Team USA Weekend Wrap-Up: Feb. 4, 2013
(L-R) Four-man world championship bronze medalists Steven Holcomb, Justin Olsen, Steve Langton, Curt Tomasevicz and coach Brian Shimer in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Feb. 3, 2013.
Steve Holcomb’s four-man bobsled team used a record-breaking finish to force its way into medal position at the world championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Holcomb and the push team of Steve Langton, Justin Olsen and Curt Tomasevicz set a track record in the final run Sunday to claim a bronze medal. The team went into the final run in sixth place.
“I wish I could have done that in all four heats,” Holcomb said. “We were the guys to beat as the defending champions, and it was a tough race. We didn’t make it easy on the competition, and I’m happy with how we did.”
After having just the 16th-best time earlier in the day in the third run of the competition, Team Night Train used a start time of 4.98 seconds to set the track record of 1:04.65.
Noelle Pikus-Pace used a comeback of another type to also end up on the podium.
“What a great day,” Pikus-Pace said Friday after taking second in the women’s skeleton. “I felt so much better today and I am excited to be on the medal stand.
“This has already been such an amazing year.”
The 2007 world champion, who retired after competing at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, returned to the elite level of her sport this season with a gold, a silver and a bronze medal in World Cup races.
Katie Uhlaender, the 2012 world champion, finished seventh. John Daly placed fifth in the men’s skeleton, which concluded Saturday.
Olympic champion Shaun White led the way as the United States swept the podium in the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix, an FIS World Cup event in Park City, Utah.
Scotty Lago, an Olympic bronze medalist, was second. Luke Mitrani was third, helping him win the Sprint U.S. Grand Prix season title.
“Scotty and Luke put down amazing runs and, for me, it was a defining moment,” White said. “I got really pumped up when they did that. I felt the pressure.
“It was more of ‘I have to put down a run’ instead of ‘I want to put down a run.’”
Arielle Gold, the women’s U.S. season points champion, and Kaitlyn Farrington were second and third.
Elsewhere, Nick Baumgartner finished third at the FIS World Cup snowboardcross in Blue Mountain, Ontario. Jackie Hernandez led U.S. women in eighth.
Freestyle: Hannah Kearney made it a weekend sweep at the Visa Freestyle International Saturday in Park City, Utah by winning the dual moguls. Kearney, who won Thursday’s moguls, now has three FIS World Cup wins on the season. The Olympic gold medalist moved into second in the World Cup season point standings.
Patrick Deneen took second in the men’s dual moguls and Bradley Wilson placed third for his first World Cup medal.
Mike Rossi, an 18-year-old, took third in aerials Friday for his first career World Cup medal.
Nordic Combined: Taylor Fletcher had the fastest second leg to help the United States finish seventh in the 4x5k relay in an FIS World Cup event that was also an Olympic test event in Sochi. He was fifth in the individual event Saturday.
Cross Country: Kikkan Randall led all the way while winning all three heats to take the freestyle sprint title Friday at an Olympic test event in Sochi. Ida Sargent and Sadie Bjornsen were fifth while Andy Newell and Simi Hamilton were seventh in the team sprint Sunday.
Jumping: Sarah Hendrickson was third in the FIS World Cup event in Sapporo, Japan.
Hendrickson endured multiple gate change delays to finish on the podium in third place with jumps of 93.5 and 87.5 meters.
U.S. teammates Lindsey Van clinched eighth with jumps of 91 and 87 meters and Jessica Jerome was a strong 15th with jumps of 87 and 90.5 meters. Austria’s Jacqueline Seifriedsberger claimed her first World Cup victory.
Katie Compton finished second in the Elite Women’s race when the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships were held in Louisville, marking the first time in the event’s 63-year history that it was held outside of Europe.
The competition concluded Saturday, one day early, as part of a revised schedule because of anticipated flooding at Eva Bandman Park.
Compton finished the season as the UCI’s top-ranked woman in cyclo-cross. Kaitlin Antonneau was 10th.
Tim Johnson was the top American in the Elite Men’s race, placing 19th. Zach McDonald was 11th in Under-23 Men; Logan Owen was fourth in Junior (17-18) Men on a course that was still covered by snow.
Erin Hamlin placed sixth and Julia Clukey ninth at the World Championships Saturday night in Whistler, British Columbia.
Chris Mazdzer led U.S. men with a sixth-place finish Friday night. Taylor Morris was 17th in his first World Championships. Morris also took the silver medal in the Under-23 World Championships.
Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall were 14th in men’s doubles.
Mariel Zagunis began the Grand Prix season with a podium finish.
Zagunis, a two-time Olympic champion and the top-ranked women’s saber fencer in the world, earned a bronze medal in Orleans, France. Dagmara Wozniak finished 11th.
