Mar 22 Team USA Weekend Preview: March 22, 2013

By Paul D. Bowker | March 22, 2013, 1:15 p.m. (ET)
 
Shani Davis competes in the men's 1000-meter final at the Essent ISU Speed Skating World Cup at Thialf Stadium on March 9, 2013 in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

The winter sports season continues to wrap up this weekend with the world championships in speedskating and curling, plus the U.S. championships in alpine skiing. Meanwhile, the U.S. men’s soccer team plays an important World Cup qualifying match tonight, and other top U.S. athletes are in action this weekend in diving, fencing, gymnastics, shooting and more. Check out the Team USA Weekend Preview for all of the details.

SPEEDSKATING

ISU World Single Distance Championships, March 21-24, Sochi

Three-time Olympian Shani Davis had a quick start in the ISU World Single Distance Championships, earning a silver medal Thursday in the men’s 1500-meter race. Davis had a time of 1:46.83. Brian Hansen finished fourth in a time of 1:47.40.

“It was a very solid race today (Thursday) with a good 1100m throughout the race,” Davis said. “Conditioning is a factor now, but that needs to be addressed next season heading into the Olympics.”

Davis also finished third in the men’s 1000 (1:09.30) and Hansen finished ninth. Jonathan Kuck was the highest American finisher in the men’s 5000 in 12th.

The event is the final long track international competition of the season and is being held at the venue that will be used at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. World Sprint champion Heather Richardson will be among those competing through the weekend.

SKIING

Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships, March 21-24, Squaw Valley, Calif.

Olympic gold medalist Julia Mancuso opened the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships on Thursday by winning the women’s giant slalom. It was her record 16th national title, and she defeated U.S. Alpine Ski teammate Mikaela Shiffrin by less than a second.

“It’s very fun to be at my home mountain and, of course, I want to win here,” said Mancuso, who grew up in Squaw Valley. “I think that’s the cool thing about records even if it’s something like U.S. Championships, when you are kind of pushing for something or extending a record. It makes it that much more fun.”

Tim Jitloff boosted his U.S. title count to four with a victory in the men's giant slalom. Defending champ Robby Kelley was second and Seppi Stiegler placed third.

The competition continues Friday with racing in men’s and women’s super-G. The men’s slalom will be held Saturday, followed by the women’s slalom Sunday.

TV: 12 p.m.-1 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC

Also in skiing:

FIS World Cup Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding, men and women, March 22-25, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Hannah Kearney won another World Cup moguls title Friday at the FIS Freestyle World Cup Finals. After three hours of delays due to fog and wind, officials cancelled the race, letting qualification results stand as the final. Kearney took the top spot and U.S. teammate Heather McPhie rounded out her career best season with a third for the day and a third overall in the mogul standings. In the men's dual moguls race, Patrick Deneen finished second and found his way into the third spot in the World Cup mogul standings.

Webcast: 9 a.m. ET Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday, universalsports.com

FIS World Cup Ski Jumping, men, March 21-24, Planica, Slovenia

Webcast: 5 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, universalsports.com

FIS World Cup Cross Country, men and women, March 22-24, Falun, Sweden

Webcast: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, universalsports.com

X GAMES

Winter X Games, March 20-24, Tignes, France

Louie Vito won gold on his 25th birthday Thursday, capturing the superpipe championship at X Games Tignes, France. Vito’s victory marked the second consecutive gold for the United States. Kelly Clark won the women’s superpipe Wednesday, securing her second X Games gold of the year. Elena Hight earned a silver and 16-year-old Arielle Gold took the bronze.

Jamie Anderson, who entered the competition as the defending Tignes champion, finished runner-up behind Norway’s Silje Norendal in the women’s snowboard slopestyle final. David Wise also finished second in the men’s ski superpipe.

