Sports weekend in brief | The Wichita Eagle



AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Kyle Larson closed his return season in NASCAR with his first national title.

He won the Cup championship on Sunday by winning the Phoenix Raceway race for his 10th victory of the year. This gave Hendrick Motorsports its 14th NASCAR Championship.

Larson was suspended for all races last year except four for using a racial slur, but Rick Hendrick gave him a second chance this season and Larson has been unstoppable. His season will go down as one of the most dominant in NASCAR history.

Martin Truex, the 2017 champion, finished second and was followed by Denny Hamlin, his teammate Joe Gibbs Racing. Chase Elliott, the defending champion and most popular NASCAR driver, led 94 laps but was fourth.

AVONDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Daniel Hemric made the first win of his career one of NASCAR’s biggest upsets – an overtime stunner against the defending champion.

Hemric beat Austin Cindric in a door-to-door sprint across the finish line Friday night at Phoenix Raceway to give Joe Gibbs Racing his first championship of the weekend.

Hemric was winless in 119 starts in the Xfinity series, the fourth seed in the playoffs and the neglected driver in the Championship four.

MEXICO CITY (AP) – Max Verstappen strengthened his lead over Lewis Hamilton in the Formula One season championship with a dominant victory on Sunday at the Mexico City Grand Prix, and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finished third to become the first driver Mexican to stand on the podium in the history of racing.

Verstappen, who started third after struggling in qualifying, now leads Hamilton by 19 points with four races to go in the season. Hamilton was second and had to fight Perez in the end to hold on.

Verstappen earned his ninth victory of the season, the second in a row and the third career victory in Mexico City. The 24-year-old Dutchman is aiming for his first career championship.

Hamilton is aiming for a record-breaking eighth title, including the last four in a row. The British driver is currently tied with Michael Schumacher for most in F1 history.


ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis became the first team with five Gold Glove winners when first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, second baseman Tommy Edman, third baseman Nolan Arenado, center fielder Harrison Bader and left fielder Tyler O’Neill won the National League honor.

Arenado won his ninth Gold Glove, his first since being traded last winter by Colorardo. Goldschmidt won his fourth and first since 2017 with Arizona. O’Neill won his second in a row. Chicago White Sox pitcher Dallas Keuchel won his fifth Gold Glove, and San Francisco shortstop Brandon Belt won his fourth.


CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Blackhawks fired coach Jeremy Colliton on Saturday, firing the former NHL forward with the team which had a rough start to its fourth season.

Colliton, who turns 37 in January, was in the first year of a two-year contract extension.

Assistant coaches Tomas Mitell and Sheldon Brookbank were also sacked. Derek King was promoted from Rockford to the AHL to replace Interim Colliton.


AMHERST, Mass. (AP) – Massachusetts fired coach Walt Bell on Sunday after he went 2-23 over three seasons in charge of the Minutemen.

Sporting director Ryan Bamford has announced that defensive coordinator Tommy Restivo has also been relieved of his duties. Offensive line coach and running game coordinator Alex Miller, a four-year former UMass starter, has been named interim coach for the last three games of the season against Maine, the Army and the ‘State of New Mexico.

Bell, 37, took over one of the toughest jobs in major college football in 2019, but showed little sign of recovery. UMass fell to 1-8 on Saturday, losing 35-22 to FCS Rhode Island School. UMass’s only victory this season came against Connecticut (1-8), who made a change of coach earlier this season.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) – Florida fired defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy on Sunday, parting ways with the two assistants a day after a 40-17 loss in South Carolina, told the ‘Associated Press someone familiar with the decision. .

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Gators (4-5, 2-5 Southeastern Conference) had not made the moves public. Athletic first reported the layoffs.

Grantham and Hevesy were in the final year of their Florida contract. Hevesy had coached alongside Mullen for the past two decades. They were together again in Bowling Green (2001-02), Utah (2003-04), Florida (2005-08), Mississippi State (2009-17) and Florida (2008-21). Grantham has spent the past five seasons with Mullen, including the 2017 season at Mississippi State.

JACKSONVILLE, Alabama (AP) – Jacksonville State will enter the Football Bowl subdivision with a new coach.

The school said on Saturday that it and coach John Grass “have mutually agreed to go their separate ways.” Grass announced the decision after the Gamecocks’ 40-25 win over Abilene Christian, starting with two games left in the season.

The move came a day after the announcement that Jacksonville State will join Conference USA and begin its transition from FCS to FBS.


PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico (AP) – Viktor Hovland won the PGA Tour again, this time at the World Wide Technology Championship in Mayakoba on Sunday.

Hovland took control with three birdies out of the first nine, and never let Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas or anyone come within three strokes the rest of the way.

He finished 4 under 67 for a four-stroke victory over Carlos Ortiz of Mexico, making him the first repeat winner since Mayakoba’s debut in 2007.

Hovland won last year with a birdie putt on the last hole for a one-stroke victory. Hovland finished 23-under 261 and rose to 10th in the world.

BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) – Steven Alker capped an incredible three months winning the PGA Tour Champions for the first time, finishing 4 under 68 for a two-stroke victory in the TimberTech Championship.

Alker, who turned 50 at the end of July, landed an 18-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole to take the lead, then finished with a birdie to win by two against Jim Furyk and Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Alker has won $ 305,000, bringing his total to $ 896,207 in just nine tournaments since qualifying for the Boeing Classic outside of Seattle on his Champions debut.

VILAMOURA, Portugal (AP) – Belgium’s Thomas Pieters finished under 68 to 3 to win the Portugal Masters for his first victory on the European Tour since 2019.

Pieters, who played in the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, won the European Tour for the fifth time, and his first since the Czech Masters two years ago.

He finished at 19 under 265 at the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course, two strokes ahead of Frenchman Matthieu Pavon and Danes Nicola Hojgaard and Lucas Bjerregaard.


NEW YORK (AP) – Kenyan Albert Korir won the men’s New York Marathon race, two years after placing second.

Korir passed Moroccan Mohamed El Aaraby and Italian Eyob Faniel in the 18th mile and quickly took the drama out of the 50th race of the race. He won in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 22 seconds.

On the women’s side, Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir escaped at the entrance to Central Park and became the first woman to win a major marathon in the fall after winning an Olympic gold medal.


DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) – Knicks Go set the tone and claimed a 2 3/4 victory in the $ 6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar on Saturday.

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Knicks Go, 5, faced a trio of the best 3-year-olds – the controversial Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit, the Belmont Stakes Essential Quality winner and local hero Hot Rod Charlie.

Sent off at 3-1 odds, Knicks Go paid $ 8.40 to win for coach Brad Cox. He also saddled the favorite Essential Quality 9-5, who was third. Japan’s horses won two races, ending a 0-for-13 skid at the world championships.


LAS VEGAS (AP) – Canelo Álvarez became the first undisputed four-belt super middleweight world champion in boxing history when he stopped Caleb Plant in the 1st round with two spectacular knockdowns on Saturday night.

Álvarez added Plant’s IBF title to his own WBC, WBA and WBO belts with a consistent tactical performance culminating in a brilliant display of his vaunted power to finish the previously undefeated Plant at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Álvarez had to overcome a difficult confrontation with the tenacious Plant.

In the opening seconds of lap 11, he sent Plant crashing to the canvas with a vicious combination followed by an uppercut.


BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) – Aston Villa have fired manager Dean Smith with the team mired in a five-game losing streak.

The Premier League club made the announcement on Sunday. Smith, who brought the club back into the top flight, has paid the price for the team’s disappointing form this season.

Friday’s 1-0 loss to Southampton was Smith’s last act, this result leaving Villa with just 10 points from their first 11 games and just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Genoa, Italy (AP) – Genoa on Sunday hired former AC Milan and Chelsea striker Andriy Shevchenko as coach, a day after Davide Ballardini was sacked.

Shevchenko, 45, signed a contract until June 2024.

Shevchenko stepped down from his old coaching job in charge of Ukraine in August. He led the national team to the quarter-finals of the European Championship for the first time in its history before being eliminated by England.

LONDON (AP) – Norwich has sacked manager Daniel Farke despite leading the club to their first win since returning to the Premier League earlier on Saturday.

The German leaves after more than four years at the helm which first saw him lead Norwich to the Premier League in 2019 before being instantly relegated.

He won the second division championship title for the second time last season to get promotion again. It took until Game 11 to win, beating Brentford 2-1 on Saturday but remaining in last place.


NEW YORK (AP) – Kamaru Usman defeated Colby Covington by unanimous decision to retain the UFC welterweight championship at UFC 268 in New York on Saturday night.

With the win, Usman improved to 20-1-0 and won 19 fights in a row, including five title defenses.

Covington, the former interim welterweight champion, fell to 16-3-0.

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