Elsewhere, Adrienne Jarocki won the Arizona Junior Saber World Cup in Chandler Saturday, leading the way for the United States to take seven of the top eight places.
Amanda Sirico earned her first Junior World Cup medal with a silver at the Gothenburg Women’s Epée in Sweden.
Jackie Dubrovich earned a bronze medal at the Lyon Junior Foil World Cup in France. Justin Woo took bronze at the Gothenburg Cadet Men’s Epee. Lee Kiefer was ninth at the Gdansk Foil Grand Prix in Poland.
Sam Querrey rallied to defeat Thiago Alves 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) and lift the United States to a 3-2 victory over Brazil Sunday in a first-round Davis Cup match. The United States advanced to host Serbia April 5-7 in Boise, Idaho in the quarterfinals.
Querrey provided two of the three points in the victory. He won the first match of his Davis Cup career Friday.
“It’s always exciting to win a fifth-and-deciding match anywhere,” Querrey said. “I was thrilled I could help the guys out.”
John Isner also won in singles Friday to give the United States a 2-0 lead. Bob and Mike Bryan lost in doubles Saturday to move the match into Sunday. After Isner lost, Querrey clinched the team victory.
Helen Maroulis broke through at the Dave Schultz Memorial International, earning an Outstanding Wrestler Award in the process.
Maroulis swept China’s Yuanyuan Xiao, 2-1, 1-0 in women’s freestyle 55 kg/121 pound final. She had previously finished second twice and third twice in the event.
“Finally, I got it together,” said Maroulis, a 2012 World silver medalist.
World champion Elena Pirozhkova won at 63 kg/138.75 pounds. Veronica Carlson (67 kg/147.5 pounds) and world champion Adeline Gray (72/158.5) finished second.
Devin Carter (60 kg/132 pounds), Jon Reader (84 kg/185 pounds), Wynn Michalak (96 kg/211.5 pounds) and Zach Rey (120 kg/264.5 pounds) all won men’s freestyle titles Friday while Mark McKnight (55 kg/121 pounds) was second.
TRACK AND FIELD
Shalane Flanagan and Chris Derrick won titles at the USA Cross Country Championships Saturday in St. Louis. Flanagan, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist at 10,000 meters, won her sixth USA cross country title by finishing the 8000-meter course in 25:49.0.
Emily Stites and Craig Nowak won junior titles.
The top six finishers in the junior and senior races landed spots on Team USA for the World Cross Country Championships March 24 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Elsewhere, Mary Cain set a national high school 2-mile record at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston Saturday night while Olympic medalists Galen Rupp and Jenn Suhr fell just short of American records.
Cain, a 16-year-old from Bronxville, N.Y., took more than 17 seconds off Melody Fairchild’s 22-year-old high school record while finishing third overall in the women’s two mile in 9:38.68.
Rupp ran the men’s 3,000 meters in 7:33.67, just 1.24 seconds off Bernard Lagat’s 2007 record.
Suhr won the pole vault with 15-7 ½, but missed when taking two attempts at 16-1 to try to break her own record of 16-0.
SPEEDSKATING: J.R. Celski captured a bronze medal in the men’s 1,000 meters Sunday, the third and final day of the ISU Short Track World Cup in Sochi. The event also served as a test event of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. The team of Lana Gehring, Jessica Smith, Emily Scott and Alyson Dudek won the 3,000-meter women’s relay. Dudek also won the 500-meter B final. Gehring was fifth in the 1,500 meters Saturday.
WATER POLO: The U.S. men lost to host Canada, 6-5, Sunday in the final of the UANA World Aquatic Championship Qualification Tournament but advanced to the FINA World Championships this summer in Barcelona by finishing in the top two. Nikola Vavic scored twice as the United States fought back after trailing 4-0 late in the first half. The United States assured itself of advancing to the World Championships with a 15-8 win over Argentina in Saturday’s semifinals. Scott Davidson scored three goals and Chay Lapin made 12 saves in the win.
RUGBY: The United States advanced to the title game of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series event in Houston before losing, 29-12, to England. Elsewhere, in the last stop before getting to play in front of home fans next weekend the U.S. men went winless in the Sevens World Series stop in Wellington, New Zealand.
SAILING: The United States won five gold medals, three silvers and three bronzes Saturday, the final day of the ISAF World Cup in Miami. Sarah Newberry, John Casey, Dave Hughes, Caleb Paine, Fred Strammer, Zach Brown and Paige Railey were all part of gold-medal winning efforts.
CURLING: The Miranda Solem and Korey Dropkin rinks won titles Saturday at the USA Junior National Championships in Wayland, Mass.
Also On Solem’s team were Vicky Persinger, Karlie Koenig and Chelsea Solem. Dropkin was joined on the men’s championship team by Tom Howell, Mark Fenner, Alex Fenson and Connor Hoge.
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.