Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide for Reeves County, Trans-Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas
Monday, February 16, 1998
New job part of Swaim's eventful year
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Feb. 16 -- "It's been a very eventful year," said Dan
Swaim, who was referring to just the last seven months
leading up to his appointment Thursday as the Pecos Eagles'
new head football coach.
News of the change was first leaked a week earlier, shortly
after interviews were conducted with Swaim and the nine of
the applicants. The action came a month after head coach
Mike Belew was reassigned by new superintendent Don Love,
but wasn't finalized until the unanimous vote by the school
The former assistant to Belew began the current school year
in the hospital after emergency appendectomy surgery. "I
missed all of two-a-days after that, and a lot of other
things have happened. to go from a position that you don't
know if you have a job to getting this one has been fun."
Pecos fans will be hoping things are more fun next year,
when Swaim debuts as coach and the Eagles debut in their new
District 2-4A alignment.
After going against Andrews, San Angelo and Fort Stockton
for the past 18 years, and against Sweetwater, Big Spring,
Monahans and Snyder for most of that time, the Eagles' new
district is expected to be a far weaker one, with four of
their five rivals having just recently moved up from Class
As a result, Pecos is the unofficial early favorite to take
the 2-4A grid title. But after an 0-5 district mark in a 4-6
season, and with junior varsity and freshman teams coming
off winless records, Swaim realizes the 1998 Eagles will
have to do more than just show up to earn their first
playoff berth in 23 years.
"We're going to be in a rebuilding year. Just because we've
moved to a new district doesn't mean miracles happen
overnight," he said. "If we don't work hard, we're going to
"At the varsity level right now it looks like we're going to
be pretty young. We lost our offensive linemen from last
year, and we need to fill their shoes. But as far as the
skill positions (backs, receivers, defensive secondary),
we're still in good shape."
Swaim served under Belew during his two seasons in Pecos, in
which the Eagles posted identical 4-6 marks. He also played
for him at Odessa Permian in the early 1980s, and said as
far as Pecos' offensive ad defensive schemes, they won't
change much next season.
"Basically, the offense we're going to stay with is the
wing-T, and we're going to stay with the `29' defense. When
you come to watch us you won't see much change. There will
be a few things different, but the as far as the basic
offense and defense, what we do will be the same."
What Swaim will try to change is the same problem Belew
faced when he arrived in Pecos two years ago -- increasing
the Eagles' participation rate. It went up in 1996 at the
sub-varsity level and the results showed on the field, as
the JV and freshmen went a combined 15-4. But those numbers
fell back this past season, and again, the results were
reflected in the teams' records.
"I don't see a problem, really. I think you'll see a lot of
kids come back out," he said. "I've been meeting with the
players and roaming the halls just like we did in the past
trying to get out as many kids as we can. The freshmen
group's intact, but we had a lot of kids quit on the JV
level, and we need to try and get them back out here. "
Swaim also talked with the Eagles' other assistant coaches
Friday about their plans for the 1998-99 school year. "Every
coach that wants to stay will have the opportunity to stay,"
he said, while adding he expected some changes will occur
before preseason workouts next August.
"There will probably be some movement, but I'm hoping to
have it (the staff) solidified by April," he said. "I'm
looking at a couple of guys to try and bring in, but I'd
like to keep as many here as I can."
Pecos boxer gets state berth despite loss
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Feb. 16 -- The Fourth Annual West of the Pecos
Golden Gloves tournament wrapped up Saturday night with only
one local boxer coming away with a division title in the
ring, although another earned one via a walkover and a third
will be advancing to the state tournament in Fort Worth in
March despite a defeat.
Pecos-Barstow Warbirds boxer Jesus Marruffo will represent
the area in the 139-pound weight class even though he lost
to Matt Franco of the Twin Cities Tigers. Franco, the
defending champ in the weight class, stopped Marruffo about
45 seconds into the second round to earn a return trip to
state, but will skip the Fort Worth tournament in order to
concentrate on the U.S.A. Boxing Championships in Colorado
Springs in three weeks.
