Team USA’s swimmers continue to dominate at the 15th FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. With three days remaining of competition, the United States leads the medal standings with nine golds and 20 overall medals. U.S. Olympians will be around the world competing in other major events, including volleyball, rowing and wrestling, and some winter sports athletes are gearing up for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games in ski jumping and bobsled action. Read all about Team USA’s stars in this week’s edition of the Team USA Weekend Preview.
FINA World Championships, July 28-Aug. 4, Barcelona, Spain
Missy Franklin, a four-time gold medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, has already won gold four times at the 15th FINA World Championships this week in Barcelona. She still has three events remaining, including the women’s 100-meter freestyle finals Friday night.
Thursday night, she combined with another young American star, Katie Ledecky, and two other swimmers to win gold in the 800 freestyle relay. It was Ledecky’s third gold at worlds. Including a win in the 800 free at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Ledecky is unbeaten in four career international races.
“It was my first relay on a U.S. team, so it just meant a lot to get up and race with three other girls behind me,” Ledecky said after winning gold with Franklin, Shannon Vreeland and Karlee Bispo. The United States was one second down when Franklin started the anchor leg; she won by two body lengths. The winning time was 7:45.14.
Earlier this week, Ledecky won the women’s 400 free in American-record time and the 1500 free in a world-record time of 15:36.53.
Ryan Lochte also earned gold, winning the men’s 200 IM in 1:54.98. He will compete for another gold Friday night in the 200 back and will face competition from American Tyler Clary. Micah Lawrence will compete in the final of the women’s 200 breaststroke Friday.
TV: 1 p.m.-3 p.m. ET Saturday and 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, NBC; 9 p.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Universal Sports
U.S. Open, July 30-Aug. 3, Irvine, Calif.
Tom Shields, a multiple NCAA champion from the University of California-Berkeley, won gold in the men’s 100-meter butterfly with one of the world’s fastest times Thursday at the U.S. Open. Shields’ time of 51.65 seconds set a U.S. Open record and was the fourth-fastest time in the world this year.
Also winning Thursday was Felicia Lee in the women’s 100 fly. The meet continues through Saturday, and includes 2012 Olympian Scott Weltz, who won the men’s 200 breaststroke Wednesday in meet-record time.
Also in swimming:
Speedo Junior National Championships, Aug. 5-9, Irvine, Calif.
FINA World Championships, July 20-Aug. 4, Barcelona, Spain
The USA Women’s National Team will play Greece for fifth place Friday. The United States defeated Netherlands 12-11 on Wednesday to grab a spot in the fifth-place game.
The U.S. men did not qualify for the playoff round of the competition. They were eliminated in a 10-6 loss to Spain this past Sunday.
Also in water polo:
Junior Olympics, July 27-Aug. 4, Orange County, Calif.
FIVB World Grand Prix, Aug. 2-18, Campinas, Brazil
The U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, ranked No. 1 in the world, will begin defense of its FIVB World Grand Prix title Friday with a match against Russia. The road to a fourth consecutive championship includes three weekends of preliminary-round play in three continents before the final round begins Aug. 28 in Japan.
After the opener Friday, the United States will play Poland Saturday and Brazil Sunday.
“Here in Brazil, we have a really tough pool and we have our work cut out for us,” U.S. coach Karch Kiraly said. “Russia is one of the world’s great teams. Poland plays some really strong volleyball. They beat us a couple of years ago when they hosted a leg of World Grand Prix, and we barely beat them later that year in the Final Round of the World Grand Prix. Poland is always very dangerous and they were contending for an Olympic berth in the European zone. And, of course, we have our work cut out for us playing Brazil on Brazilian soil. I think it is a great way to start out the World Grand Prix."
Olympians on the U.S. roster include five-time Olympian Danielle Scott, two-time Olympian Nicole Davis, and 2012 Olympic silver medalists Christa Harmotto, Tama Miyashiro and Courtney Thompson. Kiraly can activate 14 players from the 22-player U.S. roster for each weekend and 12 players for each match.
Webcast: 3:30 p.m. ET Friday, 11:30 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. Sunday, universalsports.com
FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship, July 26-Aug. 4, Nakhom Ratchasima, Thailand
The U.S. Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Team advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIVB Girls’ U18 World Championship with a 25-19, 25-11, 25-17 win over Chinese Taipei. Team USA was to face Poland in the quarterfinals Friday.
