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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Amazingly, Kenya Remains Rich in Runners

May 26, 1999|MAL FLORENCE

Kenya has long supplied the world with elite distance runners and apparently more are on their way, despite hardships.

Edwin Kibie Rusei, 17, is an example of dedication in the face of poverty. The Associated Press reports that Rusei runs for 50 minutes every morning before walking about six miles to school.

He survives on maize meal and milk, and eats meat at most once a week. He can't even afford the $9 for a pair of second-hand running shoes.

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for most minutes played in an NBA playoff game?

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Slow-man's record: Manager Bruce Bochy of the San Diego Padres says the most impressive hitting streak he has ever seen was catcher John Flaherty's for the Padres in 1996.

"You can say all you want about Joe DiMaggio and all the other great hitting streaks," Bochy said. "To me, John's was the most amazing of them all.

"He's probably the slowest player in the majors. For him to hit safely in 26 games in a row is a minor miracle. The guy's got no legs."

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Vicious! Peter Vecsey in the New York Post: "I see where Bernie Bickerstaff was hired as a consultant with the Globetrotters. Las Vegas sources report a mound of money suddenly being bet on the Washington Generals."

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Reason enough: NHL referee Don Van Massenhoven, on why he quit as a policeman in Canada to become an official: "Pucks only hurt. Bullets kill."

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Trojan horse: USC freshman sprinter Sultan McCullough on teammate Jerome Davis, who won the 100 and 200 meters and anchored the Trojans in victories in the 400- and 1,600-meter relays at the recent Pacific 10 track meet in Tempe, Ariz.: "People like that are machines."

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How about 1918? Mark Kreidler of ESPN.com points out that the plans for the new Fenway Park include "44,000 seats, many of the current Fenway's quirks and unique aspects, a replica of the Green Monster, and, of course, no World Series flags that anybody can remember."

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Getting some class: The university in Raleigh, N.C., that last year gave boxing promoter Don King an honorary doctorate and received a $200,000 donation in return, has appointed him to its board of trustees.

King joined Shaw University's 40-member board earlier this month, a university spokeswoman said.

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Silly record: Colombia is claiming a world record, one probably never sought before, after 278 scuba divers spent 15 minutes submerged together in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Diego Hurtado, organizer of the event in the southwest city of Cali, said he hopes the group will win mention in "The Guinness Book of World Records" for what may be the biggest mass dive ever attempted. The Guinness book so far has no category for mass submersions.

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Easy money: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "Money Market: At age 79, Joe DiMaggio sat in a room at a Louisville Slugger factory, signed 1,600 bats and took home about $2 mil."

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Trivia answer: Red Rocha and Paul Seymour of the Syracuse Nationals, 67 minutes, against Boston on March 21, 1953, in four overtimes. Boston's Bob Cousy played 66 minutes in the game. The Celtics won, 111-105.

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And finally: Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that reader Erin Souza asked this question:

"Now that ex-Toronto manager Tim Johnson has been hired to manage in Mexico, will he try to inspire players with stories of his experiences at the Alamo?"

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