The longest losing streak in Rugby World Cup history, the United States, with a 39-26 win over Japan. In front of a pro-Japanese crowd in Gosford, Australia, flyhalf Mike Hercus scored 19 points to lead the U.S. to its first win in the tournament since it beat Japan in 1987, a stretch of 10 games. "Victories have been hard to come by, and I know that it hasn't been for lack of want," said coach Tom Billups. "They'll be able to etch their names in the book now." The win was especially sweet for Hercus, 24, who was born in Virginia but moved to Australia as an infant. On Oct. 15 he missed a two-point conversion just before the final whistle as the U.S. lost 19-18 to Fiji in its first game of the tournament.
The two-round cut at the SBS Super Tournament in South Korea, Se Ri Pak, the first woman to make a cut in a men's event since Babe Zaharias at the 1945 Los Angeles Open. Pak, 26, finished at two under, 11 strokes behind winner Chang Ik-Jae. A forgiving layout helped Pak; on the 7,052-yard par-72 course at a country club near Seoul, most par-5s are downhill, half the par-4s are shorter than 400 yards and all par-3s are under 200. (The course on which Annika Sorenstam missed the cut at the PGA's Colonial last May was a par-70 measuring 7,080 yards.) Said a grinning Pak after the tournament, "Women can also do it!"
Of blunt force injuries to his head and chest after a crash at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IRL driver Tony Renna, 26. In two years as a test driver and replacement driver for Kelley Racing, Renna had five top 10 finishes in seven starts, attracting the attention of Chip Ganassi, owner of one of the sport's top teams. Three weeks ago Ganassi hired Renna to drive full time for the 2004 season. "It was hard to keep the smile off my face," Renna said of the hiring. "I wish the season was starting now." Renna was driving in a tire test at the Brickyard on Oct. 21 when his car became airborne and crashed into the catch fence. He is the 67th person to die on the 94-year-old track, the first since '96.
After several strokes, former Oregon State football coach and athletic director Dee Andros, 79. Running the power T—a rarely used offense in which the fullback is featured—his 1967 team knocked off top-ranked USC, which starred O.J. Simpson, and tied No. 2 UCLA. Called the Great Pumpkin for his girth and his penchant for wearing bright orange Oregon State clothes, Andros was an exceptional motivator whose pep talks drew upon his experience fighting on Iwo Jima and earning the Bronze Star in World War II. One talk, before a showdown with Oregon, got the team so fired up, it charged onto the field before the Ducks' band had left. "I had to hold them up," said Andros, who coached the Beavers from '65 to '75, then spent 10 years as AD. "When I held them up, that little Duck came by and gave me the finger. And [linebacker] Steve Bielenberg cold-cocked him."