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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 18, 2000


Russians lead skating competition

Irina Slutskaya and Yevgeny Plushchenko made strong bids to retain their Cup of Russia titles, dominating the short program competition Friday at the International Skating Union Grand Prix in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Russians Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze edged China's Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo in the pairs competition. Ice dancers Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio of Italy won the compulsory dance.

Slutskaya landed all three required jumps flawlessly to finish ahead of Elena Sokolova and American Sarah Hughes.

Plushchenko got the highest marks with a routine to Ravel's Bolero. American Matthew Savoie and Bulgarian Ivan Dinev were second and third heading into today's free skate.

COLLEGES: The Florida women's and men's swimming and diving teams swept host Florida State. The women won 139-102, led by Sara McLarty in the 200-yard individual medley and 200-yard backstroke, and Nicole Bolt, first on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard. Other first-place finishes for UF: Janelle Atkinson in the 1,000-yard freestyle, Megan Melgaard in the 200-yard freestyle, Natalie Nickson in the 200-yard butterfly and Sharon Rzadkowolsky in the 500-yard freestyle. The UF men were led by Greg Reeves in the 200-yard butterfly and Bryan Kim in the 1,000-yard freestyle. ... Florida signed four golfers for the 2001-02 season: David Cosper of Clearwater, Butler Melnyk of Jacksonville, Dwight Rogers of Fort Lauderdale, and Craig Trahan.

HORSES: Sales at Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale topped $300-million with one day remaining in the 14-day auction. A 3-year-old stallion prospect, Rocket Cat, brought a top price of $47,000.

PREPS: Howie Vogts broke the New York state coaching record with his 288th career victory in Bethpage's 16-15 win over Glen Cove in the Nassau County Conference III football championship. Vogts, 70, is 288-105-10 in 47 seasons.

BASEBALL: Catcher Jorge Fabregas signed a one-year, $500,000 contract with Anaheim with incentives that could push his salary to $750,000. His signing virtually eliminates any chance of free-agent reserve catcher Matt Walbeck returning. A trade that would have sent San Diego third baseman Phil Nevin to Milwaukee for outfielder Jeromy Burnitz fell through when the Padres couldn't agree with Burnitz on a contract extension. Jose Mesa agreed to a $6.8-million, two-year contract with the Phillies. Mesa was 4-6 with a 5.36 ERA with Seattle. Oakland traded second baseman Randy Velarde to the Rangers for two minor-league pitchers. Velarde, 37, batted .278 with 12 home runs, 41 runs batted in and a team-high nine stolen bases. Catcher Jason Kendall signed a six-year, $60-million contract after Pittsburgh backed off its demands that more than a third of the money be deferred.

SOCCER: Tab Ramos retired from the national team two days after helping the Americans to a 4-0 win at Barbados in a World Cup qualifier. The 34-year-old midfielder will continue to play for New York/New Jersey of Major League Soccer.

SAILING LG Flatron was a half day ahead to win the second stage of the BT Global Challenge, from Boston to Buenos Aires. The Spirit of Hong Kong was second, followed by Logica, Compaq, Olympic Group and BP.

SKIING: Michael Von Gruenigen raced to his first World Cup giant-slalom victory in almost a year, beating Lasse Kjus by 0.55 seconds at Park City, Utah. Hermann Maier, the defending World Cup and Olympic giant-slalom champion, was third and American Erik Schlopy was fourth. ... Joni Vastamaki of Finland won the men's snowboard cross event at the International Ski Federation's snowboard World Cup in Tignes, France. Karine Ruby of France was first among the women.

TENNIS: Jennifer Capriati was added to the U.S. Fed Cup team, replacing injured Chanda Rubin. ... Monica Seles beat Amanda Coetzer 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the $2-million Chase Championships in New York. Today's other semifinal pits doubles partners Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova against each other. ... Marat Safin and Gustavo Kuerten advanced to the semifinals of the $2.95-million Paris Masters. Safin beat eighth-seeded Alex Corretja 7-6, 6-3. The top-seeded Kuerten defeated Albert Costa 6-3, 6-4. Kuerten, the two-time French Open champion, faces Mark Philippoussis today. Safin plays Juan Carlos Ferrero. ... Jelena Dokic will travel under a Yugoslavian passport and said her family plans to buy a house in Belgrade so she could more easily travel to tournaments in Europe. The 17-year-old, whose father has been banned from the women's tour, has been traveling on an Australian passport for four years. She and her family left their native Yugoslavia six years ago. ... Lleyton Hewitt, recuperating from an illness that has zapped his energy, pulled out of the Stockholm Open. Jonas Bjorkman will replace him in the main draw. ... Second-seeded Tamarine Tanasugarn lost before her home fans, 7-6, 6-4 to Nadejda Ostrovskaya, in the quarterfinals of the Volvo Women's Open in Pattaya, Thailand. Fourth-seeded Tatiana Panova defeated Vanessa Webb 6-2, 6-3.

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