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Sports briefs for March 17, 2013

By BDN and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Maine’s Labreck wins Miami Invitational heptathlon

Jesse Labreck won the heptathlon in school-record fashion for the University of Maine women’s track and field team at the University of Miami Hurricane Invitational over the weekend.

Labreck won the heptathlon with 5,129 points, which is currently the best in the NCAA East Region and broke her own school record of 4,922 points. She dominated the events, winning six out of the seven and taking fourth in the javelin.

Labreck won the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 14.06 seconds, the high jump in 5 feet, 7 3/4 inches, the shot put with a 32-5 3/4 distance, the 200 meters with 25.46 time, the long jump with a 19-7 leap and the 800 with a time of 2:24.60.

On the men’s side, Matthew Toothaker took runner-up honors in the decathlon with 5,939 points, courtesy of a first-place finish in the shot put with a mark of 37-8 and a win in the 1,500 with a time of 4:44.93.

Two killed at California racetrack

Two people were killed Saturday night at Marysville (Calif.) Raceway Park after a sprint car sped over a wall and into the pit area, the Sacramento Bee reported.

A 68-year old man died on the scene and a 14-year-old later died at a hospital, according to the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department.

The names of victims were not released.

Track announcer Steven Blakesley told ABC News that the 14-year-old was the driver’s cousin and the other victim was the owner of several race cars.

Marysville track promoter Paul Hawes said that the two victims were part of the driver’s family and crew.

The driver, 17-year-old Chase Johnson, was uninjured.

The crash occurred about 6 p.m. PT during warmup laps for the first race of this year’s California Sprint Car Civil War Series. The race was canceled.

It was not clear what caused the accident but Blakesley speculated that Johnson may have had mechanical problems because the car did not slow down as it lost control in the first turn, went over a retaining wall and slid about 100 feet before hitting the victims.

There were no other injuries reported.

Greek soccer federation bans player over Nazi salute

ATHENS — AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis was handed a life ban from all national teams by Greece’s soccer federation EPO on Sunday after he appeared to give a Nazi salute to supporters during a match.

Katidis, 20, a former captain of Greece’s under-19 team, made the alleged salute in celebrating his winning goal in a 2-1 Super League victory over lowly Veria late on Saturday.

“The player’s action to salute to spectators in a Nazi manner is a severe provocation, insults all the victims of Nazi bestiality and injures the deeply pacifist and human character of the game,” EPO said in statement.

Katidis was heavily criticised by political parties and fans on Twitter and Facebook following the incident at the Athens Olympic Stadium. Sunday marks the 70th anniversary of Greek Jew deportations in Nazi concentration camps in the Second World War.

AEK have asked Katidis to explain himself and will then decide his future at a board meeting next week.

Katidis denied he gave a Nazi salute. “I am not a fascist and would not have done it if I had known what it meant,” Katidis said on his Twitter account.

The player said he was simply pointing at Michalis Pavlis in the stands to dedicate the goal to his teammate as he continues to fight health problems.

Crawford makes spring debut for Dodgers

Carl Crawford made his awaited Cactus League debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.

Crawford started the game batting leadoff and served as a designated hitter in the Dodgers’ split-squad game against the Brewers.

He went 0-for-2 in his first two at-bats.

He was acquired by the Dodgers last August in the trade with the Red Sox two days after he underwent Tommy John elbow surgery.

His return was delayed when he developed a nerve irritation in his left elbow two weeks ago.

He had been serving as designated hitter in Minor League games for the past four days.

Sharapova hammers Wozniacki to win Indian Wells title

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Second seed Maria Sharapova won her first title since last year’s French Open with a 6-2 6-2 demolition of Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

In a showdown between two former world number ones, the second-seeded Russian overpowered the Dane with a ruthless display, breaking her twice in each set to seal victory in one hour 21 minutes.

Sharapova played aggressively throughout with an array of deep groundstrokes and superb serving to claim her second title at Indian Wells after winning for the first time in 2006.

The 25-year-old Russian ended the match in champion style with a 109 mph service winner before raising both arms skywards in celebration.

Yankees’ Teixeira could be out until June

New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira’s injured wrist may be worse than originally thought but will likely not require surgery.

Instead of missing the first month of the regular season, Teixeira might not return until June, MLB.com reported Sunday.

Teixeira was injured on March 6 and was expected to miss eight to 10 weeks with a right wrist sprain.

The injury is now diagnosed as a partially torn tendon sheath, which is similar to what cost Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista most of the second half of last season.

“This is one of those things I can’t come back too early,” Teixeira told reporters Sunday.

Cardinals’ Freese out with back soreness

St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese will likely be out for at least a few more days as he recovers from back discomfort after chasing a pop foul into the stands on March 4, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Freese bruised his tailbone after tumbling into the stands. He came back to play in four games but continued soreness prevented him from taking grounders and swinging a bat on Saturday. He may be limited to just playing catch this week.

“It’s just banged up a little bit,” Freese said. “We’re just going to hang out for a couple days and let it get back to normal. There is nothing serious.”

He may receive some form of treatment for inflammation.

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