Marruffo didn't appear that badly hurt, but took two
standing eight counts in the first round before the fight
was stopped after getting his nose bloodied and taking
another eight count in the second. "Jesus was going up
against a more experienced fighter, and even though the
fight was stopped, I thought he looked good," said Warbirds'
manager Fred Martin. "I think he'll do well at state."
"He just didn't have enough training," said Roy Juarez, who
earned his own sportsmanship trophy Saturday night. "He'd
just been working out twice a week because of his job, but
I'm going to take him to Odessa on Wednesday, and he'll spar
with the guys there until we go to Fort Worth."
Marruffo's teammates, Ricky Rubio and Peter Juarez, also
lost on Saturday, both by decision, to Eric Garcia of San
Angelo Luna and Johnny Vasquez of Snyder, in Junior Olympic
Division bouts. On Friday, the Warbirds' other fighter,
Michael Vasquez, was decisioned by Derek Heredia of the
Amarillo Mavericks, who went on to win the division title
over Jeremy Martinez of San Angelo Concho on Saturday.
Earlier in the evening, Balmorhea's Brandon Mendoza won his
Junior Olympic Division title with a victory over Justin
Dunigan, while Pecos Rattlesnakes boxer Greg Barrera won by
walkover against Juan Armendariz of Andrews, after stopping
Amarillo Mavericks boxer Joshua Dunigan in his Friday night
The other area fighter on Saturday never got a chance to
see who won, as Saragosa's Abel Rodriguez and Gabriel Surita
of the Lubbock Warriors were both disqualified in the final
bout of the night, a 165-pound Open Division contest. The
disqualification came when the two continued their fight
past the bell in the final round.
Juarez, fighting at 100 pounds, defeated Saragosa's Jesse
Flores on Friday, before losing to Vasquez on Saturday. "He
had a little longer reach, and he was just a little quicker
than Peter," Roy Juarez said, while saying Rubio "just got
tired" in his loss to Garcia, after a victory the night
before over Abilene's Randy Sierra in the 132-pound weight
Juarez said he was happy with the way Vasquez came back on
Friday, despite losing to Heredia. "He had two standing
eight counts in the first round, but he did good after
that," he said.
Greg Barrera, who fought in the lightest weight class, 60
pounds, was one of three fighters for the Rattlesnakes,
Pecos' newest boxing team. The other two fought Friday, with
Joe Barrera being stopped in his fight by Eric Potter of
Colorado City, while Andrews' David Sanchez did the same to
"They did a pretty good job with only two months training,"
said Rattlesnakes manager Jaime Marquez. "Greg did about
everything we taught him to do except use his jab. "Joseph
needs to get more movement, but for his first fight he did
"All three fighters did pretty well, and I guarantee
they'll do better in Odessa," Marquez said, referring to the
March 21 tournament scheduled there.
Juarez ended up working in the corner with Marquez'
fighters, as well as with Balmorhea's Brandon Mendoza and
teammates Robbie Mendoza and Keith Baeza, who lost their
bouts on Friday. "Their coaches weren't certified (by USA
Boxing) to work in their corners, so I had to be there. But
I enjoy helping those kids out, no matter what team they
Brandon Mendoza took control in the final two round to earn
his victory over Dunigan, after beating North Lubbock's
Jaime Martinez in the 60 pound weight class on Friday. As
for his teammates, Baeza lost his bout to Joseph Valles of
the Twice Cities Tigers by decision, while Robbie Mendoza
suffered the same fate as the Rattlesnake's Garcia -- a loss
to Andrews' David Sanchez, though not the same one, as this
was in the 106-pound weight class, while Garcia's loss came
in the 85-pound division.
Aside from Roy Juarez' award, Snyder's Gonzalo Yescas won
best fighter honors in the Junior Olympic Division, and
Farrell Martin of the Lubbock Warriors took the honor in the
Open Division. The Warriors also repeated as top team in the
Open Division, while Snyder and the Amarillo Mavericks
shared the team trophy award in the Junior Olympic Division.
Crowds for both nights of the tournament were just slightly
below seating capacity, but large enough for tournament
organizers to run out of soda and water to sell on Saturday.
"I thought it went very good. We had good crowds both
nights, and had a lot of out-of-town people," Martin said.
"I think everybody profited from this."
