Olympic Weekend Wrap-Up: June 4, 2014
Caitlin Leverenz smiles after winning the Women's 200m Individual Medley during the Duel in the Pool at the Georgia Tech Aquatic Center on December 17, 2011.
Brady Ellison held the lead throughout a 10-month qualifying process over three separate events to land a return trip to the Olympic Games when the U.S. Olympic Trials for archery concluded Sunday in Colorado Springs.
Ellison, Jake Kaminski and Jacob Wukie landed men’s spots. Miranda Leek led women’s qualifying and will head to London, pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Leek, along with Khatuna Lorig and Jennifer Nichols, will try to qualify as a full team at the Final Olympic Qualification Tournament on June 21 in Ogden, Utah. A top-three finish would send the whole women’s team to the London 2012 Olympic Games. If the team does not qualify, only Leek will head to London.
Since competing in Beijing, Ellison has become the first archer ever to win three consecutive World Cup stages and has held the No. 1 ranking in the world since 2011.
Wukie was an alternate in Beijing. Joe Fanchin and Heather Koehl are the alternates for London.
Leek qualified for her first Olympic Games. Lorig, the Closing Ceremony flag-bearer at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, is aiming for a fifth appearance and Nichols for her third.
Sgt. 1st Class Daryl Szarenski finished first and Nick Mowrer joined him in qualifying for the other men’s 50-meter free pistol spot Saturday during the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Fort Benning, Ga.
Szarenski, a three-time Olympian, overcame a broken pistol to finish first with 1867.8 points.
“I had to tear the gun apart and tighten everything back up and it made me a little nervous, but I held it together and it kept getting better,” said Szarenski, who had already earned a nomination in men’s 10-meter air pistol.
Mowrer moved up from third to the second spot during the final round.
Staff Sgt. Michael McPhail has the lead in the men’s 50-meter rifle prone.
The trials continue through June 11.
Scott Gault, a 2008 Olympian, will be going back to the 2012 Olympic Games as part of the men’s four, USRowing announced on Monday. The men’s four is the sixth of 12 U.S. Olympic boats to be named.
Joining Gault in the men’s four will be Charlie Cole, Henrik Rummel and Glenn Ochal. All nominations are pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
“We have been training in this combination for a little while, but to be named to the Olympic team is a huge honor and one we are very excited about,” Cole said.
Five U.S. crews had already been named: women’s single sculls, lightweight women’s double sculls, women’s double sculls, lightweight men’s four and men’s eight.
Meanwhile, the crews for men’s single sculls, men’s pair and women’s pair will be named at the Olympic Trials on June 11-14, while the women’s eight and men’s and women’s quadruple sculls crews will be named on June 22.
TRACK AND FIELD
Sanya Richards-Ross and Reese Hoffa established the world’s best performances of the year Saturday at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore.
The Prefontaine Classic was the second stop in the Visa Championship Series and the third stop for the Samsung Diamond League.
Richards-Ross won the women’s 400 in 49.39 seconds, her best time since 2009.
“I knew that I had a good race in me,” Richards-Ross said. “To come and run the world-leading time and beat a really, really good field [Saturday] was a great feeling.”
Hoffa recorded the top three throws in the men’s shot put, including the winning mark of 71-6 ¾.
U.S. athletes swept sprints with wins by Justin Gatlin (men’s 100), Wallace Spearmon (men’s 200), LaShawn Merritt (men’s 400) and Allyson Felix (women’s 200).
Galen Rupp became the first American this year to run the 5,000 meters in under 13 minutes, finishing in 12:58.90.
Jessica Cosby set an American women’s record in the hammer throw while Christian Taylor and Alysia Montano set both meet and Hayward Field records in rainy conditions Friday night.
Cosby was fourth with a hammer throw of 243-5.
Taylor won a shortened men’s triple jump with 57-9 ¾, also the best in the world this year.
Montano won the women’s 800 by nearly two seconds in 1:57.37.
Elsewhere, 2008 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper won the 100-meter hurdles in 12.66 Thursday during the Samsung Diamond League event in Rome.
Caitlin Leverenz won the 200-meter individual medley Sunday on the final day of the Santa Clara International Grand Prix, the final event in the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series.
Leverenz won the high-point award for women at the three-day meet.
Elsewhere, Allison Schmitt set the U.S. Open record in the 200 free with a finish of 1:55.04 at the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite in Austin, Texas.
Schmitt’s time was the second-best in the world this year.
Michael Phelps closed out the event with a pool-record time of 1:54.79 in the 200 butterfly. It was the third-fastest time in the world this year.
Goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong made 15 saves Sunday when the Olympic Women’s Team gave the United States its fourth straight FINA World League Super Final championship with a 6-4 win over Australia in Changshu, China.
