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U.S. speed skater breaks points record

Times Staff and Wire Reports
Published February 9, 2004

HAMAR, Norway - Chad Hedrick broke the men's world overall points record and led the United States to its first 1-2 finish Sunday at the World Allround Speed Skating Championships.

Hedrick is the first American allround champion since Eric Flaim in 1988. Shani Davis finished second.

"I come from inline skating," Hedrick said. "I've been a year and a half on the ice and didn't expect anything like this."

Since the inaugural worlds in 1893, the only Americans to win allround titles were Eric Heiden and Flaim.

SKIING: Austria's Rainer Schoenfelder edged Bode Miller to win a World Cup slalom in Adelboden, Switzerland. Miller, who has struggled this year with one top-three result, charged from fourth after the opening leg. ... Anja Paerson won her second World Cup season title in two days, capturing the slalom in Zwiesel, Germany. Three Americans finished in the top 10, the best result in years for the U.S. women. Sarah Schleper was fourth, Resi Stiegler eighth and Kristina Koznick 10th.

SNOWBOARDING: Olympic gold medalist Kelly Clark won the women's halfpipe title in the U.S. Grand Prix, and Andy Finch took the men's event in Vernon, N.J.

COLLEGES: Gators sweep series

Freshman Brian Leclerc sparked a six-run second inning with a three-run homer, and host Florida held on to beat Gardner-Webb 8-4 and sweep the two-game series.

MORE BASEBALL: Saint Leo defeated host Eckerd 15-7. On Saturday night, Chris Germano of Palm Harbor was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the winning run in the 12th inning as Saint Leo defeated Eckerd 4-3. ... Tampa salvaged the final game of a three-game series with an 8-2 victory over host Georgia College and State University. ... Hillsborough Community College scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-6 victory over Brevard CC.

SOFTBALL: South Florida won the GRU Classic, finishing the Gainesville tournament 5-0. USF (8-1) concluded with a 5-3 win over Appalachian State. Host Florida defeated Chattanooga 2-0 in the final game.

TENNIS: The USF women picked up their first win, beating visiting Stetson 5-2. ... The Florida State men toppled visiting Texas Tech 5-2.

GOLF: Camilo Villegas' par 72 put Florida in second place, 11 off the lead, after the opening round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach. Florida State was 18th at 326.

RUNNING: Ex-champion wins again

Bob Kennedy won the U.S. Cross Country Championship in Indianapolis. The 33-year-old American record-holder at 3,000 and 5,000 meters won his only other U.S. cross-country title in 1992. No American has won so many years apart.

TRACK: Marcus Brunson of the United States won the 60 meters at the Flanders Indoor meet in Ghent, Belgium, finishing in 6.59 seconds.

DERBY LANE: Valentine showdown

A special Sweetheart Challenge will take place Saturday night, Valentine's Day, at the greyhound track. The race pits males vs. females with the dominant male, Cayman Went, facing female Maryville Comet, the only dog to beat Cayman this season. ... Former heavyweight champion Larry Holmes will be a guest commentator Sunday for the Valentine's Day Massacre professional boxing bouts, the first time in the track's 79-year history it will host the sport. "Diamond" Dave Santos from St. Petersburg and Olando "The Warrior" Rivera are on the eight-fight card. For more information call (727) 812-3339.

ET CETERA

GYMNASTICS: Sean Townsend won the vault and horizontal bar at the USA Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas, earning a spot on the U.S. national team.

BOXING: Shelly Finkel, the manager Mike Tyson fired a few months ago, said he and the former heavyweight champ have reunited and are exploring a possible fight for May or June. ... Junior welterweight Sharmba Mitchell outlasted Lovemore N'Dou in Atlantic City, N.J., to win a unanimous 12-round decision and the IBF interim championship.

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