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Originally published Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

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Marcus Mariota looks impressive in Oregon spring game | College football

Marcus Mariota completed 18 of 26 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown in Oregon's spring football game. Attendance was 44,129.

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College football

Mariota looks solid

in Oregon spring game

Marcus Mariota has publicly declared his candidacy for the starting-quarterback job at Oregon.

The redshirt freshman emerged Saturday as serious competition for sophomore Bryan Bennett in the battle for the position that opened when Darron Thomas decided to skip his senior season to try and play pro football.

Mariota completed 18 of 26 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown, in addition to rushing for 99 yards and two scores, leading his team to a 41-14 victory in Oregon's annual spring game. Attendance at Autzen Stadium in Eugene was 44,129, a spring-game record.

Bennett completed 19 of 32 passes for 209 yards and a TD.

Heaps throws TD pass

Quarterbacks Dayne Crist and Jake Heaps led their team to a 45-0 victory in Kansas' spring game, its first with Charlie Weis as coach.

Crist, a transfer from Notre Dame, was 11 of 19 for 156 yards.

Heaps, a transfer from Brigham Young who was a standout at Skyline High School in Sammamish, was 7 of 10 for 106 yards and a TD. Unlike Crist, Heaps will have to sit out the 2012 season before he is eligible to play.

Tennis

Top 2 advance to final

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will face No. 2 Maria Sharapova of Russia in Sunday's final of the Porsche Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany.

Azarenka cruised past fourth-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-1, 6-3 in the first semifinal. Sharapova outlasted No. 3 Petra Kvitova, the Wimbledon champion from the Czech Republic, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).

Nadal to face Ferrer

Six-time champion Rafael Nadal beat Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-4 to ease into the Barcelona Open final, where he will face fellow Spaniard David Ferrer for a fourth time.

Nadal dominated from the start, winning 21 of 27 points to break Verdasco's first three service games. Nadal has won 33 matches in a row at the event.

In the other semifinal, Ferrer held off Milos Raonic's powerful serve for a 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5) victory over the Canadian.

Track and field

Team USA excels

Team USA used a Penn Relays romp as a hopeful sneak preview for this year's London Olympics.

Allyson Felix ran on two teams that set Penn Relays records, and the United States was flawless in all six relays in the "U.S.A. vs. the World" races in Philadelphia.

Felix teamed with Tianna Madison, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter to set a Penn Relays record of 42.19 seconds in the 400 relay.

Felix joined Francena McCorory, Natasha Hastings and Sanya Richards-Ross to set the mark of 3:21.18 in the 1,600 relay.

A U.S. team of Tyler Mulder, David Neville, Khadevis Robinson and Leo Manzano won the distance medley relay in 9:19.31. Manzano caught fellow American Bernard Lagat, a former Washington State standout, on the closing lap.

Lagat, a world champion, said, "I felt that my legs were a bit heavy."

In college events, an Oregon women's team that included Becca Friday of Bellingham won the 3,200 relay in 8:24.16.

Elsewhere

• Southern Mississippi will hire Morehead State's Donnie Tyndall, 41, as its next basketball coach. Tyndall reportedly has agreed to a four-year deal.

Tyndall was 114-85 in six seasons as Morehead State's coach.

Tyndall replaces Larry Eustachy, who led the Golden Eagles to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1991 in March before becoming Colorado State's coach earlier this month.

Chad Dawson, 29, beat Bernard Hopkins, 47, by a 12-round majority decision and won the WBC light-heavyweight title in Atlantic City, N.J. Dawson called Hopkins a "dirty fighter" and said, "My head is hurting from all the head butts."

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