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Lipinski Impressive in Olympic Tuneup

From Staff and Wire Reports

In a possible figure skating preview to the Winter Olympics in February, Tara Lipinski won the Champions Series Final on Saturday at Munich, Germany.

Skating last, Lipinski, 15, followed flawless and elegant long programs by Russian Maria Butryskaya and Germany’s Tanja Szewczenko. Butryskaya hit six clean triples; Szewczenko seven, a first for the German champion.

Lipinski also hit seven triples, but four of hers were in difficult combinations, including her unique triple loop-triple loop. When the marks went up, Lipinski got a majority of 5.9s for both technical performance and artistic expression, giving her the victory.

Szewczenko, making a comeback after an 18-month layoff because of a viral illness, finished second and Butryskaya third.

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In the men’s competition, world champion Elvis Stojko of Canada fell on one of his jumps and was beaten by Ilia Kulik of Russia. Kulik had not won a major international competition since the European title in 1995.

Russians Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze won the pairs title, beating world champions Mandy Woetzel and Ingo Steuer. Steuer’s bruised right arm obviously gave him trouble throughout the program.

Oksana Grishuk and Evgeny Platov received four perfect 6.0s for their free dance to win the ice dance competition.

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Swedish skier Ylva Nowen earned her first World Cup slalom victory, jumping from 14th place after the first run to win in 1:32.33 at Val D’Isere, France. Deborah Compagnoni of Italy, winner of Friday’s giant slalom, finished second at 1:32.42. . . . Bad weather again kept the men World Cup skiers off the slopes at Val Gardena, Italy, as fog and light rain wiped out two downhill races.

In the first U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix at Carrasbassett Valley, Maine, Ron Chiodi of Stratton Mountain, Vt., fought his way through fast-falling darkness to win an Olympic qualifier halfpipe competition by .7 of a point. Cara-Beth Burnside of Orange took the women’s event by .2. . . . Former European champion Rintje Ritsma broke the world 1,500-meter speedskating record at the Dutch national championships at Neerenveen with a time of 1:48.88. The previous mark of 1:49.07 was set a month ago by Canadian Kevin Overland. . . . Bjorn Daehlie, the men’s overall World Cup champion, led a 1-2-3 Norwegian finish in a cross-country ski race at Davos, Switzerland. Russia’s Elena Vaelbe, the women’s defending champion, registered her first victory of the season. . . . Cammy Myler, Wendel Suckow, Chris Thorpe and Gordy Sheer--with 13 Olympics among them--were named to the U.S. Olympic luge team. Brian Martin of Palo Alto was also picked for the 10-member team, along with World Cup leader Mark Grimmette.

Baseball

Chicago Cub outfielder Sammy Sosa has hired former boxing manager Rock Newman as the manager of his off-field endeavors. Sosa’s agent, Adam Katz, who negotiated the four-year, $42.5-million contract Sosa signed in June, said, “This was Sammy’s idea, not mine.” . . . The Baltimore Orioles made outfielder Geronimo Berroa a free agent rather than go through salary arbitration with him. . . . The Chicago White Sox said they would not offer infielder Norberto Martin a contract, making him a free agent. . . . The Kansas City Royals said that they had not tendered a contract to shortstop Orlando Miller, making him eligible to become a free agent. . . . The Texas Rangers came to terms on a one-year contract with catcher Bill Haselman and made right-handers Roger Pavlik and Wilson Heredia free agents.

Jurisprudence

Former heavyweight boxer Tommy Morrison faces six months in jail after he was convicted in his hometown of Jay, Okla., of driving under the influence and two related charges. A county jury deliberated for about four hours in an unusual weekend session before convicting Morrison of driving under the influence, carrying a firearm while under the influence of liquor and unlawful transportation of an opened container of alcoholic beverage. Morrison also faces civil suits in the accident that injured Karl Shklar and Lora Lee Scroggins and her 12-year-old daughter, Pamela Scroggins.

Former pitcher John Montefusco, 47, who spent seven of his 13 major league seasons with the San Francisco Giants, has been charged in Freehold, N.J., with sexually assaulting, kidnapping and terrorizing his ex-wife, Doris. Montefusco, in custody since being arrested Oct. 25 in Pennsylvania, remains in jail on $1-million bail.

Miscellany

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Former champion Tracy Harris Patterson stopped Manuel Chavez-Tellez in the eighth round of their scheduled 10-round super-featherweight bout at the Reseda Country Club. Patterson scored repeatedly by countering with his right hand, and referee Marty Denkin stopped it at 2:21 of the eighth.

New Zealand’s Olympic super-heavyweight silver medalist Wolfgramm, who weighed 334 pounds, improved his pro record to 12-0 with a first-round knockout of Bill Eaton.

University of Michigan wrestlers will no longer be allowed to exercise in rubber suits or spend excessive time in the sauna. Athletic Director Tom Goss issued the directive in the aftermath of Michigan wrestler Jeff Reese’s death Dec. 9. Reese worked out in a rubber suit the day before a match because he wanted to make a 150-pound weight maximum.


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