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Powell's persistence paying off

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Suzy Powell packed six runner-up finishes between national championships in the discus. That's staying power and competitive spirit.

I guess an American record, followed by a national title, means Powell has risen above the injuries and disappointment of 2004.

The Indy air was heavy and worsened by a tailwind (bad news for discus throwers). Powell labored until her 198-11 on the final throw. Stunned, Becky Breisch — the leader since the second round — fouled while Powell refused to watch.

"I knew I wasn't throwing up to my capabilities because of too much adrenaline. It was a heart-attack night for my husband and my coach," Powell said.

"It took me six throws to figure it out, but I've been on the other side of it, too."

Enter the young: The next generation of American sprinters has arrived, led by Tyson Gay (9.84 in the 100 into a 1.2-mps headwind). Minus the wind, Gay sets the world record.

Nearly 45 years after the Yankees set foot in Modesto, they're still beating the Giants.

Your next Giants nightmare: Cain, Tim Lincecum and Pedro Feliz for Alex Rodriguez.

President Peter Magowan played the Barry Bonds card until it became the joker.

The Giants' season highlight: Jason Schmidt, shut down and out in L.A.

The Athletics outfield went from good, to injury-ravaged, to almost anonymous, to so stocked they can release Milton Bradley.

Don't want to sound an alarm, but: New Kings coach Reggie Theus attended UNLV and the Maloofs live in Las Vegas. Is this the first step toward transplanting the Kings?

Just a guess: Fair or not, Scott Brooks' proximity to Eric Musselman may have cost him his chance in Sacramento.

If Brooks lands the job in Seattle, he'll coach either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. No problem. He played alongside Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing.

Happy 35th birthday, Title IX. You changed the world.

Jeff Gordon has won the Toyota/Save Mart 350 five times. If he wins from the back of the pack Sunday, No. 6 will be the sweetest.

Only in golf does the cigarette-puffing beer belly (Angel Cabrera) whip the body shirt (Tiger Woods).

Five years from now, Tiger will shake the change in his pocket as Sam Alexis begins her backswing, just like his dad did to him.

The PGA Tour will begin drug-testing and the NFL is thinking about concussions. For each, a major direction change.

If Adam Jones ever earns the right to walk onto another NFL field, he can reclaim "Pacman."

Thanks to Nike, the U.S. women's soccer team wears gold. Funny, but I always thought red, white and blue looked fine.

The 49ers broke camp with Vernon Davis looking like a first-round draft pick, which is much better news than Mike Nolan's suit.

Nowhere to run: Friday night ended 10 seconds into the second round for Modesto cage fighter Carter Williams. Paul Buentello won via a TKO (punch).

The Orioles assisted Cal Ripken Jr. during his consecutive-game streak, and they also assisted Miguel Tejada's ... until it ended (wrist).

Powell will be the first to say her comeback is not completed. She plans to climax it next year — in Beijing.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at or 578-2302.