Team USA Weekend Wrap-Up: Dec. 17, 2012
Ryan Lochte and the U.S. swim team continued collecting records and medals as the 11th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) concluded in Istanbul, Turkey.
Lochte won two gold medals and a silver Sunday to finish with eight total medals (six gold) at the short course championships.
Meanwhile, the United States won five medals Sunday to end the five-day competition with 27 medals, well ahead of the second-place China, which had 11. The United States won 11 golds, eight silvers and eight bronze medals.
Lochte was named Male Swimmer of the Meet after finishing with six gold medals, one silver and one bronze.
He wrapped up the competition by anchoring the 4x100 medley relay team that won by nearly two seconds to complete a U.S. sweep of the three men’s relay events. Matt Grevers, Kevin Cordes and Tom Shields were also part of the winning medley relay team.
Lochte’s first medal Sunday came when he finished .02 seconds behind Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki in the 200-meter backstroke.
Later, Lochte won the 100-meter individual medley in 51.21 seconds, one day after setting the world record with a time of 50.71 in the semifinals.
The first world record by Lochte came in Friday’s final event when he finished the 200 IM in 1:49.63 to break his own two-year-old mark.
“Any time you break the world record, it’s amazing,” Lochte said. “I wanted to do something that no one else did here.”
The 4x100 women’s freestyle relay team of Megan Romano, Jessica Hardy, Lia Neal and Allison Schmitt won a gold medal Saturday.
Shields set an American record in the semifinals before taking third in the 50-meter butterfly Saturday.
The United States collected multiple medals each day. Complete U.S. results from each day of the World Championships are available here.
Ted Ligety dominated in the first run on the way to a repeat victory at the Audi FIS World Cup giant slalom Sunday in Alta Badia, Italy.
“It’s tough to go out in the second run when you’re winning by 2.40 (seconds),” Ligety said. “You don’t want to lose all that speed and not win, but you also don’t want to go so relaxed you make big mistakes as well. So I was going hard.”
The win was the 14th of Ligety’s giant slalom career, tying him for fourth all-time with Austria’s Benni Raich and Hermann Maier.
The win was the second of the weekend for the U.S. Ski Team in Italy. Steven Nyman won the Val Gardena downhill Saturday.
Elsewhere, Heather McPhie won the FIS Freestyle World Cup opener in Ruka, Finland, while Jeremy Cota took third for the men.
Julia Mancuso was sixth and Mikaela Shiffin ninth at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom Sunday in Courchevel, France.
On a flatter surface, two-time Olympian Kikkan Randall was second in the sprint Saturday at the FIS Cross Country World Cup event in Canmore, Alberta. Randall was eighth and Ida Sargent 14th in the women’s 15k skiathlon Sunday.
Noah Hoffman was eighth and Kris Freeman 10th in Sunday’s men’s 30k skiathlon.
Lindsey Van was fourth to lead five U.S. women into the top 12 at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Ramsau, Austria.
Bryan Fletcher finished eighth Saturday and 17th Sunday at the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup in Ramsau.
Todd Lodwick won three consecutive FIS Nordic Combined Continental Cup races at Soldier Hollow, Utah. Lodwick, an Olympic medalist and world champion who was slowed by problems with asthma last season, used the wins Friday, Saturday and Sunday to earn a return to FIS World Cup competition.
The final game of the year went much like the rest of 2012 for the U.S. women.
Abby Wambach scored two goals Saturday in Boca Raton, Fla. and the London 2012 Olympic champions completed an unbeaten Fan Tribute Tour with a 4-1 victory over China.
The U.S. women went 8-0-2 on their post-Olympic tour of the country to finish the calendar year with a 28-1-3 record. The team is unbeaten in 23 games since losing to Japan in March.
Wambach had four goals in the final two games of the tour, pushing her career total to 152, just six shy of Mia Hamm’s world record of 158 international goals.
Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux also scored in Saturday’s win.
Wambach finished the year with 27 goals. Alex Morgan led the team with 28 goals and also had 21 assists, the last of which came on Wambach’s first goal of the game.
