Team USA Weekend Preview: May 31, 2013

By Paul D. Bowker | May 31, 2013, 12:30 p.m. (ET)
Allyson Felix comeptes in London
Allyson Felix leads the field in the women's 200m final at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on Aug. 8, 2012 in London, England.

It’s a big weekend in Olympic sports in the United States, with major competitions in track and field and swimming taking place on home soil. Plus American athletes will be competing around the world in sports such as tennis, beach volleyball, modern pentathlon, triathlon and wrestling. Check out the Team USA Weekend Preview for all the details.

TRACK AND FIELD

Nike Prefontaine Classic, May 31-June 1, Eugene, Ore.

Four-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix and Olympic relay gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta (nee Madison) will take on a strong international field in the women’s 100-meter race Saturday, one of the expected highlights at the Nike Prefontaine Classic at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

The Prefontaine Classic is the fourth stop of the USATF Championship Series and also a part of the IAAF Diamond League Series. The event begins Friday.

LaShawn Merritt, a two-time Olympian who won gold in the 400 meters at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, will face 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kirani James of Grenada in the men’s 400. Two-time Olympic medalist Justin Gatlin will race in the men’s 100 and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Walter Dix will run in the 200. Other top U.S. athletes at the meet include Alysia Montano and Mary Cain in the women’s 800, Olympic silver medalist Lashinda Demus in the women’s 400, Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano in the Bowerman Mile and Olympic silver medalist Erik Kynard in the men’s high jump. Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp will compete against Olympic champion (and his training partner) Mo Farah in the 10,000.

Another event to watch is the long jump, which features Olympic gold medalist Dwight Phillips. At 35, Phillips missed the entire 2012 season following a car accident and an Achilles injury.

The women’s 400 should also be a battle. Olympic champion Sanya Richards-Ross, who had planned on competing in her first race since London in New York last weekend, is entered, as is American DeeDee Trotter. 

TV: 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC Sports Network; 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday, NBC

Webcast: 10 p.m. ET Friday, PreClassic.com

SWIMMING

Arena Grand Prix, May 30-June 2, Santa Clara, Calif.

Connor Jaeger, a 2012 Olympian and 2013 NCAA long-distance swimming champion at the University of Michigan, opened the Arena Grand Prix’s final event of the season by setting a meet record Thursday night in his victory in the men’s 800-meter freestyle.

Jaeger’s time of 7:50.14 was more than three seconds better than his meet-record time in the same event three weeks ago at the Grand Prix event in Charlotte.

“It makes me feel good that I swam faster than I did at Charlotte,” Jaeger said. “Last year around this time I swam slower than I did in Charlotte and still swam fine at the end of the year. You don’t really know how much this actually means for how you’re going to perform at the end of the year, but we’re continuing to swim faster so I guess that’s a good sign.”

The meet continues through Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif., and the field is packed with Olympians. Ryan Lochte, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, is the top seed in four events (200 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 and 400 individual medley) and is third in the 100 butterfly. Allison Schmitt, a five-time medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is seeded No. 1 in the 200 and 400 freestyle. Missy Franklin, also a five-time medalist in London, is the top seed in the 100 freestyle and 200 backstroke, and is No. 2 behind Schmitt in the 200 free.

Still to come for Jaeger is the 1,500 free, where he is seeded No. 2, and 400 free, where he is the No. 3 seed. A real battle could emerge in the men’s 50 free. Cullen Jones, the silver medalist in the 50 free at London, will face 2008 Olympic gold medalist Cesar Cielo of Brazil.

TV: 8 p.m.- 9:30 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, Universal Sports

TENNIS

French Open, May 27-June 9, Paris

Five American women reached the third round of the French Open, including Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who defeated 2011 French Open champ Li Na Wednesday.

“At a Grand Slam, it’s my biggest win,” Mattek-Sands said after the 6-1, 6-3 win over the world’s sixth-ranked player. “I’m really proud of myself (that) I was able to close out the match the way I did. You always get excited towards the end. I was really happy with how I stayed calm and stuck with my system that I have going during the points.”

