Team USA Weekend Preview: April 19, 2013

By Paul D. Bowker | April 19, 2013, 11:51 a.m. (ET)
 Sarah Groff
Sarah Groff raises the finish tape after winning the 2012 Beijing International Triathlon at Qinglong lake park Fengtai District on Sept. 16, 2012 in Beijing, China.

If you’re a fan of a summer sports, there’s a good chance there’s elite competition going on in that sport this week. From triathlon to table tennis, judo to wrestling, tennis to diving, cycling to shooting, this edition of Team USA Weekend Preview seemingly has it all.

TRIATHLON

Omegawave ITU World Triathlon San Diego, April 19-20, Mission Beach, Calif.

U.S. 2012 Olympians Sarah Groff, Gwen Jorgensen and Hunter Kemper will be among a packed field of Olympians competing in ITU World Triathlon Series event Friday and Saturday in Mission Beach, Calif. The elite women’s race is Friday, followed by the elite men’s race Saturday.

Each race consists of a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike event and 10k run.

Nearly half the triathlon field from the London 2012 Olympic Games is entered, including Groff, who finished fourth in the women’s triathlon in London. Jorgensen has two career medals in the World Triathlon Series. Other contenders include 2008 Olympian and two-time national champion Julie Ertel.

Kemper, a four-time Olympian; Jarrod Shoemaker, a two-time national champion; and Matt Chrabot, a three-time top-10 World Triathlon finisher, lead the U.S. entries in the men’s race. Also in the field is Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain and silver medalist Javier Gomez of Spain. Kemper has won a record seven U.S. elite titles. The first American woman and man to finish in the races will be declared 2012 elite national champions.

TV: 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. ET Friday and 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Universal Sports

PARATRIATHLON

Challenged Athletes Foundation World Paratriathlon, April 20, Mission Beach, Calif.

Three-time paratriathlon world champion and Paralympic swimmer Melissa Stockwell of Chicago will be among more than 50 elite paratriathletes competing Saturday morning in the first Challenged Athletes Foundation World Paratriathlon. The event will consist of a 750-meter swim, 20k bike race and 5k run. Paratriathlon will make its debut at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games.

TRACK AND FIELD

London Marathon, April 21, London

The London Marathon will have a Boston feel to it Sunday when more than 35,000 runners, including many elite runners, take part in the annual race. Each runner will be given a black ribbon to honor the victims of the blasts at the Boston Marathon this past week. The race will begin with 30 seconds of silence. Among the runners in the race is 5,000- and 10,000-meter Olympic champion Mo Farah of Great Britain. Tatyana McFadden, a 2012 Paralympic gold medalist for Team USA who won the Boston Marathon Monday, also will race in London.

London Marathon officials also announced they will make a donation for every finisher to The One Fund Boston, a fund that has been set up to benefit victims of the bombs.

Webcast: 4 a.m. ET Sunday, universalsports.com

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SLED HOCKEY

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

The U.S. National Sled Hockey Team will play Canada for the gold medal Saturday in the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships in Goyang, South Korea. The United States, which is seeking the first three-peat championship in tournament history, went unbeaten through pool play. By finishing among the tournament’s top five, Team USA has clinched a spot in the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

Taylor Chace, the team’s leading scorer, and Alexi Salamone both scored for the United States in a 2-1 win over Russia in the semifinals Thursday. Steve Cash had seven saves for the United States.

“The important thing is we won the game,” U.S. coach Jeff Sauer said. “It wasn’t a pretty win. We had to work for it. We had a lot of good opportunities offensively to score goals, but we didn’t put them away.”

Read more about Team USA’s first four games, as well as what the team did on its day off in Korea, straight from team captain Taylor Lipsett.

Webcast: 3:30 a.m. ET Saturday, sledworlds.usahockey.com

ICE HOCKEY

IIHF U18 World Championship, April 18-28, Sochi, Russia

After dropping its opening game to Russia in the IIHF U18 World Championship, the U.S. National Under-18 Team will look to bounce back with a win Saturday against the Czech Republic at the Bolshoy Ice Dome in Sochi, Russia.

