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Leading Off
December 19, 2005
Grand Prize
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December 19, 2005

Leading Off

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Grand Prize

Quarterback Cullen Finnerty led Grand Valley State on an 82-yard touchdown march in the fourth quarter to carry the Lakers to a 21-17 victory over Northwest Missouri State in the Division II championship game last Saturday at Florence, Ala. By snuffing a Northwest Missouri drive four yards short of the goal line on the game's final play, the 13-0 Lakers won their third title in four years.

Splitting Image

Sasha Cohen bent over backwards to finish strong at the U.S. Figure Skating Challenge on Sunday in Boston. Cohen's contorted effort wasn't enough to sway the judges--in this case 100,000 fans (page 20)--who awarded first place to Michelle Kwan (inset) by a margin of 59% to 41%. The rivals will meet again at the U.S. Championships next month in St. Louis.

Payton Place

In the latest installment of the NBA soap opera set in Miami, team president Pat Riley (inset) called into question the effort of Gary Payton (in white) and the other Heat veterans before he took over the coaching reins. Riley replaced Stan Van Gundy, whose team had been held together by kidney transplant recipient Alonzo Mourning (page 58).

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