Sports Digest

Posted: Monday, July 30, 2007

Bursell places 6th at Tour of Anchorage

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JUNEAU - While the world's top professional cyclists rode in the streets of Paris, Alaska's best cyclists concluded their premier race on Sunday.

Juneau's John Bursell placed sixth in the expert men's division of the Tour of Anchorage bicycle race on Sunday. Bursell complete the five stages in 5 hours, 4 minutes and 26 seconds. Matt Jordan won the event in 4:59:20.

Juneau resident Robert Sowers placed 17th in the expert men's class, finishing the three-day event in 5:11:47.

Bursell entered Sunday's fifth and final stage in fourth place overall, trailing Jordan by just 3:27.

He made his move in the fourth stage, moving up from eighth to fourth place. Bursell completed the Knik 35-kilometer time trial in 52:15, the third best time in that stage.

Bursell sat in eighth place after the Friday's prologue and Clarks Hill Road Climb and Saturday's Downtown Criterium.

Seattle's Ichiro becomes 3rd-fastest player to reach 1,500 base hits

SEATTLE - Ichiro Suzuki became the third-fastest player in major league history to reach 1,500 hits when he singled in the second inning Sunday against Oakland's Lenny DiNardo.

Suzuki got his 1,500th hit in his 1,060th game. Only Al Simmons (1,040) and George Sisler (1,048) reached the mark quicker, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Ty Cobb is fourth at 1,070.

San Francisco 49ers sign top pick Willis

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The San Francisco 49ers signed top draft pick Patrick Willis to a five-year deal and had the linebacker practicing Sunday.

Willis, whose deal has a maximum value of $16.7 million with $12 million in guaranteed money, is one of several key players the 49ers added during a busy offseason.

Bears land DT Walker in trade with Bills

PITTSFORD, N.Y. - The Chicago Bears acquired defensive tackle Darwin Walker in a trade with Buffalo on Sunday, landing a veteran to replace Tank Johnson.

The Bills, meanwhile, acquired a draft pick in return, and dropped a player who refused to report to Buffalo in a contract dispute. The Bills obtained Walker in March in a trade that sent linebacker Takeo Spikes and backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb to Philadelphia.

Walker, however, refused to report to Buffalo until the team renegotiated the remaining two years on his contract. He was scheduled to make $1.3 million this year and $1.4 million next season.

Street Sense kicks off summer season with Jim Dandy win

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The cheers started well before the Jim Dandy Stakes, and that seemed to be all the incentive Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense needed before his first race in 71 days.

"As soon as he heard those fans, he got happy, he knew he wasn't going back to the barn," trainer Carl Nafzger said, a few minutes after Street Sense captured the Jim Dandy by 1½ lengths at Saratoga on Sunday before a crowd of 46,876.

When the brilliant 3-year-old colt pulled even with C P West at the top of the stretch, the cheers began again, and then grew louder as Street Sense, under jockey Calvin Borel, took command in the final strides.

San Jose tops Columbus 55-33 in ArenaBowl

NEW ORLEANS - Mark Grieb completed 24 of 29 passes and threw for four touchdowns to lead the San Jose SaberCats to a 55-33 victory over the Columbus Destroyers in Sunday's ArenaBowl.

The SaberCats (16-3), the most successful AFL franchise this decade, capped a 3½-month winning streak with their third Arena League championship in six years.

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