Tampa native shines in Drake Relays
DES MOINES, Iowa — It was understandable for the Drake Relays crowd to overlook Damu Cherry on Saturday.
Though Cherry usually starts the outdoor hurdles season with a flourish, she was making her Drake debut against Lolo Jones, the hometown hero and four-time meet champion.
Cherry, a Tampa native who ran at Leto High and USF, upstaged Jones to win the 100 hurdles in 12.65, breaking the meet record set by Jones in 2008. Jones took second in 12.68.
"I knew it was going to be rough running with her in her hometown, but I was like, 'I'm just going to run with her and have fun,' " Cherry, 32, said. "I knew it was going to be tight."
Penn Relays: Three-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt dazzled spectators with a lightning-fast final leg of the 4x100-meter relay in Philadelphia. Mario Forsythe, Yohan Blake, Marvin Anderson and Bolt finished in 37.90 seconds for Jamaica Gold, setting a competition record. Bolt's appearance helped set the highest single-day attendance (54,310) in the event's 116-year history.
Rowdies stumble to first loss of season
During the heyday of the old NASL, Tampa Bay and Minnesota had two of the most successful franchises. And this game served as a fitting reunion in both teams' first meeting in the USSF Division II.
The Rowdies held possession most of the game but fell 1-0 to Minnesota in its home opener in Blaine. Leilei Gao of the Stars (2-2) scored on a penalty kick in the 34th minute.
For the second straight game, the Rowdies (1-1) kept most of the play in their offensive end, but they couldn't capitalize. In the final minutes, Tampa Bay had three scoring opportunities.
EPL: American forward Jozy Altidore will miss Hull's last two matches of the English Premier League season after he was ejected for head butting an opponent in a 1-0 home loss to Sunderland. … Manchester United beat visiting Tottenham 3-1 to kept pressure on Chelsea. The defending champions have 79 points with two games left, and Chelsea has 77 points with a game in hand.
Oudin helps U.S. earn 1-1 tie in Fed Cup semi
American Melanie Oudin, 18, defeated Alla Kudryavtseva 6-3, 6-3 to give the United States an early lead in a Fed Cup semifinal against Russia in Birmingham, Ala. But sixth-ranked Elena Dementieva beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-4, 6-3 to even the best-of-five matchup at 1-1. Reverse singles and doubles, if needed, will be today.
Defending champion Italy took a 2-0 lead over the visiting Czech Republic in the other semifinal. The United States, which would host the final round Nov. 6-7, lost to Italy for the title last year.
Barcelona Open: Fifth-seeded Fernando Verdasco reached his second final in two weeks by beating eighth-seeded David Ferrer 6-7 (3-7), 7-5, 6-1 in Spain. Verdasco faces second-seeded Robin Soderling today.
Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer; Times wires