Olympic Weekend Preview: June 15, 2012

By Paul D. Bowker | June 15, 2012, 11 a.m. (ET)
Mike Day Two men's BMX nominations and one women's BMX nomination are at stake this weekend in Chula Vista, California.

With 42 days remaining until the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games, there is plenty of action for American athletes all over the world. U.S. athletes in fencing, diving, beach volleyball, BMX, equestrian and Paralympic swimming will be seeking Olympic Team berths. Check out the Olympic Weekend Preview for all the details about these events and others in the world of Olympic sports.


CYCLING

U.S. Olympic Trials for BMX, June 16, Chula Vista, Calif.

Mike Day and Donny Robinson, both 2008 Olympic medalists, are among eight men who’ll compete Saturday in the U.S. Olympic Trials for BMX at the new BMX track in Chula Vista, Calif. Two men’s nominations and one women’s nomination are at stake at the trials. The United States has the maximum three men’s slots and two women’s slots in BMX at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

David Herman and Arielle Martin have clinched nominations for the U.S. Olympic Team, pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee, because they are No. 1 in the USA Cycling BMX Power Rankings. Day earned silver and Robinson, bronze, at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, which marked the Olympic debut of BMX racing.

Other top contenders for the Olympic berths include 2011 Pan American Games gold medalist Connor Fields in the men’s competition, and 2010 national champion Alise Post and two-time junior world champion Brooke Crain in the women’s division.

Also in cycling:

World Series of Cycling US Sprint Gran Prix, June 15, Breiningsville, Pa.

Giro Ciclistico d’Italia, June 8-17, Italy


DIVING

U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Diving, June 17-24, Federal Way, Wash.

The week-long Olympic Team Trials for Diving begin Sunday in the Seattle suburb of Federal Way, where the preliminaries and semifinals will be held in men’s and women’s 3- and 10-meter synchronized events. More than 100 divers will be competing for 14 Olympic spots in eight events.

Among those competing for berths in the London 2012 Olympic Games will be three-time Olympian Troy Dumais, and 2008 Olympians David Boudia, Kelci Bryant, Chris Colwill, Thomas Finchum, Haley Ishimatsu and Christina Loukas. Boudia, 2011 world silver medalist, is seeking his second consecutive win at the trials in 10-meter. He is a 16-time national champion. Boudia and Nick McCrory are the top men’s synchronized team; they won two synchro medals at the Diving World Series.


EQUESTRIAN

USEF Dressage Festival of Champions, June 14-17, Gladstone, N.J.

Focusing on an Olympics nomination, Steffen Peters leads an elite field of 13 entering the second weekend of competition in the USEF Grand Prix National Dressage Championships. The Grand Prix serves as the selection trial for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The FEI Grand Prix Test event will be held Friday. Results from that competition and the FEI Olympic Grand Prix Special Test will make up the final 50 percent of the scores used to determine the final placing. Peters is riding Legolas 92. Runner-up to Peters in both tests last weekend was Tina Konyot aboard Calecto V. 

Also in equestrian:

Spruce Meadows, USEF Show Jumping Team Observation Event, June 13-17, Calgary, Canada

National Intermediare I Championship, June 14-17, Gladstone, N.J.

Brentina Cup, National Young Adult Dressage Championship, June 16-17, Gladstone, N.J.

CSOIY Nations Cup, Show Jumping Young and Junior Rider Tour, June 13-17, Hagen, Germany



PARALYMPICS

U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials, June 14-16, Bismarck, N.D.

Jessica Long, a seven-time Paralympic gold medalist, set two world records Thursday on the opening day of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming Trials in Bismarck, N.D. She had a time of 4:44.17 in the women’s S8 400-meter freestyle, breaking her own world record, and won the women’s SB7 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:28.53, also breaking her own world record.

Victoria Arlen also set a world record, posting a time of 5:24.46 in the women’s S6 400 freestyle. Other top performances Thursday included American records by Rebecca Meyers in the women’s S13 400 freestyle (4:34.63), Ian Silverman in the men’s S10 400 freestyle (4:10.96) and Colleen Young in the women’s SB13 100 breaststroke (1:23.15). The competition continues through Sunday at the Bismarck State College Aquatic and Wellness Center.


FENCING

Pan American Zonal Championships, June 15-20, Cancun, Mexico

Olympic Team nominees Daryl Homer, Tim Morehouse, James Williams and Jeff Spear will compete in the men’s saber portion of the Pan American Zonal Championships, which begin Friday in Cancun, Mexico. The tournament, which has competition in all three fencing disciplines (saber, epee, foil), continues through Wednesday and is one of the final competitions that is being used for seeding at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Team USA swept the six individual and six team gold medals at the 2011 Pan Am Zonal Championships.

