Abbott leads at U.S. championships — Jeremy Abbott’s clean but conservative free skate was more than enough to put him in the lead at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Friday night. The three-time champion scored 84.10 points, three points ahead of Ross Miner. Joshua Farris, silver medalist at last year’s junior world championships was third. The free skate is Sunday. Olympic champion Evan Lysacek had hoped to return at nationals, and it’s easy to see why he’s contemplating a comeback. Out of 20 men, only four got through their programs without a major error. And while Abbott was clean, he was hardly ambitious, not even attempting a quadruple jump. Earlier Friday, Olympic silver medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the short dance with a career-best 79.02 points.
Svindal wins super-G — Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway became the first skier in nine years to win three World Cup super-G races in a season. Austrian standout Hermann Maier was the last to do it in 2003-04. Svindal’s 20th career World Cup victory — and first in Kitzbuehel — left him one shy of the all-time Norwegian record by Kjetil Andre Aamodt. In light snowfall and fog Friday, Svindal used a strong finish to win in 1 minute, 14.68 seconds on the Streifalm course. Matthias Mayer of Austria was 0.13 behind in second and world super-G champion Christof Innerhofer of Italy took third.
Seahawks hire new VP — The Seattle Seahawks have hired former Cleveland and Miami executive Matt Thomas as their new vice president of football administration. The Seahawks announced Thomas’ hiring Friday. He replaces John Idzik who left the organization to become the new general manager of the New York Jets. Thomas spent the past three seasons with the Browns in the same capacity as his position in Seattle. He began his career in the NFL in 1998 with the Dolphins and spent 12 seasons with Miami. Seattle general manager John Schneider says Thomas came recommended by a number of top NFL executives.
Supporters, MLS clash over ‘Cascadia Cup’ — The Cascadia Cup, created in 2004 by soccer supporters to celebrate the rivalry between clubs in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, is now the unexpected center of a conflict between those groups and Major League Soccer. It started when MLS intended to trademark the term “Cascadia Cup" in the United States and Canada — prompting outrage from the fans who named the yearly head-to-head competition between the Sounders, Whitecaps and Timbers, and gave it a stately silver trophy. MLS claims it wants to protect the Cascadia Cup from outsiders looking to exploit it. The supporters fear that MLS itself will be exploiting the term.
A-Rod could miss entire season — Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says it’s possible that third baseman Alex Rodriguez could miss the entire season while coming off hip surgery. Cashman says “there’s no guarantees" that Rodriguez will be able to play this year. Cashman made his remarks Friday on WFAN radio in New York. The 37-year-old Rodriguez had surgery on his left hip last week. The team said the recovery time was expected to be six months, which would sideline the star slugger until the All-Star break.
Armstrong to help ‘Clean up cycling’ — An attorney for Lance Armstrong told the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency the cyclist will cooperate with efforts to “clean up cycling." In letters sent this week between attorneys for Armstrong and USADA, and obtained by The Associated Press, USADA attorney William Bock requested Armstrong testify under oath by Feb. 6, but the cyclist’s attorney, Tim Herman, responds that Armstrong cannot accommodate that schedule. Last week, Armstrong admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times.
— From wire reports