Team USA Weekend Wrap-Up: Dec. 2, 2013
Pilot Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton opened the FIBT World Cup bobsled and skeleton season with a pair of victories in Calgary, Alberta.
Holcomb and Langton broke an eight-year-old track record while winning the two-man bobsled title Friday and then came back to win the four-man title Saturday along with Curt Tomasevicz and Chris Fogt.
“It’s an interesting feeling knowing that no one has been faster than us down this track,” Holcomb said after finishing 0.16 seconds ahead of the 22 sleds entered in the competition with a two-run total of 1:49.22. “It’s pretty cool to have a track record on an established track, and it’s actually my first track record in two-man.”
Holcomb piloted the BMW-manufactured sled to the finish in a blistering 54.51 seconds to capture the track record and race lead. They recorded a second run time of 54.71 seconds to secure the win.
|Steven Holcomb, Curt Tomasevicz, Steve Langton and Chris Fogt
push the Night Train 2 sled in their first run on Nov. 30, 2013 in
Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Cory Butner and Andreas Drbal finished ninth in the two-man race while Nick Cunningham and Johnny Quinn were 10th.
Holcomb’s four-man title Saturday was his first in three years.
“It’s been a fantastic weekend,” said Holcomb, the pilot of the 2010 Olympic gold-medal-winning team. “It’s an Olympic year, and this is when it counts. Walking away from the season opener with two gold medals feels really good.”
Holcomb’s four-man crew won by 0.09 seconds with a two-run total of 1:48.56. German driver Maximilian Arndt and Russian pilot Alexander Zubkov slid a combined time of 1:48.65 to tie for second place.
U.S. women bobsledders also had success this weekend as American teams finished second and third Saturday. Elana Meyers and Aja Evans took second while Jamie Greubel and Katie Eberling were third. Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse of Canada finished first.
“Kaillie and I train together, and it’s fun having someone to go back and forth with,” Meyers said. “We went into this year wanting to push each other, and I think we did that today. It was definitely a battle.”
Jazmine Fenlator and Lolo Jones tied Esme Kamphuis and Sanna Dekker from the Netherlands for 15th place. Teams will travel to Park City, Utah, for the second stop on the world cup tour.
In skeleton, Noelle Pikus-Pace had the fastest time Friday but was disqualified when her sled failed inspection. U.S. assistant coach Zach Lund said Pikus-Pace was disqualified because of tape on the handle of her sled. He said the sled was not altered after passing inspection earlier in the week.
“Noelle is devastated,” U.S. skeleton coach Tuffy Latour said. “She didn’t violate the spirit of the rule.”
Also in skeleton, Katie Uhlaender finished 12th. Meanwhile, Matt Antoine placed seventh in the men’s skeleton Friday. Antoine was in fourth after the first run.
Mikaela Shiffrin put on a show for her hometown crowd Sunday. Shiffrin, a world champion in the slalom, earned her first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup medal in the giant slalom by finishing second at the final event of Nature Valley Race Week in Beaver Creek, Colo.
“I’ve been working on my GS so it’s a big relief to be able to get on the podium and know that I’m actually doing something right,” said Shiffrin, whose previous best in the giant slalom was sixth place. “It’s my favorite slope and two amazing courses with awesome conditions.
“I don’t really think they could have done much better with this hill today, so I tried to take advantage of that.”
Julia Mancuso finished 20th in the downhill Friday, 29th in Saturday’s super-G and did not finish Sunday’s giant slalom when she skied out in the second run. Stacey Cook was 19th and Laurenne Ross 22nd in the downhill, while Leanne Smith was 23rd in the super-G Saturday.
Elsewhere, Bode Miller was 16th in the downhill Saturday at the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup men’s event in Lake Louise, Alberta. Steven Nyman finished 19th while Travis Ganong was 24th in that race. Ganong followed that up with a 22nd place finish in the super-G Sunday. Ted Ligety did not finish the super-G after missing a gate halfway through his run.
Kikkan Randall finished second in the classic sprint Friday at the FIS World Cup men’s and women’s cross-country event in Kuusamo, Finland. Randall’s effort in the sprint season opener was the best of her career.
“We’re really excited for Kikkan,” U.S. Cross Country Ski Team coach Chris Grover said. “Getting her first podium in classic sprint was a major goal for her.”
Randall added a fifth-place finish Sunday in the 10-kilometer freestyle pursuit while Sadie Bjornsen was 17th. Noah Hoffman was ninth in the men’s 15-kilometer pursuit.
Taylor Fletcher posted the fastest time in the cross-country anchor leg to lift the United States to seventh in the 4x5-kilometer team event at the Nordic combined world cup season opener in Kuusamo. Bryan Fletcher, Todd Lodwick and Billy Demong were also part of the team.
The four U.S. athletes failed to qualify in the top 50 for the individual event Saturday. The team’s next event is in Lillehammer, Norway, for the Nordic combined FIS World Cup Dec. 7-8.
Shani Davis, Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe all won races at the Essent ISU World Cup long track event in Astana, Kazakhstan, during the weekend.
Davis won the 1,000 meters for the third consecutive week Saturday. He finished the weekend first in world cup points in the 1,000 and second in points in the 1,500.
