Katie Ledecky edges Serena Williams for AP Female Athlete of the Year
Swimmer Katie Ledecky earned five golds and a silver at this year’s world championships in Budapest, maintaining the upward trajectory she established as a surprise gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics. Her dominant performance in Hungary earned her Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year honors. In balloting by US editors and news directors announced Tuesday, Ledecky received 351 points, edging Serena Williams with 343. Williams won the Australian Open for her Open era-record 23rd Grand Slam tennis title. Olympic track star Allyson Felix finished third in voting (248 points). Ledecky, a 20-year-old sophomore at Stanford, is the first active college athlete to win since UConn basketball player Rebecca Lobo in 1995. Last year, Ledecky was second to gymnast Simone Biles in the balloting. The AP Male Athlete of the Year will be announced Wednesday. Ledecky is the eighth female swimmer to win and the first since Amy Van Dyken in 1996. Among the others is 1969 winner Debbie Meyer. At last year’s Rio de Janeiro Games, Ledecky equaled Meyer’s feat of sweeping the 200, 400, and 800 freestyles in a single Olympics.
Duke makes quick work of Northern Illinois
Daniel Jones threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as Duke beat Northern Illinois, 36-14, in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit. Jones finished with 338 yards of offense, while Shaun Wilson and Brittain Brown added touchdowns for Duke (7-6). Marcus Childers threw for 234 yards and a score for Northern Illinois (8-5). The Blue Devils took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, sandwiching rushing touchdowns around a failed Northern Illinois fake punt on fourth and 18 from their own 11 . . . Zach Moss ran for 150 yards, including a career-long 58-yard run for a touchdown on Utah’s opening drive in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on the way to a 30-14 win over West Virginia. The Utes (7-6) are now 11-1 in postseason games under Kyle Whittingham, who matched Alabama’s Nick Saban for the most bowl wins by an active coach. Utah sophomore quarterback Tyler Huntley scored twice, both on 2-yard keepers, but the Utes led for good in their fifth straight bowl victory after Moss broke free on a drizzly and chilly day in Cotton Bowl Stadium. West Virginia (7-6) had only 153 total yards without junior quarterback Will Grier, who broke a finger Nov. 18, and 1,000-yard rusher Justin Crawford, a senior who bypassed the bowl game in advance of the NFL Draft . . . Mississippi defensive lineman Breeland Speaks will skip his senior year and enter the draft.
Leafs legend Bower dead at 93
Johnny Bower, a beloved two-time Vezina Trophy winner who helped the Toronto Maple Leafs win their last Stanley Cup in 1967, died Tuesday after a short battle with pneumonia. He was 93. Bower was a two-time Vezina Trophy winner whose career took off after the Leafs claimed him in an intraleague draft in 1958. He played 475 regular-season games and won four Stanley Cups for the Leafs before playing his final game as a 45-year-old in 1969. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1976 . . . Casey Mittelstadt and Kieffer Bellows each scored two goals and Joseph Woll made 17 saves as the United States began its title defense at the world junior hockey championship with a 9-0 victory over Denmark in Buffalo, N.Y. Max Jones, Kailer Yamamoto, Patrick Harper, Andrew Peeke, and Dylan Samberg also scored for the US team, which had three goals in the first nine minutes. Mittelstadt, the most recent first-round draft choice for the Sabres, scored his second goal to make it 5-0 late in the first period. In other preliminary-round games, the Czech Republic upset Russia, 5-4, Sweden beat Belarus, 6-1, and Canada held on for a 4-2 win over Finland.
Sabathia, Yankees ink $10m deal
CC Sabathia’s $10 million, one-year contract has been finalized by the Yankees, a deal that raises New York’s projected luxury tax payroll for next year to about $178 million. The deal was announced Tuesday, about 10 days after the sides reached an agreement pending a physical. The 37-year-old lefthander is taking a pay cut from the $25 million he earned this year, when he went 14-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 27 starts for his best season since 2012. The six-time All-Star was 9-0 with a 1.71 ERA in 10 starts following a Yankees loss. Sabathia needs periodic injections in his surgically repaired right knee . . . Lefthander Zach Duke is moving to his eighth team after the Twins finalized his one-year contract. Duke, 34, was 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA in 27 relief appearances this year for St. Louis, returning to the major leagues on July 21 after Tommy John surgery in October 2016. He struck out 12 and walked six in 18⅓ innings over 27 games, and three of the 13 hits he allowed were home runs.
Surgery on tap for Waiters?
Dion Waiters will consider having surgery this offseason to repair his problematic left ankle, conceding that it probably won’t be fully healed until such a procedure takes place. The Miami Heat guard missed his second straight game Tuesday because of a recurrence of the sprain that kept him off the floor for the final 13 games of last season. There’s no timetable for his return, though Waiters said he does not expect this absence to be like the month he missed when he first sprained the ankle last March . . . Harry Kane set the English Premier League record for goals in a calendar year, raising his total to 39 with a hat trick that led Tottenham over Southampton, 5-2. Kane headed in Christian Eriksen’s free kick in the 22nd minute, breaking the Premier League’s previous record of 36 set by Alan Shearer in 1995. Kane has played in 36 league matches this year, six fewer than Shearer’s 1995 total. The English forward has 57 goals this year for club and country, moving two ahead of Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Argentina for the most among players in Europe’s five major leagues.