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Joyner-Kersee's career crosses the finish line

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the greatest female athlete of the century and winner of a record six Olympic medals, has officially retired from track and field.

Joyner-Kersee, the heptathlon world record-holder and American record-holder in the long jump, had announced her retirement in 1998, but did not fill out any forms.

She came back last year in an attempt to make her fifth Olympic team, but her effort fell short.

Joyner-Kersee won the long jump and the heptathlon at the 1988 Olympics and the heptathlon at the 1992 games. Overall, her six Olympic medals -- including a silver in the heptathlon in 1984 and bronzes in the long jump in 1992 and 1996 -- are more than any woman in track and field history.

Durant heads low in birdie-rich Hope

Joe Durant went where he had never gone before to take the lead Thursday in the Bob Hope Classic. He might end up having to go where no one has gone before to have a chance of winning.

On another day where birdies came in bunches in the desert, Durant shattered his personal best score with an 11-under 61 that gave him a three-shot lead at 126 after two rounds of the 90-hole Hope in La Quinta, Calif.

Three other players shot 62s under perfect scoring conditions, but it was Durant who overcame a single bogey with 10 birdies and an eagle to surge into the lead. His 61 tied the course record at Indian Wells Country Club and put him ahead of journeyman Chris Smith.

"I was just on fire all day," Durant said. "That's about as good as I can play."

Elsewhere in golf, Scotland's Catriona Matthew shot a 5-under-par 67 to take a two-stroke lead in the first round of the Hawaiian Ladies Open at Kapolei. South Korea's Hee-Won Han, a Monday qualifier, finished with a 69.

NFL's minimum pay will rise 9 percent

Minimum salaries for NFL players will go up more than 9 percent next season.

The NFL Players Association released the new figures, which were set to coincide with the increase in the league's salary cap from $62.4 million to about $68 million.

Under the new scale, veterans with five or more seasons will be paid a minimum of $484,000, up 9.1 percent from the $440,000 minimum of last season. The scale runs down to $212,000, the minimum for players with less than one year's experience.

The tender offer for free agents also went up. A team must now offer a restricted free agent $519,000 if it wants right of first refusal. Last year, that figure was $471,000.

Meanwhile, Troy Aikman said he wants to keep playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, especially because he has others to think about now that he and his wife are expecting their first child. Aikman, who has suffered 11 concussions, is due $7 million if he's on the roster March 8.

Paraplegic injured at XFL's Los Angeles opener

Security measures will be increased and beer sales will be curtailed for Xtreme games after a paraplegic was injured during the XFL's debut at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

"We're definitely going to beef up security, we're going to beef it up and be very aggressive. There's going to be a significant presence," Coliseum General Manager Pat Lynch said.

Albert Trevino, 46, of Ventura, was hospitalized with a head cut and bruises on much of his body. Lynch said Trevino, a paraplegic who uses a wheelchair, was hurt when a nearby fight spilled over, causing him to lurch forward over a 2-foot metal plate and into the seats in front of him.

Get ready for more classics in college football this year

College football is on the verge of an explosion of "extra" games to open the 2001 season, with no fewer than nine in the works for the final week in August.

With NCAA legislation eliminating such fund-raising games after 2002, several sports foundations are jumping on the "classic" game bandwagon.

Four new games are in the works for this season, adding to the five played last season. The up-and-comers are the Jim Thorpe Classic, the John Thompson Classic, the Michigan Charities Classic and a second Black Coaches Association Classic to make up for last year's canceled game between Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.

In addition to the Kickoff and Pigskin classics, there's also the Eddie Robinson Classic, the Hispanic Fund Classic and the BCA Classic I. Three matchups are set: Syracuse vs. Georgia Tech in the Kickoff, Virginia at Wisconsin in the Eddie Robinson, and North Carolina at Oklahoma in Hispanic Fund.

Elsewhere, receiver Kellen Winslow Jr., the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow, signed a national letter of intent to play for Miami (Fla). He joins Jarrett Payton as Miami players whose fathers are in the Canton, Ohio shrine. Jarrett, a running back and the son of the late Walter Payton, hosted Winslow Jr. during his recruiting visit.

Around & about

World No. 1 Martina Hingis survived a tough opening set to beat Mario Vento of Venezuela, 7-6 (4), 6-1, and reach the quarterfinals of the Qatar Open in Doha. Hingis, playing her first match in the Middle East, took 81 minutes to beat the wild-card entrant. Hingis will next meet Joenette Kruger of South Africa, a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 winner over Annabel Ellwood of Australia.

The Buffalo Destroyers have signed lineman Carlton Haselrig and offensive specialist Kenyatta Morgan, both Arena Football League veterans. Haselrig, who played in the NFL from 1989 to '94, will begin his third year with the Destroyers. Morgan caught 15 passes for 213 yards for Portland last season.

Arienne Welka (North Tonawanda) scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Daemen to a 62-55 women's basketball win over Albany. . . . St. Bonaventure diver Katie O'Connell finished second in the three-meter at the Atlantic 10 championships at the Flickinger Aquatic Center.

Parker Bohn III, seeking his second straight win, knocked down 3,679 pins for the second-round lead in the PBA Tour's Tar Heel Open in Burlington, N.C. Ricky Ward was second at 3,665.

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