Kenyans dominate Boston Marathon
BOSTON, April 15 (UPI) -- Margaret Okayo, one of the hottest women marathoners in the world, led Kenya to dominating one-two victories in both the men's and women's divisions with a record-setting performance Monday in the 106th running of the Boston Marathon.
Okayo, 25, pulled away from two-time defending champion Catherine Ndereba in the final miles to win in 2:20:42, beating the previous record of 2:21:45 set in 1994 by Germany's Uta Pippig.
Under perfect running conditions of overcast skies and temperatures in the 50s, Okayo won her fourth marathon in six tries, adding Boston to her record-setting victory in the New York Marathon.
The men's race also featured a duel between Kenyans, who until last year had won 10 Boston Marathons in a row. Rogers Rop, 29, returned Kenya to the winner's circle by pulling away from countryman Christopher Cherboiboch, 25, in the final miles. Lee Bon Ju of Korea, who last year broke the Kenyans' victory streak in Boston, fell back from the lead pack of five runners--all Kenyans--with about six miles to go.
Astros place Miller on disabled list
HOUSTON, April 15 (UPI) -- Houston Astros righthander Wade Miller was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in his neck area Monday and placed on the 15-day disabled list.
The Astros announced Saturday that Miller would miss at least one start due to neck spasms and a "dead" right arm. After Monday's diagnosis, the decision was made to place Miller on the DL, retroactive to Saturday. Further tests will be conducted on Tuesday.
Miller allowed six runs and seven hits over five innings in a 7-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.
Over the weekend, manager Jimy Williams named lefthander Carlos Hernandez to replace Miller as the starter for Wednesday's game at Cincinnati.
The team leader with 16 wins last season, Miller is off to an 0-2 start with a 9.00 ERA in three starts.
Broncos sign free agent T Salaam
ENGLEWOOD, Colo., April 15 (UPI) -- The Denver Broncos Monday signed free agent tackle Ephraim Salaam, who started 55 of 60 games in four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.
The Broncos plan to move right tackle Matt Lepsis to left tackle, opening up the right side. Trey Teague struggled at left tackle last season and has not been re-signed by Denver.
Salaam, 25, will compete with Cooper Carlisle for the starting job on the right side. The 6-7, 300-pounder started 13 of 14 games last season with Atlanta, missing two with a sprained ankle. Atlanta was unhappy with Salaam's play last season and signed free agent tackle Todd Weiner from Seattle.
A seventh-round pick in 1998, Salaam is one of only four players in NFL history to start 19 games in his rookie season, combining the regular season and playoffs.
Dechy beats Raymond in first round
CHARLESTON, S.C., April 15 (UPI) -- Nathalie Dechy of France handed 14th-seeded American Lisa Raymond her fourth straight loss on clay, 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, Monday in the first round of the Family Circle Cup tennis event.
Raymond, who captured a hardcourt event in Memphis in February, opened her clay campaign last week with a first-round loss to Jill Craybas at Amelia Island. She has not won on the surface since reaching the quarterfinals at Madrid last May.
The other seeded players in action Monday--Tatiana Panova of Russia and Francesca Schiavone of Italy--were also ousted. Meilen Tu of the United States beat No. 15 Panova, 6-3, 6-4, and Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian of Switzerland defeated Schiavone, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
In other matches, Craybas downed fellow American Lilia Osterloh, 6-2, 6-0; Croatian Iva Majoli beat Germany's Bianka Lamade, 7-5, 6-3; Russia's Anastasia Myskina defeated Spain's Gala Leon Garcia, 6-2, 6-3; Alexandra Fusai of Italy downed Nicole Pratt of Australia, 6-4, 6-1; American Jennifer Hopkins beat Switzerland's Emmanuelle Gagliardi, 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-1 and Argentine qualifier Clarisa Fernandez defeated Slovakia's Henrieta Nagyova, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
Amy Frazier of the United States beat Julia Vakulenko of Ukraine, 6-4, 6-2; Israel's Anna Smashnova defeated German Greta Arn, 6-2, 6-0 and Elena Likhovtseva of Russia downed Adriana Serra-Zanetti of Italy, 6-3, 6-2.
Jennifer Capriati of the United States is the defending champion and top seed. Capriati has reached the final in her last three tournaments, winning her second straight Australian Open but losing to countrywoman Serena Williams at Scottsdale and Miami.
Williams is seeded third this week, behind No. 2 Monica Seles, and could meet Capriati in the semifinals here. She defeated Martina Hingis, older sister Venus Williams, and Capriati en route to the Miami crown two weeks ago.
