College Cross Country
Eastern Kentucky men earn first automatic NCAA bid
Eastern Kentucky's men's cross country team finished second at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship on Saturday at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships for the first time in school history.
In the women's race, senior Lydia Kosgei finished second, covering the 6K course in just more than 20 minutes and five seconds to become the first woman in EKU history to qualify for the NCAA championships as an individual.
North Carolina State handily won the men's title with 68 points, but it was the Colonels that emerged from a crowded pack of teams vying for the second automatic berth to the NCAA championships. The Colonels scored 139 points to edge William and Mary (152 points), Virginia Tech (161 points), North Carolina (162 points) and Louisville (188 points).
Sophomore Soufiane Bouchikhi led the way for EKU, finishing sixth out of 218 runners with a 10K time of 30:05.1. Senior Ben Cheruiyot was not far behind in 15th place in a time of 30:35.9.
■ Western Kentucky's Marion Kandie will make her second straight trip to the NCAA Championship after earning an automatic individual berth with a fourth-place time of 20:21.7.
Hornish Jr. captures first NASCAR win
Sam Hornish Jr. raced to his first NASCAR victory and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took a big step toward the Nationwide Series season title when Elliott Sadler was taken out late at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday. Hornish, a former IndyCar star, passed Stenhouse on a restart midway through the 200-mile race and stayed up front on several restarts to claim his first win in 141 career starts between the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series.
"There were many times where I shook my head and go 'Why did I do this?'" Hornish said of his switch to NASCAR. "But I did know that I would always regret not trying it, so I'm just really, really excited that we were able to keep it going. It ranks right up there."
Stenhouse finished fifth after Sadler, the only driver with a chance to catch him, was knocked out with 25 laps left on a bump from behind by Jason Leffler. Sadler's crash gives Stenhouse a nearly insurmountable 41-point lead heading into the season finale at Homestead next weekend.
Brad Keselowski was second and Carl Edwards third.
Kenseth on pole for Sprint Cup race
Matt Kenseth won the pole at Phoenix International Raceway, grabbing the top spot late in Saturday's qualifying session. Kenseth's lap of 137.101 mph gave him the top starting spot in Sunday's race. AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose qualified second and third as Ford swept the top three spots.
Championship contenders Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards qualified eighth and ninth. Edwards takes a three-point lead over Stewart into the penultimate race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Rough round leaves Woods 6 shots back
In the lead for the first time all year, Tiger Woods got the same result as his last time atop the leader board. He couldn't break par.
Woods bogeyed his first three holes Saturday in the Australian Open in Sydney, and it didn't get much better from there. He managed only two birdies on a good day for scoring, shot 3-over 75 and went from a one-shot lead to six shots behind John Senden.
It was only the third time since Woods' last win two years ago that he had at least a share of the lead after a round. And it was the third time he was over par.
This round made him a long shot to end the longest drought of his career. Only once has he won a tournament when trailing by six shots or more going into the final round, and that was nearly 14 years ago in Thailand.
"Well, 75s are never exciting," Woods said. "I just got off to an awful start. The round should have been an easy 71, no problem. I played the par 5s bad, I didn't take care of 13. But if I take care of the par 5s and make a couple of putts, it's a 1 or 2 under round. But I made nothing today."
■ Catriona Matthew shot her second straight 4-under 68 to take a three-stroke lead after the third round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico. Matthew, the 42-year-old Scot who won the last of her three LPGA Tour titles in 2009, had an 11-under 205 total at Guadalajara Country Club. Suzann Pettersen (71) was second, and defending champion I.K. Kim (70) was another stroke back along with Anna Nordqvist (73).
Juli Inkster, tied for the lead after the first two rounds in the 36-player event, was 5 under after a 75. The 51-year-old Inkster is trying to become the oldest winner in LPGA Tour history.
■ Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano shot a 10-under 61 to take a three-stroke lead after the second round of the rain-delayed Singapore Open. Play was suspended because of the threat of lightning just as the third round began at about noon.
Baffert's Liaison wins in stakes debut
Trainer Bob Baffert's favored Liaison won the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park in his stakes debut. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and running less than a month after his maiden victory, Liaison was fourth in the field of six juveniles in the early going, took a narrow lead coming out of the second turn and held on to beat a rallying Rousing Sermon by a half-length, covering 11⁄16 miles in 1:44.72.
The colt, a son of Baffert Kentucky Derby starter Indian Charlie, is one of several candidates the trainer has for the $750,000 CashCall Futurity, a race that usually helps set the stage for the following year's Derby and one that Baffert has won five times.
Sports in the courts
WKU coordinator charged with DWI
Western Kentucky University defensive coordinator Lance Guidry was arrested in Louisiana early Saturday and charged with driving while intoxicated, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate and reported by WKU's student newspaper, the College Heights Herald. Guidry coached in WKU's game Saturday night at LSU. The school had no comment Saturday, according to the report.
Bolt wins third Athlete of Year title
Jamaican runner Usain Bolt won a record-tying third Athlete of the Year award despite losing his dominating hold on the 100 meters in 2011. Joining Bolt was Australian Sally Pearson, who clinched her first trophy for a nearly flawless season in the 100 hurdles.
■ Junior Dos Santos stopped Cain Velasquez just 1:04 into their UFC heavyweight title bout Saturday night, claiming Velasquez's belt and bringing a swift end to the mixed martial arts promotion's prime-time network debut. Dos Santos hit Velasquez with an overhand right early in the first round, staggering the previously unbeaten champion to the canvas. The Brazilian challenger jumped onto Velasquez, who defended himself briefly before finally succumbing to Dos Santos' relentless ground-and-pound blows.
The last word
The Cincinnati Bengals have used a forgiving schedule to become one of the NFL's most surprising teams this season, but safety Chris Crocker said it's too soon to get too excited about it:
"Two thousand eight was an awful season; 2009 we were good. Two thousand ten was an awful season; now we're here again. You can't jump the gun too soon. We haven't won the division, we haven't gone to the playoffs. We're just 6-2. It's a long season. We are very happy where we are right now."