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Sports Shorts

December 8, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ Running back Lewis Tillman of Jackson State and safety Mark Blazek of Nebraska were named the 1988 Toyota Leaders of the Year Thursday.

The awards honor athletics, academics and community service and carry $10,000 awards to their schools’ scholarship funds.

Tillman, a senior, is a business management major with a 3.1 GPA and broke Walter Payton’s school rushing record with 3,989 yards.

Blazek, defensive co-captain and one of the leading tacklers on the Orange Bowl-bound Cornhuskers, has a 3.96 GPA in social scienmce education.


AUCKLAND, New Zealand, (AP) - New Zealand’s James Varnam shot a 5-under-par 65 Thursday and took the lead after the first round of the $260,000 Air New Zealand Open.

Varnam, who failed to make the cut in the recent Australian Open, had a one-shot lead over Australian Ian Stanley, who started at the 10th and came home in 31.

Another Australian, Peter Fowler, had a 67 and was in third place, a shot ahead of former U.S. Open champion Hale Irwin and Australians Ossie Moore and Jeff Woodland.

Bicentennial Classic winner Rodger Davis had a 71, defending champion Mike Colandro a 74 and PGA champion Jeff Sluman a dismal 79.


IPSWICH, England (AP) - Defender Sergei Baltacha, who played in the European Championship final, is set to become the first Soviet soccer star to compete in English soccer.

John Duncan, manager of Second Division Ipswich Town, arrived home from Moscow Thursday and said he had signed Baltacha, 30, to an 18-month contract.

″I’m sure he will prove a superb ambassador for his country and great help to the club,″ Duncan said.

Duncan’s first task will be to secure a work permit for the Dynamo Kiev player.

″It normally takes eight weeks, but we are hoping to reduce this,″ Duncan said.

--- BERN, Switzerland (AP) - The men’s World Cup downhill that was scheduled for Val d’Isere, France, earlier this month but postponed because of poor conditions, has been rescheduled for the weekend of Jan. 6-8 at Garmisch- Partenkirchen, the International Ski Federation said Thursday.

A men’s downhill and super-giant slalom already are scheduled for that weekend in the West German town.

The federation said the exact schedule of the three races was not yet decided.

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