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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 30, 2000

Duke tops in ACC poll; FSU last

Maryland returns five starters from a Top 5 team, Wake Forest has 10 players back from an NIT title squad, and North Carolina is tall and deep, but it's Duke atop the ACC preseason men's basketball poll again.

Duke is 46-2 in ACC games the past three seasons and returns Shane Battier, Jason Williams, Carlos Boozer and Nate James from a club that went 29-5 in 1999-2000.

"They're not getting worse," N.C. State coach Herb Sendek said Sunday of the Blue Devils, who received 83 of a possible 93 first-place votes in the preseason poll of the ACC media. "If you are going to do anything about changing that you've got to get a lot better, because they have been dominant."

Maryland was picked second, UNC third and Wake Forest, a team with the most experienced depth in the league, finished fourth. Florida State was picked last.

MORE COLLEGES: The Florida women's soccer team completed its third consecutive undefeated SEC regular season with a 3-0 win over South Carolina in Columbia. The Gators finish 9-0 in the SEC. The win extends the Gators SEC streak to 42 consecutive matches. The USF women's soccer team fell in its season finale 2-0 to Charlotte. ... Florida State's Alida Gallovits won the Flight A singles tennis title, Miami's Katia Bogomolova won B and freshman Abby Smith won C at the Hurricane Fall Classic in Coral Gables. ... The Florida men's tennis won eight of nine matches at the Gator Invitational against Auburn in Gainesville. Miami and USF split their 10 matches. ... The FSU volleyball team beat Maryland 15-10, 15-12, 15-3 in Tallahassee. ... The USF volleyball team defeated Memphis 3-1 at the Corral in Tampa. The 15-9, 15-5, 9-15, 15-4 win was the Bulls' 12th straight as senior Rachelle Paul had a career-best .600 hitting percentage. ... Miami baseball coach Jim Morris was given a six-year contract extension. Terms were not disclosed.

CYCLING: Jens Lehmann ended a nine-year wait for his second pursuit title when he won the individual gold at the World Championships in Manchester, England. Lehmann, the 1991 champion, beat Stefan Steinweg by 4.868 seconds in the final, clocking 4:21.836 for 4,000 meters.

FIGURE SKATING: Timothy Goebel landed three quadruple jumps in his free skate program and edged world champion Alexei Yagudin to win Skate America in Colorado Springs. Five-time U.S. men's champion Todd Eldredge finished third. Michelle Kwan won her fourth consecutive major title late Saturday in the free skate.

HORSES: Jockey Jorge Chavez won the Athenia Handicap for the second straight year, riding front-running Wild Heart Dancing to a half-length victory at Aqueduct in New York. Also, jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. was thrown from his horse, falling heavily to the track near the end of the seventh race. He was in stable condition at North Shore Hospital. No details about his condition were disclosed.

PARALYMPICS: The event closed before a crowd of 100,000 in Sydney. "Thank you, Australia for enhancing the profile of our athletes, more than at any time in our history," International Paralympic Committee president Robert Steadward said. Steadward declared these the best Paralympics, just as IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch said of the Sydney Games four weeks ago. Steadward praised the 15,000 volunteers who assisted in an event featuring more than 4,000 disabled athletes from 125 nations.

RUNNING: Elly Rono of Kenya pulled away from countrymen Joseph Nderitu in the final mile to win the Columbus (Ohio) Marathon. Rono finished in 2:15:27.

SAILING: Russell Coutts and his team won the Gold Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda, defeating Chris Dickson 3-0. St. Petersburg's Ed Baird defeated James Spithill 2-1 to take third place. Baird fell to Coutts 3-1 inthe semifinals.

SKATING: Michelle Kwan won her fourth consecutive major title late Saturday night in the free skate at Skate America 2000 in Colorado Springs. Sarah Hughes was second and Elena Sokolova was third.

SKIING: Hermann Maier opened defense of his titles in the men's World Cup with victory in a giant slalom on a glacier course in Soelden, Austria. Maier, who finished the two-leg race in 2:16.89, was 1.1 seconds ahead of teammate Stefan Eberharter. Fredrik Nyberg was third (2:17.93).

SOCCER: Japan won the Asian Cup for the second time by beating defending champion Saudi Arabia 1-0 in Beirut, Lebanon. Midfielder Shigeyoshi Mochizuki scored the winner. ... A 14-year-old boy died after being shot outside a stadium during a confrontation between fans of two Brazilian rivals in Rio de Janeiro. Flavio Augusto Marinho de Araujo was treated for three gunshot wounds and died early Saturday. Flamengo beat Vasco 4-0 on Friday in one of the classic Brazilian rivalries. Another fan, 18-year-old Rodrigo Cunha Coutinho, was hospitalized after a brawl but was released. ... Eight international players, including Brazilian stars Sissi and Katia, signed with the Women's United Soccer Association, which begins its initial season in April in eight U.S. cities. Brazilians Pretinha and Roseli, Japan's Homare Sawa and Germans Doris Fitschen, Maren Meinert and Bettina Wiegmann also were signed and will be part of an allocation draft today. Sixteen foreign players have been signed by the WUSA. Nearly every member of the U.S. team that won the World Cup last year and finished second at this year's Olympics will play in the league.

SPEED SKATING: A collision in the final turn of the women's 3,000-meter World Cup race knocked the world's top two short-track speed skaters out of the race, allowing South Korea's Hye-Rim Park to grab a comeback victory in Provo, Utah. China's Yang Yang was in position to win when Evgenia Radanova, ranked No. 2, lost her footing and crashed into Yang. Park squeezed by and won in 5 minutes, 55.920 seconds. Apolo Anton Ohno, winner of Saturday's 500, won the men's 3,000 in 5:25.132.

TENNIS: Anna Kournikova had a raucous home crowd supporting her as she tried again to win her first WTA Tour title. She didn't come close. Top-ranked Martina Hingis beat Kournikova 6-3, 6-1 to win the Kremlin Cup in Moscow in a lopsided match that made the 20-year-old the youngest player to win $14-million in prize money. In the men's final, Yevgeny Kafelnikov beat David Prinosil 6-2, 7-5 for his fourth straight Kremlin Cup crown and his first ATP Tour title this season. ... Thomas Enqvist won the Swiss Indoors, beating Roger Federer in five sets in Basel. Enqvist, playing in his first tournament since injuring his foot in Austria two weeks ago, won 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 1-6, 6-1 for his second title of the year. ... Daja Bedanova won her first WTA title, 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 over Miriam Oremans in the Eurotel Slovak Indoors in Bratislava.

BOWLING: Walter Ray Williams Jr. averaged 232 in the nine-game second round and moved from sixth place to first in the PBA Tour's Indianapolis Open. Williams, who capped the second round of qualifying with a high game of 279, had an 18-game pinfall of 4,185. Eugene McCune was second with 4,147. First-round leader Steve Hoskins dropped to sixth with 4,058 pins.

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