Next up for Mattek-Sands is Paula Ormachea of Argentina.

Serena Williams, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, is the top-seeded woman at the tournament. She made quick work of Sorana Cirstea, beating her 6-0, 6-2, Friday, to advance to the fourth round. U.S. men include 20-year-old Jack Sock, who defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in the first round.

Olympic champions Mike and Bob Bryan are the No. 1 seed in men’s doubles. The draw for the wheelchair event is set for June 4. 

TV: Noon-3 p.m. ET Saturday and 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, NBC

BEACH VOLLEYBALL

U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team Red vs. Blue scrimmage, May 24, Los Angeles

London 2012 silver medalists Megan Hodge, Danielle Scott-Arruda, Courtney Thompson, Nicole Davis and Tama Miyashiro will be among 33 players on the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team roster for its Red vs. Blue scrimmage Friday night at the Windward School in Los Angeles. It is the second of three scrimmages to be held in May open to the public.

The third scrimmage will be held May 31 in Irvine, Calif. The team is in the third week of its summer training block at the USA National Team Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Also in volleyball:

USA Volleyball Open National Championships, May 24-29, Louisville, Ky.

TRIATHLON

ITU World Triathlon Series, June 1-2, Madrid

Gwen Jorgensen, the world’s No. 1-ranked women’s triathlete, leads a group of four Americans competing this weekend in the fourth leg of the ITU World Triathlon Series in Madrid. Jorgensen, a 2012 Olympian, has won two races this season.

Also representing the United States are 2012 Olympian Sarah Groff in the women’s race Saturday, and Jarrod Shoemaker and Tommy Zaferes in the men’s race Sunday. Both elite races will consist of a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike race and 10k run.

Webcast: 9:30 a.m. ET Saturday and 6:30 a.m. Sunday, triathlonlive.tv

ITU Pan American Cup, June 1, Dallas

Four-time Olympian Hunter Kemper will be among more than 40 U.S. elite triathletes who’ll compete in the ITU Pan American Cup on Saturday in Dallas. The draft-legal, Olympic-distance course includes a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike event and 10k run.

Also in triathlon:

ITU Long Distance World Championships, June 1, Belfort, France

MODERN PENTATHLON

UIPM World Cup Final, May 31-June 2, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

Coming off a strong season in which she made U.S. history with a World Cup win in Rio de Janeiro, Margaux Isaksen is seeking a podium finish at the UIPM World Cup Final in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. The competition begins Friday with qualifying rounds and continues through Sunday.

Isaksen is ranked No. 3 in the world and was the only non-Ukrainian to win World Cup women’s gold this year. Her younger sister, Isabella, also qualified for the World Cup Final with a No. 30 world ranking. Only the top 36 pentathletes in the world qualify for the World Cup Final.

SOCCER

U.S. Men’s National Team vs. Germany, June 2, Washington D.C.

Celebrating the 100-year anniversary of U.S. Soccer, the U.S. Men’s National Team will face Germany in an international friendly Sunday at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C.

The United States is coming off a 4-2 loss to 15th-ranked Belgium on Wednesday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, a game in which DaMarcus Beasley had his 100th international cap.

Michael Bradley, Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams are all expected to rejoin the U.S. team for its game Sunday. Bradley played in the Coppa Italia Final on Monday with his club team, AS Roma.

TV: 2:30 p.m. ET Sunday, ESPN2

U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Canada, June 2, Toronto

As another part of U.S. Soccer’s Centennial Celebration day, the U.S. Women’s National Team will face Canada in an international friendly at BMO Field in Toronto. Of the 21 players named to the roster by coach Tom Sermanni, 15 are from clubs in the inaugural National Women’s Soccer League.