West of the Pecos Golden Gloves
Gilbert Chacon (60) San Angelo Concho dec. Rene Eli Cruz
(65), Lopez Southside
Ray Martinez (60) Lubbock Warriors walkover Shay Martinez
(60) N. Lubbock
Brandon Mendoza (65) Balmorhea dec. Jaime Martinez (60) N.
Justin Dunigan (65) Amarillo Mavericks dec. Antonio Martinez
(60) N. Lubbock
Greg Barrera (55) Pecos Rattlesnakes RSC dec. Joshua Dunigan
(50) Amarillo Mavericks
Jorge Rivera (135) Odessa Top dec. Jose Carrasco (140)
Eric Zamarripa (140) Abilene RCD dec. John Forbes, Jr.,
(135) Colorado City
Derek Heredia (100) Amarillo Mavericks dec. Michael Vasquez
(95) Pecos-Barstow Warbirds
Edward Hernandez III (150) Lubbock Warriors dec. Armando
Zapata (145) Odessa Top (Championship)
Jeremy Lee Martinez (100) Lopez Southside walkover Arturo
Mascorro (100) San Angelo Luna
Andrew Navarette (130) Amarillo Mavericks RSC dec. Jeffery
Meadows (140) Fort Stockton
Eric Potter (115) Colorado City RSC dec. Joe Barrera (115)
Peter Juarez (100) Pecos-Barstow Warbirds dec. Jesse Flores
Fortine Rosendo (105) N. Lubbock RSC dec. Mario Navarette
(100) Amarillo Mavericks
David Sanchez (90) Andrews Mustangs RSC dec. Joseph Garcia
(85) Pecos Rattlesnakes
Farrell Martin (200) Lubbock Warriors RSC dec. Tulon Murphy
(187) Fort Stockton
Enrique Rubio, Jr. (129) Pecos-Barstow Warbirds dec. Randy
Sierra (132) Abilene
Gonzalo Yescas (139) Snyder dec. Alejandro Servin (137) N.
Valentino Jalomo (196) unattached dec. Terry Hannon (195)
Andrew Heredia (78) Twin City Tigers dec. Michael McKenzie
(70) Rankin (championship)
David Sanchez (106) Andrews Mustangs dec. Robbie Mendoza
(103) Balmorhea (championship)
Jonathan Hernandez (70) Lamesa Dragons dec. Christopher
Green (75) Andrews Mustangs (championship)
Joseph Valles (70) Twin City Tigers dec. Keith Baeza (75)
Anthony Vasquez (112) Snyder dec. (retire) Victor Nunez
(114) Andrews Mustangs
Gilbert Chacon (60) San Angelo Concho dec. Ray Martinez
(60), Lubbock Warriors
Brandon Mendoza (65) Balmorhea dec. Justin Dunigan (65)
Greg Barrera (60) Pecos Rattlesnakes walkover dec. Juan
Armendariz (60) Andrews
Jorge Rivera (139) Odessa Top dec. Eric Zamarripa (139)
Derek Heredia (100) Amarillo Mavericks dec. Jeremy Martinez
(100) San Angelo Concho
Andrew Navarrete (139) Amarillo Mavericks dec. Anthony Trejo
(139) San Angelo Concho
Fortino Rosendo (105) N. Lubbock dec. (RSC-2) Samuel
Dominguez (105) Fort Stockton
Johnny Vasquez (106) Snyder dec. Peter Juarez (103)
Marco Perez (118) Amarillo Mavericks dec. Eric Potter (115)
Eric Garcia (132) San Angelo Luna dec. Enrique Rubio (132)
Joseph Martinez (119) Snyder walkover dec. Steve Benitez
(119) Lubbock Scorpions
Joseph Minjarez (132) Lamesa Dragons dec. Manuel Valencia
(132) Lubbock Warriors
Travis Granado (147) Abilene dec. Jason Ramos (147) Lamesa
Anthony Vasquez (112) Snyder dec. (RSC-2) Brian Munoz (113)
Farrell Martin (200) Lubbock Warriors dec. Valentine Jalomo
Gonzalo Yescas (139) Snyder dec. Jacob Nunez (142) Andrews
Juan Zamora (119) Lopez Southside dec. Jesse Luna (119) San
Reno Yarboruogh (176) Lubbock Warriors dec. Damian Gomez
(168) Twin Cities Tigers
Matt Franco (139) Twin City Tigers dec. (RSC-2) Jesus
Marruffo (139) Pecos-Barstow Warbirds
Joseph Rosendo (156) Lubbock Warriors dec. Joshua Melendez
(156) N. Lubbock
Abel Rodriguez (165) Saragosa vs. Gabirel Surita (165)
Lubbock Warriors, double disqualification (END 3rd)
Eagles' season ends with loss
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Feb. 16 -- The seniors got to start for the Pecos
Eagles, everyone got to play and Sweetwater's Derrick
Franklin and Brett Bishop got to work on their dunks and
lay-ups Friday night, as the Sweetwater Mustangs closed out
the Eagles' 1997-98 basketball season with a 75-57 victory.
