Sports shorts: Former Cat Barrett Bowerman finalist

For the second year in a row, former Arizona Wildcats high jumper Brigetta Barrett is a women’s finalist for the Bowerman award, given to the top collegiate track and field athlete.

Clemson’s Brianna Rollins and Stanford’s Kori Carter were the other two finalists announced Thursday.

Barrett, a silver medalist in the 2012 Olympics, closed out her collegiate career earlier this year with a sweep of the indoor and outdoor NCAA high jump titles for the third consecutive season.

On Wednesday, UA distance runner Lawi Lalang was announced as one of the three men’s finalists.

• UA senior-to-be Julie Labonté, competing for Canada, finished sixth Thursday in the shot put at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia. Labonté posted a mark of 57 feet 9 inches on her fifth throw. Former Wildcat Edgar Rivera-Morales, competing for Mexico, finished 10th in Tuesday’s high jump final (7- 1/2).


Devils star forw ard Kovalchuk retires

NEWARK, N.J. – Star forward Ilya Kovalchuk stunned the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, retiring from the NHL to return to his native Russia.

The 30-year-old Kovalchuk walked away from the $77 million that was left on the 15-year contract he signed with New Jersey in 2010, including guaranteed annual salaries of at least $11 million over the next four seasons.

• The Phoenix Coyotes signed center Tim Kennedy to a one-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kennedy scored two goals in 13 games with the San Jose Sharks last season.


US wins World Cup of Softball opener

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sara Nevins and Jessica Moore combined on a two-hitter, Valerie Arioto delivered a two-run single and the United States beat Canada 7-0 in six innings on Thursday in the opening game of the World Cup of Softball for both teams. Lauren Gibson added a two-run homer and score d three runs for the United States, which has won the last six World Cups.

• Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was arrested and accused of drunken driving Thursday in Nebraska while on probation for assaulting a police officer.

• The Los Angeles Lakers waived Metta World Peace on Thursday under the NBA’s amnesty provision, which will save the team about $15 million in luxury tax. He was set to earn $7.7 million next season, which the Lakers still must pay.

Includes material from news releases

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