Among them are 2012 Olympic gold medalists Alex Morgan of the Portland Thorns, Abby Wambach of the Western New York Flash, Heather O’Reilly of the Boston Breakers and Ali Krieger of the Washington Spirit. Goalkeeper Hope Solo is with the team in Canada, but she is not expected to play because she is recovering from wrist surgery. Wambach is three goals short of tying Mia Hamm’s all-time record of 158 goals.

TV: 4:30 p.m. Sunday, ESPNews

Also in soccer:

U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Congo, Toulon Tournament, June 1, Nice, France

U.S. U-20 Women’s National Team vs. Sweden, May 31 and June 2, Gavle, Sweden

WRESTLING

Battle at the Falls, May 31, Niagara Falls, Canada

Elena Pirozhkova, a 2012 Olympian and 2012 world champion, is among the headliners for the USA Wrestling women’s freestyle team at the Battle at the Falls meet Friday in Niagara Falls, Canada. The United States will face Canada and Ukraine in dual meets.

“This is such a huge, important event for us,” said Alex Conti, U.S. volunteer assistant coach. “It‘s phenomenal to see women’s wrestling continue to build and grow. It’s getting bigger and bigger, and we have a great opportunity to show the people that here in Niagara Falls.”

All seven U.S. Open champions will compete, including Pirozhkova at 63 kilograms/138.75 pounds. World silver medalist Helen Maroulis will compete at 55kg/121 pounds and world bronze medalist Alyssa Lampe will wrestle at 48kg/105.5 pounds. Other U.S. wrestlers: Jessica Medina, 51kg/112.25 pounds; Alli Ragan, 59kg/130; Erin Clodgo, 63kg/138.75; Veronica Carlson, 67kg/147.5; Brittney Roberts, 72kg/158.5.

The tournament comes at the end of a week in which wrestling was named to the short list of sports under consideration by the International Olympic Committee Executive Board for the 2020 Olympic Games.

National Wrestling Hall of Fame Honors Weekend, Stillwater, Okla., May 31-June 1

The 37th induction class of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame will be honored this weekend in Stillwater, Okla. Most of the inductees, as well as numerous others who will be attending the event, have a direct involvement in USA Wrestling and the Olympic movement. Among the distinguished wrestlers who will be inducted are Melvin Douglas, a two-time Olympian and world champion, Olympic Greco Roman silver medalist Matt Ghaffari, three-time Olympian Dan Chandler and longtime college coach Ron Gray.  

WATER POLO

FINA World League Super Final, June 1-6, Beijing

The USA Water Polo Women’s Senior National Team will face host China Saturday, the opening day of the FINA World League Super Final in Beijing. The United States will then play Russia Sunday and Hungary Monday.

The U.S. women have won gold at the last four World League Super Finals. Eight of the team’s 15 members won gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, including two-time Olympians Kami Craig and goalkeeper Betsey Armstrong. The United States won first place in the World League Prelims tournament last weekend in Los Alamitos, Calif.

LEN Water Polo Champions League Final Four, May 31-June 1, Belgrade, Serbia

Olympian Tony Azevedo will try to become the first American water polo player to win a gold medal in the LEN Water Polo Champions League which is being held this weekend in Belgrade. Azevedo, who captained Team USA in London, is a member of the JUG CO Water Polo Club, which is based in Croatia. His team beat VK Partizan, 8-7, to reach the final.  

TEAM HANDBALL

Pan American Championships, June 1-8, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The USA Team Handball Women’s National Team begins play in the Pan American Championships on Saturday. The team hopes to place high enough in the tournament to qualify for the 2013 World Championships. The top four teams earn world berths. The United States needs to finish among the top two in its group to clinch a world berth. The other nations in its group are Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Costa Rica.

The U.S. squad includes young stars Sophie Fasold and Stephanie Hesser, and Sarah Gascon, who played in the 2004 Women’s Baseball World Cup. The United States was to play Canada in an international friendly Friday in preparation for the tournament.

