Team USA Weekend Preview: March 8, 2013

By Paul D. Bowker | March 08, 2013, 12:43 p.m. (ET)
 Patrick Deneen takes third place during the FIS Freestyle Ski World Championship dual moguls on March 8, 2013, in Voss, Norway.


FIS Freestyle World Championships, March 4-10, Oslo-Tryvann, Norway

Hannah Kearney led a strong American finish in the moguls at the FIS Freestyle World Championships by winning gold Wednesday, while Patrick Deneen took the bronze.

In the dual moguls competition today, Kearney and Deneen both earned bronze.

Still to come in the competition is slopestyle Saturday and ski cross Sunday. Alex Schlopy is seeking his second consecutive world title in slopestyle. Other slopestyle contenders include Tom Wallisch, Gus Kenworthy, Jamie Crane-Mauzy and Grete Eliassen. Joe Swensson and John Teller will compete in ski cross.

“I put the pressure on myself today to elevate my skiing to where the competition is,” Kearney said. “That’s what I have to do at every event in order to be successful. Whether it’s a World Cup, world champs or the Olympics. Moguls is a difficult sport and often inconsistent so to be able to say I won this event eight years ago is a testament to the consistency of my skiing. That’s something I’m extremely proud of.”

Emily Cook placed 10th in women’s aerials Thursday, and Dylan Ferguson was 11th.

Webcast: 8:40 a.m. ET Sunday,

Also in skiing:

FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing, women’s slalom and giant slalom, March 9-10, Ofterschwang, Germany

With just two events remaining in the season, American Mikaela Shiffrin leads the overall slalom standings with 528 points. Meanwhile, Tina Maze has 2,074, points eclipsing Hermann Maier's record of 2,000 points that has stood since the year 2000.

TV: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

Webcast: 4:30 a.m. Saturday and 5:30 a.m. Sunday,

FIS World Cup Alpine Skiing, men’s slalom and giant slalom, March 9-10, Kranjska Gora, Slovenia

Ted Ligety is the defending giant slalom winner at Kransjka Gora and has won at this ski resort four times. He has four victories this season and leads the giant slalom standings 520-415 over Austria’s Marcel Hirscher.

TV: 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

Webcast: 3:30 a.m. Saturday and 4:30 a.m. Sunday,

FIS World Cup Ski Jumping, men, March 8-10, Lahti, Finland

FIS World Cup Nordic Combined, March 8-9, Lahti, Finland

FIS World Cup Cross Country, men and women, March 9-10, Lahti, Finland


FIS Junior World Snowboarding Championships, March 3-10, Erzurum, Turkey

The men’s and women’s halfpipe finals are Friday, and the slopestyle finals are Saturday at the FIS Junior World Snowboarding Championships in Turkey. Among the U.S. halfpipe boarders are 2014 Olympic hopeful Arielle Gold, Taylor Gold and Spencer Shaw. Arielle Gold, a high school sophomore, won gold earlier this year at the FIS World Snowboarding Championships. In all, 29 U.S. athletes are competing for junior world medals this week.

Also in snowboarding:

FIS World Cup, men’s and women’s snowboardcross and parallel giant slalom, March 8-10, Arosa, Switzerland


World Short Track Championships, March 8-10, Debrecen, Hungary

J.R. Celski, who has won seven World Cup medals this season, will be among the U.S. medal contenders at the World Short Track Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. The three-day competition begins Friday.

Celski, a two-time medalist at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, earned a silver medal in the men’s 1,500-meter race at the Dresden, Germany, World Cup in February. Other leading U.S. skaters include national champion Lana Gehring, Jessica Smith, Alyson Dudek and Jeff Simon.

Webcast: 6:30 a.m. ET Saturday, 6 a.m. Sunday,

Also in speed skating:

Long Track World Cup Finals, March 8-10, Heerenveen, Netherlands

Webcast: 7:15 a.m. ET Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday,


IBU World Cup, March 7-10, Sochi, Russia

Less than one year from the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, 2013 world silver medalist Tim Burke began a World Cup event by placing fifth Thursday in the men’s 20-kilometer individual race. The competition is being held on the Olympic course near Sochi, Russia. Three U.S. athletes had top-15 finishes in the men’s and women’s races, as Susan Dunklee finished eighth in the women’s 15k race, and Annelies Cook was 14th.

Racing resumes Saturday with the men’s 10k sprint and the women’s 7.5k sprint. The competition concludes Sunday with the men’s and women’s relay events.

