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Cross Country

Jaguars headed to NCAA Championship

In Wingate, N.C., Augusta State earned its first trip to the NCAA Championship meet on Saturday by finishing second in the NCAA Southeast Regional.

Augusta State finished with 110 points, second to Lees-McRae's total of 85, and will compete Nov. 22 in Slippery Rock, Pa.

Senior Jenafer Forward finished seventh out of 155 runners with a time of 24:11 to make the all-region team. Freshman Savannah Sutton (24:51) and junior Kara Kreutzer (25:02) had Augusta State's other top-20 efforts, finishing 16th and 20th, respectively.

College Basketball

Lady Jackets finish preseason with win

In Atlanta, the Georgia Tech women's basketball team topped Peach State Elite 87-70 on Sunday in its final preseason tune-up at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

For the Lady Jackets, Alex Montgomery scored 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting, adding seven assists and five rebounds.

Both the men's and women's squads will open regular-season play Friday at home. The Lady Jackets play Troy at 6 p.m., and the Jackets follow at 8:30 against Winston-Salem State.

Major League Baseball

Yankees' Pettitte files for free agency

Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte has filed for free agency after repeatedly saying he hopes to return to the club next year.

Pettitte went 14-14 last season with a 4.54 ERA -- his highest ERA since 1999. General manager Brian Cashman said last week he wants Pettitte to return next season.

Pettitte likely would have to agree to a cut from his $16 million salary last season.

Tennis

Venus perseveres to win year-end event

In Doha, Qatar, Venus Williams rallied to win the WTA's Sony Ericsson Championships for the first time, defeating Vera Zvonareva 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-2 at the season-ending event.

Williams won $1.34 million at the event, which for the first time offered the same prize money as the men's field at the ATP's season- ending Masters Cup.

- In Shanghai, China, Novak Djokovic overcame his errors to beat Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-3 in the year-end Masters Cup.

Nikolay Davydenko used his strong ground game to rally past Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (0) in the other Gold group match.

The other side of the bracket, the Red group, begins play today.

Auto Racing

Automakers' status in NASCAR unclear

In Avondale, Ariz., NASCAR chairman Brian France said he's not certain the Big Three automakers will be able to continue their involvement in NASCAR as they battle to stay viable during the current economic crisis.

Should funding of race teams suffer because of the nation's credit crunch, France is confident NASCAR will remain a healthy sport.

"We're also not going to live or die if one manufacturer or another has a pullback or pullout," France said before Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway. "I hope it doesn't happen. We're working like mad to make sure it doesn't happen, but the sport is on very solid ground that transcends one manufacturer or another."

U.S. auto sales have plummeted this year, and Detroit manufacturers Chrylser, Ford and General Motors are crumbling amid the crisis.

Running

Kenyan sets record on ancient course

In Athens, Greece, Kenya's Nicholas Paul Lekuraa set a course record to win the Athens Classic Marathon, outsprinting countryman Julius Seurei Kiprotich in a race tracing the ancient course.

Lekuraa finished in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 42 seconds, with Kiprotich clocking the same time.

Mai Tagami , of Japan, was the fastest woman in 2:36:58, with Russian Elena Tikhonova second in 2:40:45.


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