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Von Gruenigen Leads 1-2 Swiss World Cup Finish

December 23, 1996|From Staff and Wire Reports

Michael Von Gruenigen earned his first World Cup victory of the season at Alta Badia, Italy and led a 1-2 Swiss finish Sunday.

Von Gruenigen, the defending World Cup giant slalom champion, defeated teammate Steve Locher by 77-hundredths of a second with two excellent runs down the Gran Risa course.

Von Gruenigen was fastest in both heats, in 1:18.15 and 1:14.51, for a winning time of 2 minutes, 32.66 seconds.

"I could not ski any better today, and I had to take risks and go beyond my limits in the second run to fight off Locher," said Von Gruenigen, who won for the eighth time in his career.

Italy's Matteo Nana skied his best World Cup giant slalom ever to place third, 1.49 seconds behind the winner.

Hans Knauss was the top Austrian, finishing fourth at 2:34.73 after rallying five positions from the first run. He has a commanding lead in the overall World Cup standings with 421 points.

Three other Austrians--Rainer Salzgeber, Siegfried Voglreiter and Guenther Mader--finished behind Knauss.

Von Gruenigen placed second, third and sixth in the three previous World Cup giant slaloms this season. He celebrated his victory at the finish line with his wife and son.

"I always do well when my family comes to see me," he said.

Locher trailed his teammate by two-hundredths of a second in the first run and finished in 2:33.43.

*

Michelle Kwan took advantage of Kristi Yamaguchi's tumble to win the women's singles while Todd Eldredge won the men's event in the Ultimate Four figure-skating championships at Boston.

*

Markus Prock of Austria earned his third victory of the season and extended his World Cup luge lead, setting a course record in the two-race event at Koenigsee, Germany. Prock clocked 47.726 seconds in the second race for a total time of 1:35.632. Duncan Kennedy of the U.S., who led after the first heat with a time of 47.797, finished second overall at 1:35.662, following Prock's record-breaking run in the second race of 47.726 for a total time of 1:35.632. . . . Kirstin Holum, a 16-year-old high school student from Waukesha, Wis., won the 1,500- and 5,000-meter races to take the women's U.S. Speedskating Allround Championship after two days of competition at the Pettit National Ice Center at Milwaukee. K.C. Boutiette of Tacoma, Wash., won his second straight men's national title. . . . Warm temperatures and poor snow conditions forced postponement of a women's World Cup giant slalom at Morzine, France, wiping out the fourth race in the past 10 days.

Tennis

Spaniards Alberto Martin and Ana Alcazar won the boys' and girls' 18-and-under singles titles at the Rolex Orange Bowl International at Miami Beach, Fla.

It was the second time in four years that Spain swept the 18s singles titles. Alberto Costa, currently ranked No. 13 on the ATP Tour, and Angeles Montolio won in 1993.

Martin, seeded No. 1, needed only a little more than an hour to defeat No. 14 Arnaud Di Pasquale, 6-4, 6-2. A native of Barcelona, Martin, 18, also won the French Open Junior title this year.

Alcazar, 17, of Lorca, dominated Slovenia's Katarina Srebotnik, 15, in the final, 6-3, 6-0. The No. 3-seeded player, Alcazar took 49 minutes to claim her second Orange Bowl title.

Boxing

Antonio Cermeno of Venezuela retained his World Boxing Assn. junior-featherweight championship with a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision over top-ranked contender Yuichi Kasai of Japan on Saturday night at Las Vegas.

Cermeno, making his fourth title defense, won by scores of 118-109 on one judge's card, and 117-112 on the other two judges' cards.

Cermeno, 26-1 with 16 knockouts, used his jab and quickness to outpoint Kasai, who fell to 24-3-1 with 16 knockouts.

David Tua of New Zealand, extended past the 10th round for the first time in his career, stopped Phillip Izonritei of Nigeria at 1:54 of the 12th round to retain his World Boxing Council Intercontinental heavyweight title at Uncasville, Conn., on Saturday night.

Miscellany

Alaska Anchorage women's basketball Coach Jerry McLaughlin was suspended Saturday during the team's showcase tournament, the Northern Lights Invitational. Athletic Director Tim Dillon made the announcement, but declined to discuss the reason for the suspension or say exactly how long it would last.

Harry Larrabee, the former men's basketball coach and the senior associate athletic director, was made interim coach. Larrabee also will stay on as a department administrator.

* Randy Harvey is on vacation

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