A run early in the second period got the Mustangs out to a
double-digit lead, and Sweetwater held that advantage the
rest of the way in tying San Angelo Lake View for the
District 4-4A title. The two teams will meet on tonight in
Big Spring, with the winner earning a first round bye in the
Class 4A playoffs.
Eagles' coach Mike Sadler sat down junior forward Fernando
Navarrete and guard Hector Garcia at the start of the game,
to allow Moses Martinez and Eric Barreno to join the other
Eagle seniors, Omar Hinojos, Fabien Adame and Jacob Chavez,
in the starting lineup. And for most of the first period,
the Eagles stayed with the Mustangs no matter what lineup
they had on the court.
Chavez hit an early 3-pointer and Navarrete hit one just
after he entered the game, as the lead changed hands four
times in the first five minutes of play. But when Bishop hit
the first of his many lay-ups with about 90 seconds left in
the quarter, Sweetwater was ahead to stay at 14-12.
Bishop wound up with 25 points on the night, three of them
coming on consecutive trips downcourt in the second period.
The last, off a missed fast break lay-up by Brad Barnes,
turned a 23-19 Mustang lead into a 29-19 advantage.
Franklin had an impressive rebound jam later in the period,
but was quiet overall on offense, finishing with 13 points.
However, he did do a good job shadowing Omar Hinojos during
the second period, when Sweetwater went to more of a
man-to-man defense and closed off Pecos' inside game. The
Eagles' outside shooting problems of recent games also
returned at that point, and Pecos wasn't able to find the
range again until late in the game, when Chavez nailed three
of his five 3s on the night.
Five straight points by Hinojos cut a 37-23 lead down to
nine late in the half, but another Bishop lay-up to close
the half and one by Franklin early in the second period
lifted the margin back into double-digits, at 41-28. The
lead remained about there until late in the quarter, when
Andrew Boatright's 3-pointer increased the margin to 56-37.
The teams traded baskets for most of the final period, with
Sadler splitting playing time between his starters and
reserves while the Mustangs' subs were on the court for most
of the quarter.
Chavez' late run allowed him to finish with 18 points, while
Hinojos had 16 for the Eagles, who wound up 0-10 in district
play and 13-17 overall this season. Sweetwater improved to
8-2 in 4-4A, 17-10 for the year, and could be back in Pecos
this Friday, depending on the outcome of their game with
The loser will join third place Andrews in the bi-district
round of the playoffs. The Chiefs downed the Mustangs at
home on Friday 57-56 on Jorge Villarreal's basket at the
Sweetwater also scored a 56-36 win Friday over the Eagles'
junior varsity, which suited up just six players. Adrian
Lyles led Pecos with 13 points.
Garcia 0 0-0 0; Herrera 1 0-0 3; Perea 0 0-0 0; Barreno 0
0-0 0; Luna 2 1-2 5; Martinez 0 0-0 0; Navarette 2 2-2 7;
Hinojos 7 2-3 16; Matta 0 0-0 0; Adame 3 0-0 6; Marquez 1
0-0 2; Chavez 6 1-2 18. Totals 22 6-9 57.
