VAL GARDENA, Italy Bode Miller was back on the World Cup podium Friday for the first time since breaking away from the U.S. Ski Team.
Miller was second in a super-G and just missed a successful title defense, finishing 0.02 seconds behind winner Didier Cuche of Switzerland. Miller's previous best finish in 11 races this season was fourth in a super-combi last month in Beaver Creek, Colo.
Miller left the U.S. team before this season to train and race on his own. He now has to hire his own coaches and coordinate his own training and travel.
"Everything has been going well, but the results haven't really been there and that's always a little tough when you're putting in all the work and doing everything right," Miller said. "At the end of the day it's up to me to execute 100 percent, and I didn't execute that well today and got a result. If I can start to clean up mistakes we're going to be in good shape."
Cuche covered the Saslong course in 1 minute, 36.62 seconds for his first victory of the season. Marco Buechel was third, 0.04 back on a clear day.
Benjamin Raich finished seventh and leads the overall standings with 441 points, followed by Cuche (373) and Daniel Albrecht (332), who fell but was not injured. Miller jumped up from seventh to fourth overall with 274 points.
YANKS PREVAIL: At Lake Placid, N.Y., Americans Eric Bernotas and Katie Uhlaender posted decisive victories Friday in the World Cup skeleton races at the Olympic Sports Complex, with Bernotas setting track records in both heats. The victory moved Bernotas into the lead in the men's standings. Uhlaender, second after the first run, had the fastest time of the second heat to win the women's race. Zach Lund of Salt Lake City, the 2006-07 World Cup champion, was third.
NHL MOVES: The San Jose Sharks put defenseman Alexei Semenov on injured reserve Friday because of a broken finger on his right hand ... The Phoenix Coyotes recalled center Joel Perrault on Friday from San Antonio of the AHL.
COACHING CHANGES: Kevin Sumlin wants to turn Houston into Conference USA's version of Oklahoma. Sumlin, an assistant under Bob Stoops for the past five seasons, was introduced as the Cougars' new coach Friday after agreeing to a five-year deal. ... Tennessee offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe was hired by Duke as its football coach Friday, The Associated Press has learned. Cutcliffe will be introduced during a news conference Saturday, a person familiar with the decision said on condition of anonymity.
HANK KAPLAN DIES: Hall of Fame boxing historian Hank Kaplan died Friday, leaving behind archives that dated to the 1800s. He was 88. Kaplan died in Miami after battling cancer for nearly a year, his daughter, Barbara Haar-Kaplan, said. His archives include books, letters and newspaper clippings.
S. AFRICA OPEN: South Africa's James Kingston shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Friday to take a one-stroke lead over countryman Andrew McLardy and Wales' Kyron Sullivan after the second round.
DUBAI LADIES MASTERS: England's Lisa Hall shot a 3-under 69 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead over compatriot Laura Davies after the second round of the Ladies European Tour's season-ending Dubai Ladies Masters. Sweden's Louise Stahle, the first-round leader after a course-record 64, shot a 74 to drop into a tie for third with Italy's Veronica Zorzi (68) at 6 under. Defending champion Annika Sorenstam shot her second straight 70, while Natalie Gulbis missed the cut with rounds of 77 and 75.