Mikaela Foecke led the United States with 16 points (10 kills) in the win over Chinese Taipei. The semifinals will be played Saturday, followed by the medal round Sunday.
Senior World Championship Trials, Aug. 4-7, West Windsor, N.J.
The final spots on the U.S. world championship team will be determined by results in the USRowing Senior World Championship Trials. Competition among 42 crews begins Sunday on Mercer Lake in West Windsor, N.J.
The winning crew in each of 12 events will gain nomination to the world team. The events are: men’s and women’s lightweight single sculls, men’s single sculls, men’s double sculls, men’s lightweight double sculls, men’s pair, men’s pair with coxswain, men’s lightweight pair, men’s and women’s lightweight quadruple sculls, women’s four, men’s lightweight eight. Already nominated to the team are 36 athletes, including 18 with Olympic experience. The World Rowing Championships begin Aug. 25 in South Korea.
USA Wrestling Women’s World Team Wrestle-Off, Aug. 3, Colorado Springs, Colo.
The three remaining spots on the U.S. World Team will be determined Saturday at a wrestle-off among the three non-Olympic weight classes. The World Team Wrestle-Off will be held at Palmer High School in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Jessica Medina clinched a spot in the final of the 51 kilograms/112.25 pounds weight class because she won the U.S. Open championship earlier this year. Also in the finals through their U.S. Open titles are Alli Ragan at 59kg/130 and Veronica Carlson at 67kg/147.5. The remainder of the wrestlers will compete for a spot in the finals through the challenge tournament Saturday morning.
The winners of the three weight classes will join the USA Wrestling World Team at the FILA World Wrestling Championships in September in Budapest, Hungary.
Also in wrestling:
Wladyslaw Pytlasinski’s Memorial, Greco-Roman, Aug. 3-4, Warsaw, Poland
Stepan Sargsyan, men’s freestyle, Aug. 3-4, Vanadzor, Armenia
USA Shooting Shotgun National Championships, July 25-Aug. 3, Fort Carson, Colo.
Five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode will be among those seeking spots on the national team at the USA Shooting Shotgun National Championships. Rhode, who gave birth to a son, Carter, in May, has not competed since winning gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
“It feels good to be back into the routine of things,” Rhode said. “Carter has brought a lot of exciting changes since I last competed, but it feels great to be behind the gun and working towards new goals and opportunities."
Before Rhode begins her shooting in the women’s skeet, the nationals begin this weekend with the men’s and women’s trap. Ashley Carroll has climbed to the top of the U.S. trap rankings at age 18, but will be challenged by Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell and two-time national champion Rachael Heiden. Brian Burrows, Matt Gossett and John Mullins are the top contenders in men’s trap.
USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships, Aug. 2-4, Angel Fire, N.M.
Luca Shaw, who placed fifth in junior men’s downhill at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Andorra, and Jill Kintner, an eighth-place finisher in elite women, will be among hundreds of cyclists racing for Stars-and-Stripes jerseys at the USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships.
The competition will take place at the Angel Fire Resort in northern New Mexico. The downhill races begin at 10,500 feet above sea level and descend nearly 2,000 feet along the 2.5-mile course. Downhill qualifying will be Saturday, followed by the finals Sunday. Racing in other events begins Friday.
Also in cycling:
USA Cycling Masters Track National Championships, July 30-Aug. 4, Indy Cycloplex, Indianapolis, Ind.
Tour of Elk Grove, USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC), women’s points race, Aug. 2-4, Elk Grove, Ill.
Specialized Catamount Classic, USA Cycling Pro XCT, Aug. 3-4, Williston, Vt.
USA Bobsled National Push Championships, Aug. 1-3, Calgary, Canada
Chris Fogt defeated 2010 Olympic teammate Steve Langton for the men’s national push championship Thursday and Aja Evans won her second consecutive title in Calgary, Canada. Langton was the four-time defending national push champion.
Both Fogt and Langton set Calgary Ice House records, Fogt setting his record with the fastest push from the brakes and Langton setting a record from the right side.
“The U.S. team now owns the Canadian Ice House track record from the right side, left side and brakes,” U.S. coach Brian Shimer said. “This is going to be a special year. It feels pretty good to be the coach of such a talented team."
