Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Defending champ Nesbitt third in 1,500 metres

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KOLOMNA, Russia -- Defending overall World Cup champion Christine Nesbitt of Canada skated to a World Cup bronze on Saturday in the women's 1,500-metre race.

The London, Ont., native clocked one minute 56.16 seconds to finish third.

Dutch skater Marrit Leenstra earned her second career speedskating World Cup with a victory in 1:55.04, edging Yekaterina Shikhova of Russia by 0.49 seconds.

Leenstra, who was second behind Nesbitt in the season-opening 1,500 race in Heerenveen, Netherlands, last weekend, leads the discipline standings with 180 points. Nesbitt is 10 points behind in second, while Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic is third with 110 points.

Freese OK after crash

WILDWOOD, Mo. -- St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese is OK after crashing his SUV while trying to avoid a deer.

The accident happened Thursday afternoon in the St. Louis suburb of Wildwood.

The 29-year-old, who was the MVP of the 2011 World Series, crashed his 2011 Range Rover into a tree, missing the deer.

Freese refused medical attention and his SUV was towed from the scene.

Investigators say alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

Heggestad wins mixed

MONTREAL -- Ontario's Cory Heggestad won the 2012 Canadian mixed curling championship Saturday with a 10-3 win over Nova Scotia's Brent MacDougall in the final.

Heggestad and teammates Heather Graham, Greg Balsdon and Amy Mackay stole a single in the first end then grabbed two more points in the third to take a 3-1 lead.

MacDougall's draw for a single in the fourth end was light, allowing Ontario a steal of two points to lead 5-1.

Heggestad's Orillia rink boosted its lead to 9-1 with steals in the fifth and sixth ends. MacDougall's Halifax rink scored a deuce in the seventh to make it 9-3, but Heggestad clinched the title with a single in the eighth.

Exhausted Vonn 21st

ASPEN, Colo. -- Immediately after crossing the finish line, Lindsey Vonn collapsed to the snow in complete exhaustion.

Her stamina gone, Vonn simply couldn't make up ground on winner Tina Maze of Slovenia in a World Cup giant slalom race Saturday. Vonn finished 21st in her return after missing time with an intestinal illness.

Then again, given the way Maze has been racing of late, no one was going to catch her. She used a blazing final run to finish in a combined time of 1 minute, 59.39 seconds to hold off Kathrin Zettel of Austria by nearly a second. Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany was third.

The 29-year-old Maze also won the season-opening GS race in Soelden, Austria, last month, with Zettel taking second there, too.

"I feel like people are watching me now, more than before," said Maze, who did a cartwheel after the win.

Marie-Pier Prefontaine of Quebec finished 13th.

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 25, 2012 B12

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