MUSHER FOUND: A missing 61-year-old rookie musher in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was located Thursday afternoon hours after officials started a search for the woman thought missing along a treacherous stretch of trail.

Deborah Bicknell of Juneau was spotted from the air driving her team on a trail through Ptarmigan Pass, a route formerly used in the race, said race spokesman Chas St. George.

"It appears she took the wrong trail," St. George said.

She was seen driving her dog team 18 miles from the Rohn checkpoint.

"That would be a pretty good indication that she's all right," St. George said.

The Iditarod race marshal has the authority to remove mushers from the race if they are out of the competition but St. George said reaching the Rohn checkpoint would indicate Bicknell was still able to race.

An aerial search was started for Bicknell after she had not shown up at the checkpoint. Bicknell was last seen at 9:12 a.m. Wednesday, leaving the Rainy Pass checkpoint, 224 miles into the race from Anchorage to Nome, said Megan Peters, a spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers.


AMERICANS ADVANCE: Young Americans Vania King, Ahsha Rolle and Bethanie Mattek advanced to the second round of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, Calif., on Thursday.

The 18-year-old King, from Long Beach, beat Kateryna Bondarenko of the Ukraine 6-4, 3-6, 7-5; the 21-year-old Mattek, from Miami, routed Brenda Schultz-McCarthy of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-1; and the 21-year-old Rolle, also from Miami, beat Anastasiya Yakimova of Belarus 6-4, 2-6, 6-0.

Top-ranked Maria Sharapova of Russia, the defending champion, will open play Friday against Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands.


PLAYER ANGST: Saying he was "insulted" by the prospect of Tiger Woods' new tournament being treated like an invitational, Rich Beem said he would rally players against the PGA Tour to make sure the event had a full field.

"It's the most totally wrong thing I've heard of in a long time that's sticking it to the players," Beem said Thursday.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has said that the AT&T National, to be played July 5-8 in Washington with Woods as the host, likely would be considered along the lines of tournaments run by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer that have limited fields.


EX-PITCHER SENTENCED: A former major league pitcher was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to charges of selling cocaine and marijuana.

Ricardo Jordan, a 36-year-old former reliever for the Blue Jays, Phillies, Mets and Reds, also has been ordered to pay fines totaling $150,000, his lawyer, Grey Tesh, said.

Jordan did not use cocaine, but was "lured into selling the cocaine" to make up for the income he was no longer receiving from playing baseball, Tesh said.

Arena football

GLADIATORS WIN: Kevin Prentiss had an Arena Football League-record nine touchdown catches to help the Las Vegas Gladiators beat the Grand Rapids Rampage 79-69 on Thursday night.