Copyright 1999 Plain Dealer Publishing Co. The Plain Dealer View Related Topics December 9, 1999 Thursday, FINAL / ALL SECTION: SPORTS; Pg. 5D LENGTH: 221 words HEADLINE: ILLNESS MAY KEEP BOBEK FROM NATIONALS BYLINE: By AMY ROSEWATER; PLAIN DEALER REPORTER BODY: Nicole Bobek's chances of competing in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Cleveland Feb.6-13 now are on thin ice. The 1995 champion submitted a medical bye to the U.S. Figure Skating Association requesting to skip the Pacific Coast Sectionals - a qualifying event for nationals - but be eligible to compete in Cleveland. Bobek said she has a sinus infection, and coach Kerry Leitch said a doctor told her to stay off the ice for 10 to 14 days. Pacific Coast Sectionals begin Tuesday. "It's a difficult call to make because you have to base a lot on her past, but we have to be careful and be fair to her," said Bill Fitzpatrick, the U.S. Figure Skating Association's chairman of the competitions committee, who received Bobek's bid for a bye Tuesday. Fitzpatrick said Bobek's application must be approved by a sports medicine committee as well as by the vice chairman of the Pacific Coast Sectionals. Although Bobek skated well in a made-for-TV competition last Thursday, she withdrew from the Canadian Open in Toronto. KWIATKOWSKI ADDED -- Three-time U.S. medalist Tonia Kwiatkowski has been added as a competitor in the World Professional Figure Skating Championships in Washington, D.C., this weekend. Kwiatkowski, a Broadview Heights native, replaced 1994 world champion Yuka Sato, who had to withdraw.