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SPORTS EXTRA: U.S. FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Women's Singles

January 07, 2002

SCHEDULE

* Short program, 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Staples Center (worth one-third of final score).

* Long program, 4:40 p.m. Saturday at Staples Center (worth two-thirds of final score).

The U.S. can send three women's singles skaters to the Salt Lake City Winter Games.

*

FAVORITES

MICHELLE KWAN

Torrance

* A five-time U.S. champion and four-time world champion, Kwan has had a turbulent season. She switched choreographers, dropped longtime coach Frank Carroll and hasn't dominated as she had. Still the skater to beat, with artistry and musical interpretation that classify her as one of the sport's greats.

SARAH HUGHES

Great Neck, N.Y.

* Rising star who has all the goods--jumps, artistry and personality. Won her first Grand Prix event this season, Skate Canada, and finished third at the Grand Prix Final. Was second at last year's national competition and third at the World Championships.

ANGELA NIKODINOV

San Pedro

* Third at last year's U.S. nationals and fifth at the World Championships, her best season. Suffered emotional loss with the death in November of her coach, Elena Tcherkasskaia, who had become almost a mother to her. Nikodinov faded in the long program of her three Grand Prix events this season and missed the Grand Prix Final. Now coached by Frank Carroll in El Segundo.

SASHA COHEN

Laguna Niguel

* Rebounded from a back injury that kept her out of last year's U.S. and world competitions. Won her first medal at a Grand Prix competition by finishing third at the Trophee Lalique in Paris in November. Graceful skater who has tried to be the first woman to land a quadruple salchow, but probably won't try it this week unless she needs a dramatic boost.

*

THE REST

AMBER CORWIN

Hermosa Beach

JOAN CRISTOBAL

San Jose

ALISSA CZISNY

Bowling Green, Ohio

ANDREA GARDINER

Baytown, Texas

CHRISTINA GORDON

Fairbanks, Alaska

JENNIFER KIRK

Newton, Mass.

BEATRISA LIANG

Granada Hills

PATRICIA MANSFIELD

Wilmington, Del.

ANN PATRICE McDONOUGH

Colorado Springs, Colo.

YE BIN MOK

Los Angeles

STACY PENSGEN

Fairport, N.Y.

MOLLY QUIGLEY

Nashua, N.H.

ANDREA VARRAUX

Orlando, Fla.

SARAH WHEAT

Newark, Del.

*

RECENT MEDALISTS

Year Site: Order of Finish

2001 Boston:

1. Michelle Kwan

2. Sarah Hughes

3. Angela Nikodinov

*

2000 Cleveland:

1. Michelle Kwan

2. Sasha Cohen

3. Sarah Hughes

*

1999 Salt Lake City:

1. Michelle Kwan

2. Naomi Nari Nam

3. Angela Nikodinov

*

1998 Philadelphia:

1. Michelle Kwan

2. Tara Lipinski

3. Nicole Bobek

*

1997 Nashville:

1. Tara Lipinski

2. Michelle Kwan

3. Nicole Bobek

*

1996 San Jose:

1. Michelle Kwan

2. Tonia Kwiatkowski

3. Tara Lipinski

*

1995 Providence, R.I.:

1. Nicole Bobek

2. Michelle Kwan

3. Tonia Kwiatkowski

*

1994 Detroit:

1. Vacant

2. Michelle Kwan

3. Nicole Bobek

*

1993 Phoenix:

1. Nancy Kerrigan

2. Lisa Ervin

3. Tonia Kwiatkowski

*

1992 Orlando, Fla.:

1. Kristi Yamaguchi

2. Nancy Kerrigan

3. Tonya Harding

*

1991 Minneapolis:

1. Tonya Harding

2. Kristi Yamaguchi

3. Nancy Kerrigan

*

1990 Salt Lake City:

1. Jill Trenary

2. Kristi Yamaguchi

3. Holly Cook

*

1989 Baltimore:

1. Jill Trenary

2. Kristi Yamaguchi

3. Tonya Harding

*

1988 Denver:

1. Debi Thomas

2. Jill Trenary

3. Caryn Kadavy

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