Maggie Steffens and Annika Dries scored two goals each.
The United States shut out Australia for the second half while scoring three goals to rally for victory.
“Defensively, we played very well all tournament,” U.S. coach Adam Krikorian said, “but we certainly understand that this means nothing when we get to the Olympic Games.”
The United States went 6-0 in the tournament, including Friday’s 15-2 quarterfinal rout of Italy and Saturday’s 7-6 semifinal win over Greece.
Elsewhere, the U.S. men defeated Croatia for the first time since 2008 by allowing just one second-half goal in Friday’s 9-5 win at the Rose Bowl Aquatics Center in Pasadena, Calif.
Shawn Johnson, the winner of the balance beam gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, announced her retirement from competition Sunday.
Johnson also earned three Olympic silver medals and three world championships gold medals.
Recurring knee problems caused Johnson, who began a comeback last season, to give up on hopes of returning to the Olympic Games.
“I still have the heart, drive and desire to compete and help the USA at the London Olympics,” Johnson said. “Unfortunately, it has become obvious that my left knee is not able to sustain the demands of gymnastics any longer.”
Elsewhere, Savannah Vinsant became the first U.S. woman to win a trampoline World Cup medal since 1996 with a bronze in Taiyuan City, China.
• Kathleen Sharkey, the leading scorer at the 2011 national championships, opened the USA Field Hockey Women’s National Championship with a four-goal effort Friday to lead a 7-0 New Jersey victory over the North. Shannon Taylor had a four-goal game for the North Saturday in a 6-5 victory over Mid Atlantic. Katie O’Donnell had three goals Friday when Mid Atlantic defeated California, 7-3. The tournament continues through Friday at the University of Maryland in College Park.
Following the event, coach Lee Bodimeade will name the national team and the development squads. The 16-member team for the London 2012 Olympic Games will be named two weeks later.
• The United States won the overall title at the Senior Pan American Championships for karate in Managua, Nicaragua. Tom Scott won the men’s kumite open weight title while Cheryl Murphy won the women’s kumite open weight title.
• Laura Bennett, a London 2012 Olympic qualifier, and Lukas Verzbicas won the titles at the Dallas ITU Triathlon Pan American Cup. Bennett finished the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run in 2:10:22. Verzbicas finished in 1:57:56 to win by a little more than a minute over Olympic qualifier Manuel Huerta.
Elsewhere, Dave Slavinksi and Peggy Yetman claimed the overall titles at the USA Triathlon Long Course Duathlon National Championship Sunday in Cambridge, Mass. Slavinski won her second straight title for the 70-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course.
• The U.S. men’s soccer team played Canada to a scoreless tie Sunday night in Toronto, extending an unbeaten streak against Canada to 15 games. The United States has won eight times and played to seven draws with Canada since April 4, 1985. The United States begins World Cup qualifying Friday against Antigua & Barbuda in Tampa.
• The University of Washington swept all five events it entered while winning its sixth consecutive Ten Eyck Trophy for overall team points at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships in Camden, N.J. Washington won the men’s varsity eight, men’s open four, second varsity eight, men’s varsity four and men’s freshmen eight.
• Charlie Jayne and Chill RZ won the Idle Dice Open Jumper Stake Sunday at the Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania. The competition was part of the third of four observation events that will determine the riders and horses for the U.S. Show Jumping Team at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
• Katie Holloway was named tournament Most Valuable Player Saturday after U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team defeated Slovenia and Ukraine to win the title of the Volleyball Masters at Leersum, Netherlands. The United States topped Slovenia in four games in the semifinals and Ukraine in four games in the finals to finish 4-0 in the tournament.
• Nathan Sigmund scored two goals, including the game-winner, Sunday to lift the United States over Canada, 4-2, at the IIHF InLine Hockey World Championships in Ingolstadt, Germany. The win allowed the United States to finish first in the Pool B standings with a 3-0 record and advance to Tuesday’s quarterfinal against Finland.
• Chico State won its second national title in three years Saturday at the Collegiate Wakeboard National Championships in Guthrie, Okla.
• Jason Chamberlain was named Outstanding Wrestler and the University Nationals freestyle finals after defeating Nick Dardanes, 0-1, 1-0, 3-0, for the 145.5-pound title in Akron, Ohio. The finalists of the seven Olympic weight classes qualified for the 2012 University World Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Aug. 17-18.
In Akron, Zain Retherford of Pennsylvania was named Outstanding Wrestler of the FILA Cadet Nationals freestyle tournament after his 2-3, 4-1, 2-1 win in the 138.75-pound final. The champions of each weight class represent the United States at the FILA Cadet World Championships Aug. 21-27 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
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.