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Sports Shorts

June 24, 1997

OAKMONT, Pa. (AP) _ Rocco Mediate, a two-time PGA Tour winner who grew up in western Pennsylvania, shot a 6-under-par 65 on Monday to take the first-round lead in the 36-hole Family House Invitational.

``It’s a pleasant surprise, absolutely,″ said Mediate, who had six birdies in a front-nine 30 on the Oakmont Country Club course.

``I came into this trying to keep the ball below the hole to give myself a chance to make some putts, and I did that pretty well.″

Jay Haas opened with a 67, and two-time U.S. Open winner Ernie Els was four back along with Mark Brooks, Jeff Sluman and Jim Furyk.

Els, who won the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont, took the Buick Classic on Sunday to become the first player since Hale Irwin in 1990 to win on tour the week after winning the U.S. Open.


FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) _ Walter Ray Williams Jr. became the first PBA player to surpass $2 million in career earnings, beating Pete Weber 209-201 on Monday in the Pepsi Midwest Regional.

Williams, who also defeated Weber on Saturday in the final of the St. Clair Classic, earned $4,000 to push his career total to $2,002,373.

``I’ve said before that just becoming the all-time earnings leader was an accomplishment,″ Williams said. ``But to now be the first to $2 million in career earnings, well all I can really say is wow.″

Weber, who earned $2,000 to move within $15,000 of the $2 million plateau, beat Tim Criss to advance to the championship match. Weber edged Criss 49-40 in a two-frame rolloff after they tied at 184.

Criss opened the stepladder final with a 224-194 victory over Mike Miller 224-194, and edged Steve Jaros 211-206 in the second game.


HONOLULU (AP) _ Newly appointed University of Hawaii women’s volleyball assistant coach Debbie Murphy has been diagnosed with leukemia and won’t be joining the Wahine staff, it was announced Monday.

Murphy, an assistant on the Colorado State staff for the past two seasons, had been named to the Hawaii position by Coach Dave Shoji earlier month.

Murphy is to undergo medical treatment this week.

To fill the vacancy, Shoji named former Wahine setter Kari Anderson as the new part-time assistant coach. She played under Shoji for four seasons and ranks fourth in career assists and assists per game.


OTTAWA (AP) _ Halifax is getting the inaugural Four Continents figure-skating championships in 1999.

The new meet will give skaters from the 14 International Skating Union-member countries in North America, South America, Africa and the Pacific Rim the opportunity to compete for prize money between the time of their national championships and the world championships.

The same opportunity has existed for many years in countries such as Russia, Germany and France, where skaters compete in national championships then go on to the European championships before worlds.

While the top finishers at the nationals go to the worlds, it is expected that a separate team consisting of three entries for each event will be assigned to the Four Continents meet.


CINCINNATI (AP) _ The Cincinnati Reds hoped to find out today if they can relocate their spring training base to Sarasota, Fla.

The Reds plan to take over the remaining 12 years of a 20-year lease the Chicago White Sox have with the training site in Sarasota, Reds spokeswoman Kelly Lippincott said Monday. The Sox want to move their training base to Arizona.

The Sarasota City Council was set to meet today to approve transfer of the lease from the White Sox to the Reds, she said. Reds managing executive John Allen and general manager Jim Bowden plan to attend the Sarasota council’s meeting.

The team has been negotiating a move to Sarasota’s Ed Smith Stadium for about two months.

The Reds said last week that they will not return to Plant City, Fla., their spring training base for the past 10 years. The Reds’ lease for Plant City Stadium has expired, and the team has been concerned about dwindling crowds at exhibition games in Plant City.

Prior to training in Plant City, the Reds had trained in Tampa since the 1930s.


NEW YORK (AP) _ LeAnn Rimes will perform the United States national anthem and the McAuley Boys will sing the Canadian national anthem at the All-Star game in Cleveland, the commissioner’s office announced Monday.

Rimes, 14, won two 1997 Grammy awards as best new artist and for the best female country vocal performance.

The McAuley Boys, Randy, 12, Mark, 18, George, 23, and Gary, 25, are one of Canada’s most popular rhythm and blues groups. The quartet was nominated for a Juno award, Canada’s version of the Grammys, for best rhythm and blues recording.

The 68th All-Star game wll be played July 8 at Jacobs Field.

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