Skating championships begin with a surpriseThe U.S. Figure...

Sports briefly

January 08, 1992

Skating championships begin with a surprise

The U.S. Figure Skating Championships began yesterday with a surprise in ice dancing. Defending champions Elizabeth Punsalan and Jerod Swallow were tied for third in compulsories, worth 20 percent of the total score.

Two couples tied for the lead. April Sargent-Thomas and Russ Witherby, three times national runners-up, were deadlocked with Rachel Mayer and Peter Breen, a relatively new team.

Sargent-Thomas underwent surgery for an ovarian cyst one week before Christmas. Doctors told her not to skate here, but she came and performed well.

Tied with Punsalan-Swallow were Amy Webster and Leif Erickson. Two teams will qualify for the Olympics.

College football

Members of the football bowl alliance have made a proposal to the Atlantic Coast Conference that may keep the coalition afloat in the face of a $4.3-million offer from the Blockbuster Bowl to match the champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East Conference.

The alliance has told the ACC that the conference would not be required to send a team to the Fiesta Bowl unless the rankings produced a No.1 vs. No. 2 bowl matchup of an ACC team against either a team from the Big East or Notre Dame. In all other instances, the ACC champion would play in the Orange, Sugar or Cotton bowl against conference champions committed to those bowls.

* Rick Minter, the architect of Ball State's highly respected defense, was named defensive football coordinator at Notre Dame.

Minter will replace Gary Darnell, who left the Irish after two seasons to become assistant head coach at Texas under new coach John Mackovic.

Under Minter's direction, Ball State has ranked in the top 11 nationally in total defense three times.

* Steve Taneyhill of Altoona, Pa., the most highly recruited high school quarterback in the state, has given an oral commitment to South Carolina.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound Taneyhill, who made the USA Today and Parade magazine All-American teams, chose South Carolina over Alabama. He also considered UCLA, Wisconsin and Virginia.

Hockey

Former Washington Capitals defenseman Darren Veitch was ordered to stand trial on a charge of common assault against his girlfriend. Veitch also will be tried on a charge of uttering threats of bodily harm when he reappears in court March 6. He opted for a trial by provincial court judge. Veitch, now with the Moncton Hawks of the American Hockey League, was charged Christmas Eve after an incident involving Vicki Cressman.

Boxing

Donovan "Razor" Ruddock, looking for an edge that will lead to the heavyweight championship, has hired Floyd Patterson as his trainer.

Patterson, the two-time heavyweight champ, was an interested particpant at a Don King/Showtime news conference yesterday introducing the fighters, who will meet Feb. 15 at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Ruddock will headline the card, taking on former WBA champ Greg Page in a 10-round bout.

Radio

Jeff Rimer will have Gary Williams, Billy Packer and Calvin Hill on a 2 1/2 -hour edition of Sports Line on WBAL radio tonight from Cole Field House before the Maryland-Duke game.

Baseball

The Phoenix Firebirds will move up the road in 1992, joining their major-league parent, the San Francisco Giants, in a new baseball stadium.

The Pacific Coast League team -- leaving Phoenix after 26 years -- announced its Scottsdale schedule yesterday after a city council vote Monday night approving the team's lease.

Goodwill Games

St. Louis, Dallas, Indianapolis, New York and Miami were named finalists for the 1998 Goodwill Games. The finalists were chosen from a field of nine that submitted formal bids in November.

A final selection is expected Oct. 1.

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