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Track and field

Families of Pistorius,Steenkamp are in contact

The families of double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius and his slain girlfriend are in contact, a lawyer for Reeva Steenkamp’s parents said Tuesday.

The communication between the families is over a possible out-of-court settlement that would compensate the Steenkamps for the killing of their daughter by Pistorius, according to South African media reports.

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A South African newspaper reported negotiations were initiated by Pistorius’ lawyers, who the paper said were “desperately trying” to negotiate a settlement before Pistorius goes on trial in March on a charge of premeditated murder for Steenkamp’s shooting death.

Dup de Bruyn, the lawyer for the Steenkamp family, said “the two sides are talking” but declined to comment further because of the delicate situation.

Before her death, Steenkamp reportedly gave financial help to her parents, Barry and June. She was killed by Pistorius on Feb. 14, with prosecutors indicting the world-famous athlete on a charge of premeditated murder Monday.

His trial is set to begin March 3 in the South African capital, Pretoria, where a conviction could also make him liable to a substantial civil suit by Steenkamp’s family.

Pistorius, 26, denies murder and says he shot Steenkamp by mistake, thinking she was a dangerous intruder in his house.

South Africa’s Times newspaper reported lawyers for Pistorius had approached Steenkamp’s family, and the newspaper said Steenkamp’s parents were seeking around $300,000 for loss of income and emotional stress.

Steenkamp, a model and budding reality-TV star in South Africa, would have turned 30 on Monday, the day Pistorius was indicted on charges of murder and illegal possession of ammunition.


Dream beats Minnesota

Tiffany Hayes scored 23 points and the host Atlanta Dream recovered after blowing a 17-point lead in the first half and rallied to beat the Minnesota Lynx 88-75.

WNBA scoring leader Angel McCoughtry had 19 points and Erika De Souza added 16 points and 16 rebounds as Atlanta (14-9) scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter.

Maya Moore scored 23 points for league-leading Minnesota (18-7).

Vandersloot has big game

Elena Delle Donne scored 24 points and ex-Gonzaga standout Courtney Vandersloot added a season-high 19 to help the visiting Chicago Sky beat Washington 79-73.

Vandersloot, a graduate of Kentwood High School in Covington, made 6 of 10 shots from the field and had a game-high seven assists.

In another league game, Diana Taurasi collected 28 points and 10 assists to lead Phoenix to an 89-86 victory at Tulsa.


Williams is No. 1 Open seed

American Serena Williams will be seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open as she tries to do something she has never done: win a second consecutive title in the event.

Williams is a four-time champion at the U.S. Open, including in 2012.

The year’s final major tournament starts Monday.

College football

UCLA’s Barr suffers injury

UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, a second-team AP All-American who had 13.5 sacks last season, was led off the field during practice with an undisclosed injury.

Barr was injured on a running play during an 11-on-11 team drill, the Los Angeles Times reported.


• Alabama football coach Nick Saban suspended Geno Smith for the season opener with Virginia Tech after the sophomore cornerback was charged with driving under the influence Sunday.

• Notre Dame linebacker Danny Spond said he has decided to end his football career after suffering a paralyzing migraine headache for a second consecutive year.

• Three teens randomly targeted Australian Christopher Lane, 22, a baseball catcher for East Central University in Ada, Okla., and killed him for fun, prosecutors in Duncan, Okla., said as they charged two of the boys with murder.

Prosecutor Jason Hicks charged Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and James Francis Edwards Jr., 15, with first-degree murder. Under Oklahoma law, they will be tried as adults.

Michael Dewayne Jones, 17, was charged with using a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and with accessory to first-degree murder after the fact. Jones will be tried in adult court.

The two younger boys were held without bail and bail for Jones was set at $1 million.

Of Edwards, Hicks said, “He thinks it’s all a joke.”

• BMC cyclist Mathias Frank of Switzerland rode to a three-second victory in the second stage of the USA Pro Challenge in Breckenridge, Colo., while Garmin-Sharp rider Lachlan Morton of Australia finished second to take the overall lead.

Frank completed the 126.1-mile stage from Aspen, Colo., to Breckenridge in 5 hours, 5 minutes, 19 seconds.

BMC’s Tejay van Garderen, who was born in Tacoma, was fourth in the stage and is fourth overall, 11 seconds behind Morton.

Seattle Times news services