Years of planning, schmoozing and waiting will end today when the U.S. Olympic Committee's board of directors will choose New York or San Francisco as the American candidate to host the 2012 Summer Olympics.

"Both cities have put forth impressive cases, and it's going to be very difficult to choose between them," said Anita DeFrantz, a U.S. member of the International Olympic Committee.

The USOC's 123-member board will vote at its annual meeting in Colorado Springs. The winner will move on to the international competition, where it will face a strong field that could include Toronto, Rome, Paris, Moscow and Rio de Janeiro. The IOC will vote in 2005.

Each city will get an hour to make a final presentation to the full board today.


Man Pleads Not Guilty

The man who ran onto the field with his teenage son and attacked a Kansas City Royals coach during a game pleaded not guilty to three counts of aggravated battery and one felony count of mob action.

William Ligue Jr. has been jailed since the Sept. 19 attack on first base coach Tom Gamboa on the field at Comiskey Park during a game between the Royals and the Chicago White Sox. He was arraigned in a brief hearing in Cook County Circuit Court.

Ligue, whose 15-year-old son has pleaded guilty in juvenile court to one charge of aggravated battery and two counts of mob action for striking Gamboa and an off-duty state trooper, told the Daily Southtown newspaper that he has a drug problem and doesn't remember hitting Gamboa. . . .

The New York Yankees are raising the price of their best seats by $10, blaming the increase on baseball's labor deal. The price of the field and loge box seats, which include waiter service, will be $72 per game next season.


Prison Ordered for Bowe

Riddick Bowe has managed to avoid a prison sentence twice since he pleaded guilty four years ago to domestic violence for the abduction of his wife and children. But federal prosecutors are poised to send the 35-year-old former fighter to prison for up to two years.

For the second time in less than two years, a federal appeals court has struck down U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen's sentences that have allowed Bowe to stay out of prison and remain free.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week ordered Mullen to resentence Bowe -- this time to prison for 18 to 24 months.

Auto Racing

His Usual Position

Ryan Newman continued his mastery of qualifying, winning his fifth NASCAR Winston Cup pole of the season when he took the top spot at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.

Newman turned a lap in his Ford at 155.836 mph to earn the first starting spot for Sunday's Pop Secret 400. He tied Davey Allison's record for the most poles by a rookie.


Deal for Szczerbiak

Wally Szczerbiak agreed to a six-year, $63 million contract extension with the Timberwolves that could keep him in Minnesota through the 2008-09 season. . . .

Georgetown cruised to a 132-58 exhibition victory over the Latvia Select Team at McDonough Arena. Junior Mike Sweetney and freshman forward Brandon Bowman each scored 22 points as the Hoyas took an 84-26 lead at halftime.


Reyna Sidelined

U.S. soccer captain Claudio Reyna has a torn knee ligament and will be sidelined for six months. Reyna, 29, ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing Monday for Sunderland in England's Premier League. . . .

Rick Guter, D.C. United's athletic trainer since the MLS club's inception in 1996, was told he will not return to the team. A United spokesman confirmed the move.

"They feel maybe I've been here long enough and so they want to go in another direction," Guter said. "I guess they wanted me to do more, to get the players to play better. This was a surprise to me."

Horse Racing

Record Run at Laurel

Crossing Point, a 5-year-old gelding trained by Ben Feliciano Jr. and ridden by leading jockey Ryan Fogelsonger, broke the 51/2-furlong track record at Laurel Park in 1 minute 2.45 seconds. The horse, who has won four straight races, broke the record set by Wire Me Collect in 1998, beating runner-up Quick Punch by 71/4 lengths. . . .

Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Orientate and champion filly Xtra Heat head a list of nominees released for the Grade I $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash on Nov. 16 at Laurel. . . .

Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone ended her 31/2-year retirement with a fourth-place finish aboard Justly Royal in the fifth race at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.