Sports at Oxford County schools are on hold after the Maine Department of Education classified the county as “yellow” on Friday, meaning there is an elevated risk of spread of COVID-19.

Under the Maine Principals’ Association’s “Return to Competition for Competitive Activities in Maine” announced on Sept. 10, schools in counties designated as yellow or red cannot hold athletic practices or participate in interscholastic contests.

York County is the only other county in Maine designated as yellow. Schools there have not been able to hold practices so far this fall. The Department of Education updates its color-coded school advisory system every two weeks.

Oxford County public high schools affected by Friday’s announcement are Buckfield, Dirigo, Mountain Valley, Oxford Hills, Sacopee Valley and Telstar. Fryeburg Academy, a private school in Oxford County, announced on Friday that it is suspending all after-school activities and athletics.


PGA: A hornet sting early and a bunch of birdies late carried Hudson Swafford to a 5-under 67 for a two-shot lead going into the weekend of the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in Punta Canta, Dominican Republic.


Swafford, who moved to 12-under 132, will be joined in the final group by Sean O’Hair, who missed an entire year because of a torn oblique and returned just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic to shut down golf.

Justin Suh (67) and Luke List (65) were tied with O’Hair (67) for second place.


TRUCKS: Austin Hill, the regular-season champion, rebounded from a poor opening race of the playoffs with a victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Shelden Creed won the first two stages, but Hill passed him in the third stage and wasn’t challenged as he drove to his second win of the season.

Creed finished second and was followed by Tanner Gray, Stewart Friesen and Chandler Smith.


FORMULA ONE: Valtteri Bottas was fastest in both practice sessions for the Russian Grand Prix on Friday as Mercedes once again looked to have untouchable pace.

Bottas set the fastest time of the day with 1 minute, 33.519 seconds in the second session at Sochi, Russia, .267 ahead of his teammate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton. The next fastest was Daniel Ricciardo for Renault, more than a second off the pace.

Hamilton will chase his 91st Formula One win in Sunday’s race, which would equal the record held by Michael Schumacher. Hamilton had a difficult start to his Russian race weekend, though, when damaged tires and interruptions to the session left him only 19th fastest in the first session.

Mercedes drivers have won all six of the races to date in Sochi, with Hamilton taking four of those victories including the last two.


FRENCH OPEN: Former Top 10 player Fernando Verdasco said he has been dropped from the upcoming Grand Slam event because of what he believes is a false positive result on a coronavirus test.


The 36-year-old from Spain had played in 67 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments until missing this year’s U.S. Open.

He wrote on Twitter that he had COVID-19 in August and did not have symptoms. He said that was followed by negative results until he tested positive this week.

Verdasco said he asked for another test, but French Open organizers refused. He said he took unofficial tests on his own that came up negative.

HAMBURG OPEN: Stefanos Tsitsipas reached his first clay-court semifinal in 16 months, beating Dusan Lajovic 7-6 (5), 6-2 in Germany in the last tune-up before the French Open.


TOUR DE FRANCE: Tadej Pogacar’s yellow jersey was sold for $54,000 in a charity auction organized by Slovenia’s national public radio.


Pogacar’s jersey was bought by a Slovenian businessman. Organizers said the money will be used to support talented young sportsmen in Slovenia from underprivileged families.

Pogacar, who turned 22 on Monday, became the youngest winner in the 116-year history of the tour on Sunday. He finished ahead of another Slovenian, Primoz Roglic. Slovenia, an Alpine nation of 2 million people, is known as nature-loving and sports oriented.

ROAD WORLDS: American cyclist Chloé Dygert is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery on her left leg following a crash at the world championships Thursday in Bologna, Italy.

“I’ll be back,” Dygert said in a tweet Friday.

Dygert was the favorite to defend her title in the time trial and led by nearly half a minute at the intermediate checkpoint before losing control on a descent and crashing over a roadside barrier. Dygert described her reaction and posted a picture of her injuries, including a severe laceration to her left leg, on Twitter.

She wrote: “I remember thinking what if I can get my bike can I still win? The first thing I remember was asking @JimMiller_time (USA Cycling chief of sports performance Jim Miller) if I was done.. Then I looked down and saw my leg.


“Thank you for all the well wishes. I’ll be back.”


SKATE AMERICA: Skate America next month in Las Vegas will be held without fans due to Nevada Gaming Control Board guidelines.

The event is the first of six on the ISU Grand Prix schedule, and is set for Oct. 23-25 at the Orleans Arena. For now, the ISU plans to conduct all of the competitions, though it already has canceled the Junior Grand Prix series because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Also part of the series are Skate Canada in Ottawa; Cup of China in Chongqing; Internationaux de France in Grenoble; Rostelecom Cup in Moscow; and NHK Trophy in Osaka, Japan. The Grand Prix Final is set for Beijing in December.

No major ISU figure skating event has been held since the world championships in Montreal were canceled in March.



CYPRUS: Cyprus is ramping up coronavirus testing for soccer players and shutting down smaller stadium locker rooms following the emergence of large clusters of COVID-19 infections at two first division teams.

Officials from the health ministry and the Cypriot soccer federation have decided to carry out random coronavirus tests on five people from each of 20 teams from all divisions every week. Another 7,000 tests will be carried out on players from all divisions except the first division.

All stadium locker rooms smaller than a certain size will be closed and health officials will start inspections of all soccer stadiums and team installations to ensure health protocols are followed. Any player who tests positive for COVID-19 is immediately placed in isolation under the existing protocols. Players who test negative within 24 hours of a confirmed case will be allowed to return to practice and take part in scheduled matches.

Cypriot clubs Nea Salamina and Ethnikos Achnas recently saw a spike in coronavirus infections.

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