Sports Briefs

Gretzky to coach Coyotes
NHL legend Wayne Gretzky will coach the Phoenix Coyotes this season. The winner of four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and the NHL’s most prolific scorer, Gretzky, is now tasked with resurrecting the Coyotes, who have a reputation as a perennially awful team.

Westbrook ends holdout
Brian Westbrook ended his weeklong holdout this week, returning to practice with the Philadelphia Eagles. Westbrook was a key cog in an Eagles offense last season that came within a broken drive of winning the 2005 Super Bowl. The multi-talented running back had been angling for a better contract. He signed a one-year deal in the off-season.

Gatlin wins 100-meter
America’s star runner, Justin Gatlin, continued to dominate the world at the World Track and Field Championships in Finland, Sunday. Gatlin absolutely crushed the field, winning in 9.88 seconds. His 17-hundreth of a second victory over Jamaican Michael Frater was the largest margin of victory in the Championship’s 22-year history.

Williams wins in women’s division
Lauryn Williams won the women’s 100-meter, Monday, with a time of 10.93 seconds, beating Jamaican Veronica Campbell by 2-hundreths of a second. With her victory and Justin Gatlin’s win on Sunday, Williams secured an all-American domination of the 100-meter for the first time since 1999, when Maurice Green and Marion Jones swept the 100.

Palmeiro’s testing history to Congress
Suspended Baltimore Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro’s drug testing records are expected to be sent to Congress by the end of the week. Palmeiro maintains that he doesn’t know how the drugs ended up in his body. Congress is moving toward a mandate that would suspend players for two years after a positive drug test.

Vikings back in action
The Portland State football team returns to practice, August 10, in preparation for their Sept. 3 match-up against Oregon State. Tim Walsh is entering his 13th season as head coach and has 12 starters returning from a team that went 7-4 last season. The Viks enter this season picked to finish third by Big Sky coaches, though the team should have a solid defense and a strong ground attack.

Abdur-Rahim down on Nets
Shareef Abdur-Rahim no longer wants to be a New Jersey Net after failing a physical that put a potential trade on hold. Abdur-Rahim now says he wishes to “play out” his career elsewhere. Rahim’s skills as a power forward with range should allow him to find another team to sign with quickly.