Sports in Brief: Merritt sets world record

Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned the pole for Saturday's Sprint Cup race. JERRY MARKLAND / Getty
Dale Earnhardt Jr. earned the pole for Saturday's Sprint Cup race. JERRY MARKLAND / Getty
Posted: September 08, 2012

Olympic champion Aries Merritt of the United States set a world record of 12.80 seconds Friday in the 110-meter hurdles at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels.

He cut 0.07 seconds off the mark of Cuba's Dayron Robles from four years ago.

Merritt shot out of the blocks, didn't touch any hurdles, and lunged at the line with both arms flung backward.

He already had the six top times of the season and had come within 0.05 seconds of Robles' mark. But in balmy conditions with a slight back wind, he finally shattered the record.

AUTO RACING: It's a Hendrick Motorsports front row at Richmond International Raceway. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for Saturday night's "regular-season" finale. He turned a lap at 127.023 m.p.h. to bump teammate Jeff Gordon from the top starting spot.

Kyle Busch, who is battling Gordon for a wild card in the Chase for the Cup, qualified 15th.

Elliott Sadler confirmed he will not be returning to Richard Childress Racing next season. Sadler said he has no deal locked up yet for next year and is exploring both Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series rides.

He's believed to be close to a deal to drive one of the Nationwide entries at Joe Gibbs Racing next season.

JR Motorsports and competition director Tony Eury Sr. have parted ways, effective immediately. JR Motorsports made the change because the team is not meeting its expectations.

LOCAL COLLEGES: Junior Elyse Burkert knocked down 16 kills and made it a double-double with 11 digs in leading the Temple women's volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep of Chicago State on the first day of the Miami (Ohio) Invitational.

The Owls took the match by scores of 25-13, 25-14, and 25-20 and led by solid margins throughout the contest.

The Holy Family women's volleyball team came up short at the Mercyhurst Tournament in Erie, Pa. Senior Cara Przybylowicz (Ridley) led the Tigers with six kills in the 3-0 loss to host Mercyhurst. Holy Family also lost to Ohio Dominican, 3-1.

The Chestnut Hill women's tennis team upped its record to 3-0 with a 9-0 shutout of Caldwell.

Freshman goalkeeper Shauni Kerkhoff turned away all six shots she faced as the Temple women's soccer team (2-3-1) beat Iona, 1-0.

The Villanova men's soccer team rallied for pair of second-half goals to defeat Hartford, 2-1, in a nonconference match.

Kyle Soroka (Neshaminy) found Oscar Umar on the right side of the field and Umar's shot at the net was the game-winner.

The Catholic University men's soccer team beat Vassar, 2-1, at the Rowan Invitational in Glassboro. Mike Brennan (St. Joseph's Prep) scored the first goal and Ian Smith (Upper Dublin) scored the winning goal for the Cardinals.

Ryan Gordon (Cherry Hill West) scored three goals to lead Rowan to a 7-1 victory over John Jay.

Freshman Nick Nikic (Wissahickon) scored his first collegiate goal as Cabrini tied Wesley, 1-1, after overtime in men's soccer.

The Penn women's soccer team (2-1-0) outshot Marist, 12-8, but fell, 2-0. Sarah Banks had four saves for the Quakers.

Rutgers-Newark edged Widener, 3-2, in women's soccer. Karen Thomas (Gloucester Catholic) scored to tie the score at 1. Vanessa Hejnas (Delran) made six saves for the Pride.

NHL: Representatives from the NHL and the players' association held informal negotiations on Friday at the league offices. The league has said it will lock the players out if a new deal isn't reached by Sept. 15.

The Boston Bruins agreed to a new, four-year deal with Brad Marchand. The forward, 24, a key cog in the Bruins' run to the 2011 Stanley Cup, will make $4.5 million per season.

MARATHON: The Lance Armstrong Foundation said the cyclist has been banned from running the Chicago Marathon. Foundation president Doug Ulman said it was "frustrating and unfortunate" that Lance Armstrong couldn't run, affecting the cancer charity's fund-raising efforts.

CYCLING:Alberto Contador, bidding for his second Spanish Vuelta title, now leads Alejandro Valverde by 1 minute, 35 seconds. Joaquin Rodriguez is 2:21 behind in third before Saturday's mountain stage. The classic ends Sunday.

PARALYMPICS: Exactly a year after losing his sight while on military service in Afghanistan, American Brad Snyder captured swimming gold at the London Paralympics by winning the 400-meter freestyle.

It was Snyder's second gold in London.

- Staff and wire reports

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