Nyman surprises on slopes

By wire services
Published January 29, 2006

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany - With Bode Miller off the slopes, American Steven Nyman scored a career-best in the downhill on Saturday.

Hermann Maier led an Austrian sweep at the World Cup downhill event, marking his third victory of the season and first in a downhill. Miller, the reigning overall champion, skipped the races to rest before the Turin Olympics.

Nyman took advantage of an early start to place fourth, just 0.44 seconds behind the illustrious Maier and 0.16 from a third-place medal. Teammate Daron Rahlves, winner of three downhills this season, finished 14th in 1:58.84 after almost being thrown off the bumpy course.

Nyman, who started third and benefited from a clean course, finished with a personal-best 1:58.00.

"I dreamt of doing this, but over time and with some experience," Nyman said. "That's usually how downhill works, with age. But I'm just a young buck."

WOMEN'S DOWNHILL: American Julia Mancuso was second at World Cup, duplicating her finish in Friday's super-G. She was 0.05 seconds behind nine-time record winner Austrian Renate Goetschl.

SPEEDSKATING: World sprint champion Joey Cheek won the 500-meter race and finished second to American teammate Shani Davis in the 1,000 at a World Cup meet at Collalbo, Italy. Cheek, who will compete in the 500, 1,000 and 1,500 at Turin, beat Yuya Oikawa of Japan in the 500 by 0.32 seconds. He finished in 35.11. Davis edged Cheek by 0.06 to win the 1,000 in 1 minute, 9.26 seconds.

WOMEN'S FIGURE SKATING: Competing in her first international event as a senior, 16-year-old Katy Taylor won the Four Continents at Colorado Springs, finishing with 164.05 points to beat Yukari Nakano and her attempt at a triple axel.

SNOWBOARDING: Maelle Rickerof Canada's Olympic team ended American Lindsey Jacobellis' reign as Winter X Games champion, passing Joanie Anderson on the final jump to win a second gold at Aspen.


DERBY LANE: Extruding Dream won its fourth straight race and 18th this season, topping track record holder Its Dust Em to stay undefeated in the $100,000 Distance Classic.

HORSES: Jerry Bailey, 48, winner of a record seven Eclipse Awards as the nation's best jockey, retired following a second-place finish aboard Silver Tree, who was three-quarters of a length short in a bid for a come-from-behind victory over 50-1 choice Miesque's Approval in the $500,000 Cloverleaf Farms Turf Stakes at Gulfstream Park. The race was part of the Sunshine Millions Cup, with four races each at Gulfstream and Santa Anita. Florida-bred horses edged California-breds 37-35. Bailey concluded his 31-year career with 5,893 victories, the last coming aboard Shakespearesister in a $33,000 allowance race Friday.