Schild Wins the Slalom and Koznick Is Fourth

From the Associated Press

American Kristina Koznick finally had a good second run, and finished fourth Thursday to Marlies Schild in a World Cup slalom at Lienz, Austria.

Schild led a 1-2 Austrian finish, covering the Schlossberg marathon course in a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 57.92 seconds, 1.02 seconds ahead of teammate Nicole Hosp. Janica Kostelic regained the overall lead from Anja Paerson after placing third in 1:59.65.

Koznick -- who until now had repeatedly delivered strong opening runs this season only to fail in the second leg -- was right behind at 1:59.81. It was her best showing since consecutive second-place finishes in January.

“I knew that second runs hadn’t been going well,” Koznick said. “I’ve been holding back for whatever reason and not feeling good. So, today I just really needed to put it all out there.”

In Wednesday’s giant slalom, Koznick had finished 18th in the opening leg but dropped back to 25th after a poor second effort.


Lindsey Kildow led the rest of the Americans with a finish of eighth.

Sarah Schleper tied for 13th, Julia Mancuso was 15th, Lauren Ross 23rd and Resi Stiegler 26th.


Defending champion Janne Ahonen of Finland won the first leg of the annual ski jumping Four Hills Tour at Oberstdorf, Germany.

Ahonen led after his first jump of 130.5 meters and landed at 130 meters in the second to collect 270.9 points and beat Roar Ljoekelsoey of Norway. Ljoekelsoey scored 268.4 points.


Randa and Carrara Sign With Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates and third baseman Joe Randa agreed to a one-year, $4-million deal. The 36-year-old Randa hit a career-high 17 homers while splitting last season between the Reds and Padres.

The Pirates also signed reliever Giovanni Carrara, who was with the Dodgers last season, to a minor league contract.

Right-handers Ramon Ortiz and Tony Armas Jr. agreed to one-year deals with the Washington Nationals, who are piecing together a starting rotation.

Ortiz, who signed for $2.5 million, was 9-11 with a 5.36 earned-run average in 30 starts for Cincinnati last season. He pitched for the Angels from 1999 to 2004.

Armas, who will earn $2.1 million, went 7-7 with a 4.97 ERA for Washington in 2005.

Infielder Pokey Reese and right-hander Joe Borowski agreed to one-year contracts with the Florida Marlins.

Reese, whose deal is worth about $800,000, spent all of last season on the disabled list with the Seattle Mariners after surgery on his right shoulder. He batted .221 in 96 games with Boston in 2004.

Borowski went 1-5 with a 4.47 ERA in 43 games last season for the Chicago Cubs and Tampa Bay.

As expected, pitcher Kevin Millwood signed his $60-million, five-year contract with Texas after passing two physicals.


Former Champ Fenech Arrested in Australia

Former boxing champion Jeff Fenech was charged with stealing three watches worth $290 from a jewelry store in Gold Coast, Australia. Fenech, 41, won the International Boxing Federation bantamweight title in 1985, followed by the World Boxing Council junior featherweight crown in 1987 and the WBC featherweight title in 1988. He retired in 1996 with a 28-3-1 record.


‘Seven Blocks of Granite’ Player Dies at 91

John Druze, the last surviving member and captain of Fordham’s famed “Seven Blocks of Granite,” has died. He was 91. Druze died Tuesday in Scottsdale, Ariz., of natural causes, Fordham said Thursday.

In 1936 and 1937, Druze teamed with Al Babartsky, Vince Lombardi, Alex Wojciechowicz, Nat Pierce, Ed Franco and Leo Paquin to form the second version of Fordham’s famed “Seven Blocks of Granite” under coach Jim Crowley. The line coach on those teams was Frank Leahy, later the head coach at Notre Dame.

Clint Sampson, a receiver for the Denver Broncos from 1983 to 1986, died Sunday in a car accident in Los Angeles. He was 44.