Franklin 6 1-4 13; Barnes 2 0-0 4; Price 3 0-0 6; Boatright
2 1-2 6; Fredrick 1 0-1 2; Oliver 1 0-0 2; Carr 2 3-4 8;
Rhodes 2 0-0 6; Bishop 11 1-2 24; Brim 0 3-4 3. Totals 30
Sweetwater 20 19 17 19 --75
Pecos 15 13 9 20 --57
Three-point goals: Sweetwater 6 (Bishop 2, Rhodes 2, Carr,
Boatright), Pecos 7 (Chavez 5, Navarrete, Herrera). Fouled
out: None. Total fouls: Sweetwater 10, Pecos 14.
Class 5A roadblock stops swimmers
PECOS, Feb. 16 -- Pecos Eagles' swimming coach Terri Morse
was happy with her team's results this weekend, at the
Region I Swimming and Diving Championships in Lubbock, even
of the Eagles were overwhelmed again by the Class 5A schools
at the meet.
Pecos' boys finished 11th with seven points in a division
won by El Paso Eastwood with 81½ points. The Eagle girls
were blanked in the final point standings of their division,
which El Paso Franklin won with 81 points.
"The (girls) 200 medley relay went from 2:11 to 2:03, which
was excellent, but they only got ninth overall," said Morse.
"It was the same with the girls' 200 free. They also got
ninth overall," in Friday's preliminaries.
The top eight finishers on Friday advanced to the finals on
Saturday, and the top six finalists were the only ones to
The girls' 400 freestyle relay team did make finals and
finished eighth, while the boys reached the finals in all
three of their relays. "Kevin (Bates) made finals in both of
his (individual events) ad Kenneth (Friar) also did in the
(100 yard) fly."
Bates, Friar Al Tillman and Matt Ivy placed fifth in the
finals of the 200 medley relay with a 1:44.09 time, while
the same group swam a 1:33.58 and set a new school record in
the preliminaries of the 200 free. "I changed it up a little
in the finals," Morse said, with Cortney Freeman subbing for
Tillman. That group still placed sixth, with a 1:35.26 time.
Tillman, Friar, Grant Holland and Tye Edwards wound up
eighth in the 400 freestyle relay finals in 3:36.21, while
the girls' 400 team of Dionnie Munoz, Randi Key, Megan
Freeman and Liz Parent were seventh with a 4:05.53 time.
That was a second slower than in Friday's prelims, and Bates
also saw his times increase slightly in the finals, as he
placed eighth in the 100 backstroke and seventh in the 100
free. Morse said having to compete against the larger Class
5A schools had something to do with that.
"We're at a disadvantage compared to the big 5As, because
they're practicing twice a day," she said. "you never know
going in if they were just taking it easy (at district) or
not, so to get into the finals we almost have to go all out,
and then hope you can do it again on Saturday. Sometimes you
can, sometimes you can't
"Kevin going 49 in the prelims (a 49.47 and a fifth place)
in the 100 free was tough to duplicate on Saturday," Morse
said. Bates swam a 50.23 in the finals and had a 57.84 in
the backstroke finals.
Friar got Pecos' only non-relay point by finishing the 100
butterfly in 56.29 and beating out Big Spring's Slate
Broyles, who beat him out for the District 4 title two weeks
earlier in Monahans.
Other finishes in the Top 15 for the Eagle boys included
Tillman, who was 14th in the 200 individual medley, Holland,
who was 15th in the 100 breaststroke, and by Scott Pounds,
ninth in Friday's 1 meter diving event.
Along with the 400 free relay, Key, Freeman, Munoz and
Parent were also members of the 200 relay team while the
first three plus Sarah Flores made up the medley relay team.
Parent had the girls' best individual finish, a 10th in the
500 freestyle, and she was also 12th in the 200 medley.
Freeman was 13th in the 100 butterfly, Munoz was 14th in the
100 free and Flores was 15th in the 100 breaststroke for the
Eagles' other Top 15 efforts.
Big Spring, which edged Pecos' boys for the District 4
title, again were just in front of the Eagles' at regional.
The Steers were 10th with eight points, while Class 5A
schools took the top nine spots. On the girls' side, Big
Spring's 12th place finish with six points was tops among 4A
schools, while Monahans was the lone Class 3A school to
score, finishing with three points.
