Sports briefs

Posted: Friday, November 07, 2003

Road Runners plan final race of year

JUNEAU - For local runners anxious to run one final competitive event before cooling their heels this winter, the Southeast Road Runners are holding the Veteran's Day 8K race on Saturday.

The race is SERR's last of the year. Runners should gather at the Brotherhood Bridge parking lot at 9:30 a.m. for a 10 a.m. race start.

The 8-kilometer race - just under 5 miles - follows the Mendenhall River Trail. For more information, contact Mike McKrill at 789-9116.

Clijsters, Henin-Hardenne undefeated at WTA Championships

LOS ANGELES - Kim Clijsters overcame Chanda Rubin's serve-and-volley game for a 6-4, 6-4 victory in round-robin play at the WTA Championships on Thursday night.

No. 2 seed Justine Henin-Hardenne rallied from deficits in each set and outlasted No. 5 Anastasia Myskina 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 in a 2 1/2-hour match that ended just before midnight Pacific time.

Henin-Hardenne has had flu-like symptoms, including a fever, since she arrived from Belgium last weekend.

She trailed 5-0 before reeling off seven straight games to win the first set. There were so few spectators left by the third set, they moved down to courtside for Henin-Hardenne's gutsy comeback.

Myskina led 5-3 in the second set before Henin-Hardenne caught her only to lose the set on a missed backhand volley. Myskina blew a 5-4 lead in the third, then got broken as Henin-Hardenne won the final two games and the match despite 48 unforced errors.

Henin-Hardenne and Jennifer Capriati are 1-0 in the Black group. Myskina and Ai Sugiyama are 0-1.

Clijsters, the world's top-ranked player, assured herself of a spot in the semifinals of the tournament she won last year. She is 2-0 in the Red group and hasn't dropped a set in either match.

"It's nice to know that," she said. "I've played two good matches, it's a relief."

Rubin, the seventh seed, and No. 4 Amelie Mauresmo have 1-1 records in the Red group. Mauresmo broke No. 6 Elena Dementieva of Russia twice in each set of a 6-3, 6-2 victory earlier Thursday.

Padres, Hoffman agree to new deal

SAN DIEGO - Closer Trevor Hoffman was so intent on staying with the San Diego Padres that he was willing to take a big pay cut.

The Padres had a $10 million option on Hoffman for next season but had no intention of picking it up after he missed the first five months of last season while recovering from two offseason shoulder operations.

Instead, they bought him out for $2 million and agreed to a new deal with a $2.5 million salary next year and a chance to make another $500,000 in incentives.

"It's an opportunity to show the team that I am going to be healthy and that I plan on pitching a few more years beyond this contract," Hoffman said Wednesday night. "This is home. I think that ultimately has the final say."

World record-holder Montgomery appears before grand jury

SAN FRANCISCO - The world's fastest man, Tim Montgomery, appeared Thursday before a grand jury investigating a lab that supplies some top athletes with nutritional supplements.

Federal officials have refused to discuss the scope of the grand jury's proceedings. Two sources familiar with the probe told The Associated Press this week that the grand jury is focusing on drug use by athletes as well as possible tax evasion by the lab, BALCO.

Montgomery, the world record-holder at 100 meters, was among the latest track and field star to appear before the panel. U.S. sprinter Chryste Gaines, a 1996 Olympic relay gold medalist, also went before the grand jury Thursday, and U.S. shot putter Kevin Toth and 1,500-meter runner Regina Jacobs were among those who testified last week.

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