Sports shorts: Gymnastics team sets UA mark with 27th straight bid

2013-03-26T00:00:00Z Sports shorts: Gymnastics team sets UA mark with 27th straight bidStaff And Wire Reports Staff And Wire Reports Arizona Daily Star

Arizona will make its 27th straight postseason appearance at the NCAA women's gymnastics regional championships, a school record for any Wildcats team.

The UA will be seeded No. 3 at the six-team Columbus (Ohio) Regional on April 6 behind No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 LSU. Host Ohio State is No. 4, followed by Central Michigan and North Carolina State. The top two teams and top two all-around competitors (who aren't on an advancing team) from six regionals receive automatic berths to the national championships April 19-21 in Los Angeles.

• In men's golf, Arizona finished the first two rounds of the Duck Invitational in Eugene, Ore., in 13th place. UA (605) trails leader Oregon by 38 strokes. Trent Redfern (76-74-150) is tied for 50th, 14 strokes behind leader Jonathan Woo of Oregon. The final round is today.

• The Arizona hockey team named Andrew Murmes its MVP for the second straight season and selected Bryan Drazner as its top rookie player. Eric Watters won the pride, hustle and desire award, while Mike Ferreira and Dylon Hojnacki won the most improved awards. The UA also honored seniors Brian Slugocki (captain), Robert Schultz, Zach Waxenberg, Nick Stolz and Jared Lowell.

Soccer

US faces Mexico in World Cup qualifier

MEXICO CITY - The United States and Mexico meet in a World Cup qualifier tonight at intimidating Azteca Stadium, and both teams could use a boost.

In this final stage of CONCACAF qualifying for next year's World Cup in Brazil, only three teams out of six will lock up a berth, with the fourth team landing in a playoff.

Mexico is tied for third and needs a win after draws with Honduras and Jamaica. The U.S. moved into second after beating Costa Rica 1-0 in a snowstorm, but FIFA is studying a protest to replay the game.

Miscellaneous

Hamlin has compression fracture in back

Denny Hamlin suffered a compression fracture in his lower spine during a last-lap crash while racing for the win against former teammate Joey Logano on Sunday in Fontana, Calif., and Joe Gibbs Racing gave no indication how long its Sprint Cup driver could be sidelined.

NASCAR does not race this week, but returns to action April 7 at Martinsville Speedway, where Hamlin, who is 10th in the Sprint Cup standings, is a four-time winner.

• Minnesota fired Tubby Smith, cutting ties with the veteran coach one day after the team lost to Florida in the NCAA basketball tournament. Athletic director Norwood Teague said it was time for a "fresh set of eyes" on the program. Smith was 124-81 (.610) in six seasons at Minnesota.

• In the NHL, Pavel Datsyuk scored Detroit's second power-play goal in the third period and had an assist, lifting the Red Wings over reeling Phoenix 3-2 in Glendale. Martin Hanzal and Rob Klinkhammer scored for Phoenix, which has lost six straight for the first time since 2009.

• In tennis, top-ranked Serena Williams rallied past Dominika Cibulkova in the fourth round of the Sony Open 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 on Monday in Key Biscayne, Fla. Williams faces No. 5 seed Li Na in the quarterfinals today.

Includes material from news releases

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