Also beginning Friday is the women’s individual epee. Competing for the United States are sisters Kelley and Courtney Hurley, who won gold and silver in 2011, respectively, and 2012 Olympic Team nominees Maya Lawrence and Susie Scanlan. Other U.S. fencers include Mariel Zagunis, the world’s top-ranked women’s saber fencer; Lee Kiefer, a two-time individual gold medalist in women’s foil; Race Imboden, a two-time World Cup medalist and ranked No. 4 in the world in men’s foil; and Soren Thompson, a 2004 Olympian.

The women’s individual saber and men’s foil competition will be held Saturday, followed Sunday by the women’s foil and men’s epee. Team competition begins Monday.


VOLLEYBALL

FIVB World Grand Prix, June 15-17, Sao Bernardo Campo, Brazil

The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team resumes play Friday in the FIVB World Grand Prix, when it faces 2011 World Cup champion Italy in Brazil. The United States won all three matches in the opening week of competition last week in the Dominican Republic.

In addition to Friday’s match, the United States will play Germany on Saturday and Brazil on Sunday in a huge match between the No. 1 and 2 teams in the world. A packed lineup for the United States this weekend will include 2011 World Grand Prix MVP Destinee Hooker, three-time Olympian Logan Tom and two-time Olympian Lindsey Berg at setter.

Grand Slam Rome, FIVB Swatch World Tour, June 13-17, Moscow

Two-time Olympic champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, and the team of Jennifer Kessy and April Ross were unbeaten after two days of play at the Grand Slam Rome, an FIVB Swatch World Tour event. Kessy and Ross, seeded No. 4, will play Spain’s Liliana Fernandez Steiner and Elsa Baquerizo Mcmillan or Belgium’s Liesbeth Mouha and Katrien Gielen in a second-round match Friday. May-Treanor and Walsh are the No. 6 seeds.

The tournament is the final opportunity for teams to earn points toward qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers are projected as the No. 1-nominated team for the United States, and a possible No. 1 seed in London. Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, attempting to clinch the No. 2 spot, enter the weekend with a 200-point advantage over Matt Fuerbringer and Nick Lucena. Both teams won pool-play matches Thursday.

FIVB World League, June 15-17, Lyon, France

The U.S. Men’s National Volleyball Team will face unbeaten Italy in the second round of the FIVB World League on Friday in Lyon, France. The United States, which lost two of its three matches played last month in Italy, will also play Korea on Saturday and host France on Sunday. Due to a family emergency, coach Alan Knipe did not make the trip to France and the team will instead be coached by new UCLA coach John Speraw.

Also in volleyball:

International Development Qualifier, June 16-17, Playa del Rey, Calif.


WATER POLO

FINA World League Super Final, June 12-17, Almaty, Kazakhstan

After winning two of three matches in group play at the FINA World League Super Final, the USA Water Polo Men’s National Team was to face Spain in the quarterfinals. If the United States wins Friday, it moves on to the semifinals Saturday. The championship game is Sunday.

Italy knocked off the United States, 7-5, on Thursday. The Italians scored two consecutive goals in the fourth period to take the win. “We can’t give up soft goals,” U.S. coach Terry Schroeder said. “We gave up two one-on-nobodies. .We are working too hard on defense to do that.”


SOCCER

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Sweden, June 16, Halmstad, Sweden

The U.S. Women’s National Team, which is preparing for the London 2012 Olympic Games, will face Sweden in a friendly Saturday at Orjans Vall Stadium in Halmstad, Sweden. The United States will also face Japan on Monday at the same location.

U.S. coach Pia Sundhage recently named the 18 players to the Olympic team, and brought all of those players, plus four alternates, to Sweden for the friendlies. Included among the Olympians are forwards Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, defender and team captain Christie Rampone and goalkeeper Hope Solo.

The United States defeated Sweden, 4-0, in the Algarve Cup in March and lost to Japan, 1-0.

TV: 10 a.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

Webcasts: 10 a.m. ET Saturday, universalsports.com; 7 a.m. Monday, universalsports.com

Also in soccer:

U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team vs. Sweden U-20, June 15, Stjordalen, Norway


CANOE/KAYAK

ICF Slalom World Cup, June 15-17, Pau, France

Colleen Hickey, who finished first at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, is among a group of four canoeists and five kayakers who will compete this weekend in the ICF Slalom World Cup No. 2 in Pau, France. Other paddlers include: Jim Wade, Michal Smolen and Ricky Powell, men’s kayak; Ashlee Nee and Emily Jackson, women’s kayak; Zach Lokken and Tyler Hinton, men’s single canoe; and Micki Reeves and Hickey, women’s single canoe. 

The athletes, who did not make the Olympic team, are preparing for the U-23 and Junior World Championships, which begin July 11 in Wausau, Wis.

“The young team that we have in place for the next two World Cups are the future of USA Canoe/Kayak and are a competitive group of paddlers,” said William Irving, USA Canoe/Kayak National Teams Director.


FIELD HOCKEY

USA Field Hockey Women’s National Team vs. Argentina, June 18, Charlottesville, Va.

