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Evans, 39, sets sights on Olympics

Staff and Wire Reports

In an interview with the Associated Press, 39-year-old swimmer Janet Evans said she has been training hard for the last six months with an eye on qualifying for next year’s Olympic trials and, if all goes according to plan, earning a spot on the U.S. team for the 2012 London Games. She is scheduled to swim in her first meet since the Atlanta Olympics this weekend in Fullerton.

“I have to believe it’s realistic,” Evans said. “I probably couldn’t get through the workouts if I didn’t. I’m sure there are going to be naysayers out there. That’s OK. I certainly know how I feel when I’m in the water. I know what I’m capable of. You can never count me out.”

She picked an appropriate venue for her first competition since 1996: the Janet Evans Invitational, a Masters meet held at the Janet Evans Swim Complex. Evans is planning to swim in four events, including the two that made her famous: the 400- and 800-meter freestyles (the 200 free and 200 back are also on the agenda, but more for training purposes).

“These are my first races in a long time,” Evans said. “There’s not a lot of expectations”

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ETC.

West Virginia’s Stewart resigns

Bill Stewart resigned as West Virginia’s football coach, and Dana Holgorsen will take over. Holgorsen was hired as offensive coordinator and Stewart’s eventual successor in December.

West Virginia had prepared for possible friction between Holgorsen and Stewart. Holgorsen’s contract included a clause that gave him a raise if he became head coach before or during this season.

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Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer will be grouped together in the first two rounds of the U.S. Open next week at Bethesda, Md. It’s the first time the U.S. Open has put together the players ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the world in the same group since 2008 at Torrey Pines, when Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott played together.

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Sweden’s Robert Karlsson shot a five-under-par 65, taking a three-stroke lead after the second round of the PGA Tour’s St. Jude Classic at Memphis, Tenn. Karlsson made six birdies and a bogey, reaching nine under. Colt Knost (68) and Keegan Bradley (67) were tied for second. ... Mindy Kim maintained her two-stroke lead in the LPGA State Farm Classic at Springfield, Ill., following her opening 64 with a five-under 67 to reach 13 under. Yani Tseng (66) and Shanshan Feng (65) were tied for second. ... Bob Tway birdied the 18th hole for a nine-under 63 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Champions Tour’s Greater Hickory Classic at Conover, N.C. Mike Goodes, who shot a 28 on the front nine, was a shot back along with Tommy Armour III, Joe Ozaki and Mark Wiebe.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat an exhausted Rafael Nadal, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-1, in the quarterfinals at Queen’s Club in London. Tsonga will face James Ward in the semifinals. Ward beat defending champion Sam Querrey, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, in the completion of a suspended match, then defeated Adrian Mannarino, 6-2, 6-7 (14), 6-4. Andy Roddick eased past Fernando Verdasco, 6-2, 6-2, setting up a semifinal against Andy Murray. ... Caroline Wozniacki eased into the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open at Copenhagen, Denmark, with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Alberta Brianti. Wozniacki will meet Mona Barthel in the semifinals after the German beat American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Lucie Safarova faces Petra Martic in the other semifinal.

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Florida State’s Ngonidzashe Makusha broke the national collegiate record in the 100 meters in the NCAA outdoor championships at Des Moines, Iowa, winning in 9.89 seconds. Makusha broke the mark of 9.90 set by Ato Boldon of UCLA in 1996.

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It was the second dominant performance of the meet for Makusha, who won the long jump in 27 feet 63/4 inches -- the best mark at the NCAA meet in 18 years.

Makusha joined Michigan’s DeHart Hubbard (1925), Ohio State’s Jesse Owens (1935-36) and Houston’s Carl Lewis (1981) as the only athletes to sweep the 100 and long jump at an NCAA meet.

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Ron Hornaday Jr. got his record 48th NASCAR truck series victory, winning at Fort Worth despite crossing the line second. Johnny Sauter took the lead off the final restart with two laps left but was black-flagged after he dropped from the outside lane to the inside in front of Hornaday before crossing the line. Sauter was dropped to 22nd place.

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Douglas Farmer has joined The Times’ Sports staff as the fifth recipient of the Harry Ornest Internship. The internship, for students at Notre Dame, is sponsored by the Ornest Family Foundation and honors the late Harry Ornest, former owner of the St. Louis Blues of the NHL and former vice chairman of Hollywood Park.


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