Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Sports digest

Swimmer Phelps wins Sullivan as top amateur

The Enquirer and wire reports

Michael Phelps, 19, won the 2003 Sullivan Award on Tuesday as the nation's top amateur athlete.

The swimmer, who will try to equal Mark Spitz's seven Olympic gold medals at the Athens Games in August, beat LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Diana Taurasi, who recently led Connecticut to its third straight NCAA women's basketball championship.

Last year's winner, Sarah Hughes, received a standing ovation when she was introduced at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan.

Phelps, from Baltimore, is the first swimmer to win the award since Janet Evans in 1989. Spitz won the 1971 award, and then won an amazing seven events at the 1972 Munich Games.

Horse racing

KEENELAND: Undefeated Smarty Jones will train at the Lexington track for the May 1 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Smarty Jones, trained by John Servis, has won all six of his races, including the Arkansas Derby Saturday. The Pennsylvania-bred could become the first unbeaten Kentucky Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977.

• The Keeneland record for a 2-year-old in training was shattered Tuesday when Aisling Cross-Duignan, a representative of Coolmore Stud, made the winning bid of $3.3 million for a Pulpit colt out of multiple stakes winner In My Cap.

It was the second-highest price paid for a 2-year-old in training. The world record was set in February, when a Fusaichi Pegasus colt sold for $4.5 million to Fusao Sekiguchi at the Fasig-Tipton Calder select sale.

CHURCHILL DOWNS: Churchill Downs Inc. has offered to buy the financially troubled New Orleans Fair Grounds for $45 million.

The Kentucky-based company reached an agreement with the Louisiana horsemen's association to purchase its legal claims against the track and then made the offer, The Times-Picayune reported Tuesday.

The Fair Grounds faces a Thursday deadline to submit a bankruptcy plan. Under Churchill's proposal, $33 million would go to the Louisiana horsemen, with the remaining $12 million paid to the Fair Grounds' other creditors, according to a letter of intent signed by Churchill officials.

College basketball

NAISMITH AWARD: Jameer Nelson won another postseason award when the Saint Joseph's guard was honored as the best player under 6 feet.

Nelson already was the player of the year by The Associated Press, CBS, The Sporting News, and the United States Basketball Writers. He also received the John Wooden Award and was the first recipient of the Bob Cousy Award as the country's top college point guard.


FAMILY CIRCLE CUP: Defending champion Justine Henin-Hardenne withdrew from the tournament in Charleston, S.C., because of lightheadedness caused by a low blood-sugar count.

U.S. MEN'S CLAY COURT: Top-seeded Andy Roddick saved his best shot-making for last in a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Kenneth Carlsen in the first round in Houston. Alex Bogomolov Jr. upset second-seeded Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-1.

VALENCIA OPEN: Defending champion Juan Carlos Ferrero beat friend Israel Matos Gil 6-2, 7-5 in the first round. It was the French Open champ's first match since leading Spain past the Netherlands in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.

XAVIER RECORD: XU beat Bowling Green 6-1 at Mercy HealthPlex in Fairfield for a school-record 19th victory this season, eclipsing the 18 matches won during the 1995-96 season.

College football

COLORADO: Suspended coach Gary Barnett told investigators there is "no question" there was misbehavior at a 2001 party at the center of a rape scandal but suggested everybody who attended shared the blame. Barnett, appearing before a panel looking into recruiting practices at the school, said the off-campus party included four football players.

Other sports

SYNCHRO SWIMMING: American Tammy Crow will not compete in an Olympic test event even though she was approved by the USOC after her sentence on a manslaughter charge was delayed until after the Games.

SOCCER: Manchester United captain Roy Keane, who quit the Republic of Ireland's World Cup squad in 2002 after arguing with the coach, wants to return to international soccer, the Football Association of Ireland said.

Bengal CB Weathersby in serious condition after accident
Steelers' starting QB not yet paid like one

Griffey showing he still has it
Bonds hits 661st homer
Retro parks all the rage
Hafner enjoys Thome-like start
Angels extend Anderson's deal through 2008
NL: Rocket glares at Cards
AL: Konerko's bomb helps White Sox beat K.C.
AAA: Norfolk 2, Louisville 0, 7 innings
For Beaver, it's a walk-on victory at XU

UC set for guard to commit
Xavier recruit stays on board
Gordon leaving UConn for NBA
St. John's taps Kansas assistant as new head coach
King says Iverson will be back
Pistons fall, but Wallace makes history

Hasek to have groin surgery in Czech Republic
Boston's Murray beats Canadiens in double OT

Division I, III baseball finals moved to Canton
Prep sports results, schedules, statistics

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