joe Lawson covered it for the Wildcats.

Sproles ran 53 yards on his first carry of the game, setting up his 5-yard run three plays later for a 7-0 lead. But Robertson was 4-for-5 on the Golden Bears' next drive, capped by his 34-yard pass to Vincent Strang to tie it at 7.

Joe Rheem's 22-yard field goal put the Wildcats ahead for good, 10-7, and Kansas State began to pull away with a goal-line stand and a 98-yard TD drive.

On the first play of the second quarter, California went for it on fourth down from inside Kansas State's 1. Linebacker Josh Buhl stuffed Robertson at the 2.

Roberson took over on the ensuing drive. He carried eight times for 70 yards, then threw to Wilson for a 17-7 lead.

After Rheem's 37-yard field goal made it 20-7 and James McGill's interception gave the Wildcats the ball again, Roberson put together his most impressive play of the night.

Roberson got safety Harrison Smith to bite early on a pump fake, then lofted a perfectly timed throw over Smith's head to a wide-open Terry. Terry pulled the ball in at the Bears' 35 and raced in untouched to put the Wildcats up 27-7.

Four plays after that, Cal's Geoff McArthur outjumped cornerback Randy Jordan at the Wildcats' 40 and went down the right sideline to complete a 65-yard TD play that got the Bears within 27-14.

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