The USA Field Hockey Women’s National Team will begin its final preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games on Monday, when it faces Argentina in the first of a four-game test series. Returning Olympian Lauren Crandall is captain of the 16-player Olympic team announced June 11 by coach Lee Bodimeade. The players nominated for the Olympic team, plus two others, will participate in the test series, which concludes June 23 with an Olympic celebration event in Virginia Beach, Va. In addition to the Monday opener, Team USA and Argentina will play Wednesday and Thursday at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., and June 23 at the National Training Center.


TRACK AND FIELD

USA Half Marathon Championships, June 16, Duluth, Minn.

Abdi Abdirahman and Kara Goucher, both nominees for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team in the marathon, will be among the leaders in the field at Saturday’s USA Half Marathon Championships in Duluth, Minn.

Goucher is returning to her home state as she seeks her second U.S. road racing title. She is one of four top-10 finishers at the Olympic Trials Marathon who’ll be in the women’s field. On the men’s side, six of the top-10 finishers at the trials are in the field. Mo Trafeh is returning to defend his 2011 USA Half Marathon men’s title.

Also in track and field:

USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships, June 15-17, Bloomington, Ind.

USA Mountain Running Championships, June 16, Pinkham Notch, N.H.


BASKETBALL

FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men, June 16-20, Sao Sebastiao do Paraiso, Brazil

The USA Basketball Men’s U-18 National Team will open play Saturday against the U.S. Virgin Islands in the opening round of the FIBA Americas U-18 Championship for Men. The United States has won gold at the tournament five times, including 2010, and has lost just twice in 40 games.

Following game Saturday, Team USA will face Mexico on Sunday and Brazil on Monday. The semifinals will be played Tuesday and the medal round Wednesday.

The team is loaded with NCAA Division I recruits, including Duke recruit Rasheed Sulaimon of Strake Jesuit College Prep in Houston, North Carolina recruit Nate Britt II of Gonzaga College High School in Washington D.C., and Syracuse recruit Jerami Grant of DeMatha Catholic High School in Maryland. University of Florida coach Billy Donovan is coach.

Also in basketball:

USA Basketball Men’s Developmental National Team training camp, June 15-17, Colorado Springs


ARCHERY

Ogden World Cup, June 18-24, Ogden, Utah

Competition and practice begins Monday at the Ogden World Cup, which will be the final U.S. event for the 2012 USA Archery Olympic Team prior to its official send-off at the National Target Championships in July. The tournament is the third stage of the World Cup. Olympic nominee Brady Ellison, the world’s top-ranked archer in men’s recurve, and Olympic nominee Miranda Leek won gold medals at last week’s USA Archery Nor’easter tournament in Canton, Mass.


SOFTBALL

USA Softball Women’s National Team vs. USA Softball Women’s Elite National Team, June 18, Ashland, Ohio

The USA Softball Women’s National Team will play the Elite National Team in an exhibition doubleheader Monday at Brookside Park in Ashland, Ohio. The national team was finalized June 12 with the addition of Amanda Chidester of the University of Michigan, Sam Fischer of Loyola Marymount, Christi Orgeron of Louisiana Lafayette, Jessica Shults of Oklahoma and Jackie Traina of Alabama. The team is training for the upcoming World Cup of Softball.


TEAM HANDBALL

Pan American Championships, June 17-24, Argentina

Play begins Sunday in the Pan American Team Handball Championships in Argentina. The United States will be led by new coach Christian Latulippe. The tournament is a qualifier for the world championships. U.S. players include Jordan Fithian, Gary Hines and Alex Mullin, who all played in the 2011 Pan Am Championships.


WRESTLING

Gedza International, June 15-16, Belgrade, Serbia

Two-time Olympians Spenser Mango and Dremiel Byers are among five members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman Team competing Friday and Saturday at the Ljubomir Ivanovic Gedza International in Serbia. Mango is wrestling at 55 kilograms (121 pounds) and Byers is at 120kg (264.5). Other U.S. wrestlers: Justin Lester, 66kg (145.5); Ben Provisor, 74kg (163); Chas Betts, 84kg (185).

In all, seven U.S. wrestlers will compete in the tournament.

Also in wrestling:

Ziolkowski International, June 16-17, Siedice, Poland


JUDO

IJF World Cup, June 16-17, Buenos Aires, Argentina

A World Cup tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday in Buenos Aires, Argentina. U.S. athletes scheduled to compete include 2012 Olympic nominee Nick Delpopolo, Bobby Lee and Jonathan Fernandez.


RUGBY

USA Rugby Men’s National Team vs. Republic of Georgia, June 16, Glendale, Colo.

The USA Rugby Eagles will face the Republic of Georgia on Saturday at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo. The game is a part of the team’s June test series, which began last week with a 28-25 loss to Canada.

TV: 9 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports


TRIATHLON

Youth Elite & Junior Elite Cup, June 16, Monroe, Wash.

The first in a three-race series to identify top athletes for selection to future national and international events, the Youth Elite & Junior Elite Cup will be held Saturday in Monroe, Wash. The event will award 15 qualification spots in each age division for the national championships.


Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker 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.

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