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Originally published March 8, 2013 at 8:10 PM | Page modified March 9, 2013 at 3:24 PM

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Iditarod musher Martin Buser savors leader's feast | Sled-dog racing

Martin Buser, the first musher to reach the village of Anvik along the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race route in Alaska, earned a gourmet meal and a cash award.

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Sled-dog racing

Buser savors feast

for leading in Iditarod

After days of heating meals in boiling water used to make gravy for the dogs and snacking on energy bars or chunks of meat, the first musher to reach the village of Anvik, Alaska, along the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race route, earned a treat.

Four-time champion Martin Buser of Big Lake, Alaska, pulled into Anvik early Friday for a gourmet meal. It was a prize for reaching the first checkpoint along the 1,800-mile-long Yukon River, which will be the trail for mushers for the next 238 miles of the 998-mile race that ends in Nome.

The Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage flew its executive chef, Bobby Sidro, about 350 miles to the remote Alaska village of 82 people that lacks a restaurant.

Buser was served a meal that would cost him $99 at the hotel restaurant. He was joined by his wife, Kathy Chapoton.

The meal included portobello mushrooms stuffed with Red King crab, Alaska clam chowder, a roast-duck salad, a 14-ounce steak and a fruit tart. There are two more gifts for the first musher to Anvik: $3,500 and a bottle of champagne.

Later in the day, Buser was the first musher to leave Grayling.

Soccer

U.S. keeper Howard has broken bones in back

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who plays for Everton of the English Premier League, has two broken bones in his back and likely will miss the Americans' World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico this month.

Brad Guzan, who plays for Aston Villa in England, is likely to take over for Howard in what would be his first qualifiers in four years.

Howard, 34, was hurt Feb. 26 in an FA Cup victory over Oldham. He was the U.S. starter at the 2010 World Cup.

Ex-keeper is convicted

Bruno, a former goalkeeper for the Flamengo team in Brazil, has been convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend and sentenced to slightly more than 22 years in prison.

A jury in Brazil found Bruno, 28, guilty of ordering the killing of model Eliza Samudio.

Her body has not been found amid allegations she was dismembered, with her remains fed to dogs.

College athletics

Big East split is official

The Big East Conference made its split official, with seven basketball schools breaking away from the football-playing members in a deal that takes effect July 1.

Commissioner Mike Aresco said the seven Catholic schools leaving to form a basketball-centric conference will get the Big East name, along with the opportunity to play their league tournament in Madison Square Garden in New York.

The schools are Villanova, Georgetown, Marquette, DePaul, Seton Hall, St. John's and Providence. Sources said they might be joined by Xavier, Butler and perhaps Creighton, which compete in other conferences.

The football members, mostly newcomers to a conference ravaged by realignment, get a cash haul that has been estimated as high as $100 million in some reports.

Elsewhere

• Creditors are trying to block ex-Arkansas football coach John L. Smith from liquidating $40.7 million in debt, saying he moved several properties and more than $2 million from his holdings before filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

Smith, 64, is the coach at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. He was the defensive coordinator at Washington State in 1987 and 1988.

• Los Angeles officials, in a letter to the U.S. Olympic Committee, have expressed interest in hosting the 2024 Olympics.

• A second former speedskater made allegations against Andy Gabel, 48, a former president of U.S. Speedskating and ex-International Skating Union executive.

Nikki Meyer, 37, known by her maiden name of Nikki Ziegelmeyer when she won Olympic short-track relay medals, said Gabel sexually assaulted her when she was 15. Last week, Bridie Farrell accused Gabel of having an improper relationship with her when she was 15 and he was 33.

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