Team USA Weekend Preview: Feb. 8, 2013
Julia Mancuso leaves the start gate to ski in the downhill section of the women's super combined during the Alpine FIS Ski World Championships on February 8, 2013 in Schladming, Austria.
Action continues this weekend in the Alpine Ski World Championships, while other U.S. athletes compete around the world in World Cup events for figure skating, luge, biathlon, speedskating and fencing. Check out the Team USA Weekend Preview for all of the information.
FIS Alpine Ski World Championships, Feb. 4-17, Schladming, Austria
Steven Nyman, who won a World Cup downhill race earlier this season, and two-time Olympian Marco Sullivan will be among the U.S. skiers racing for world medals in the men’s downhill Saturday at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Austria.
Ted Ligety won gold Wednesday in the super-G, the first men’s event at the world championships. Still to come after the downhill Saturday are the men’s super combined on Monday and the men’s giant slalom Feb. 15.
“I think I have a really good chance in the combined and the GS,” Ligety said. “But ski racing’s a tough sport and you can’t count on those expectations.”
Ligety is the World Cup points leader in the giant slalom.
Julia Mancuso, a silver medalist in the super combined at the 2007 worlds, finished eighth in the women’s combined Friday, two days after earning bronze in the super G.
TV: 3 p.m.-4 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, NBC; 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Universal Sports
Also in skiing:
FIS World Cup Ski Jumping, men, Feb. 8-10, Willingen, Germany
Webcast: 8 a.m. ET Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday, universalsports.com
FIS World Cup Ski Jumping, women, Feb. 8-10, Zao, Japan
FIS World Cup Nordic Combined, Feb. 9-10, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Webcast: 1 a.m. ET Saturday and 1 a.m. Sunday, universalsports.com
FIS World Cup Freestyle, men’s and women’s slopestyle, Feb. 7-8, Silvaplana, Switzerland
IBU World Championships, Feb. 7-17, Nove Mesto, Czech Republic
Two-time Olympian Tim Burke, Annelies Cook, Susan Dunklee and Leif Nordgren combined Thursday for the best U.S. relay finish at a world championships. They finished eighth on the opening day of the IBU World Championships in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic.
“I am psyched with how well we did as a team,” Dunklee said. “We were only seconds out of the flower ceremony and everybody had a strong leg.”
The worlds continue Saturday with the men’s and women’s sprints, and then Sunday with the men’s and women’s pursuit. Eight U.S. athletes are competing at the worlds: Burke, Lowell Bailey, Russell Currier and Nordgren in the men’s races, and Dunklee, Cook, Hannah Dreissigacker and 2010 Olympian Sara Studebaker in the women’s events. Cook and Dreissigacker are making their world championship debuts.
TV: 6 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, NBC Sports Network
Also in biathlon:
North American Cup, Feb. 9-10, Jericho, Vt.
ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, Feb. 6-11, Osaka, Japan
Meryl Davis and Charlie White, five-time U.S. ice dancing champions, will try to win a medal at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships for a fifth time this weekend in Osaka, Japan. The Olympic silver medalists have won gold twice and currently are in second place after the short dance. They are among 16 U.S. skaters at the competition. Madison Chock and Evan Bates, a 2010 Olympian, are in third, followed by another American team, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani, in fourth.
Gracie Gold, who earned the silver medal at the 2013 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, is among the U.S. contenders in the women’s competition. Joining her are two-time U.S. bronze medalist Agnes Zawadzki and Christina Gao. Ashley Wagner, the two-time national champion, is not entered in this event but will compete at the world championships next month in London, Ont.
Alexa Scimeca and Chris Knierim withdrew Thursday from the pairs competition due to Scimeca’s foot injury. Two other pairs, including 2013 U.S. champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, will represent the United States. Castelli and Shnapir are in third.
Richard Dornbush was added to the men’s competition when Adam Rippon withdrew due to an ankle injury. He leads the U.S. men in third place. Ross Miner is in ninth and newly crowned national champion Max Aaron is 10th.
TV: 5 p.m.-6 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports
World Cup, Feb. 7-9, Lake Placid, N.Y.
