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Legally blind vaulter competes at state meet

on May 12, 2013 2:20 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A legally blind 15-year-old pole vaulter cleared three heights at the Texas state championship but failed to win a medal.

Charlotte Brown of rural Emory Rains High School was one of the top qualifiers in girls’ Class 3A with a height of 11 feet, 6 inches. Her best vault of Saturday’s final was 10-6 and she missed on three chances at 11-0.

Brown was born with normal vision but developed problems while an infant. She has no depth perception, sees no color and cannot distinguish shapes. Her range of vision is similar to looking through a tiny straw. She reads Braille and will get a seeing eye dog next month.

Brown, a sophomore, says she’s honored to compete at the state meet and promises to return.

U.S. beats France at hockey worlds

HELSINKI (AP) — The United States beat France 4-2 Saturday to take the lead in its group at the ice hockey world championships.

Stephen Gionta and Bobby Butler gave the Americans a 2-0 lead in the first period, and captain Paul Stastny and David Moss added goals in the third.

Kevin Hecquefeuille made it 2-1 for France in the second period and Yorick Treille added a late goal.

American goaltender Ben Bishop had 15 saves, including a couple of key stops to keep his team ahead early in the third. Cristobal Huet had 32 saves for France.

In Stockholm, Switzerland took the lead in the other group with a 4-1 victory over Denmark. Switzerland has 14 points from five games, one point ahead of Canada.


Ervin wins chaotic 50 free

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Two-time Olympian Anthony Ervin has won the 50-meter freestyle at the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte.

Ervin took the one-lap dash with a blistering in-season time of 22.01 seconds Saturday night, beating a field that included fellow Olympians Cullen Jones, Tyler McGill, Ricky Berens and Britain’s Adam Brown.

Jones finished third at 22.16, just behind Brazil’s Marcelo Chierighini at 22.09. McGill was fifth (22.77) and Berens settled for seventh (22.97), both competing in events that aren’t part of their normal program.

Still, it was an impressive performance by Ervin, who left the sport for eight years after winning gold at the 2000 Sydney Games. The 31-year-old returned to swimming in 2011, made the U.S. team for the London Games, and finished fifth in the 50 free.

• FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Olympic diving champion David Boudia came up just short of gold Saturday at his first meet since last summer’s London Games.

Boudia won the silver medal with 518.60 points in the men’s platform event at the FINA USA Grand Prix at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center.

China’s Yanquan Zhang, taking off on the final dive of the event just as a thunderstorm moved into the area, edged Boudia to finish with 521.00 points. They both finished with the same dive — a 2 1/2 backwards 2 1/2 twist — but Boudia earned 81.00 points on the dive while Yanquan scored 97.20.

Boudia said that last dive has been giving him some trouble. He likened it to a golf swing, saying if you force it, it doesn’t work.

Former Jets WR Sauer dies

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (AP) — George Sauer, a wide receiver on the New York Jets’ only Super Bowl championship team, has died. He was 69. The Moreland Funeral Home in Westerville said he died Tuesday after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Sauer played a key role in the Jets’ 16-7 win over the Baltimore Colts in the 1969 Super Bowl. He caught eight passes from Joe Namath that day.

He played for the Jets in the AFL and then the NFL from 1965-70. In 84 games, he caught 309 passes for 4,965 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Nadal reaches 7th straight Madrid final

MADRID (AP) — Rafael Nadal reached his seventh consecutive final since returning from a knee injury, brushing aside wild-card entry Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-4 at the Madrid Open on Saturday.

Nadal had little trouble extending his winning streak in clay-court semifinals to 46 matches, quickly finishing his overmatched countryman after winning the first six games.

The Spaniard will play Tomas Berdych or Stanislas Wawrinka in the title match.

Nadal has won four of six finals since a seven-month layoff cause by a left knee injury.

Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova will play for the No. 1 ranking and the women’s title after both won semifinals in straight sets.

Wigan wins first FA Cup

LONDON (AP) — Wigan won the FA Cup for the first time in its 81-year history, beating big-spending Manchester City 1-0 on Saturday in one of the biggest final upsets the tournament has seen.

Ben Watson scored on a header off Shaun Maloney’s corner kick in the 90th minute at Wembley Stadium.

Wigan, based near Manchester, put together its roster for less than $30 million, while City’s cost more than 10 times than amount.

But the season still could end on a low for Wigan, which is 18th in the Premier League at 9-19-8 with two games left. Wigan faces relegation to the second-tier League Championship next season unless it can climb in the standings.

For City, the loss could intensify the turmoil threatening to engulf the club as it wasted the last chance to end the season with a trophy. The team has not denied a report that Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini has been approached to replace Roberto Mancini as manager.

Mancini helped end a 35-year trophy drought when City won the 2011 FA Cup, and the club won the Premier League last year.

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