TV: 7 p.m.-9:45 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN; 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, ABC; 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Sunday, ESPN

CURLING

Titlis Glacier Mountain World Women’s Curling Championship, March 16-24, Riga, Latvia

A 6-5 win over Russia in the final match of pool play Thursday enabled the United States to gain a berth in Friday’s tie-breaking round at the Titlis Glacier Mountain World Women’s Curling Championships in Latvia. The U.S. rink, captained by Olympian Erika Brown, was to play Russia or Switzerland in the tie-breaker. A victory would send the United States (6-5) to the Page playoff 3-4 game on Saturday against Canada, which would mark the first playoff appearance by a U.S. women’s team at the worlds since 2007.

“Nothing like a little drama,” Brown said after the win over Russia. “We were having a hard time getting the deuce and were praying for one in some of those ends with the hammer.”

TV: 8 a.m.-11 a.m. and 1-4 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

Also in curling:

USA Curling Mixed National Championship, March 16-23, Willmar, Minn.

World Curling Tour, Victoria Curling Classic, March 21-24, Victoria, B.C., Canada

SOCCER

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Costa Rica, FIFA World Cup qualifying, March 22, Denver

The U.S. Men’s National Team will face Costa Rica in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match Friday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park just outside Denver. The United States has not played a World Cup qualifying match since Feb. 6, when it lost to Honduras, 2-1.

Following the match against Costa Rica, the United States will play Tuesday at Mexico.

“We know we have a big task ahead of us and we are confident our group will get the job done,” coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. “Obviously there are many players out with injuries and that means the next person in line has a chance to step up. Getting points at home in World Cup qualifying is huge, and we are looking forward to having an awesome crowd supporting us in Denver on Friday night.”

Among the injured: Goalkeeper Tim Howard, who is out with a back problem.

TV: 10 p.m. ET Friday, ESPN

GYMNASTICS

IGF World Cup, March 21-24, Cottbus, Germany

Jake Dalton had a score of 15.300 on the floor exercise, the highest score in that event Thursday, to lead qualifying at the FIG World Cup in Cottbus, Germany. Dalton, Glen Ishino (pommel horse) and Brandon Wynn (still rings) qualified for the finals, which begin Saturday.

Qualification sessions were to conclude Friday, with Dalton competing on the vault, Ishino on high bar, Wynn on parallel bars and Chris Brooks on the parallel bars and horizontal bar.

Jesolo Trophy, March 23-24, Jesolo, Italy

Olympic gold medalist Kyla Ross and Simone Biles, the runner-up at the 2013 AT&T American Cup, will be among eight U.S. gymnasts who will compete Saturday and Sunday at the Jesolo Trophy competition. In addition to Ross and Biles, Brenna Dowell, Peyton Ernst, Maggie Nichols and Lexie Priessman will compete for the U.S. Women’s Senior National Team. Amelia Hundley and Bailie Key will compete in the junior division.

DIVING

FINA Diving World Series, March 21-23, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Troy Dumais, a bronze medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and younger brother Dwight Dumais combined to finish fifth in the 3-meter synchronized event last week in Beijing. They will compete again this weekend in the second leg of the FINA Diving World Series in Dubai. Troy Dumais also will compete in the individual 3-meter.

SHOOTING

ISSF World Cup, March 17-23, Acapulco, Mexico

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock will make his 2013 World Cup debut when the skeet shooting gets underway Friday at the first ISSF World Cup event in Acapulco, Mexico. The men’s and women’s skeet competition, scheduled for Friday and Saturday, is the final event of the Acapulco World Cup.

Earlier this week, Brian Burrows earned a silver medal in men’s trap.

TRACK AND FIELD

World Cross Country Championships, March 24, Bydgoszcz, Poland

Kim Conley, a 2012 Olympian, and Chris Derrick, the 2013 U.S. men’s cross country champion, headline a U.S. team of 24 that will compete Sunday in the World Cross Country Championships in Poland.

Joining Conley on the women’s team are Deena Kastor, Emily Infeld, Neely Spence, Delilah Dicrescenzo and Mattie Suver. In addition to Derrick, men’s team members are Matt Tegenkamp, Elliott Heath, Ben True, Ryan Vail and Bobby Mack. There will also be six men and six women competing for the United States in the junior division.