“This is clearly the toughest course that I have ever raced,” said Burke, who entered the Sochi competition with a 15th-place standing in the World Cup overall points list. “I was very happy to see today (Thursday) that I can be among the best on this course when I am in good shape. Not only are the uphills brutal here, but the downhills feel like they belong on a GS (giant slalom) course. It was great to have a chance to feel out the course today. Now I know what I need to focus on for training this year.”


North American Cup, March 6-10, Lake Placid, N.Y.

Austin McCrary and Ryan Sweeney are ranked 4-5 in men’s skeleton, and Savannah Graybill is ranked fourth in women’s skeleton entering the North American Cup finale in Lake Placid. The skeleton races are scheduled for Friday. Noelle Pikus-Pace is the women’s skeleton points leader, but she will not race because she joined the World Cup circuit after gaining qualification.

The four-man bobsled competition will be held Saturday and Sunday.

Bree Schaaf and Kristi Koplin won the women’s bobsled Thursday.


World Figure Skating Championships, March 10-17, London, Ont.

The 2013 World Figure Skating Championships officially begin Sunday with practice sessions with medals to be awarded next week. Five-time U.S. champion and Olympic silver medalist ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White will headline a team of 14 U.S. skaters. All four U.S. champions will compete, including Davis and White, women’s champion Ashley Wagner, men’s champion Max Aaron and pairs champs Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir. Among others representing the United States are U.S. silver medalists Gracie Gold and Ross Miner.


ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships, March 8-9, Helsinki

The Lexettes of Lexington and Marlborough, Mass., and the Skyliners of New York will represent the United States at this weekend’s ISU World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships. The Lexettes are in the worlds for the first time after winning the 2013 World Junior Team Selection Competition. They won bronze at last week’s U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. The Skyliners, who won silver at the national junior championships, are in the worlds for the fourth consecutive year.


Algarve Cup, March 6-13, Albufeira and Lagos, Portugal

The U.S. Women’s National Team will play Sweden on Monday in its third game in the Algarve Cup in Portugal. The United States won its opening-round game against host Portugal, 3-0, on Wednesday. Team USA continued its success Friday with a 5-0 win over China PR, highlighted by the first international goals for defenders Ali Krieger and Whitney Engen.

The championship game will be played Wednesday.

Abby Wambach’s 154th career goal in the win over Portugal pulled her to within four goals of Mia Hamm’s all-time record. With three games to go in the Algarve Cup, the record could fall soon.

“Right now my thoughts are not about that,” said Wambach, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. “It’s about the Algarve Cup and getting the wins we need to get to the final. This isn’t an easy tournament to win. There are great teams in this tournament, and if the goals come from me or Alex (Morgan) or Boxy (Shannon Boxx) or (Rachel) Buehler, so be it.”

One of the challenges for the United States will be on defense. No. 1 goalkeeper Hope Solo is out with a wrist injury. Jill Loyden, who played the entire Portugal game, broke a bone in her hand during practice Thursday.


World Baseball Classic, March 8-19, various sites

R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays will be the starting pitcher for Team USA Friday in its opening game of the World Baseball Classic at Chase Field in Phoenix. Dickey won the National League Cy Young Award last year with the New York Mets. He will face Mexico pitcher Yovani Gallardo of the Milwaukee Brewers.

After facing Mexico, the United States will face Italy on Saturday night and Canada on Sunday afternoon. The second round begins Tuesday at Marlins Park in Miami.

In the days leading up to Friday’s opener, the United States lost two key players. New York Yankees All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira was lost to a wrist injury and relief pitcher Chris Perez of the Cleveland Indians suffered a shoulder injury. They were replaced by Eric Hosmer of the Kansas City Royals and David Hernandez of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“Every single one of them is excited to be having this opportunity of playing for the U.S.,” U.S. manager Joe Torre told “To me, they’re here for a reason. Each and every one of them picked themselves up and left their (Major League Baseball) teams. It’s not because they have to be here. It’s because they want to be.”

TV: 9 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. Sunday, MLB Network, ESPN Deportes


ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan Am Cup, March 9, Clermont, Fla.

Sarah Groff, who finished fourth in the women’s triathlon at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will chase after a podium finish in the season-opening ITU Sprint Triathlon Pan Am Cup Saturday. She is the leading American among nine 2012 Olympians entered in the women’s and men’s fields.

