HORSE RACING—WAYA ($5.20) defeated Tiller by a nose in the $200,000 Turf Classic at Belmont. With Angel Cordero Jr. in the saddle, the 4-year-old filly covered the 1� miles in a stakes-record 2:26[4/5].
Mac Diarmida ($4.50), ridden by Jean Cruguet, won the $185,000 Canadian International Championship at Toronto by 1� lengths over Dom Alaric. The 3-year-old ran the 1? miles in 2:41[4/5].
Spectacular Bid ($2.60), Jorge Velasquez up, won the $125,000 Young America at the Meadowlands by a neck over Strike Your Colors. The 2-year-old's time for the mile and one-sixteenth was 1:43[1/5].
MARATHON—BILL RODGERS won his third consecutive New York City Marathon, finishing in 2:12:12, two minutes ahead of Ian R. Thompson. Trevor Wright was third. GRETE WAITZ was the first woman finisher. Her time of 2:32:30 was 2:18 better than the world record for women set by Christa Vahlensieck of West Germany last year. Martha Cooksey was the second woman across, Sue Petersen the third (page 24).
MOTOR SPORTS—CALE YARBOROUGH averaged 117.288 mph in an Oldsmobile to win the $150,000 American 500 Grand National in Rockingham, N.C. by more than two laps over Bobby Allison's Ford.
TENNIS—Defending champion JIMMY CONNORS beat Geoff Masters 6-0, 6-0, 6-4 to win the $205,000 Australian Indoor Championship in Sydney.
MILEPOSTS—HIRED: DON KESSINGER, 36, as player-manager of the Chicago White Sox. He replaces Larry Doby, who, after succeeding Bob Lemon as manager last June 30, had a 37-50 record. An infielder for the Cubs (1965-75), the Cardinals (1976-77) and the White Sox (1977-78), Kessinger won the Gold Glove Award in 1969 and 1970 and has a .253 career batting average.
DIED: GUNNAR NILSSON, 29, former Swedish Formula I driver for Lotus and No. 2 driver to Mario Andretti in 1976 and 1977; of cancer; in London.