Drivers will compete from the driver push bar Friday. Coaches will select driver-push athlete combinations from a series of race-offs Saturday. Results from the Push Championships are a part of the determination for roster spots on the national and Olympic teams.
A former sprinter in track in college, women’s champion Evans had a perfect score in the combine test Tuesday. Katie Eberling, a two-time world medalist and the 2011 national push champion, finished runner-up to Evans. Lauryn Williams, a track star who earned a silver medal in the 100-meter run at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and a gold medalist in the 4 x 100 relay in London, placed third. Among the other top finishers was Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, who placed fifth.
U.S. Ski Jumping Championships, Aug. 4, Park City, Utah
World champion Sarah Hendrickson is expected to compete in the U.S. Large Hill Ski Jumping Championships Sunday at Utah Olympic Park in Park City. She skipped the event last year while recovering from knee surgery. Jessica Jerome is the defending women’s champion and Peter Frenette is the men’s champion. The normal hill championships will take place in October in Lake Placid, N.Y.
“Just because it’s an Olympic year does not make me want to win any more,” Jerome said. “I always aim to win. It will be interesting to see what happens this year. I know Lindsey (Van) and Sarah (Hendrickson) are really great fliers, and Alissa (Johnson) and Abby (Hughes) have made some strong improvements this summer, so it will definitely be a fun competition.”
ICF Junior/U-23 Sprint World Championships, Aug. 1-4, Welland, Ont., Canada
Chris Miller and Stanton Collins advanced to the B finals of the men’s 1,000-meter two-man kayak race, one of three U.S. crews to reach the B finals at the ICF Junior/U-23 Sprint World Championships.
Miller and Collins are among 21 U.S. paddlers competing this weekend at the sprint worlds. More than 70 nations are at the competition, which features a U-23 division for the first time and is also a qualifier for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.
Ian Ross also advanced to the finals in men’s canoe by placing third in his 1,000-meter heat and fourth in the semifinals. The junior K-2 team of Istvan Urban and Dylan Puckett also reached the finals after an eighth-place finish in the 1,000-meter semifinals.
COPABE AA 15U Pan American Championships, July 26-Aug. 4, Barranquilla, Colombia
The USA Baseball 15U National Team won its first five games in the COPABE “AA” 15U Pan American Championships, including 11-9 over Cuba on Thursday. Team USA will play Brazil on Friday in its final preliminary round game.
In Thursday’s game, Team USA overcame a four-run deficit and scored six runs after two were out in the sixth inning. A two-run triple by Christian Moya put the United States in front. The victory clinched a No. 1 seed in the semifinals.
USA Triathlon Youth and Junior National Championships, Aug. 3-4, West Chester, Ohio
Tamara Gorman and Tony Smoragiewicz, who both won titles at the PATCO Junior Championships in Brazil, will be among more than 250 junior and youth elite athletes competing Saturday in the USA Triathlon Youth and Junior National Championships. The results will determine some roster spots for the Junior World Championship Team. Gorman earned a bronze at the 2012 ITU Junior World Championships.
The races will be held at Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio. Age-group national championship races and draft-legal team relays will be held Sunday.
Also in triathlon:
USA Triathlon Aquathon National Championship, Lake Logan Aquathlon, Aug. 3-4, Canton, N.C.
Boston Triathlon, Aug. 4, South Boston, Mass.
CSIO5* and CSIO3* Hickstead, FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain, Aug. 2-4, Hickstead, England
Richard Spooner and London Olympian Reed Kessler helped the U.S. Jumping Team grab two of the top three positions on the first day of the Nations Cup CSIO5* Hickstead in England. Riding Let’s Dance 46, Spooner placed second in the opening speed class behind Great Britain’s Guy Williams. Two-time Olympic gold medalists Beezie Madden and McLain Ward and Katie Dinan are also competing for the United States. Nations Cup qualifying begins Friday.
U.S. Dressage Team members competing in the CSIO3* Nations Cup competition are Shelly Francis, Arlene Page, Kathleen Raine and Guenter Seidel. David Blake will ride in the Grand Prix event. Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Francis will compete in the Small Tour. The Nations Cup team title will be determined by Sunday’s freestyle event. The Hickstead competition includes the top horse-rider combinations in the world.