J.T. Compher scored a goal and had an assist in the 4-3 loss to Russia. A short-handed score by Compher tied the score at 3-3 in the third period, but the Russians scored the game winner with less than two minutes remaining.

“We faced a very tough opponent to start the tournament,” U.S. coach Don Granato said. “We’ll stay positive and move forward despite the loss. It’s important to focus on getting better each game as we progress along.”

After the game Saturday, Team USA will play Latvia Sunday and Finland Tuesday. The playoff rounds begin with the quarterfinals Thursday.

WRESTLING

U.S. Open, April 18-20, Las Vegas

Ben Provisor, a 2012 Olympian, defeated Jake Fisher to win his second U.S. Open championship Thursday night and women’s freestyle wrestler Jessica Medina won her third U.S. Open title. The three-day tournament continues in Greco-Roman, men’s freestyle and women’s freestyle through Saturday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Provisor won in Greco-Roman at 74 kilograms/163 pounds, returning to win a national championship after undergoing nerve surgery on his back following the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“I feel like this is my weight class and my spot,” Provisor said. “I‘m 100 percent again and I feel like I can dominate in any position.”

Top seeds include 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs, men’s freestyle, 74 kg/163 pounds; Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott, men’s freestyle, 60kg/132; and 2012 Olympians Spenser Mango, Greco-Roman, 55kg/121; Dremiel Byers, Greco-Roman, 120kg/264.5; Elena Pirozhkova, women’s freestyle, 63kg/138.75. The top seven finishers in each weight class qualify for the U.S. World Team Trials, which will be held in June in Stillwater, Okla.

TENNIS

Fed Cup, United States vs. Sweden, April 20-21, Delray Beach, Fla.

Serena Williams, the world’s top-ranked women’s tennis player and the singles gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and sister, Venus, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, will join Sloane Stephens and Varvara Lepchenko to take on Sweden in a Fed Cup World Group Play-off at the Delray Beach (Fla.) Tennis Center.

The winner of the best-of-five match will advance to World Group play in 2014. The loser will go to World Group II. The lineup for singles and doubles was to be determined at the draw ceremony Friday.

“I am really excited about the team that we have for the World Group Play-off,” said U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez. “With all four women ranked in the top 30 and Serena playing as the No. 1 player in the world, we have great talent and depth, which is a perfect combination.”

The top Swedish player is Sofia Arvidsson, ranked No. 54. Stephens is ranked No. 16 and Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, is No. 21.

GYMNASTICS

2013 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships, April 19-21, Los Angeles

The nation's best female collegiate gymnasts begin their quest for national NCAA titles at the 2013 National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. The field includes 17 past members of the U.S. Women's Senior National Team. Among those to watch are 2008 Olympic team silver medalist and 2009 World all-around champion Bridget Sloan, who now competes for Florida. Other former U.S. senior national team members in the field are: Olivia Courtney and Vanessa Zamarripa, UCLA; Kytra Hunter and Alaina Johnson, Florida; Samantha Shapiro, Stanford; and Kaitlyn Clark and Sarah DeMeo, Alabama.

Read more about the Bridget Sloan and the NCAA women’s gymnastics competition here.

2013 National Collegiate Men’s Gymnastics Championships, April 20-21, State College, Pa.

Three current senior U.S. National Team members, including 2012 Olympian, Sam Mikulak (University of Michigan), will compete at the 2013 NCAA Championships. Joining Mikulak are Adrian de los Angeles (University of Michigan), and Eddie Penev (Stanford University).

On Thursday, Penev won the 2013 Nissen-Emery Award at the NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships banquet. Penev was named to the National Team after the 2013 Winter Cup Challenge, where he won the vault title and finished fourth in the all-around. He also claimed the bronze medal on vault at last year’s U.S. nationals.

BASKETBALL

Nike Hoop Summit, April 20, Portland, Ore.

