December 25, 1978 12:00 PM

Success hasn’t spoiled Sugar Ray Leonard, it’s only sweetened his bank account. Since the 1976 Olympic light welterweight champ turned pro, he has won all 17 bouts and almost $1 million. “I don’t just go in the ring and punch anymore,” says Leonard, 22. “Boxing is a business.” He plans a shot at Carlos Palomino’s title in ’79. He and his lady, Juanita Wilkinson, are still together despite her 1976 paternity suit (it was brought so she could apply for welfare, they say), and his mom will be ringside in spirit as always, murmuring the 41st Psalm: “Blessed is he who considered the poor.” Sugar Ray, who shares Muhammad Ali’s manager, Angelo Dundee, is more pragmatic: “Fame comes and goes. I’m trying to get everything I can while I’m hot.”

In 1974, for a lark, Lynn Alice Jennings joined the boys’ cross-country team at Bromfield High School in Harvard, Mass. Now she has a reputation to live up to. Last winter at the AAU Nationals she ran a record-setting 4:39 mile after winning the prestigious 6.2-mile Bonne Bell road race in Boston. More surprising was her unofficial third-place showing among women at the Boston Marathon, her first, last April. “Most milers don’t have the distance,” said champ Bill Rodgers. “Her time [2:46] shocked me.” Now Lynn, 18 and a Princeton freshman, is aiming at the 1,500-meter race at the Moscow Olympics: “I can’t imagine ever giving up running. It’s just plain fun.”

The New York Yankees seem to need another high-powered pitcher as much as Charlie needs another Angel. But left-handed Dave Righetti, 20 (above with girlfriend Beth Lasters), was the key in a 10-player deal that brought him to New York from the Texas Rangers. The 6’4″, 190-lb. Righetti has been called “another Ron Guidry” by a Yankee scout. Righetti demurs, “He’s him; I’m me.” While Dave has pitched for only three years (he played the outfield for San Jose’s Pioneer High), he struck out 127 batters in just 91 innings last season in the Texas League—21 in one game. The Yankee staff already boasts five 20-game winners, but, Righetti figures, “If you’re good enough, they’ll find a spot for you.”

In two years Andrea Jaeger, 13, has won seven national tennis titles, including the Girls National 16-and-under clay court singles and doubles (with sister Suzy, 16) and the Rolex International juniors singles. She now seems ready to inherit the Wunderkind title held by Tracy Austin, her old doubles partner. (Tracy was 11 and Andrea 9 when they won a tournament in 1974.) Andrea is tentatively ranked No. 1 among girls 14 and under and No. 4 among 16-and-unders. (When Tracy Austin was 13 she didn’t play above her age level often enough to get any ranking in that category.) A straight-A student at Daniel Wright Junior High in Lincolnshire, III., Jaeger has lost only twice in 16 major tournaments. Her 4’11”, 76-lb. frame is deceptive. “If people don’t know me,” she says, “they go, ‘God, how can I lose to someone so short?’ ”

When Mike Tully takes a trip, he doesn’t travel heavy, but he sure travels long—with a half dozen or so 16’6″ fiberglass poles. “I don’t even want to discuss trying to convince a taxi to take me as a fare,” says the 22-year-old UCLA senior and indoor world record holder for the pole vault. This spring when he hits the road for the Olympic trials Tully is bound to have another kind of Pole on his mind too—Tadeusz Slusarski, the ’76 Olympic gold medalist. “He jumped 18’½” at Montreal, but the bar waffled all over the place,” says Tully, whose vault of 18’8¾” last spring will be a world record if and when it gets official recognition (the height of the bar has not been certified). For Tully, though, there’s no doubt. “I jumped that height. Now I’m shooting for 19 feet.”

When you’re 10 and live next to a golf course, the temptation to trade your skills as a grounds cleaner/parking attendant for the right to practice is strong. Bobby Clampett didn’t resist, and this year it paid off at the U.S. Open. The Brigham Young University sophomore, now 18, played well enough to finish in a tie for 30th among the best pros in the world, many of whom he had shagged balls for during the ’72 Open at Pebble Beach, near his Carmel, Calif. home. That performance was just a beginning. This summer the California state amateur champ, with a classically fluid swing, went on to capture four of America’s most distinguished amateur titles—the Western Jr., Western Amateur, World Amateur and Porter Cup—and got as far as the semifinals in the U.S. Amateur championship. He also led the all-America college team to victory over the Japanese college all-stars at Spyglass, Calif. in November. “When you go into detail about what Bobby has accomplished this year,” summarizes his BYU coach, Karl Tucker, “it sounds like a pack of lies.”

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