USA Masters Indoors Track & Field Championships, March 22-24, Landover, Md.

Ed Burke, the U.S. Olympic flag bearer at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, is among nine Olympians and more than 1,000 athletes competing this weekend at the USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships. Burke, who holds the world record for his age group in the weight throw, competed in the hammer throw at the 1984 Olympic Games. Other Olympians include Rob Muzzio, a fifth-place finisher in the decathlon at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, and Jim Barrineau, a high jumper at the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games.

FENCING

World Cup, men’s saber, March 22, Moscow

Grand Prix, women’s saber, March 22, Moscow

Competition in men’s and women’s saber is scheduled for Friday in Moscow. The U.S. women’s saber team is on a roll. The United States has won three consecutive bronze medals in the team competition at World Cup events and three-time Olympian Mariel Zagunis has won four consecutive medals, including a silver last week at the Antalya World Cup.

Also in fencing:

World Cup, women’s foil, March 22, Turin, Italy

Grand Prix, men’s epée, March 23, Vancouver

ROWING

Samsung World Cup, March 22-24, Penrith, Australia

Fourteen members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team are among 22 U.S. athletes who will compete this weekend in the first Samsung World Cup event of the season in Australia. The World Cup is being run in conjunction with the Sydney International Rowing Regatta.

U.S. crews are entered in six events – the women’s single sculls, women’s double sculls, women’s pair, women’s quadruple sculls, women’s eight and men’s eight.

JUDO

Continental Cup, March 23-24, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison, who earned a silver medal at the Pan American Open last week in Uruguay, will lead the U.S. team into a Continental Cup tournament this weekend in Argentina. The United States won two gold, two silver and five bronze medals at the Pan American Open.

Other top U.S. athletes on the 25-member squad include two-time Olympian Travis Stevens and Samantha Bleier, who each won gold last week.

Also in judo:

Scholastic & Youth Nationals, March 22-24, Miami

MODERN PENTATHLON

World Cup, March 20-24, Rio de Janeiro

Sisters Margaux and Isabella Isaksen qualified to compete in Friday’s finals at the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Margaux Isaksen placed fifth in her qualifying group and Isabella was 11th. The competition continues through Sunday with the men. Dennis Bowsher and Eli Bremer lead the U.S. men.

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING

U.S. Collegiate Championships, March 20-23, Palo Alto, Calif.

Ohio State will seek its 29th championship at the U.S. Collegiate Championships at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. The tournament, which features solo, duet, trio and team competition, will determine the spots for the U.S. World University squad.

In addition, swimmers will also compete Sunday in the trials for the U.S. World Championship team. The squads for the World University and World Championships will be announced Sunday. The FINA World Championships will be held in July in Barcelona.

EQUESTRIAN

USEF National Pairs Championship, March 21-24, Ocala, Fla.

Misdee Wrigley-Miller, a double winner already this season and a member of the U.S. World Pair Driving team in 2011, is among the drivers competing in the USEF National Pairs Championship at the Live Oak International. Also in the field is eight-time national champion Lisa Singer. Wrigley-Miller grabbed the lead in the competition with a score of 41.41 in dressage on Thursday.

FIELD HOCKEY

U.S. women’s indoor team, Argentina trip, March 21-28, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

U.S. Senior Team members Wesley Drew, Meredith Long and Maria Keesling are among 12 USA Field Hockey senior and junior athletes who were selected to play in a series of friendlies against Argentina, Uruguay and the Argentina U19 national squad. U.S. Women’s Indoor Field Hockey Team coach Denise Zelenak said the friendlies will be a preparation for the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cup and also the 2013 Junior Indoor Pan American Cup.

RACQUETBALL

Pan American Racquetball Championships, March 20-31, Cali, Colombia

Rhonda Rajsich, Sharon Jackson, Marco Rojas and Jansen Allen are competing for USA Racquetball at the Pan American Racquetball Championships in Cali, Colombia. Rajsich will play No. 1 singles and team up with Jackson in doubles. Rojas, the national team qualifying champion, ranks No. 20 on the pro tour.

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.

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