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In brief

Kwan edges out strong field in short program

By FRANK PASTOR, TIMES WIRES
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 17, 2003

DALLAS -- Michelle Kwan, the most dominant skater of her generation, added another memorable performance to her career Thursday night when she beat a loaded field in the short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

Kwan edged Sasha Cohen and Olympic gold medalist Sarah Hughes.

Kwan's triple flip easily was the best of the night, as were her unmatchable spirals. Kwan earned five 5.9s for presentation and had no mark below 5.7.

While Kwan took the lead in the women's event, the other U.S. bronze medalist from Salt Lake City, Tim Goebel, won the men's short program.

MORE SKATING: Pairs skater Kyoko Ina's four-year suspension from Olympic-eligible competition was reduced to two years by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The three-time Olympian and five-time U.S. champion has turned professional.

AUTO RACING: Cowboys QBs team

Former Dallas Cowboys quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach are partners in Hall of Fame Racing, which will enter a car in NASCAR's Winston Cup series in 2004. Former Trans-Am driver Bill Saunders will act as managing partner. "We'll be up and running in 2004, but we know we've got a lot of work ahead," Aikman said.

MORE AUTOS: Kyle Petty ran the fastest lap on the final day of testing at Daytona International Speedway. Petty turned a lap of 183.773 mph in the No. 45 Dodge. ... For the first time in its history, CART's Cleveland Grand Prix will be held at night.

HIGH SCHOOLS: Loan for Hummer

LeBron James' mother, Gloria, secured a loan from U.S. Bank in Columbus, Ohio,to buy a new luxury Hummer H2 sport utility vehicle as a birthday gift for the St. Vincent-St. Mary basketball star, the Akron Beacon-Journal reported.

The newspaper reported that a letter from the bank confirming the loan has been forwarded to satisfy a pending Ohio High School Athletic Association inquiry into the purchase.

St. Vincent-St. Mary coach Dru Joyce said he is confident that everything was done within the rules of the OHSAA: "I've been assured that everything was done in a proper way, and I have no reason to believe differently."

COLLEGES: FIU drops men's soccer

Florida International eliminated its men's soccer program because of financial reasons.

"With cost increases in the areas of travel and tuition, we were faced with either eliminating the only sport not aligned with the Sun Belt Conference or reducing budgets in all of our sports, which would eventually erode the competitiveness of our program," athletic director Rick Mello said.

FIU won Division II national championships in 1982 and 1984 and lost to St. John's in the 1996 Division I championship game.

TENNIS: Florida seniors Eleazar Magallan, Olivier Levant, junior Trey Johnson and freshman Janne Holmia advanced at the SEC Men's Indoor Championships in Norcross, Ga.

MANAGEMENT: IMG founder is critical

IMG founder and chairman Mark McCormack was in critical condition after a heart attack. The sports management company said the 72-year-old McCormack received immediate medical attention, but did not say where he was being treated. McCormack was named the seventh most powerful person in sports by Sporting News.

ET CETERA:

BOXING: Former heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe was sentenced in Charlotte, N.C., to 18 months in federal prison for the 1998 abduction of his estranged wife and children. ... Thomas Hearns' cruiserweight bout tonight in Southhaven, Miss., was called off because opponent Thomas Reid has the flu.

ARENA FOOTBALL: The Storm signed former Orlando Predators and Toronto Phantoms quarterback Pat O'Hara to replace Eric Kresser, who left camp on Tuesday with a shoulder injury.

AMERICA'S CUP: Switzerland's Alinghi beat San Francisco's Oracle by :13 for a 4-1 lead in the best-of-nine challenger series off Auckland, New Zealand.

OLYMPICS: U.S. Committee ethics compliance officer Patrick Rodgers resigned, saying he was pressured to quash the conflict-of-interest case against CEO Lloyd Ward.

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