The races will be held at Lake Louisa State Park in Clermont, Fla. Among the medal contenders in the men’s field is 2008 Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker. He won the Clermont race in 2012. Other top U.S. racers include Kaitlin Donner, a two-time USA Triathlon Under-23 Athlete of the Year; Marissa Ferrante, 2012 collegiate national champion; Lukas Verzbicas, 2012 USA Triathlon Rookie of the Year and two-time ITU winner last year.

Also in triathlon:

Cary Duathlon, March 9, Cary, N.C.


IHF World League, Round 2, March 4-10, Rio de Janeiro

The U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team, ranked No. 10 in the world, will face Chile Saturday and Trinidad & Tobago Sunday in the International Hockey Federation (IHF) World League, Round 2. Two-time Olympian Rachel Dawson had her 200th international cap Thursday, but after a 1-1 draw with Scotland, the United States lost in a penalty shoot-out.

“To earn 200 caps is a tremendous achievement,” U.S. coach Craig Parnham said. “Rachel has been around for many years and teams have admired her from afar for her passion and commitment to the game. She loves what she does with this team and everything she does is for the group. She is absolutely a fantastic role model for USA Field Hockey.”

The loss to Scotland was the first for the United States in three Round 2 matches. The top two teams in the tournament will advance to World League Round 3, a part of the qualifying process for the 2014 World Cup.

On the men’s side, Argentina routed the United States, 9-0, and the Americans will not advance to World League Round 3 in Rio de Janeiro. However, Team USA can still qualify for the 2014 through the Pan American Cup to be held in August in Toronto.

Also in field hockey:

National Indoor Tournament, U16 and U14, March 8-10, Virginia Beach, Va.


ISF World Fastpitch Championship, March 1-10, Auckland, New Zealand

The USA Softball Men’s National Team finished with a 4-4 record in the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Fastpitch Championship in Auckland, New Zealand. The Americans were eliminated from the tournament in a 9-2 playoff loss to Argentina Friday.


World Cup, women’s epee, March 8, Barcelona

The U.S. Women’s Epée Team, which placed 10th a week ago in St. Maur, France, will compete Friday at the Barcelona World Cup for women’s epée. The team includes 2012 Olympic bronze medalists Maya Lawrence and Courtney Hurley.

Also in fencing:

World Cup, women’s foil, March 8, Tauberbischofsheim, Germany

Grand Prix, men’s saber, March 9, Budapest, Hungary

Regional Open Circuit, Dean Alexander Memorial, March 9-10, Chandler, Ariz.

Regional Youth Circuit, Meade H. Anderson Memorial, March 9-10, Los Angeles


USA 15km Championships, March 9, Jacksonville, Fla.

The national championships for 15 kilometers will be held Saturday as a part of the annual Gate River Run in Jacksonville, Fla. The Gate River Run is expected to attract more than 17,000 runners.

Also in track and field:

USATF National Youth Indoor Track & Field Championships, March 9-10, Landover, Md.


U.S. Women’s Sitting Team vs. Canada, March 8-10, Denver

The U.S. Women’s Sitting Team will play Canada in five exhibition matches, beginning Friday at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The matches will be played during the Colorado Crossroads Junior National Qualifier taking place this weekend. Silver medalists from the London 2012 Paralympic Games expected to participate include Kari Miller, Heather Erickson, Kendra Lancaster and Kaleo Kanahele.


World Junior Championships, Feb. 28-March 10, Sochi, Russia

The U.S. junior men’s and women’s teams both missed the playoffs, placing seventh at the World Junior Championships in Sochi, Russia. The women finished up the round-robin portion of the tournament Thursday with a 7-6 win over Japan. The men and women both finished with 4-5 records.

“It was definitely the right way to go out,” said women’s skip Miranda Solem, who was competing on the junior level for the last time.

Also in curling:

U.S. College Curling National Championships, March 8-10, Duluth, Minn.


Old Pueblo Grand Prix, March 9, Tucson, Ariz.

The 2013 USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC) begins with Saturday’s Old Pueblo Grand Prix in Tucson, Ariz. The NCC schedule includes 25 events, ending Sept. 21 in Boston, Mass.


Moomba Masters, March 8-11, Melbourne, Australia

U.S. water skiing stars Freddy Krueger, Tom Brantley and Erika Lang will be among those competing in the 53rd Moomba Masters, beginning Friday in Melbourne, Australia. In all, 19 U.S. athletes will compete in slalom, tricks and jumping.

Also in water skiing:

Nautique Big Dawg World Tour, March 6-11, Melbourne, Australia

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for 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.