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Skater's mom dies en route to competition

The mother of Angela Nikodinov, a two-time bronze medalist in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, was killed in a car accident Wednesday morning as the family traveled in an airport shuttle to the competition here.

Delores Nikodinov of San Pedro, Calif., was pronounced dead at the scene. Angela and her father, Nick, were treated at a hospital and released. Nikodinov's coach, Igor Pashkevich, is in fair condition at the hospital. U.S. Figure Skating said Nikodinov had withdrawn from the competition. The women's short program is tonight.

COLLEGES

She'll pitch for U.S.

Former South Florida star pitcher Leigh Ann Ellis has won a spot on the U.S. national softball team, the first in USF history to be so honored. The 15-player squad, which includes 12 Olympians, will compete in the Pacific Rim Sports Summit in Seattle in June. Despite playing only in 2003 and '04, Ellis holds five USF single-season records.

VOLLEYBALL: Senior outside hitter Ogonna Nnamani of national champion Stanford was voted the nation's top female player in balloting among NCAA member schools. She is automatically nominated for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year award.

DISASTER FUNDS

BECKHAM HELPS: England soccer captain and Real Madrid star David Beckham was appointed a UNICEF goodwill ambassador and will help raise money for tsunami victims with public service TV spots.

ET CETERA

TENNIS: Andre Agassi may miss the Australian Open that starts Monday after injuring his hip in a tuneup event in Melbourne. Agassi, 34, withdrew from Thursday's match against Andy Roddick when trailing 5-6 at the Kooyong Classic. He was hurt earlier in a 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) first-round defeat of Olympic gold medalist Nicolas Massu6-1, 7-6 (7-4) .

SAILING: Britain's Ellen MacArthur set a record of 44 days, 23 hours, 36 minutes in reaching Cape Horn from Ushant, France, and remained four days ahead of schedule in her bid for a solo round-the-world record.

Compiled from Times wires.

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