SOCCER—With three weeks left in the regular season, the NASL's 14 teams began vying for the eight playoff berths, and, as usual, New York came out on top. With a 2-1 conquest of San Jose, on Giorgio Chinaglia's late goal, the Cosmos clinched the first spot; a subsequent 3-2 win over Montreal gave them their seventh straight win and 13th in a row at home—and secured their fifth straight Eastern Division title. Tulsa's five-game win streak came to a halt in Portland, the Timbers prevailing 2-0; another loss, 3-2 in a shoot-out at Vancouver, kept the Roughnecks 15 points behind idle Fort Lauderdale in the South. San Diego fought its way into third in the Western Division with a 1-0 victory at Vancouver and a 4-1 ramble over Edmonton. After a 2-1 shoot-out loss to the Drillers, Seattle relied on Peter Ward, whose two goals and an assist moved him into second in the league scoring race behind Chinaglia, to beat Portland 3-0 and maintain a one-point lead over Vancouver in the West.
SWIMMING—PETRA SCHNEIDER of East Germany set a women's world record in the 400-meter individual medley with a clocking of 4:36.10, .19 seconds below her own two-year-old mark, at the World Aquatic Championships in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
TENNIS—IVAN LENDL defeated Jimmy Arias 6-3, 6-3 in the finals of a $240,000 WCT tournament in Washington, D.C.
Tomas Smid won a $300,000 WCT event in Cap d'Agde, France with a 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2 defeat of Lloyd Bourne.
Yannick Noah beat Raul Ramirez 6-3, 7-6 to win a $75,000 Grand Prix tournament in South Orange, N.J. VIRGINIA RUZICI won the $50,000 women's title, with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Leigh Ann Thompson.
Tracy Austin beat Kathy Rinaldi 7-6, 6-3 to win a $125,000 tournament in Rancho Bernardo, Calif.
Chris Evert Lloyd won a $200,000 indoor round-robin tournament in Sydney, Australia by defeating Bettina Bunge 6-3, 6-0.
TRACK & FIELD—TIINA LILLAK of Finland threw the javelin 237'6" at the Helsinki World Games to surpass Antoaneta Todorova's women's world record of 235'10" set in Zagreb, Yugoslavia last year.
Vali Ionescu broke the women's world long jump record of 23'3�", set by Vilma Bardauskiene in 1978, with a leap of 23'7�" at the Romanian national championships in Bucharest.
MILEPOSTS—ABOLISHED: The University of San Francisco's highly rated men's basketball program, because persistent NCAA rules violations regarding recruiting and player payments threatened the university's "integrity and reputation," according to the University's president, Rev. John Lo Schiavo. In 58 years of competition, the Dons had an 869-467 record and reached the NCAA tournament 14 times, winning it in 1955 and '56 (page 62).