Chris Mazdzer, a 2010 Olympian, led a strong U.S. surge in the Nations Cup qualifier Thursday in Lake Placid, N.Y. Mazdzer and Taylor Morris swept the top two spots in the men’s qualifier, and Kate Hansen and Emily Sweeney did the same for the United States in the women’s qualifier. Two U.S. doubles sleds also qualified for the World Cup field.
World Cup racing was to begin Friday, featuring the women’s and doubles runs. The men’s competition and team relays are scheduled to be run Saturday. The action comes just one week after U.S. lugers had six finishes in the top 10 at the World Championships in Canada, including a sixth-place finish by Mazdzer. The races are the first international races in Lake Placid since the 2009 World Championships.
“It is really nice,” Hansen said. “I was really so pumped just to be back in the training center and in the office. It’s a nice hometown feeling.”
TV: 11 a.m. ET Saturday, NBC Sports Network; 2 p.m. Saturday, Universal Sports
Webcast: 11 a.m. ET Saturday, universalsports.com
Also in luge:
Junior World Cup, Feb. 8-9, Igls, Austria
Samsung ISU Short Track World Cup, Feb. 8-10, Dresden, Germany
Essent ISU Long Track World Cup, Feb. 9-10, Inzeil, Germany
Both the U.S. Short Track and Long Track National Teams are in Germany this weekend for World Cup competition. The short trackers begin skating Friday in Dresden, Germany. The long track team, featuring world sprint champion Heather Richardson, begins competition Saturday in Inzell, Germany. Short track skater Alyson Dudek won gold in the women’s 3,000-meter women’s relay and also the 500 B final last week in Sochi, Russia. J.R. Celski, a bronze medalist last week, leads the men’s short track team.
Also in speedskating:
U.S. National Age Group Long Track Speedskating Championships, Feb. 9-10, Milwaukee
USA Curling National Championships, Feb. 9-16, Green Bay, Wis.
Spots in the 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2013 World Championships will be decided over the next week at the USA Curling National Championships. First-round games in both the men’s and women’s tournaments begin Saturday at Resch Olympic Ice Pavilion in Green Bay, Wis. There are 10 men’s teams and 10 women’s teams.
The winning men’s team will qualify to represent the United States at the 2013 Ford World Men’s Championship in Victoria, B.C., beginning March 30. The winning women’s team advances to the 2013 Women’s World Championship in March in Latvia. Both winning teams qualify for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in November in Fargo, N.D. The second-place men’s team also qualifies for the Trials.
Among the athletes are Pete Fenson, an Olympian and seven-time national champion, and 2002 Olympian Ann Swisshelm, who is in the nationals for the 19th consecutive year. Heath McCormick and Allison Pottinger are defending champs. The Fenson and McCormick rinks have already qualified for the Olympic Trials.
Winter Cup Challenge, Feb. 7-9, Las Vegas
Adrian de los Angeles of the University of Michigan took the lead in the all-around competition during the preliminary round Thursday of the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas. De los Angeles had a score of 85.800 and led runner-up Danell Leyva, the all-around bronze medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Jake Dalton. The finals are Saturday at the Las Vegas Sports Center.
Leyva, Dalton and Sam Mikulak, all 2012 Olympians, are among those competing. Leyva had a score of 15.200 on the parallel bars. The competition kicks off the four-year cycle toward the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games.
Performances at the Winter Cup Challenge will play a role in determining the spots on the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team. All eight members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team automatically retain their spots on the team.
Thirteen members of the U.S. Junior National Team will also compete. The format of the Winter Cup has junior- and senior-level gymnasts competing in the same field.
Nastia Liukin Cup Series, Feb. 8-10, various locations
The fourth annual Nastia Liukin Cup Series continues this weekend with invitational meets at four venues: Fiesta Bowl Invitational, Chandler, Ariz.; Charity Choice Invitational, Tacoma, Wash.; IGI Chicago Style, Chicago; Gliders Invitational, Ontario, Calif. The top gymnasts selected from 19 invitational meets held over six weeks will advance to compete in the Nastia Liukin Cup on March 1 in Worcester, Mass.
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Scotland, Feb. 9, Jacksonville, Fla.
The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its first international friendly of the season Saturday when it faces Scotland at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. It’ll be the first game with new coach Tom Sermanni. The team has been training in Jacksonville for the last week.
The United States and Scotland also will play Wednesday night at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. The U.S. women are preparing for the Algarve Cup, which will be held in March in Portugal.
