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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 15, 2000

Player's death still a mystery

The cause of a sophomore high school football player's death remained undetermined Saturday, after he appeared to be injured while making a tackle Friday night.

Marcus Steele, a player for Cleveland Central Catholic High School, apparently broke his neck and died as a result, the school's principal said a few hours afterward.

Janice Roccosalva said Steele was making a tackle when he was injured in the third quarter. She said a doctor told her he broke his neck and died almost instantly.

But Cuyahoga County coroner Elizabeth Balraj said an autopsy failed to show a cause of death. Balraj told Cleveland radio station WTAM that there was no evidence of a neck injury or any injury that would cause Steele's death. She said further tests will be done to try to determine a cause.

Central Catholic was trailing Garfield Heights Trinity 13-8 before the game was suspended.

BOXING: Joking about his bizarre behavior of recent months, Mike Tyson showed a mellow side after a sparring session in Las Vegas in preparation for his scheduled 10-round heavyweight fight with Andrew Golota on Saturday at Auburn Hills, Mich. "I mix truth with lies," Tyson said. "Some of it is a lot of fun." ... Wladimir Klitschko outpointed Chris Byrd to win the WBO heavyweight title in Cologne, Germany. Klitschko, ranked No. 3 by the WBA and WBC, improved to 35-1 with 32 knockouts.

CYCLING: Zinaida Stahurskaia won the World Championships at Plouway, France. Chantal Beltman finished second and Madeleine Lindberg was third. Jeremy Yates won the junior event, beating Antonio Bucciero and Aleksandr Arekeev.

COLLEGES: In tennis, FSU's Jarrod Owens and Romain Jurd made it to today's doubles final in Tallahassee. In a doubles consolation semifinal, Chad Mooney and Joe Bassett play Marcio Torres and Tony Mule of UNC-Greensboro. In singles, Owens defeated Tony Mule of UNC-Greensboro in straight sets, then lost to Estevan Strecker of Auburn in the semifinals 6-3, 6-1. ... The Eckerd women's soccer team defeated visiting Huntingdon 5-1, with Johanna Wiborg scoring two goals. Jane Byers, Jessica Burns and Robyn Steinweg also scored. ... Tampa's volleyball team won both matches in Lakeland, beating Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras 15-13, 15-8, 15-4 and South Carolina-Aiken 15-1, 15-8, 15-11. ... The USF men's cross-country team finished 23rd among 53 schools in Ames, Iowa. The Bulls' Andrew Smith placed 71st in 32:07, followed by Richard Jones, who finished 126th in 32:35. The USF women were represented by Rita Arndt, who finished the 6,000-meter race in 74th place at 22:22. ... The USF women's golf team kept its lead after two rounds of the Beacon Woods Invitational in Bayonet Point. USF (309-301) was two strokes ahead of Central Florida (310-302) and six strokes ahead of Alabama-Birmingham (315-301). Miami (311-312) was tied for fourth with Memphis. USF's Kelly Lagedrost, shot 3-over-par 147 and was tied for the lead with Heather Lourie of Alabama-Birmingham and Michelle Simpson of Florida International.

HORSES: Albert the Great took the lead on the backstretch, gave it up to Gander, then regained it with a quarter-mile remaining to win the $1-million Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in New York. Favored Lemon Drop Kid finished fifth. In the Champagne, favored A P Valentine won by 13/4 lengths over Point Given. ... Band Is Passing won the $150,000 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap for 3-year-olds and over on grass at Calder. In the $100,000 Flying Pidgeon Handicap, American Tourist won by a neck. Just Listen was second, with Link To Jimmy third.

TENNIS: Martina Hingis faces Lindsay Davenport today in the final of the Swisscom Challenge, after both won their semifinal matches in straight sets. Hingis defeated sixth-seeded Jennifer Capriati 6-3, 6-2, and Davenport beat Barbara Schett 6-2, 6-1. ... Tommy Haas defeated Cedric Pioline to advance to the final of the $800,000 CA Trophy tournament in Vienna against Tim Henman, who beat Roger Federer.

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