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Frank Carroll retires after 58 years as figure skating coach

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Frank Carroll, who guided to Evan Lysacek and Michelle Kwan to Olympic and world figure skating titles, spends his last day as a top-level figure skating coach on Thursday after 58 years.

The news was confirmed by Carroll’s assistant, who said the 80-year-old will continue to be available to help skaters but will not travel to top-level events as he has done for decades. It was previously reported by Icenetwork and reporter Phil Hersh that Carroll coached at his last Olympics in PyeongChang.

Carroll, based in Southern California, has been inducted into at least four Halls of Fame: U.S. Figure Skating, World Figure Skating, Professional Skaters Association and International Skating Institute.

He was best known for coaching Kwan for most of the 1990s. Under Carroll, she won the 1994 World junior title, four senior world titles and five of her nine national titles, plus an Olympic silver medal in 1998.

Carroll then coached Lysacek to two Olympics in 2006 and 2010, guiding him to gold at the Vancouver Winter Games. Lysacek, who called Carroll an “incredible technician and an awesome psychologist,” marked Carroll’s only Olympic champion pupil.

“This is just frosting on the cake for me,” Carroll, an avid reader of historical novels, said after Lysacek earned gold, according to The Associated Press. “It’s not something I coveted after a while. It was something I thought maybe would never happen.”

Carroll’s first star was Linda Fratianne, who earned the 1980 Olympic silver medal (an event Carroll has said was rigged by judges in favor of East German Anett Potzsch) and world titles in 1977 and 1979.

Later, he coached 2002 Olympic bronze medalist Timothy Goebel, the late 2014 Olympic bronze medalist Denis Ten and Gracie Gold among scores of elite international skaters.

Carroll coached at least one skater at each of the last six Olympics.

“I’m thankful to God that he’s given me the talent because there are many talented coaches in the world and some more talented than I,” Carroll said in 2010, according to the AP. “But I’ve always seemed to come up with the vehicle to do it, the talent they just sort of drift toward me.”

Carroll was a successful junior skater before becoming a coach in 1960.

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Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned 4 years

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Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, the 2008 Olympic 1500m champion and a three-time world champ, was banned four years after testing positive for EPO in November 2017, according to track and field’s doping watchdog organization.

The ban is backdated to Feb. 3, 2018, when the 29-year-old was provisionally suspended after the failed test.

Kiprop repeatedly denied doping since last May, when he first acknowledged the positive test. Most recently, a 3,000-word defense from his lawyer was posted on Kiprop’s Facebook page.

Kiprop’s defenses included saying he was a victim of extortion and that he was offered “a reward” of becoming an anti-doping ambassador if he admitted guilt. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), the IAAF’s independent organization to monitor doping and corruption, denied the latter last May.

A disciplinary panel dismissed six defenses from exonerating him, including the possibility his sample was spiked, in handing out the four-year ban.

Kiprop, the pre-eminent 1500m runner of the last decade, can appeal the ban.

At 19, he finished second in the Beijing Olympic 1500m but was upgraded to gold a year later after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drug test. He is the youngest Olympic 1500m medalist of all time, according to the OlyMADMen.

Kiprop went on to earn three straight world titles in the 1500m in 2011, 2013 and 2015, matching the feats of retired legends Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.

He struggled in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, finishing last in the London final with a hamstring injury and sixth in the Rio final won by American rival Matthew Centrowitz.

Kiprop has targeted El Guerrouj’s world record of 3:26:00, missing the mark by .69 of a second in 2015.

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Maggie Nichols is second woman in 20 years to repeat as NCAA all-around champ

Maggie Nichols
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Oklahoma junior and world champion gymnast Maggie Nichols became the first woman to repeat as NCAA all-around champion in 12 years, returning from a heel injury to compete on all four events for the first time since January on Friday.

Nichols, a Rio Olympic hopeful before being beset by a torn meniscus in 2016, joined 2004 Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets as the only women to win back-to-back NCAA all-arounds in the 2000s.

A junior, Nichols can next year join Jenny Hansen as the only women to three-peat in NCAA history.

Oklahoma goes for a third team title in four years on Saturday night against UCLA (featuring Olympic champions Madison Kocian and Kyla Ross), LSU and Denver.

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NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Individual Results
All-Around
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma) — 39.7125
2. Lexy Ramler (Minnesota) — 39.6625
2. Kyla Ross (UCLA) — 39.6625
4. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 39.65
5. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 39.6

Vault
1. Kennedi Edney (LSU) — 9.95
1. Derrian Gobourne (Auburn)
1. Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)

Uneven Bars
1. Sarah Finnegan (LSU) — 9.95

Balance Beam
1. Natalie Wojcik (Michigan) — 9.95

Floor Exercise
1. Alicia Boren (Florida) — 9.95
1. Lynnzee Brown (Denver)
1. Brenna Dowell (Oklahoma)
1. Kyla Ross (UCLA)