Julius Randle, the leading scorer and leading rebounder for the United States in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship for Men, will try to lead the United States to a win Saturday in the annual Nike Hoop Summit. The game features the world’s top high school-aged players, matching up the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Select Team and the World Select Team.

Randle is one of three University of Kentucky commits or signees playing for the United States, joining guards Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison of Travis High School in Richmond, Texas. Randle, a Texan who plays for Prestonwood Christian Academy, is a 6-foot-9 forward. Also on the team is Duke recruit Jabari Parker, a highly regarded 6-9 forward from Chicago Simeon Career Academy.

The World Select Team includes another Kentucky commit, 7-foot forward/center Dennis Schröder of Germany, and University of Kansas signee Joel Embiid, a 7-foot center from Cameroon. Andrew Wiggins, a 6-foot-8 forward from Canada who attends prep school in West Virginia, returns after scoring a team-high 20 points for the World Team in its 84-75 win last year.

The game will be played at the Rose Garden in Portland, Ore.

TV: 7 p.m. ET Saturday, ESPN2

CYCLING

UCI Supercross BMX World Cup, April 19-20, Manchester, England

Connor Fields, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, and Arielle Martin will be among 10 riders selected by USA Cycling to compete in the UCI Supercross BMX World Cup on Friday and Saturday in Manchester, England. Other top American riders include 2012 Olympian Nic Long, who is representing Haro Bikes, and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Donny Robinson, who is competing for SE Racing.

Also in cycling:

Volkswagen Sea Otter Classic, USA Cycling Pro XCT, April 20-21, Monterey, Calif.

Sunny King Criterium, April 20, Anniston, Ala.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

NORCECA Beach Circuit, April 19-21, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Four U.S. teams, including the women’s “A” team of Jenny Kropp and Whitney Pavlik and the men’s “A” team of John Mayer and Stafford Slick, will play in the NORCECA Beach Circuit tournament which begins Friday in Guatemala City. Kropp and Pavlik won gold at this same tournament in 2012.

Brittany Hochevar and Emily Day will also play in the women’s tournament. Hochevar won silver with Summer Ross at an earlier NORCECA tournament in the Dominican Republic. Joey Dykstra and Andy McGuire will be the second U.S. men’s team.

Also in beach volleyball:

USA Volleyball Beach Collegiate Challenge, April 20-21, Hermosa Beach, Calif.

CURLING

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

Peter and Maureen Stolt of Plymouth, Minn., finished play in their first World Mixed Doubles Championships on Thursday with a 10-1 victory over Japan. They completed the tournament with a 4-4 record, but did not qualify for the playoff rounds.

Maureen Stolt dedicated the victory to her grandmother.

“The big thing was that game was for my grandma,” she said. “I just went out there and I wanted to play well. It feels good to end like this. She passed away last year. She always wanted to see me curl on TV, which was a big thing. I changed my broom up this game to use the one she bought me for Christmas. She was like, ‘Sweep it to the pin for me.’ I found a little bit more motivation from that.”

Also in curling:

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

After being eliminated from playoff contention with a loss Wednesday night, Gert Messing and the American men bounced back Thursday with a win over England at the 2013 World Senior Championships in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Playing now for pride at the Grant Harvey Centre, Messing and teammates Dennis Mellerup, Bill Nickle, Bill Peskoff and alternate/coach Paul Pustovar improved to 3-4 with an 8-3 victory over Michael Sutherland’s group from England.

TV: 2:30 a.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

World Curling Tour, Players’ Championship, April 16-21, Toronto

JUDO

Pan American Championships, April 19-21, San Juan, Costa Rica

Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison and Olympic bronze medalist Marti Malloy, both recently crowned national champs, will be among the U.S. athletes competing for gold this weekend at the Pan American Championships in San Juan, Costa Rica.

Harrison, who won her 2013 national championship at 78 kilograms, plans to compete at 70kg in the Pan Am Championships. Travis Stevens, a two-time Olympian, is expected to compete despite missing the national championships last week with a hamstring injury.