“I’m looking forward to competing more on the sea-level tracks and seeing where my strengths and weaknesses are,” Davis said.
Richardson also won the 1,000 meters Sunday for her 35th career world cup medal. She is first in points in the 1,000 and third in the 500.
Bowe picked up her first career win at 1,500 meters Saturday before finishing second to Richardson in the 1,000 Sunday. She finished the weekend as the points leader in the 1,500 and second in the 1,000. Richardson was fourth and Bowe 10th in the 500 Friday.
Jonathan Kuck placed sixth at 10,000 Sunday.
Tim Burke earned a bronze medal in the 10-kilometer sprint Saturday at the world cup in Ostersund, Sweden. Lowell Bailey finished 14th. Meanwhile, Susan Dunklee was 16th in the 7.5-kilometer sprint Friday.
“I was actually a little surprised to make it to the podium today with how I felt skiing,” Burke said. “I felt like I started the race strong, but it was really tough for me in the last lap.”
The United States finished second in the team relay Sunday at the world cup in Winterberg, Germany.
Kate Hansen and Tucker West handled the singles legs and were joined in the relay by the doubles team of Christian Niccum and Jayson Terdiman.
Earlier in the day, Erin Hamlin and Hansen finished sixth and seventh in women’s singles.
Jake Hyrns and Andrew Sherk placed 10th in doubles Saturday.
Julia Clukey won the women’s race while Niccum and Terdiman won doubles Friday at the Nations Cup race, which served as a qualifier for the weekend world cup in Winterberg.
Elizabeth Price successfully defended her title Saturday in Stuttgart, Germany, at the DTB World Cup, which is part of the International Gymnastics Federation’s all-around world cup series
Price posted an all-around score of 58.032 points to defeat Romania’s Larisa Iordache, who finished second with 57.998. John Orozco, a 2012 Olympian, finished fifth in the men’s event Sunday.
Elsewhere, Maggie Nichols and Peyton Ernst finished second and third in the women’s all-around Saturday at the Mexico Open in Acapulco. Josh Dixon finished fifth among the men Sunday.
Earlier in the week, the United States won the men’s and women’s team titles while finishing 1-2 in both the men’s and women’s all-around at the International Junior Mexican Open. Bailie Key and Lauren Hernandez took the top two women’s all-around spots while Kiwan Watts and Alec Yoder were the top two men’s finishers.
The United States won the overall team gold medal and five individual gold medals at the world championships, a six-day event that concluded Sunday in San Bernardo, Chile.
Regina Jaquess won the women’s slalom and overall titles. Jaquess, men’s slalom champion Nate Smith and women’s tricks champion Erika Lang all set world records while contributing to the team title. Freddy Krueger, a U.S. athlete competing as an individual, won the men’s jumping title.
Elena Pirozhkova earned her second gold medal in as many weeks, using a technical fall in every bout to take the women’s freestyle title at 67 kg. at the Henri Deglane Challenge on Friday in Nice, France.
Pirozhkova was one of six U.S. medalists this weekend. Amy Fearnside added a second women’s freestyle medal with a silver medal at 51 kg. Brooks Climmons (84 kg.) and Garrett Ryan (120 kg.) added men’s freestyle bronze medals Friday before Jack Jensen and Kyle Snyder added two more Saturday at 96 kg.
Elsewhere, top-ranked Jesse Delgado of Illinois defeated second-ranked Nahshon Garrett of Cornell Sunday as part of the second Grapple at the Garden event in New York City. Delgado was named Outstanding Wrestler in the college portion of the event after his 6-2 win.
Olympic bronze medalist Marti Malloy went 4-1 to earn a silver medal at the IJF Grand Prix Friday in Tokyo.
Two U.S. teams finished second Sunday at the NORCECA Beach Circuit event in Maracas Bay, Trinidad & Tobago. Heather Hughes and Lane Carico were second in the women’s tournament while William Montgomery and James Drost were second in the men’s tournament.
The U.S. men went 2-2 and reached the quarterfinals at the WTF World Cup in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Korea eliminated the United States 17-11 in Saturday’s quarterfinals. The U.S. women went 0-3 and were eliminated Friday.
Claire Barton and Sarah Rodriguez finished seventh in thematic duel at the FINA World Trophy Friday in Mexico City.
Kelly Griffin scored 16 points, including the winning conversion Friday, when the U.S. Women’s Eagles defeated Brazil, 26-24, to finish seventh out of 12 teams at the IRB Dubai Sevens in the United Arab Emirates.
The U.S. Men’s Eagles finished winless in five matches at the Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens when they let a 14-point halftime lead get away Saturday in a 19-14 loss to France.
Jerry Chang earned his first career junior world cup medal Saturday with a bronze medal at the junior foil event in London. Elsewhere, MW McElwee was sixth and Sabrina Massialas seventh at the women’s foil junior world cup event in Bochum, Germany.
Crystal Anthony and Jeremy Durrin won the elite races Sunday in the Baystate Cyclocross in Sterling, Mass. Jeremy Powers and Elle Anderson won Saturday’s kickoff to the Baystate Cyclocross Weekend.