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Mikaela Shiffrin goes for Killington World Cup three-peat

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Mikaela Shiffrin shared some of her favorite racing memories with 60,000 spectators in Killington, Vt., between the last two seasons. The world’s best Alpine skier can create some more on Saturday and Sunday.

Shiffrin headlines Vermont’s third straight year hosting a World Cup weekend, the first eastern stop in the U.S. since 1991, with live coverage on NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold’s Snow Pass.

NBC Sports Alpine coverage this Saturday and Sunday also includes men’s speed races in Lake Louise, Alberta.

Day Time (ET) Event Platform
Saturday 9:30 a.m. Women’s GS Run 1 Gold, NBCSports.com
1 p.m. Women’s GS Run 2 NBCSN, Gold
2 p.m. Men’s Downhill NBCSN, Gold
3 p.m. Women’s GS* NBC
Sunday 10 a.m. Women’s Slalom Run 1 Gold, NBCSports.com
1 p.m. Women’s Slalom Run 2 NBC, Gold
2 p.m. Men’s Super-G Gold, OlympicChannel.com
3 p.m. Men’s Super-G* Olympic Channel

*Delayed

Killington quickly became one of the most attended events on the World Cup — women or men — rivaling those in Austria.

Shiffrin, who has family in New England, deserves much credit. Since the first Killington races in November 2016, she has blossomed into a two-time World Cup overall champion and earned her second and third Olympic medals in PyeongChang.

In 2016 in Killington, Shiffrin matched a World Cup record with her 10th straight slalom win. It was her first time competing in front of then-95-year-old maternal grandmother, Pauline Condron, who lives in Massachusetts.

“I’ve never been prouder of doing anything than winning a race in front of my Nana,” Shiffrin said then.

In 2017, Shiffrin notched a statement victory in the Killington slalom. She came to Vermont having lost to Slovak Petra Vlhova in the previous two slaloms and her dominance in the event in question. On that Thanksgiving weekend, Shiffrin routed Vlhova by 1.64 seconds, winning the first of five straight slaloms.

This early season has gone about to plan.

Shiffrin finished third last month in the opening giant slalom, considered her second-best discipline after the slalom (though she took GS gold in PyeongChang, where she was fourth in the slalom.) Then last Saturday, Shiffrin captured the season’s first slalom in Levi, Finland, for a third time, and the reindeer prize that comes with it.

That put Shiffrin at 44 career World Cup wins. If she sweeps the Killington GS on Saturday and slalom on Sunday, she ties Austrian Renate Götschl for fourth on the women’s all-time list, trailing only Lindsey Vonn (82), Annemarie Moser-Pröll (62) and Vreni Schneider (55).

She can also move within one of Marlies Schild‘s record 35 career World Cup slalom victories if she three-peats in the Killington slalom on Sunday. Vlhova, runner-up in Levi, is among the chief rivals looking to delay Shiffrin’s pursuit.

Shiffrin is 23 years old. When Vonn was 23, she had 13 World Cup wins.

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MORE: Alpine skiing season TV schedule

Asbel Kiprop, Olympic 1500m champ, banned four 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)