Apr 05 Team USA Weekend Preview: April 12, 2013

By Paul D. Bowker | April 12, 2013, 12 p.m. (ET)
Missy Franklin swims in Austin, TX 
Missy Franklin swims in the women's 200-meter freestyle during the 2012 AT&T Winter National Championships on Nov. 30, 2012 at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in Austin, Texas.

Some big events are taking place this weekend, including a star-studded USA Swimming Grand Prix, the figure skating World Team Trophy and the Boston Marathon is set for its 117th running on Monday. This week’s Team USA Weekend Preview has all of the details on these events and many more.

SWIMMING

Arena Grand Prix Series, April 11-13, Mesa, Ariz.

Missy Franklin, a four-time gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, began the Mesa Arena Grand Prix with a win in the 100-meter freestyle Thursday night. Other opening-night winners included Olympic gold medalists Katie Ledecky and Nathan Adrian.

The event continues through Saturday at the Skyline Aquatic Center in Mesa, and features 19 U.S. Olympians. Franklin, the women’s points leader in the Grand Prix Series, defeated Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu and 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin in the 100 with a time of 54.27 seconds. Franklin, who is seeded No. 1 in the 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 100 backstroke, will swim in another three events Friday.

“I knew it was going to be a tough race,” she said. “I’m thrilled with my time and am really happy where I am right now.”

Breeja Larson, a 2012 Olympian and native of Mesa, won the women’s 200 breaststroke in 2:28.03.

Ryan Lochte, a three-time Olympian, will battle NCAA champion Tom Shields of the University of California, Berkeley in the men’s 100 butterfly. Lochte is also seeded No. 1 in the 200 freestyle, 200 backstroke and 200 individual medley.

Ledecky, a high school senior who won the Olympic gold medal in the 800 in London, cruised to a six-second victory in the 400m free, winning in 4:05.21. Hosszu was second in 4:11.72, and Chloe Sutton grabbed third in 4:12.00.

Olympian Matt McLean won the men’s 400m free in 3:51.95.

TV: 8 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, Universal Sports

TRACK AND FIELD

Boston Marathon, April 15, Boston, Mass.

U.S. Olympic marathoners Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher will run Monday in the 117th Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest marathon. The race begins in Hopkinton, Mass., and ends in downtown Boston. More than 27,000 official runners are entered, including 30 in the wheelchair division.

In the wheelchair division, defending champion and 2012 Paralympic marathon gold medalist Shirley Reilly leads the U.S. effort.

A bout with the flu knocked four-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman out of the race. Ryan Hall, a 2008 Olympian, previously withdrew due to a quadriceps strain and two-time Olympian Meb Keflezighi is out with a calf injury. Joan Benoit Samuelson, the winner of the first Olympic women’s marathon in 1984 and a two-time Boston Marathon champion, is entered in the race at age 55.

Another Olympian set to run is Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders.

The 26th mile marker will honor the 26 victims of the Newtown, Conn., shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The race will begin with 26 seconds of silence.

TV: 9:30 a.m. ET Monday, Universal Sports

FIGURE SKATING

ISU World Team Trophy, April 11-14, Tokyo

The United States is in first place at the ISU World Team Trophy in Tokyo, leading Canada by five points. Ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates, who are 2013 U.S. silver medalists, did their part for Team USA by winning the ice dancing portion of the competition.

“This competition is a blast,” said Bates, a 2010 Olympian. “It’s so unique and different from any other. We feel the energy from our teammates. The team event is the most fun I’ve had this season.

Men’s national champion Max Aaron placed fourth overall and Jeremy Abbott was sixth. Daisuke Takahashi, competing for Japan, won the men’s event, beating three-time world champion of Canada, Patrick Chan. Gracie Gold is third in the women’s event and two-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner is fourth after the women’s short program. U.S. pairs champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir are fifth after the short program. The women’s free skate and the pairs free skate are set for Saturday.

The United States is one of six nations in the World Team Trophy. Each team consists of two women, two men, one pair and one ice dancing couple. Points are awarded through short programs and free skates.

SLED HOCKEY

IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships, April 12-20, Goyang, South Korea

Alexi Salamone, Taylor Chace and goaltender Steve Cash lead the two-time defending world champion and Paralympic champion United States into the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships in South Korea. Preliminary round games begin Friday. The United States opens against Sweden.

“I’ve never seen us this fast — ever,” said Chace, a national team member since 2005. “Our speed … the team looks fantastic.”

