Olympic Weekend Wrap-up: March 26, 2012
The United States has now qualified for 16 out of a possible 18 weight classes in wrestling for the London 2012 Olympic Games with two more opportunities still to come.
Seven more spots were locked up out of the nine pursued during the FILA Pan American Olympic Qualifying Tournament Friday through Sunday in Kissimmee, Fla.
Dremiel Byers and Clarissa Chun, a pair of 2008 Olympians, won their weight classes Saturday to secure spots for the country.
Byers, who did not allow a point in the tournament, swept Chile’s Andres Ayub Valenzuela, 2-0, 2-0, in the 264.5-pound Greco-Roman finals.
“I came out and did what I had to do,” Byers said. “I didn’t try anything fancy. I just stuck to the basics and got it done.”
Chun outscored three opponents by a total of 43-3 in 105.5-pound women’s freestyle, including an 8-1, 6-0 sweep of Argentina’s Patricia Bermudez in the final. Chun was the lone American woman in the event.
Brent Metcalf finished second in 145.5-pound freestyle Sunday, losing to Canada’s Haislan Garcia. Both finalists earned Olympic berths for their countries.
Metcalf, a two-time NCAA champion at Iowa, will get a chance to claim the spot for himself during the Olympic Trials April 21-22 on his home mat in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
“It’s going to be in a hostile environment — one that favors me,” Metcalf said. “There will be a lot of excitement there.
“Now it’s time to get the job done and get on that team.”
Byers’ title came after three of the four U.S. competitors in Greco-Roman Friday qualified the country with silver-medal finishes.
Spenser Mango (121 pounds), Ellis Coleman (132), Andy Bisek (163) and Chas Betts (185) each finished second.
The remaining qualifiers are April 27-29 in Taiyuan, China, and May 4-6 in Helsinki, Finland.
The Canada Under-23 team posted its first win in 20 years against the United States, a 2-0 victory Saturday in Nashville, Tenn., as part of round-robin play in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament for men’s soccer.
The loss means the United States has to beat El Salvador Monday in order to be sure of a spot in the tournament semifinals. The two semifinal winners clinch spots in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“We’re obviously very disappointed,” U.S. U-23 coach Caleb Porter said. “We knew we were going to have to be sharp and break down the numbers. We knew we were going to have to put out the fire on the break and be organized on set pieces.
“We didn’t do well on any of those things.”
The United States had a possible goal waved off three minutes into the second half because it was offside. The United States led in shots, 10-9, and each team had six corner kicks.
The United States Equestrian Federation has named 38 athlete/horse combinations to its Long List for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games following Trials this weekend in Wellington, Fla. Reed Kessler is ranked first on Cylana, followed by Margie Engle second on Indigo and 2008 Olympian Laura Kraut third on Cedric. The combinations on the list are required to compete at two of four observation events in order to remain under consideration. Those events are the Del Mar National Horse Show in California May 1-6, the Kentucky Spring Horse Show in Lexington May 8-13, the Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania May 29-June 2 and the Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta June 13-17.
Four-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode set a world record with 75 perfect target hits while winning the women’s skeet on the first day of competition at the ISSF Shotgun World Cup Sunday in Tucson, Ariz. Rhode, who has qualified to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games, led the United States to three of the top four women’s spots. Brandy Drozd was third and 18-year-old Morgan Craft fourth.
Through two rounds of men’s skeet, 2008 Olympic gold medalist Sgt. Vincent Hancock and B.J. Blanchard are two targets off the lead going into Monday’s conclusion. The World Cup continues through Saturday.
Daniel Hedgecock and D’Ann Arthur posted convincing victories Saturday in the USA Triathlon Elite Duathlon National Championship at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Ala.
The duathlon consisted of a 10-kilometer run, followed by a 40-kilometer bike race then a 5-kilometer run.
Hedgecock, a former University of Missouri runner, covered the course in 1:50:48 to win the first elite duathlon he competed in by 56 seconds over defending champion Matthew Russell. David Thompson, another former champion, was third.
Arthur, a third-year medical student from Texas, posted her first duathlon win by finishing more than two minutes ahead of the pack.
Hedgecock and Arthur earned the right to represent the United States at the ITU Duathlon World Championships Sept. 22-23 in Nancy, France.
Elsewhere, 2008 Olympian Laura Bennett finished seventh among women when the ITU Triathlon World Cup schedule opened Sunday in Mooloolaba, Australia.
Bennett finished the 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run in 2:05:35.
Greg Billington led the U.S. men, finishing 26th.
Dylan Ferguson successfully defended his aerials title at the Sprint U.S. Freestyle Championships at Stratton Mountain, Vt.
Maddy Olsen earned a spot on the U.S. Freestyle Ski Team by earning her first career title in the women’s aerials event.
At 23, Ferguson was the oldest athlete on the podium.
“I felt great this morning,” Ferguson said. “I was excited to watch our development kids compete in their first nationals and see some sweet jumps from them.”
K.C. Oakley, the World Cup Rookie of the Year, won the women’s dual moguls Saturday after taking a bronze medal in moguls Friday.
Cody Tempel won the men’s dual moguls Saturday after Jeremy Cota won moguls Friday.
Heather McPhie won her first national title in the women’s moguls event by beating this season’s freestyle overall World Cup champion and Olympic gold medalist Hannah Kearney.
Elsewhere, Ali Kariotis won the women’s dual moguls Saturday at the FIS Freestyle Junior World Championships in Valmalenco, Italy.
Kariotis, 16, led a five-medal performance, the most achieved by the United States.
Bradley Wilson won the men’s moguls, following his brother Bryon Wilson, who won gold at Junior Worlds in 2007 before claiming an Olympic medal in 2010.
• Jonathan Kuck earned his two bronze medals as an individual and a silver medal as part of the team pursuit at the ISU Single Distance World Championships in speedskating at Heerenveen, Netherlands. Kuck was third in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Shani Davis, who picked up a bronze at 1,000 meters, and Brian Hansen were also part of the team pursuit. Heather Richardson was fourth in the ladies 500 meters.
• Olympic qualifiers Kelci Bryant and Abby Johnston earned the silver medal in the synchronized 3-meter Friday at the FINA Diving World Series in Beijing. Troy Dumais was fourth in the men’s 3-meter Friday and Nick McCrory was fourth in the 10-meter Saturday.
• Paul Ruggeri and John Orozco won the silver and bronze medals in the horizontal bar at the FIG World Cup in Cottbus, Germany.
• Brady Ellison, a 2008 Olympian, and Miranda Leek were the recurve winners while Reo Wilde and Jamie Van Natta were the compound winners Sunday in the AAE Arizona Cup, the first qualifying event for this year’s USA Archery national team.
• The United States finished fifth in the Ford World Women’s Championships for curling at Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
• Brooke Sweat-Jen Fopma and Evan Engle-Stafford Slick held up their top seeds to win the USA Volleyball Beach International Development Qualifier at Chula Vista, Calif.
• Heather Hughes and Jennifer Snyder finished fourth at the season-opening NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour event in Seven Miles Beach, Grand Cayman.
• The United States went 2-1 in the Four Nations Tournament, a men’s water polo event in Thousand Oaks, Calif. After beating Italy, 9-8, and Germany, 12-10, the United States played to an 8-8 tie with Montenegro. The United States needed a shootout to defeat Estonia, 2-1, Sunday in the opening preliminary round game of the IPC Sledge Hockey World Championships in Hamar, Norway. The tournament continues through April 1.
• Courtney Hurley finished 27th at the Women’s Epee World Cup fencing event in St. Maur, France.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.