HIGH SCHOOLS

Elise MacNair scored 31 points as Old Orchard Beach beat Waynflete 57-16 in Portland Monday night in girls’ basketball.

MacNair made 11 field goals, including three from long range, and hit 6 of 8 free throws for the Seagulls (8-0). Sarah Davis added eight points and Summer St. Louis finished with seven for OOB.

Maeve Mechtenberg led Waynflete (1-5) with six points.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY: Freshman Avaya Desjardins, subbing for starting goalie Kim McLaughlin, stopped 11 of 12 shots as host Lewiston (7-1) topped Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland,  7-1.

Alyssa Prosser scored for Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland (3-2-1).

Toree St. Hilaire and Lilly Gish each scored twice for Lewiston.

BOYS’ HOCKEY: Colby Bilodeau and Alex St. John scored and Gage Tarbox-Belanger stopped 18 shots as Thornton Academy (4-2) beat Marshwood/Traip/Sanford/Noble 2-0 at Dover, New Hampshire.

Ben Ott stopped 30 shots for the Knighthawks (2-5).

AUTO RACING

NASCAR: Veteran Aric Almirola will retire from competition at the end of the 2022 season to spend more time with his young family.

Almirola revealed his plans Monday to the employees at Stewart-Haas Racing at the same time Smithfield Foods announced its 11th season sponsoring the driver.

“To be the best in this business you’ve got to be selfish and for the last 37 years my life has always revolved around me and what I needed to do,” Almirola said. “I want to be present. I want to be the best husband and father, and that to me means more than being a racecar driver.

“So it’s one more year where I’m all in on racing, where we’ll do whatever it takes to compete at the highest level. But when the season is over, I’ll be ready to wave goodbye. I’ve loved every minute of it, but it’s time for the next chapter of my life.”

Almirola, a Tampa native of Cuban descent, made his NASCAR national series debut in 2005 in the Truck Series. His first victory was recorded two years later in the Xfinity Series at Milwaukee, but it was a controversial race: Denny Hamlin, his teammate then at Joe Gibbs Racing, was supposed to race the car with Almirola just a fill-in until Hamlin arrived from Cup Series practice held in Sonoma, California.

Almirola qualified the car, led 43 laps and was in third when Hamlin arrived and replaced Almirola in the seat. Hamlin crossed the finish line in first but an angry Almirola was scored the winner because he was the driver who started the race.

Almirola made his Cup debut with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2007 but moved to Dale Earnhardt Inc. later that season. He became a full-time Cup driver with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2012 – the same year he partnered with Smithfield – and scored his first Cup victory two seasons later in the rain-shortened July race at Daytona.

Almirola and Smithfield moved to SHR in 2018, and Almirola has made the playoffs in all four seasons driving the No. 10. He has three career Cup wins and finished a career-best fifth in the 2018 standings.

SKIING

WORLD CUP: The last scheduled World Cup meeting in cross-country skiing before the Beijing Olympics was canceled to protect athletes from the risk of COVID-19 infection in Slovenia.

Planica was to host events from Jan. 21-23 in cross-country skiing and Nordic combined for men and women.

Any athlete testing positive for COVID-19 so soon before traveling to the Winter Games that open on Feb. 4 risks being quarantined and denied entry to China.

LUGE

USA: USA Luge has been told that Chris Mazdzer is headed to the Olympics.

The 2018 silver medalist, who originally thought a 25th-place finish in a World Cup luge race this past weekend had doomed his chances of making the Beijing Games, apparently has qualified for the Olympics for a fourth time.

USA Luge was told by the International Luge Federation that it was getting three starting spots for the men’s race at the Games. The FIL has not released the final quotas publicly yet, but three spots for the Americans would mean Mazdzer is going after all.

“Man, honestly, relief,” Mazdzer told The Associated Press shortly after being informed by USA Luge. “Incredibly excited. It’s a mixed bag this time around. I had no idea it was going to be this emotionally draining and stressful. It’s relief, honor and excitement.”

The Americans already knew that Tucker West and Jonny Gustafson were going to the Games; having the third slot means Mazdzer will join them.

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