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Runner dies during Olympic marathon trials

NEW YORK -- Top distance runner Ryan Shay died during the U.S. men's Olympic marathon trials Saturday, and his father, Joe, said he was first diagnosed with a larger than normal heart at age 14.

Joe Shay told The Associated Press his son was cleared for running this spring by doctors but was told he might have need a pacemaker when he is older.

And years ago, after a car accident as a 16-year-old, Joe Shay said doctors re-evaluated Ryan's heart and determined it had gotten even larger. Each time, he said, they believed it was because Ryan was a runner.

"But he never complained about it," Joe Shay said.

Ryan Shay collapsed about 5 1/2 miles into the race. He was 28.

It was in New York two years ago while watching the NYC marathon that Shay met his future wife. Alicia, who's hoping to make it to Beijing in the women's 10,000, was a two-time NCAA champion and the collegiate 10,000-meter record-holder while running as Alicia Craig at Stanford.

At the 2004 Olympic men's marathon trials, Shay was a favorite going in but was hampered by a hamstring strain and finished 23rd.

• PRO TENNIS -- Rafael Nadal will play David Nalbandian in the Paris Masters final, and Richard Gasquet clinched the last spot in the season-ending Masters Cup despite losing his semifinal.

Nadal, seeded second, beat Marcos Baghdatis 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 Saturday, and Nalbandian defeated 10th-seeded Gasquet 6-2, 6-4.

Gasquet already had enough points for the Nov. 11-18 tournament in China before stepping on the court because Baghdatis had lost.

Nalbandian will be going for a second straight Masters Series title Sunday after winning in Madrid last month. The Argentine dominated Nadal 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of that event.

• American star Lindsay Davenport advanced to the Bell Challenge final, beating second-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-3.

Davenport is playing her third singles tournament since the birth of her first child in June. The three-time Gland Slam champion returned in September, winning the Bali Open and reaching the semifinals in the China Open.

Davenport will face third-seeded Julia Vakulenko of Ukraine, a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 winner over American qualifier Julie Ditty.

• BASEBALL -- A 4-year-old boy collapsed and died after he wandered in front of a "pitch-back" net and was accidentally struck in the chest by a baseball thrown by another youth.

Cayden Huels was a victim of a sudden heart disturbance called "commotio cordis" -- Latin for "heart commotion" -- a cardiologist said.

Commotio cordis happens from time to time, but seldom to such a young child. The chest wall impact must be near the center of the heart, and there's only a 1 percent or 2 percent chance of it happening at the precise moment when it can be deadly.

"It has to be a specific location and carefully timed in the cardiac cycle," said Dr. Barry Maron, a cardiologist with the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation who has studied the phenomenon for a decade. "You have to be unlucky."

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