The United States will enter athletes in 18 men’s and women’s weight classes. The Pan Ams offer 400 international ranking points for a gold medal, 240 for silver and 160 for bronze.

SHOOTING

ISSF World Cup, shotgun, April 17-23, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Glenn Eller, a 2008 Olympic gold medalist and also a member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, will be one of three U.S. double-trap shooters competing in the ISSF World Cup this week in the United Arab Emirates. The men’s double-trap competition, which will be held Saturday, will also include Derek Haldeman and Christian Wilkoski.

Frank Thompson, a 2012 Olympian, will compete Monday and Tuesday in skeet, along with teammates T.J. Bayer and Brady Drozd. In all, 11 USA Shooting Team members are participating.

Also in shooting:

National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships, April 2-19, U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs

VOLLEYBALL

Central American Games for Sitting Volleyball, April 16-20, San Jose, Costa Rica

The U.S. Men’s Sitting Volleyball Team won its first two matches at the Central American Games for Sitting Volleyball, and will play in the tournament semifinals Friday in Costa Rica. The medal round is scheduled for Saturday.

J. Dee Marinko led the United States with 17 points (10 kills, 6 aces, 1 block) in its 25-16, 25-16, 25-10 sweep of Mexico on Wednesday. Other members of the team are Daniel Regan, Eric Duda, Thomas Davis, Edgar Laforest, Charlie Swearingen and Rejy Bacchus. They are wearing black bands on their uniforms in honor of the Boston Marathon blast victims.

DIVING

FINA Diving World Series, April 19-21, Edinburgh, Scotland

The third leg of the FINA Diving World Series begins Friday in Edinburgh, Scotland. Dwight and Troy Dumais finished fourth in the men’s synchronized 3-meter event at the Diving World Series competition in March in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

FIELD HOCKEY

Four Nations Tournament, April 17-21, Hamilton, New Zealand

The U.S. Women’s National Team will face Argentina, the world’s second-ranked team, for the second time in a week when they meet Saturday in the Four Nations Tournament in New Zealand. The United States lost to the 2012 Olympic silver medalists 3-0 last week in the first half of the Four Nations Tournament.

The team’s final match will come in Sunday’s playoff round against New Zealand, South Korea or Argentina. The United States lost 1-0 to New Zealand Thursday. On Tuesday, Lauren Crandall, a two-time Olympian, earned her 200th career international cap in a 4-1 loss to eighth-ranked South Korea.

“It‘s been a tour where we‘ve had to do a lot of learning with a new group, but today we showed a lot of fight,” U.S. striker Michelle Kasold said after Thursday‘s game. “We started to connect better in the second half and we dominated periods of play against New Zealand. We took some big steps forward today.”

TABLE TENNIS

ITTF North America Cup, April 20-21, Westchester, N.Y.

Olympians Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang will be among a field of 24 competing Saturday and Sunday in the ITTF North America Cup at the Westchester (N.Y.) Table Tennis Center. Hsing, ranked No. 94 in the world, is the defending women’s champion and the No. 1 seed. The tournament field consists of 12 men and 12 women from the United States, Canada and Bermuda, including several Olympians.

Zhang is seeded No. 2 in the women’s tournament. Other U.S. women include No. 3 seed Prachi Jha, Tina Lin, Angela Guan, Joy Li, Lucy Ma and Amanda Malek.

Timothy Wang, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will compete in the men’s tournament. He is the No. 3 seed behind defending champion Pierre-Luc Theriault of Canada and Andre Ho of Canada. Other U.S. men are Yahao Zhang, Jim Butler, Peter Li and Khoa Nguyen.

ROLLER SPORTS

Inline Hockey World Team Trials, April 19-21, Corona, Calif.

Roster spots for the USA Roller Sports Inline Hockey World Team will be determined by the trials competition Friday through Sunday in Corona, Calif. Divisions are senior men, senior women, junior men and junior women.

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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