© St. Petersburg Times, published January 19, 2003
DALLAS -- Michelle Kwan reasserted herself Saturday night with the style and perfection that has marked her career, winning her sixth straight U.S. Figure Skating Championships title and seventh overall.
Kwan now has as many titles as any U.S. man. She also has four world crowns and will go after her fifth in Washington in March.
When Kwan opened her arms to the heavens as she finished her free skate, the audience made it clear who was the fans' champion.
"It's overwhelming sometimes, the moment," Kwan said. "You prepare for so long, every day. Every day you just hope to skate as well as I did out there."
She received a 6.0 for artistry, her 28th perfect mark at nationals, along with six 5.9s.
Her program was spotless, and included six triple jumps.
Olympic champion Sarah Hughes, the first American woman to win Olympic gold and skate at the next national championships, finished second. Sasha Cohen fell once, two-footed other jumps and slipped to third.
Michael Weiss fell on a quadruple lutz and didn't do a triple axel but ended up with the men's title. Tim Goebel, the Olympic bronze medalist who led after the short program, dropped to second overall, and little-known Ryan Jahnke vaulted from sixth to third.
Domestic Dispute proved trainer Bob Baffert has another contender for the Kentucky Derby by winning the $150,000 Santa Catalina Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Domestic Dispute, Baffert's No. 3 colt, won by 3 lengths over Our Bobby V in the Grade II, 1 1/16-mile Derby prep. Domestic Dispute joins Vindication and Kafwain, 1-2 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 26, as Baffert's 3-year-olds in the Derby in May.
GULFSTREAM: Offlee Wild won the first big test for Triple Crown hopefuls, rallying to edge Powerful Touch by a head in the Holy Bull Stakes in Hallandale Beach. The $100,000 Grade III race also was a prep for the Fountain of Youth Stakes on Feb. 15 and the Florida Derby on March 15.
Switzerland's Alinghi advanced to the America's Cup final against Team New Zealand, beating San Francisco's Oracle in the sixth race of the best-of-nine challenger series off Auckland, New Zealand. Alinghi crossed the finish line less than 10 seconds ahead of Oracle, but the margin grew to 2:34 because of a prestart penalty.
Carlos Bocanegra, Chris Klein and Steve Ralston had their first goals for the U.S. national team in a 4-0 victory over Canada in Fort Lauderdale. Clint Mathis added his 11th to move into 10th place on the career list as the Americans extended their unbeaten streak against the Canadians to 10. The United States is 5-0-5 since losing a 1985 game to Canada.
McBRIDE LEADS EVERTON: U.S. World Cup player Brian McBride scored twice within six minutes to rally Everton to a 2-1 victory over Sunderland in Liverpool, England, in the Premier League. McBride is on loan from Major League Soccer and will return to the Columbus Crew when the season starts.
FIU RECONSIDERING: Florida International officials said the school will reexamine its decision to eliminate the men's program. Athletic director Rick Mello said talks would resume between the athletic department, financial officials and program representatives on Tuesday.
COLLEGE TENNIS: Florida freshman Janne Holmia advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Men's Indoor Championships in Norcross, Ga. ... The Florida women's doubles team of Jennifer Magley and Zerene Reyes advanced to the final of the Collegiate Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas.
WINTER SPORTS: American Travis Cabral had a nearly flawless final run to edge Olympic champion Janne Lahtela in a World Cup moguls event in Lake Placid, N.Y. ... Canada's Pierre Lueders and Giulio Zardo won a World Cup bobsled race in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the U.S. team of Todd Hays and Randy Jones finished second.