SPORTS CALENDAR

August 1-4

US swimming championships

The ''summer nationals'' in Pasadena, Calif., take on added importance as the selection meet for the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships, a major pre-Olympic event to be held Aug. 10-13 in Atlanta. Two-time Olympian Janet Evans, who owns 45 career national titles, could tie Tracy Caulkins's record of 48, a feat one American swimming official equates with tying Joe DiMaggio's 56-game baseball hitting streak.

August 3-20

Under-17 world soccer championship

Which countries and players are on the rise in soccer? This tournament, to be held in cities around Ecuador, may be the best place to sneak a peek. Nigeria is the defending champion.

August 4-13

World Track and Field Championships

Fleet-footed Michael Johnson of Dallas hopes to win both the 200- and 400-meter races in Goteborg, Sweden. No runner has ever swept both events at the world championships, but Johnson is currently top-ranked and the reigning American champion at both distances. Another athlete to watch is Algeria's Noureddine Morceli, who broke his own world 1,500-meter record July 12.

August 5

Brickyard 400 (auto racing)

This became the richest race in stock-car history when organizers awarded $3.2 million in prize money last summer during NASCAR's inaugural spin around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Hoosier Jeff Gordon won that race, and a sellout crowd is expected to see if he can do it again. Indy's low-banked corners present the 42-driver field with a distinct challenge.

August 10-13

PGA Championship (men's golf)

The year's last major medal-play tournament pulls into Los Angeles and the Riviera Country Club, where Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn, and other Hollywood celebrities once played. Corey Pavin won the regular tour stop at Riviera for the second straight year in February and now arrives as the US Open champion.

August 12

Hershey's Track and Field Youth Program Finals

After a summer of national playground qualification meets, 9-to-14-year-olds from across the United States converge on Hershey, Pa., to see who the top runners, jumpers, and throwers are.

August 16-19

US gymnastics championships

The competition for the women's overall title has never been better or tougher. Shannon Miller, the 1992 Olympic silver medalist, must match flips in New Orleans with defending champion Dominique Dawes, who in 1994 became the first gymnast in many years to win all four events and the all-around title.

August 23-Sept. 3

World University Games

This biennial event, hosted this year by Fukuoka, Japan, is an Olympics for college students: Competitors must be between the ages of 17 and 28 and either enrolled at post-secondary schools or have graduated within the past year.

August 26

College football season opens

Sis-boom-bah! Michigan and Virginia square off in a game that jump-starts the season. For most teams, Sept. 2 is D-Day.

August 28-September 4

US Open tennis championships

If last impressions are the best, this is the Grand Slam tournament to win - the one that finishes out the 1995 season. Played in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., the Open is always a kinetic experience. Expect nothing less this year as a media feeding frenzy surrounds Monica Seles's return to major tournament play. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Andre Agassi are defending champions.

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