CANOE/KAYAK

ICF Sprint World Cup, May 31-June 2, Poznan, Poland

Tim Hornsby, a 2012 Olympian, will seek his first A final of the season this weekend at the third ICF Sprint World Cup event of the year in Poznan, Poland. Hornsby is the only U.S. paddler competing in Poland. Hornsby finished in sixth place in the 200-meter C final two weeks ago in the Czech Republic.

Also in canoe/kayak:

USA Canoe/Kayak Junior Slalom Team Trials, June 1-2, Dickerson, Md.

ARCHERY

Easton Foundations Gator Cup, May 31-June 2, Newberry, Fla.

Qualification rounds in the Easton Foundations Gator Cup begins Saturday at the Easton Newberry Sports Complex in Florida. The tournament, which has drawn a record 310 entrants, is a United States Archery Team Qualifier Series event.

Among those in the tournament field are Olympic medalists Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski, Jacob Wukie, and five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig. The Gator Cup will be followed by the World Archery Championship Team Trials on Monday.

BASKETBALL

USA Basketball Men’s U16 Developmental Team training camp, May 30-June 7, Colorado Springs

Thirty-one high school players from 21 different states are in camp this week at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and attempting to secure one of the 12 spots on the national team roster. The U16 National Team will begin play in the FIBA Americas U16 Championship on June 11 against Mexico in Maldonado, Uruguay. The tournament is a qualifier for the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship.

Don Showalter of Iowa City (Iowa) High School is coach of the national team.

INLINE HOCKEY

IIHF InLine World Championship, June 2-8, Dresden, Germany

The U.S. National Inline Team will begin play Sunday in the IIHF InLine World Championship in Dresden, Germany, when it faces Slovenia. The United States is seeking its sixth gold medal in the tournament. The United States will also play Canada on Monday and Slovakia on Tuesday. The quarterfinals are Thursday, followed by the semifinals June 7 and the medal round June 8.

Among the 15 players on this year’s U.S. team are eight from the 2012 team which placed fifth at the worlds: goaltenders Jerry Kuhn and Nick Maricic, defensemen Rafael Rodriguez, Greg Thompson, C.J. Yoder and Jami Yoder, and forwards Junior Cadiz and Travis Noe.

BOXING

Cheo Aponte Tournament, May 29-June 2, Santiago, Puerto Rico

U.S. super heavyweight boxer Cam F. Awesome, light heavyweight Geremias Torres and light welterweight Jose Alday will compete Friday in opening-round bouts of the Cheo Aponte Tournament in Puerto Rico. The international tournament includes athletes from the United States, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Barbados. Luis Sedano, a lightweight, and Jamontay Clark, a welterweight, won their opening bouts Wednesday.

SHOOTING

USA Shooting National Championships, June 3-9, Ft. Benning, Ga.

Competition begins Monday in the week-long USA Shooting National Championships, which will determine spots for the USA Shooting pistol and rifle national teams and World Cup selections. The event will be held at Ft. Benning, Ga.

CYCLING

Glencoe Grand Prix, USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar, June 1, Glencoe, Ill.

Hilton Clarke of the AUS/UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team and Erica Allar of CARE4CYCLING are the top men’s and women’s leaders in the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar standings entering Saturday’s Glencoe (Ill.) Grand Prix. Clarke won last week’s Middle Earth Tour of Somerville in New Jersey.

Also in cycling:

Bump ‘N Grind, Pro XCT, June 2, Birmingham, Ala.

Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic, June 2, Philadelphia

US Cup - Big Bear Classic, Pro UET, June 2, Big Bear Lake, Calif.

JUDO

European Cup, juniors, June 1-2, Leibnitz, Austria

Four USA Judo junior athletes will compete Saturday and Sunday at a European Cup event in Leibnitz, Austria. Competing for the United States will be Annie Truong at 48 kilograms, Amelia Fulgentes at 57kg, George Truong at 60kg and Mackenzie Williams at 78kg-plus.

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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