Vonn chosen over horse for female athlete of year

Gold and bronze medals at the Vancouver Games, plus a third consecutive World Cup overall title, helped Lindsey Vonn become the Female Athlete of the Year, chosen by members of The Associated Press. She’s the first skier — male or female — to win one of the annual AP awards, which began in 1931.

Vonn received 77 of 175 votes submitted by news organizations that make up the AP’s membership, more than double what anyone else got in the tally announced Saturday.

Zenyatta’s 32 votes placed the racehorse No. 2 in the AP balloting for the second consecutive year. The 6-year-old mare retired with a 19-1 career record and a North American earnings record for female horses.


MAJOR LEAGUES: The Boston Red Sox signed right-hander Dan Wheeler to a $3 million, one-year contract with a club option for 2012. Wheeler, 33, went 2-4 with a 3.35 ERA and three saves in 64 relief outings for Tampa Bay last season.

Walt Dropo, who played 13 seasons in the majors and won the 1950 American League Rookie of the Year award with the Boston Red Sox, died in Storrs, Conn. He was 87.

In 1950, Dropo beat out New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford to win Rookie of the Year honors after batting .322 with 34 home runs and a league-best 144 RBI. He also made his only All-Star team that year.


WOMEN’S WORLD CUP: Lindsey Vonn got her first downhill win of the season at Val d’Isere, France, to close the gap on overall World Cup leader Maria Riesch.

Vonn had finished second behind her German rival in the first two downhills of the season, but she turned the tables at one of her favorite resorts, finishing in a time of 1 minute, 51.42 seconds. Nadja Kamer of Switzerland was second, 0.68 seconds back.

MEN’S WORLD CUP: Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland won a downhill in Val Gardena, Italy, to take the lead in the overall standings.

Zurbriggen clocked 1 minute, 57.21 seconds, edging Austria’s Romed Baumann by 0.06 seconds. Defending World Cup downhill champion Didier Cuche was third. Bode Miller was the fastest American in 17th place.


CLUB WORLD CUP: Inter Milan won the Club World Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory over TP Mazembe in the final to end the surprising run of the African champions, at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

AMERICAN RETURNS: American Charlie Davies is expected to play for Sochaux, France, today for the first time since a near-fatal car crash 14 months ago. Davies was a passenger in a serious car accident in October 2009.


GIRLS’ BASKETBALL: Pingree Academy opened the game with a 21-2 run and went on to defeat Berwick Academy 40-30 in the Berwick Holiday Tournament at South Berwick.

Berwick (1-5) got as close as five points in the second half.


QJMHL: Pierre-Oliver Morin netted the winner with 3:41 to go as the Maineiacs defeated the visiting Cataractes 5-4. Ian Saab had a goal and an assist for the Maineiacs.