Team captain Christie Rampone played in her 276th career game, passing Hamm to rank behind only Kristine Lilly (352 caps).
The women will be back in Florida when they return to action Feb. 9 against Scotland in Jacksonville. Jill Ellis finished 5-0-2 as interim head coach. Tom Sermanni takes over at the New Year.
BOBSLED AND SKELETON
Katie Uhlaender returned to her winning ways Saturday in La Plagne, France, when she became the first women’s skeleton racer to win two events this World Cup season.
“I got here and decided to stop thinking about results or training and to have fun again,” said Uhlaender, the reigning world champion. “I mentally got into a funk after some major errors over these last few races, and I knew I had to stop worrying about results and stay in the moment.”
Uhlaender had a lead of 0.31 seconds after the first run and extended it to 0.49 to win with a combined time of 2:08:22.
In two-man bobsled, Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton moved up three spots in their final heat to earn the bronze medal on Saturday. The four-man team of Holcomb, Langton, Justin Olsen and Curt Tomasevicz was seventh Sunday.
The United States landed both silver and bronze medals in women’s bobsled Friday. Jamie Greubel and Emily Azevedo got their first World Cup medal with a second-place finish. Elana Meyers and Katie Eberling used a record start to finish third. Jamie Fenlator and Lolo Jones placed eighth.
The race concludes the first half of the season and Team USA will return early this week to the United States for a holiday break. The Altenberg World Cup is set for Jan. 4-6 in Altenberg, Germany.
Tim Burke completed an impressive weekend at the World Cup event in Pokljuka, Slovenia, by making it to the podium Sunday with a third-place finish in the 15k mass start. It was the fourth career podium finish for Burke and the first since the 2009-10 season.
“I’m very happy with today’s race,” Burke said. “It felt so good to finally put everything together on the same day with a really strong day on the skis and also good shooting in some foggy conditions.”
Burke, who had been fourth in the 10k sprint on Thursday, was seventh in Saturday’s 12.5k pursuit.
The weekend results moved him to sixth in the overall IBU World Cup standings.
Read more here.
The United States finished fifth in the team relay at the World Cup event in Sigulda, Latvia. The team relay will be added to the Olympic program in 2014.
Erin Hamlin, a two-time Olympian and 2009 world champion, got the relay started with the third best time among women’s singles competitors. Chris Mazdzer handled the men’s singles run followed by the men’s doubles team of Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall.
Mazdzer was 19th and Taylor Morris 23rd in men’s singles. Hamlin was sixth in women’s singles Saturday with Julia Clukey finishing 10th. Mortenson and Griffall were 12th in men’s doubles.
Elsewhere, the United States was fourth in the team relay at the Junior World Cup event in Koenigssee, Germany. Summer Britcher, Aidan Kelly and Ty Anderson-Anthony Espinoza made up the relay team. Britcher was seventh in women’s singles.
Two-time Olympic champion Seth Wescott won the USANA Snowboardcross Cup Friday and then teamed with Nate Holland Saturday to take the SBX title at the Paul Mitchell Progression Session. Both events were held in Telluride-Mountain Village, Colo. The win by Wescott and Holland represented the second straight weekend the United States has won an FIS Snowboarding World Cup team event. Holland teamed with Hagen Kearney last week in Austria. Elsewhere, Shaun White and Kaitlyn Farrington won the Dew Tour superpipe finals Saturday in Breckenridge, Colo.
TABLE TENNIS: Lily Zhang, a 2012 Olympian, reached the quarterfinals of the Volkswagen World Junior Table Tennis Championships before falling 11-6, 11-2, 11-5, 11-9 to China’s Ruochen Gu.
FENCING: The United States claimed four of the top eight spots in women’s epée and three of the top eight spots in men’s foil in Junior World Cup events in Europe. Kat Holmes and Nina Van Loon earned bronze after reaching the semifinals in women’s epée Saturday in Laupheim, Germany. Stephen Mageras won silver and Brian Kaneshige bronze to lead the men’s foil team Sunday in Leszno, Italy.
Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Tom Robinson is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.