FEI Nations Cup, Aug. 1-4, Bratislava, Slovakia
Five U.S. riders are representing the United States at the CSIO3* Bratislava, an FEI Nations Cup competition in Slovakia. The riders are: Kirsten Coe, aboard Calypso; Meagan Nusz, aboard Dynamo; Catherine Pasmore, aboard Bonanza Van Paemel and Zaragosa; Quentin Judge, aboard HH Dark de la Hart; Paige Johnson, aboard Dakota. Coe is a two-time FEI World Cup finalist.
USA Basketball 3x3 National Championship, Aug. 2-4, Colorado Springs, Colo.
The second annual USA Basketball 3x3 National Championship will feature 13 men’s teams and five women’s teams. It will be played Friday through Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The men’s and women’s winners gain an automatic bid to the 2014 tournament, which will be a qualifier for the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championship.
Junior World Cup, July 27-Aug. 4, Monchengladbach, Germany
The USA Field Hockey U-21 National Team was to play Australia in a 5th-8th placement game Friday at the Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany. The United States won two of three games in pool play, but was knocked out of contention for a medal by Thursday’s 2-0 loss to Argentina.
Women’s Nations Cup, July 30-Aug. 10, Greeley, Colo.
The USA Rugby Women’s Eagles will face Canada Saturday in their second game of the Women’s Nations Cup in Greeley, Colo. The United States began the tournament Tuesday with a 35-22 win against South Africa. Hope Rogers, Emilie Bydwell, Ashley Kmiecik, Sylvia Braaten and Shaina Turley each had tries for the United States.
The United States will close out preliminary-round play Wednesday against England. The tournament is being played at the University of Northern Colorado.
USA Diving Age Group and Junior National Championships, July 31-Aug. 10, Minneapolis
The USA Diving Age Group National Championships winds up Friday in Minneapolis. The Junior National Championships begin Sunday. The nationals include an estimated 500 junior-age divers.
U.S. Women’s National Team playoff, July 31-Aug. 2, Stamford, Conn.
The final round of action in a four-person round-robin playoff was to be held Friday at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Conn. The playoff was to determine the third and fourth positions on the U.S. Women’s National Team. The four in the playoff are Kristen Lange, ranked No. 55 in the world; Sabrina Sobhy, world ranking No. 69 and a quarterfinalist at the 2013 Junior World Championships; Olivia Blatchford, world ranking No. 65; and Cecelia Cortes, world ranking No. 100.
In Friday’s matches, Lange faces Blatchford and Sobhy plays Cortes.
Figure Skating National Championships, July 21-Aug. 4, Albuquerque
The final weekend of competition in the USA Roller Sports Figure Skating National Championships comes to a close Sunday at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
World Games, July 25-Aug. 4, Cali, Colombia
The World Games is a multisport competition that was first held in 1981 in Santa Clara, Calif., and features a variety of indoor and outdoor sports, ranging from bowling to wushu to tug of war. Currently, Italy leads the medal table with 45 overall (17 gold). The United States has earned nine gold medals and 15 medals overall and ranks sixth. Here are some of the highlights from the World Games, which conclude Sunday.
Canoe/kayak: The U.S. Women’s National Kayak Team will compete Friday and Saturday in the canoe polo championships. The United States will compete against five teams in a round-robin format before playing for the final ranking. Members of the team are: Marijo Bosiljevac, Kim Parker, April Romeo, Giselle Nguyen, Mary Ann King, Jacquelyn Gonzales, Molly Cummings, Katie Homann.
Archery: Erika Jones won gold in women’s compound and Reo Wilde won gold in men’s compound. Two-time Olympian Brady Ellison earned silver in men’s recurve Thursday.
Bowling: Mike Fagan and Kelly Kulick combined in mixed doubles to win the first U.S. bowling gold in World Games history Thursday. Fagan and Kulick defeated Canada, 905-871, in the two-game final. Scores from mixed doubles carries into the qualifying games in men’s and women’s singles Friday. The top 10 men and top 10 women after 18 games advance to round-robin competition Sunday, followed by the stepladder finals.
Squash: Chris Gordon and Julian Illingworth, the top two players on the U.S. Men’s National Team, begin play Friday in the three-day tournament. Illingworth, ranked No. 35 in the world, was to face No. 27 Ryan Cuskelly in his first-round match.