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USA TRACK AND FIELD PICKS
SACRAMENTO OVER BUFFALO

The U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials will return to Sacramento, Calif. in 2004, USA Track and Field announced Thursday.

Other cities considered were Buffalo, Charlotte, Durham, N.C. and Eugene, Ore.

Dates for the meet will be announced at a later time. Sacramento becomes the first city to host two consecutive Olympic Trials since Eugene, which had three in succession from 1972-80.

The 2000 Olympic Trials in Sacramento, attracted an Olympic Trials record 187,104 spectators over eight days.

Buffalo's bid was based on its success in the '98 NCAA Track and Field Championships and the '93 World University Games.

Garcia grabs share
of Nissan Open lead

Sergio Garcia, back from two rocky weeks in Australia, shot a 5-under-par 66 for a share of the first-round lead in the Nissan Open at Los Angeles.

Tom Scherrer, playing in the same threesome as Tiger Woods, also was at 5 under along with defending champion Kirk Triplett and alternate Brent Schwarzrock.

"Playing with Tiger, I was pretty excited and very happy I played well in front of him," Scherrer said. "I didn't want to embarrass myself."

Woods, winless in seven PGA Tour starts, opened with a par 71.

Two weeks ago in Australia, Garcia was penalized two strokes for taking an improper drop. The penalty erased the Spanish star's two-stroke lead, and he wound up losing to Aaron Baddeley in a playoff. Last week, he missed the cut in the Australian Masters.

"That's all done. Forgotten," Garcia said. "I remember how well I played. I don't think many players can play as well as I did that week. Losing a playoff with a two-stroke penalty, not making a putt on Sunday . . . It really showed me a lot."

Baddeley, meanwhile, shot a course-record 9-under 62 to take a five-stroke lead after the first round of the season-ending Australasian Tour Championship in Sydney.

Cleveland's curse? Gonzalez
hurt on Day One with Tribe

Juan Gonzalez didn't even make it through his first practice with the Cleveland Indians.

Gonzalez, signed as a free agent this winter to help replace Manny Ramirez, was hit on the right elbow by a foul ball during the team's first full-squad workout in Winter Haven, Fla.

Gonzalez was leaning against the batting cage when a ball hit by Russell Branyan struck him in the elbow. Gonzalez immediately had the elbow wrapped and iced.

"It scared me a little bit," said Gonzalez, who still had the elbow wrapped when he talked to reporters about three hours after being hit. "The doctor checked it and said it was on the muscle, not the bone."

The Indians did not think any X-rays were needed.

In other baseball news:

David Wells finally made it to spring training in Tucson, Ariz. with the Chicago White Sox, and cameras followed his every move. Wells claims he isn't concerned that Toronto has asked the commissioner's office review the controversial trade that brought him to the White Sox for injured Mike Sirotka. The Blue Jays asked that the deal be reworked. "That's out of my hands. I'm here now and I'm not going to even worry about it," he said.

Mike Mussina of the New York Yankees had no problems with a minor left calf problem during his first batting practice session of the spring in Tampa. "My arm doesn't hurt, and I was throwing it over the plate," Mussina said after his 10-minute stint. "That's what counts."

For the second year in a row, Florida pitcher A.J. Burnett will spend much of spring training sidelined by an injury. Burnett has a broken right foot that will prevent him from pitching for up to a month. Last year, he hurt his right thumb and missed the first 3 1/2 months of his rookie season.

Hawaii coach June Jones
critically injured in crash

Concerned fans flooded phone lines to the hospital where Hawaii football coach June Jones was improving, but still in critical condition, after a car crash.

Jones, who directed the biggest one-year turnaround in NCAA history, drove into a concrete pillar on a freeway Thursday. Jones was driving alone near Honolulu International Airport when his car ran off the roadway and crossed about 200 feet of dirt and grass before hitting the pillar supporting a highway overpass.

Doctors said Jones' condition stabilized after surgery to his abdomen and chest, and a CAT scan showed his brain to be functioning normally despite what police said was a major head injury.

Dr. Neil Fergusson, the trauma surgeon who operated on Jones, said Jones underwent two two-hour operations, the first to stop abdominal bleeding and the second to repair his aorta -- the heart vessel that feeds blood to the entire body.

Jones was unconscious and unresponsive when paramedics reached the scene of the accident, police said.

In other college football news, former Wisconsin running back Michael Bennett, 22, was formally charged with two misdemeanors -- criminal damange to property and unlawful use of a telephone -- in connection with an incident in which he allegedly kicked in a woman's door.

Woodruff stays focused
with win over Ivanisevic

Chris Woodruff avoided a letdown following one of the biggest victories of his career by beating Goran Ivanisevic, 6-3, 7-6 (3), in the Kroger St. Jude tennis tournament in Memphis.

Woodruff upset top-seeded Pete Sampras in straight sets Wednesday night and took a while to wind down. He was back on court about 15 hours later against another big server in Ivanisevic.

Elsewhere in tennis:

Second-seeded Yevgeny Kafelnikov of Russia lost to unseeded Nicolas Kiefer of Germany, 6-4, 6-2, in the ABN AMRO indoor tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands. No. 4 Tim Henman and No. 7 Sebastien Grosjean were also upset.

Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia used a big serve to upset third-seeded Amanda Coetzer, 7-6 (0), 3-6, 6-0, at the IGA U.S. Indoor Championships in Oklahoma City.

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