Eight teams are in the tournament. The top five will clinch berths in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

JUDO

USA Judo Senior National Championships, April 13-14, Virginia Beach, Va.

Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison and Paralympic silver medalist Myles Porter will be among the top athletes competing for titles Saturday and Sunday at the USA Judo Senior National Championships in Virginia Beach, Va.

Harrison will compete at under-78 kilograms, then switch to under-70kg next week at the Pan American Championships. Harrison made history at the London 2012 Olympic Games when she became the first American to win judo gold at the Olympic Games. The tournament field this weekend also includes Marti Malloy, a bronze medalist in London, and Japanese 2008 Olympic gold medalist Satoshi Ishii, now an MMA fighter.

Porter, who is attempting to qualify for both the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, is ranked No. 1 in the under-100kg weight class in both the Paralympic and fully-sighted divisions.

FENCING

North American Cup, April 12-15, Richmond, Va.

Two-time Olympians Kelley Hurley, Soren Thompson and Gerek Meinhardt are among eight members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team who will compete this weekend in the North American Cup and the USA Fencing Division I National Championships. The four-day tournament begins Friday at the Richmond (Va.) Convention Center.

Kelley and Courtney Hurley, and Maya Lawrence all earned bronze medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the team competition. The individual women’s epée tournament will be held Saturday, followed by the team competition Sunday. Nicole Ross, a four-time medalist at the Pan American Championships and a 2012 Olympian, will compete in women’s foil Sunday.

The competition will determine spots for the senior world and Pan American Championship teams. The men’s and women’s foil teams will be announced after the tournament concludes Monday. The U.S. epée and saber teams will be announced after the conclusion of the World Cup circuit in May.

The USA Fencing Wheelchair National Championships are also being held, beginning Friday with the men’s and women’s individual epee. Four 2012 Paralympians are in the tournament field: Gerard Moreno, five-time Paralympian; Joey Brinson, two-time Pan Am medalist; Ryan Estep, 2011 Pan Am champion; Catherine Bouwkamp, 2011 Pan Am champion.

Junior and Cadet World Championships, April 6-15, Porec, Croatia

Lee Kiefer, a 2012 Olympian who is a freshman at the University of Notre Dame, earned a bronze medal in women’s foil Wednesday at the Junior World Championships in Porec, Croatia. She is the first U.S. women’s foil fencer to medal at the junior worlds three consecutive years. Also winning bronze was Eli Dershwitz in men’s saber.

The final weekend of competition will include men’s foil and women’s saber Friday, men’s saber and women’s foil team finals Saturday, men’s and women’s epée team finals Sunday, and men’s foil and women’s saber individual finals Monday.

CURLING

World Mixed Doubles Championships, April 13-20, Fredericton, N.B., Canada

Peter and Maureen Stolt of Plymouth, Minn., will open play Saturday in the World Mixed Doubles Championships, when they face the Czech Republic. The Stolts, who won the national mixed doubles title in December with a 7-0 record, are attempting to become the first team from the United States to win the world mixed doubles championship. Maureen Stolt earned a bronze medal at the 2011 Women’s National Championship.

The mixed doubles discipline began in 2008 and is under consideration as a future Olympic discipline. In mixed doubles, each team gets six stones (instead of eight) and both players are allowed to sweep.

Pool play continues Sunday for the Stoltes with a match against Australia. The rest of the pool play schedule for the United States: Monday vs. Denmark, Tuesday vs. Slovenia and Austria, Wednesday vs. France, Thursday vs. New Zealand and Japan.

Also in curling:

World Senior Championships, April 13-20, Fredericton, N.B., Canada

Pre-Winter World University Games U.S. Trials, April 12-14, Blaine, Minn.

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING

SwimOutlet.com U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Championships, April 9-13, Greensboro, N.C.

Mary Killman, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, is among more than 200 swimmers competing in the SwimOutlet.com U.S. National Synchronized Swimming Championships in Greensboro, N.C. The U.S. Junior Championships are also being held at the same time.

TRIATHLON

USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships, April 12-13, Tempe, Ariz.

More than 1,000 athletes, including the University of Arizona’s Ben Kanute, will compete Saturday in the Olympic-distance USA Triathlon Collegiate National Championships. Kanute was the third-place finisher in 2012. The men’s and women’s events will be held at Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake in Arizona, and will feature a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike race and 10-kilometer run.