Pecos gets 5th, 20th in Big Spring golf
PECOS, Feb. 16 -- The Pecos Eagle girls caught one of the
three teams they were pursuing on the second day of the Big
Spring Invitational, though they have some work to do to
have a shot at a regional berth this Spring.
The girls were fifth out of 23 teams in the 36-hole
tournament, and placed ahead of all the Class 5A schools
there except for Midland Lee. But the other three teams in
front of Pecos were the Eagles' District 4-4A rivals Big
Spring, Andrews and Monahans in a tournament where all six
4-4A school were entered.
Pecos' boys, meanwhile, have a longer ways to go after their
first tournament. the Eagles lost one of the players to
illness between round and shot a 701 to finish 20th out of
21 teams in Big Spring.
The girls did finished ahead of Fort Stockton by three
strokes on Saturday, with a 355 score, for a 721 total. The
host Steers won the tournament with a 336-338-674, while
Andrews was in third, with a 354-342-696. The Prowlers' 355
first day score let them beat out the Eagles by eight
strokes for fourth.
Alva Alvarez shot an 85-82-167 to finish tied for sixth in
the medalist race, while Sarah Armstrong shot a 93-83-175,
Kim Clark had a 93-94-187 and Amanda Stickels and Cindy
Mauldin both had 95-96-191 totals.
"I was real proud of them. They worked together as a team
and played with poise in the tournament," coach Tina
Hendirck said. "We're still working to lower our scores and
to beat them," she added, referring to the other 4-4A teams.
The boys shot a 350 on Friday and a 351 Saturday playing
without No. 3 golfer Jason Salcido. "He had a fever. He
caught in on Friday and spent the day in the motel, so we
only played with four on Saturday," coach Kim Anderson said.
Salcido had a 94 in his one round, while Casey Love shot a
78-80-158, Lee Lyles had an 84-85-169, Chris Ryan shot an
95-89-184 and Michael O'Callahan had a 94-97-191.
"I was real impressed with Casey's game, and Lee Lyles
played good on some difficult courses," Anderson said.
Pecos' results improve in scrimmages
PECOS, Feb. 16 -- The Pecos Eagles' softball team got in the
second and third scrimmages of their inaugural season, and
coach Tammy Walls said there were signs of improvement on
Friday in Monahans.
"We played a doubleheader against Monahans and Greenwood and
we definitely looked a lot better," she said. "I feel the
pitchers really learned a lot over there.
Walls said Annette Marquez and Ashley Salcido pitched for
the Eagles in the two games. "We just don't have a lot of
speed on our pitches right now. But they're throwing about
100 pitches a day to get the proper muscle movement."
She said Monahans was able to connect on the Eagles, as they
did in last Tuesday's scrimmage, but said things went better
against Greenwood. "If we were keeping scoring, we would
have beaten them," she said.
Walls also said outfield was better this time around, "We
hit the cutoffs and running to the ball we looked a lot
better backing each other up," she said, while adding
shortstop Gabi Bafidis and catcher Tammy Perkins also played
well in the games.
The Eagles play their first official game this Friday in
Alpine. Walls said the varsity will start at 5 p.m.,
followed by the junior varsity at about 7 p.m.
Youth softball meeting set for Tuesday
PECOS, Feb. 16 -- A meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday
in the Texas-New Mexico Power Co. Reddy Room on Stafford
Boulevard to continue work on organizing a youth fast-pitch
girls softball league for Pecos.
Anyone interested in helping is urged to attend, according
to organizer Pat Wein. He added that application forms which
were handed out to girls in school can be returned at that
Plans are for the league to be divided into 9-10, 11-12 and
13-14 year old divisions. Pecos has just begun fast-pitch
softball at the high school level, but has not had youth
fast-pitch in recently, forcing girls to travel to Monahans
for league games.
Ice closes hopes of second Olympic gold
By TIM DAHLBERG
AP Sports Writer
NAGANO, Japan, Feb. 16 -- After a miserable week of rain and
snow, they played three on Olympic ski slopes bathed in
sunshine today. On the ice, Canada played with U.S. hockey
medal hopes that suddenly look as uncertain as the weather
in the Japanese Alps.
