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AROUND & ABOUT

Young America boat nears finals berth

SAN DIEGO -- Young America is one victory away from clinching a berth in the America's Cup defender finals after beating the previously all-women crew aboard Mighty Mary in a 12-knot breeze and sloppy swells on Saturday.

Kevin Mahaney and his syndicate from Bangor, Maine, has won all three of its semifinal appearances and could claim the first vacant spot in the Citizen Cup defender title with a win today over Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes.

Young America defeated Mighty Mary on Saturday by 47 seconds.

Young America navigator Robert Hopkins attributed his boat's edge to teamwork.

"I think we have a very cohesive team, and the best boat handling of anybody, and in this close racing, I think the boat that has the better boat handling is going to win," Hopkins said.

Sailing with Dave Dellenbaugh -- its only male crew member -- Mighty Mary lost its second semifinal race in a row and is one victory behind Stars & Stripes on the scoreboard.

On the challenger course, there were no surprises. After an early morning visit from New Zealand Prime Minister Jim Bolger, the two Kiwi teams raced each other in a lopsided match.

Team New Zealand, which had won 27 races in a row on the water, earned its 28th victory by beating NZL-39.

College hockey's final four in place

Kaj Linna had a hat trick as Boston University beat Lake Superior State, 6-2, Saturday night in Worcester, Mass., and advanced to the NCAA Division I ice hockey tournament's final four.

The Terriers avenged a 9-1 loss to Lake Superior in last year's championship game and grabbed a final four berth for the third straight year.

BU will face Minnesota on Thursday night in Providence, R.I. The Gophers lost to the Terriers in last year's semifinal.

Minnesota was a 5-2 winner over Colorado College in a game in Madison, Wis.

Maine will face Michigan in the other final four matchup. Jamie Thompson and Tim Lovell combined on a pair of goals in the Black Bears' win over the University of Denver, 4-2, at Worcester. Michigan downed Wisconsin, 4-3, in Madison.

Canada's Bedard wins speed skate event

CLEVELAND -- Canadian Eric Bedard won the men's 777-meter intermediate division speed skating event in the North American Short Track Championships at the Brooklyn Recreation Center.

Bedard won in 1 minute, 9.02 seconds. Tony Goskowicz of New Berlin, Wis., was second in 1:10.45 and Jeb Gorham of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., was third in 1:10.70.

The win was Bedard's second in the three-day event which ends Sunday. He won the 1,500-meter event on Friday and Goskowicz was second.

Dressel puts 811 in books

Lefthanded bowler Mark Dressel of Buffalo rolled an 811 series in the Reichert-Jung league at Airport.

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