Other top returnees from the 2012 men’s event include Chris Braden of Colorado, sixth place in 2012; Alex Libin of Iowa, ninth place; and Jason West of Penn State, 10th place. Top women contenders include Christine Jackson of Cal, fourth place in 2012; Samantha Morrison of the U.S. Air Force Academy, fifth place; and Cal’s Erika Erickson, sixth place.

The weekend begins Friday with the USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Collegiate Championships, a first-time event consisting of 750-meter swim, 20k bike race and 5k run.

Webcast: usatriathlon.org

WEIGHTLIFTING

Youth World Championships, April 6-13, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Sydney Goad, daughter of Olympian Robin Goad, broke the youth American record in snatch with a lift of 52 kilograms and 13-year-old Clarence Cummings Jr. broke four youth American records at the Youth World Championships this week in Uzbekistan. The competition, which drew nearly 450 youth weightlifters from 52 nations, continues through Saturday. It is a qualifier for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

SOCCER

U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team vs. Honduras, CONCACAF U-17 World Cup qualifying tournament, April 14, Panama City, Panama

The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team won Group C of the CONCACAF U-17 championship with a 1-0 victory Thursday over Guatemala. The United States will face Group D runner-up Honduras in the quarterfinals Sunday at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City.

A win in the quarterfinals would qualify the United States for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which begins Oct. 17 in the United Arab Emirates.

TV: 6 p.m. ET Sunday, Fox Soccer, Univision Deportes

FIELD HOCKEY

Four Nations Tournament, April 9-14, Whangarei, New Zealand

The U.S. Women’s National Team will play New Zealand on Saturday in the final round of preliminary play at the Four Nations Tournament in Whangarei, New Zealand. Torrie Albini and two-time Olympian Rachel Dawson scored goals in a 2-1 victory Thursday over South Korea, the world‘s eighth-ranked team.

“I am pleased to get a result tonight,” U.S. coach Craig Parnham said. “It was a good performance to negate a very strong Korean team and restrict them to limited chances. This Four Nations is providing invaluable exposure for a young group to see three very different styles of international hockey.”

The playoffs will be held Sunday. The United States is 1-1 entering Saturday’s match.

EQUESTRIAN

Wellington Nations Cup CDIO3*, April 12-13, Wellington, Fla.

The United States will have two of the 10 teams competing in the Wellington Dressage Nations Cup CDIO3 on Friday. The competition features Big Tour riders in the FEI Grand Prix Test and Small Tour riders in the FEI Prix St. Georges Test. On Saturday, the riders will compete for individual honors.

U.S. riders include Heather Blitz, a 2011 Pan American Games team gold and individual silver medalist who will be aboard Paragon. Shelly Francis will ride Doktor. Cesar Parra, also a member of the Pan Am gold medal-winning team in 2011, will ride Michael.

Webcast: usefnetwork.com

Also in equestrian:

Southern Pines CDE, combined driving national championships, April 12-14, Raeford, N.C.

GYMNASTICS

USA Gymnastics Women’s Collegiate National Championships, April 12-14, Shreveport, La.

Eight varsity teams, including four-time defending champion Bridgeport University, will compete in the USA Gymnastics Women’s Collegiate National Championships. The championships are open to college teams with less than 7.5 full scholarships. Monica Mesalles Sallares, a 2004 Olympian from Spain who now attends Bridgeport, is the defending champion in the all-around. In addition to Bridgeport, other schools competing for the team title are Air Force, Brown, Cornell, Pennsylvania, Centenary, Seattle Pacific and Texas Woman’s University. Gymnasts from Yale, Temple, West Chester (Pa.), Southern Connecticut and Lindenwood are competing individually.

Also in gymnastics:

NAIGC National Championships, April 11-13, Minneapolis.

SHOOTING

National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships, April 2-19, Colorado Springs

Mackenzie Martin, Rachel Martin, Hayley Broughton and Elizabeth Gratz are shooting for podium finishes as competition in the women’s rifle smallbore event concludes Friday in the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships. The men’s air rifle competition begins Monday.

The event is being held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

CYCLING

Presbyterian Hospital Invitation Criterium, April 13, Charlotte, N.C.

Hilton Clarke is atop the men’s standings and Erica Allar is No. 1 in the women’s standings as the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar series heads to Charlotte, N.C., Saturday for the fourth race of the season. Clarke leads runner-up Shane Kline by 130 points.

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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