A bruised and battered ``Herminator'' kicked off a skiing
tripleheader on the Happo'one slopes by winning his first
Olympic gold. Then Picabo Street unexpectedly backed off in
her downhill, failing to become the first American skier to
win two skiing golds in 46 years.
Canada's NHL all-stars, meanwhile, left the U.S. team
feeling battered, winning 4-1 in a game that had all the
atmosphere of a gold medal matchup.
That was a good thing for a U.S. team that came in with
expectations of gold but finished round-robin play an anemic
1-2. The teams now move into quarterfinal play, where the
games will mean more than just seeding.
``You'd like to win every game. Canada has. We haven't,''
U.S. coach Ron Wilson said. ``But the most important game is
in two days.''
The Americans play Wednesday against the Czech Republic and
will have to defeat three outstanding teams, including
perhaps Canada again, to win Olympic gold for the first time
since 1980. The Czechs lost today to Russia, 2-1.
The busiest day in Olympic Alpine history -- made necessary
by bad weather that wreaked havoc with the skiing schedule
-- saw Austria's Hermann Maier -- ``The Herminator'' --
return from a nasty crash three days ago to win the gold in
the men's super-G.
Maier might have been remembered in the Nagano Olympics for
the image of him flying upside down through the air in a
spectacular tumble in the downhill race three days earlier.
Now, he may be remembered more for the gold medal around his
neck, won because he refused to play it safe even in the icy
``I was not really the `Herminator' today,'' Maier said,
``but I am overjoyed to win this gold a few days after a
terrific spill in the downhill.''
The Austrian won in 1 minute, 34.82 seconds, while fellow
Austrian Hans Knauss and Didier Cuche of Switzerland shared
the silver medal at 1:35.43. It was the third time an
Olympic Alpine race had ended with a tie for the silver.
Street, normally a daredevil along the lines of Maier, erred
on the side of caution in the women's downhill, and it cost
her an Olympic medal. With memories of one crash too many on
her mind, Street played it safe on the icy snow and finished
sixth, 17-hundredths of a second too slow for a medal.
She had hoped to become the first American skier to win two
golds since 1952.
``I tried my hardest to get up there on the podium,'' said
Street, who was on the podium last week for a super-G gold
medal, ``but it's not worth risking my health at this point
to maybe either get down here and win a medal or hit the
fence. I've hit the fence too many times.''
Germany's Katja Seizinger raced down the course in 1 minute,
28:89 seconds to become the first downhiller to repeat as
Olympic champion. Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden won her third
Olympic medal by finishing second, and France's Florence
Masnada was third.
Seizinger came back two hours later to post the fastest time
in the downhill portion of the women's combined event, while
Wiberg was in second place again.
-- SPEEDSKATING: Before the Nagano Games, the United States
had won 46 Olympic speedskating medals. Now, finally, it has
It was only a bronze for Chris Witty, but it broke a drought
by American speedskaters, who had been shut out through six
races. Witty's best chance figures to be the 1,000 meters
later this week, an event in which she holds the world
record. But she blazed past Annamarie Thomas of the
Netherlands down the stretch in the 1,500 to win the bronze
with an American record 1:58.97.
Marianne Timmer of the Netherlands, who had failed to crack
the top three in the 1,500 meters during the World Cup
season, broke the world record with a time of 1 minute,
57.58 seconds to give the Dutch their seventh medal of the
Nagano Games. Gunda Niemann-Stirnemann of Germany took the
-- FREESTYLE SKIING: Amid the twisting and somersaulting in
the aerials competition, there was a lot of nasty falling
going on. America's top three contenders advanced to the
finals, but two Australian medal favorites were eliminated
in falls. World Cup leader Nikki Stone reached the women's
final, while Britt Swartley and Eric Bergoust qualified for
the men's medal round. Dmitri Dashchinsky of Belarus was the
surprise leader after two jumps, followed by Swartley. The
12 qualifiers start from scratch in the finals, with the
preliminary scores thrown out.
-- CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Russia's Larissa Lazutina became
the games' top medal winner, taking her fourth of the games
with a gold in the women's 4x5-kilometer relay. Lazutina has
three gold medals and a silver, while teammate Olga Danilova
picked up her third medal. Norway won the silver and Italy
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