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Westminster snowboarders finish 2nd

SUNDAY RIVER, Maine — The Westminster men's snowboard team finished second overall at the USCSA National Championships last weekend. The Griffins finished second in each event to eventual national champion Sierra Nevada College, marking the second straight year they have finished in this order. The Griffins had six points in the overall standings, which was three behind Sierra Nevada and five ahead of third-place West Virginia. The Griffins have now finished second in each of the two years of the program at Westminster.

The Griffins finished with 33 points, placing second during the slopestyle event. Andrew Peabody finished ninth to lead the Griffins after posting a score of 67.33. Robin Hill posted a score of 64.33 to finish in the 10th position. Graham Banks was 14th with a 59.67 followed by Zach Lancaster in 15th with a 58. Mark Speicher scored a 54 to finish in the 16th position.

Westminster posted 16 points in the halfpipe competition to finish behind Sierra Nevada's seven. Speicher was the top Griffin in the third position with a score of 78.67. Peabody posted a 58.67 for a sixth-place result, while Hill also posted a 58.67 to earn a seventh place result. Lancaster had a 51.67 to finish 11th overall, and Banks was 14th with his 51.67.

In the giant slalom competition, Westminster finished second with 43 points behind the nine from Sierra Nevada. Peabody posted the best time for the Griffins with a 158.94 to finish in the 10th position. Lancaster went 162.16 to finish 13th, while Speicher placed 20th with a 173.11 combined time. Hill went 181.92 to finish in the 29th position, and Banks finished 36th with a time of 193.44.

Peabody was the top finishing Griffin in the overall standings. Peabody was sixth overall and the first competitor who wasn't from Sierra Nevada. Tarjei Sporartoyl was the individual national champion, and he headed up a top five that was all Sierra Nevada.

Utah skier wins NCAA giant slalom title

STEAMBOAT, Colo. — Utah junior skier Eva Huckova won the women's NCAA giant slalom title on Wednesday on the first day of the NCAA Championships. Sofia Smith and Torjus Krogdahl also earned All-America honors for the Utes as the team stands second in the overall standings.

It is Huckova's first career NCAA title after running the course in 1:54.54. She has finished on the podium at the NCAA Championships in the giant slalom all three years, placing second in 2008 and third in 2009. Huckova has six career collegiate victories and five career All-America citations.

Smith finished seventh in 1:57.33 for her first career All-America honor. It is her third top-10 giant slalom finish this year. Krogdahl had the best second run of the day in the men's giant slalom, with a time of 54.22 for a total time of 1:50.30, to earn a tie for ninth place.

Denver holds the overall lead with 239 points, followed by the Utes at 196.5 points.

Utah's last national skiing champion was Snorri Einarsson in 2007 (20-km classic). Huckova is the first female to win an NCAA Championship since 2003, when Lina Johansson (slalom) and Katrin Smigun (15-km classic) each won national titles. The last Utah female to win the giant slalom was in 1997, when Christl Hager won her third career GS championship.

The NCAA Championships continue March 11 with the Nordic women's 5-km and men's 10-km classical races.

Vonn closing in on World Cup crown

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany — With the arithmetic clearly in her favor, Lindsey Vonn is closing in on a third straight overall World Cup title after finishing second to Maria Riesch on Wednesday in the season's final downhill. Three races remain, and Vonn holds a commanding 225-point lead over Riesch, her good friend and rival. Vonn would have clinched the title with a victory, which is worth 100 points.

"I haven't won it yet," Vonn said. "It's not finished yet. It's still possible (for Riesch to win). It's unlikely, but it's not finished."

Vonn, the downhill champion at the Vancouver Olympics, already clinched the downhill title and is also sure of the super-G crown. Although Riesch cut Vonn's overall lead by 20 points, the German has given up hope on that title.

"I am still 200 points behind, I don't think it's possible," Riesch said. "The pressure is off. I am proud of today's win. This is the course for next year's world championship, and it's good to know that I can be fast on it."

Vonn finished nearly a half-second behind Riesch, who was skiing on her home course. It was her 14th career victory and fourth in the downhill.

Major League Soccer continues talks

WASHINGTON — Negotiators for Major League Soccer management and players have ended two days of talks and agreed to keep up discussions with the federal mediation service. George H. Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, convened talks Tuesday and Wednesday. The next session has not been set.

The league's first labor contract expired Feb. 25 after the MLS Players Union refused a third extension to the five-year deal, which originally was set to run out Jan. 31.

Unhappy with the single-entity structure that has the league negotiate all contracts, players want greater free-agent rights and a higher percentage of guaranteed deals.

The league schedule is set to start March 25.

Real Madrid eliminated in 2nd round

A $340 million spending spree failed to bring success to Real Madrid in the European Champions League.

The Spanish power was eliminated by Lyon in the second round with a 1-1 tie Wednesday night, when Manchester United advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-0 rout of AC Milan and David Beckham.

"This Real Madrid project isn't just about one year; it's much longer-term than that," Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini said.

At Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo put the home team ahead in the sixth minute, but Miralem Pjalic tied it in the 75th and Lyon won the home-and-home, total-goals series on 2-1 aggregate.

"It was a nice night out," Lyon coach Claude Puel said. "In the first half, Real Madrid posed plenty of problems for us."

Real Madrid acquired Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso last summer in a bid to regain the European title it last won in 2002. This season was especially important to the club because Real Madrid's Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is host to the Champions League final on May 22.

"We're still top of the league," Pellegrini said in reference to La Liga, where Madrid tops Barcelona on goal difference.

At Manchester, Wayne Rooney scored twice in Beckham's return to Old Trafford, and Park Ji-sung and Darren Fletcher had one goal each as Manchester United breezed to a 7-2 aggregate win over the seven-time champions. Rooney also scored twice in the first leg and has 30 goals this season.

—Deseret News staff and wire reports