John D. Ryan, 37, of Scottsdale, Ariz. mastered the air currents in his aptly named glider, "Sisu" (Finnish for "guts"), and beat 32 sailplaners to become the overall winner in the eight-day National Soaring Championships at El Mirage Field, Calif.

Francine Fox, 13, won the women's 500-meter kayak singles in the National Canoe Racing Championships on the Potomac. The victory made her the sport's youngest national champion and helped the Washington (D.C.) Canoe Club to its fourth straight title.

John Harwick, 29, publicity director of Waynesburg (Pa.) College, quick-stepped his way to victory in the Junior AAU 30-kilometer walk in 3 hours 5 minutes 30 seconds. John, who walks as a hobby, paced 300 miles preparing for the race in Waynesburg.

David Mann, 14, of Valparaiso, Ind. coolly zoomed his racer downhill through five heats to defeat a record field of 182 boys and win the 25th All-American Soap Box Derby in Akron. David finished the last heat in 27.8 seconds to win a $7,500 college scholarship.

Abigail Hoffman, 15, once the defensive star of a Toronto boys hockey team, left the ice and joined the girls to clip 18 seconds off the Quebec open track record and win the women's 880-yard run in 2:15.5 at the Eastern Canada meet in St. Lambert, Quebec.

Gary Roberts, 15, of Lucasville, Ohio won 12 straight and took his second consecutive junior title in the World Horseshoe Championships, in Greenville, Ohio. He set two junior world records by tossing 66 ringers out of 80 pitches, once hitting 16 in a row.