Webcast: 5 p.m. ET Saturday, ussoccer.com
U.S. National Team Trials, Feb. 7-10, San Jose, Calif.
Ariel Hsing, Lily Zhang, Erica Wu and Timothy Wang, all 2012 Olympians, are among those competing for spots on the U.S. Women’s and Men’s National Teams this weekend at the team trials.
The competition began Thursday with qualifying rounds for unseeded players at the Top Spin Club in San Jose, Calif. The top four men’s finishers and top four women will earn berths on the national teams. Coaches Doru Gheorghe and Stefan Feth will select a fifth player for each team.
The 16-year-old Zhang and 17-year-old Hsing are both ranked among the top 100 in the world. Among the even younger rising stars is 13-year-old Kunai Chodri, who is ranked No. 39 in the world in the U-15 age class. She is seeded ninth at the trials. Hsing is seeded No. 1 in the women’s division and Wang is No. 1 among the men.
IRB HSBC Sevens World Series, Feb. 7-8, Las Vegas
The U.S. Eagles men’s team will begin the fifth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series by facing Australia on Friday night at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. The Eagles will also play Samoa and Spain on Saturday.
The Eagles lost to Wales in the semifinals of their last tournament, the Hertz Sevens in New Zealand.
“We look at it as returning home and using the energy of our home crowd to do good things,” U.S. coach Alex Magleby said. “That’s what our home crowd deserves. They deserve to see the team that represents them playing with a lot of passion and to execute well. And we look forward to delivering.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET Friday, Universal Sports; 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, NBC
Webcast: 8 p.m. ET Friday, universalsports.com
Pan American Continental Track Championships, Feb. 6-10, Mexico City
Two U.S. records fell Wednesday at the Pan American Continental Track Championships in Mexico City as Americans won bronze medals. Madalyn Godby set a national record of 34.300 in the women’s 500-meter time trial, winning bronze. The men’s sprint team of Nathan Koch, Matthew Baranoski and Kevin Mansker also won bronze, setting a national-record time of 44.031.
Competition for the rest of the weekend includes women’s sprint and men’s team pursuit Friday, women’s omnium and men’s and women’s sprint Saturday, and women’s keirin and men’s sprint Sunday. Eight U.S. cyclists are competing, including 2012 Olympic silver medalist Lauren Tamayo.
World Cup, men’s saber, Feb. 8, Madrid
The U.S. men’s saber team will compete in a World Cup event Friday in Madrid, Spain. It is one of three international competitions for U.S. senior-level fencers this weekend. Also, the women’s foil team will compete Friday in a World Cup event in Budapest, Hungary. The women’s epee team is in a three-day tournament in Leipzig, Germany.
Also in fencing:
Junior and Cadet Pan American Championships, Feb. 6-11, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Junior World Cup, men’s epee, Feb. 8, Budapest, Hungary
Regional Open Circuit, ROC Cobra, Feb. 10, Jersey City, N.J.
Five Nations U-18 Tournament, Feb. 6-10, Jonkoping, Sweden
The U.S. Under-18 National Team will face Russia on Saturday and Sweden on Sunday in the Five Nations Tournament being held in Jonkoping, Sweden. Tyler Kelleher, the team’s leading scorer with 22 goals on the season, scored twice in an opening-round 4-2 loss to Finland on Wednesday.
The United States won the Four Nations Tournament, which it hosted in November in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Five Nations U-17 Tournament, Feb. 6-10, Jarvenpaa, Finland
The U.S. Under-17 National Team will play the Czech Republic on Saturday and host Finland on Sunday in the Five Nations Tournament in Jarvenpaa, Finland. The United States opened the tournament with a shootout loss to Russia on Wednesday.
Spring Cup, Feb. 8-10, Giovanni, Italy
The Skyliners of Stamford, Conn., and Monsey, N.Y., will compete in the senior division of the Spring Cup this weekend in Giovanni, Italy. The Skyliners placed fifth at the 2012 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships.
Competing in the junior division will be the Lexettes of Lexington and Marlborough, Mass., and the Chicago Jazz of Rolling Meadows, Ill.
IJF Grand Slam, Feb. 9-10, Paris
The first IJF Grand Slam event of the 2013 season begins Saturday in Paris.
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.