Rams acquire WR-KR Wilkins from Colts
ST. LOUIS, April 15 (UPI) -- The St. Louis Rams, seeking to replace departed free agent Az-Zahir Hakim, acquired receiver-returner Terrence Wilkins from the Indianapolis Colts Monday for an undisclosed draft pick.
Wilkins caught 119 passes for 1,466 yards and seven touchdowns, despite starting only 22 of 41 career games in three seasons with the Colts, and averaged 9.3 yards on 91 punt returns, including three touchdowns, and 22.0 yards on 110 kickoff returns, including a 97-yard score.
Wilkins, 26, caught 34 passes for 332 yards with the Colts last season and will benefit from St. Louis' spread offense as the third or fourth receiver behind starters Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. The Rams have yet to re-sign veteran receiver Ricky Proehl.
The 5-10, 180-pound Wilkins will also likely serve as the Rams' primary returner. Hakim served as St. Louis' third receiver before signing as a free agent with the Detroit Lions, but lost his job as punt returner due to his penchant for fumbling.
Playoff time for NHL
NEW York, April 15 (UPI) -- The National Hockey League, which completed its regular season Sunday night, opens its 2002 Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday with four of the eight Conference Quarterfinal series.
The Presidents' Trophy winners, the Detroit Red Wings, host the Vancouver Canucks; the San Jose Sharks host the Phoenix Coyotes; the Philadelphia Flyers host the Ottawa Senators, and the Carolina Hurricanes host the New Jersey Devils.
The remaining series will open Thursday. The defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche host the Los Angeles Kings; the Chicago Blackhawks are at the St. Louis Blues; the Boston Bruins host the Montreal Canadiens, and the Toronto Maple Leafs host the New York Islanders.
Johansson gets first Monte Carlo win
MONTE CARLO, Monaco, April 15 (UPI) -- Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson won his first match in Monte Carlo and third-seeded Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov was upset as the $2.6 million Tennis Masters Series event got underway Monday.
Johansson, the eighth seed from Sweden, rallied past countryman Magnus Norman, 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1, to improve to 1-5 lifetime at this claycourt tournament. His best surface over his career has been hardcourts, where he captured his first Grand Slam at Melbourne in January.
Norman's comeback from a hip injury has been slow in showing results. He returned to the ATP tour in Acapulco following hip surgery last August. But after a recurrence of the inflammation in a challenger in Tunis, Norman was forced to withdraw from last week's ATP tournament in Casablanca. He fell to 1-4 this season and has lost six of his last seven matches dating to last year.
Austrian qualifier Markus Hipfl posted the biggest upset of the day with a 6-1, 6-2 pounding of Kafelnikov, who had reached at least the quarterfinals at four events this season. Hipfl also beat Kafelnikov in the first round here last year.
Juan Ignacio Chela's best season to date just keeps getting better as the 22-year-old Argentine routed No. 14 Thomas Enqvist of Sweden, 6-1, 6-1. Chela, who raised his record this year to 22-10, reached his first hardcourt final at Sydney in January and put together back-to-back semifinals on clay in Buenos Aires and Acapulco in February. He also helped Argentina to reach the Davis Cup quarterfinals for the first time in 11 years with a win over Croatia's Ivo Karlovic earlier this month.
Leafs' Tucker NHL player of week
NEW YORK, April 15 (UPI) -- Toronto Maple Leafs center Darcy Tucker, who had nine points in four games, was named NHL Player of the Week on Monday.
Tucker had four goals and five assists and closed the regular season with a seven-game points streak. His best outing came Wednesday, when he scored two goals, including the game-winner, in a 7-2 victory over the New York Rangers.
The 27-year-old Tucker, in his seventh NHL season, set career highs in goals (24), assists (35) and points (59).
Dolphins sign well-traveled punter
MIAMI, April 15 (UPI) -- Punter Mark Royals joined his seventh NFL team Monday, signing a one-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.
Royals, a 14-year-veteran, has spent the last three seasons with Tampa Bay and also has punted for Philadelphia, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Detroit and New Orleans.
In 2001, the 36-year-old Royals punted 83 times for a 40.7 yard average with 26 kicks inside the 20 and just eight touchbacks. He broke into the NFL as a replacement player in 1987 and was with the Dolphins in training camp in 1989.
The signing of Royals likely ends the tenure of Matt Turk, the Dolphins' punter the last two seasons.