Swingley Wins Iditarod Race for Third Time

From Staff and Wire Reports

Defending champion Doug Swingley drove his dog team to victory Tuesday in the 1,100-mile Iditarod sled dog race, breaking his previous record and joining an elite group of multiple winners.

“This is a great team, they just kept getting better and better,” Swingley said, patting the dogs after his arrival in Nome, Alaska.

Swingley, of Lincoln, Mont., completed this year’s race in 9 days and 58 minutes, breaking the Iditarod record he set in 1995 of 9 days 2 hours 42 minutes. He won $60,000 of a record $525,000 purse and a new pickup truck. Race money was to be awarded to the first 30 finishers.

Swingley, the only non-Alaskan to win the race, joins Jeff King and Martin Buser as a three-time winner. Susan Butcher, who last competed in 1994, won four times. Rick Swenson is the race’s only five-time winner.

Pro Football

The NFL disciplined four players under its new anti-crime policy, three of them offensive linemen who were involved in a fight outside a bar last summer.


Matt O’Dwyer, now of the Cincinnati Bengals, and Jumbo Elliott of the New York Jets were each suspended for two games. Jason Fabini of the Jets was fined $14,000 for his involvement in the bar fight.

Tennessee cornerback Denard Walker was suspended for two games after pleading guilty to assault on the mother of his son.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made another salary cap move, releasing guard Brendan Stai after trying unsuccessfully to trade him and his $1.6-million salary.

The Chargers and San Diego police announced that there will be additional police and restrictions on the sale of alcohol during this season’s game with the Raiders. Fan violence led to 154 people being cited, arrested or ejected from Qualcomm Stadium at last season’s Charger-Raider game.

Police Chief David Bejarano said that there will be triple the usual number of police officers at the Raider game and Charger Vice President Michael McNeeley said that alcohol sales will be halted after halftime.


Former Northwestern cornerback Dwight Brown was sentenced to 30 days in jail at Chicago for lying twice to a federal grand jury investigating gambling among athletes on the Big Ten campus.

In secretly made tapes played for a jury, former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards is heard assuring former San Francisco 49er owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. that they could get a supposedly confidential state gambling document.

The document was a state police report on applicants for Louisiana’s 15th riverboat casino license--the last license available in the state.

DeBartolo was one of those applicants and hoped the report would give him helpful inside information, prosecutors in Edwards’ federal racketeering trial claim.

Edwards, his son Stephen, and five others have been on trial since Jan. 10 at Baton Rouge, La. They are accused in a series of bribery and extortion schemes.

A drug- and weapons-possession case against Carolina Panther reserve running back Fred Lane was sent to a grand jury at Jackson, Tenn.

Lane was in court for a preliminary hearing. He was arrested Feb. 3 after police stopped his car and said they found 1.3 grams of marijuana and a .22-caliber rifle. The grand jury will meet in April.


Lorrie Fair and Shannon MacMillan scored in the second half as the United States rallied to beat Denmark, 2-1, in the second round of the Algarve Cup at Faro, Portugal. The U.S. must beat or tie Sweden on Thursday for a spot in the tournament final. In the other Group A game, Sweden routed Portugal, 5-1. . . . Chelsea became the third team to reach the European Champions Cup quarterfinals, beating Feyenoord of Rotterdam, 3-1, to join qualifiers Barcelona and Bayern Munich.


Jim Staunton, commissioner of the Southern Section, said the organization is investigating a newspaper report that alleges that two foreign players on Lakewood Artesia High’s boys’ basketball team--junior Jack Martinez and sophomore Jon Stefansson--hold student visas with false information and that Martinez is in his fifth year of high school. The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported the story Tuesday.

Martinez is from the Dominican Republic and Stefansson is from Iceland. The players helped Artesia win the Southern Section Division II-A championship. The team’s season ended Thursday with a loss to Bakersfield Foothill in the Southern California regional of the state tournament.

A circuit judge in Honolulu refused to prevent the NCAA from holding major swimming events until allegations that Hawaii swimmers were unfairly disqualified are addressed in court.

Johnnaya Peer, a 19-year-old sprinter on the Arkansas Pine Bluff women’s track team, died after collapsing while jogging. . . . Pittsburgh has given football Coach Walt Harris a contract extension through 2006. Harris was 13-21 in his first three seasons and led Pitt to the Liberty Bowl in his first season, 1997. . . . Jeremy Bowie, a junior cornerback at Kentucky, was suspended from the team after having been arrested on drunken-driving charges last weekend.