Sports shorts: Cats 4th at NCAAs as relay teams shine

2013-03-23T00:00:00Z Sports shorts: Cats 4th at NCAAs as relay teams shineStaff And Wire Reports Staff And Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star

The Arizona women's 800-yard freestyle relay team of Bonnie Brandon, Margo Geer, Grace Finnegan and Monica Drake set a school record in 6 minutes 57.26 seconds to finish second behind Georgia (6:54.43) during Day 2 of the NCAA swimming championships in Indianapolis.

UA fell one spot to fourth in the team competition with 246 points, trailing leader Georgia (300), California (285) and Tennessee (263.5). UA's 200 medley relay team of Lauren Smart, Ellyn Baumgardner, Megan Lafferty and Geer earned a third-place finish with a time of 1:35.69.

• In gymnastics, No. 17 Arizona begins action in the Pac-12 championships today in Corvallis, Ore. The Wildcats are seeded fifth in the afternoon session.

Auto racing

Hamelin grabs pole for Calif. NASCAR race

FONTANA, Calif. - Denny Hamlin won the pole for the second straight year at Fontana, turning a lap of 187.451 mph in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Greg Biffle finished second and Brad Keselowski was third in Friday's qualifying session, but they'll start at the back in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race after engine changes.

• Simona de Silvestro posted the third fastest time Friday on the opening day of the IndyCar season. The Swiss driver was right behind Will Power and defending series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Miscellaneous

Olympic boxing drops head guards

LOS ANGELES - Olympic boxers will fight without head guards in a pro-style scoring system starting this year after several rule changes by the sport's international governing body were enacted to move the amateur sport much closer to the professional version.

• Harlon Hill, 80, a star receiver for the Chicago Bears whose name adorns the NCAA Division II player of the year trophy, died Thursday in Florence, Ala. He won the first Jim Thorpe Trophy as the NFL's MVP in 1955 and averaged 20.2 yards per catch in nine NFL seasons.

• Ray Williams, the former New York Knicks guard who averaged 15.5 points and 5.8 assists in 10 seasons in the NBA after starring collegiately at Minnesota, died Friday. He was 58. The Knicks didn't provide a cause of death.

• In hockey, Tomas Vokoun had 33 saves as Pittsburgh rallied for a 4-2 win over the host Islanders to stretch its winning streak to 11. ... Detroit's Justin Abdelkader had his first NHL hat trick in a 5-1 win over Anaheim, ending the Ducks' club-record 13-game home winning streak.

• In Key Biscayne, Fla., an ankle injury forced two-time champ Victoria Azarenka to withdraw from the Sony Open. Lauren Davis, in Azarenka's spot, beat Madison Keys 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (7) in the second round. Defending men's champ Novak Djokovic beat Lukas Rosol 6-1, 6-0.

• Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt, 34, has been placed on administrative leave while preparing to answer allegations of violations the NCAA says he committed while he was a Miami Hurricanes assistant.

• Alabama football fan Harvey Updyke Jr., who poisoned the iconic Toomer's Corner oak trees at rival Auburn, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Includes material from news releases

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