With just a little more than 100 days until the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, the U.S. winter sports are kicking into gear. The winter sports action this weekend is highlighted by Skate America, the first major international figure skating event of the year, while bobsled, skeleton and luge continue the process of determining their 2014 national teams. On the summer side, the U.S. women’s soccer team is in action this weekend while the Elite Men’s World Championship in boxing continues in Kazakhstan. Check out the Team USA Weekend Preview for all of the details.
Hilton HHonors Skate America, Oct. 18-20, Detroit.
World champion ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White will be among 18 U.S. skaters who will compete this weekend in the first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series event of the season. The Hilton HHonors Skate America begins Friday at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
All four current U.S. champions are entered in the competition: 2010 Olympic silver medalists Davis and White in ice dance, Ashley Wagner in women’s, Max Aaron in the men’s event and 2013 U.S. pairs champions Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir.
Davis and White are five-time U.S. champions, and they have won 12 straight Grand Prix events (three of which came at Skate America), including a record four consecutive ISU Grand Prix Finals.
Wagner is a two-time national champion and the defending Skate America champion. She is hoping to land a triple-triple combination in Detroit.
“I’m looking forward to Skate America to really get started,” Wagner said. “I just really feel that a triple-triple combination can help establish you into another class of figure skating. The elite of the elite are competing the triple-triple and I want to be a part of that. I don’t really want to leave anything on the table.”
Aaron, the reigning U.S. men’s champion, will be making his debut at a senior-level Grand Prix. He is hoping to land a total of five quadruple jumps combined in his short (two) and long (three) programs.
Among the other U.S. skaters are sister-and-brother ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani, four-time Grand Prix medalists; pairs skaters Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, who won a gold medal at the 2013 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic; and Adam Rippon, silver medalist at the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Jason Brown will make his Grand Prix debut as a substitute for injured Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek.
TV: 4 p.m.-6 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC
Webcast: 7 p.m. Friday, noon and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, icenetwork.com
Also in figure skating:
U.S. Regional Figure Skating Championships, Oct. 18-22, Anaheim, Calif.; Indian Trail, N.C.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
USA Bobsled/Skeleton Team Trials, Oct. 20-22, Park City, Utah
The final competition in the men’s two-man bobsled team trials will be held Sunday in Park City, Utah, followed by the first races of women’s and men’s skeleton trials Monday and Tuesday.
At last week’s opening round in Lake Placid, N.Y., Steven Holcomb and Steve Langton won the men’s bobsled competition. Holcomb and Langton, both 2010 Olympians, won the first two-man world championship in U.S. history in 2012.
The trials in skeleton continue through Oct. 30. Athletes named to the national team will compete in world cup events. The U.S. Olympic Team members for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games will be named in January.
Webcast: 7 p.m. MT Sunday, click here to watch
USA Luge Seeding Race, Oct. 20, Park City, Utah
The final seeding race of the fall will take place Sunday at the Olympic course in Park City, Utah. The race, combined with last week’s seeding race and Norton National Championships, will determine the roster for the USA Luge fall world cup team.
Chris Mazdzer, Kate Hansen and the doubles team of Jake Hyrns and Andrew Sherk won national titles in Lake Placid, N.Y. Mazdzer, a 2010 Olympian, already was pre-qualified for the November and December world cup races.
“Park City is my home track,” said Hansen, who defeated two-time Olympian Erin Hamlin and 2010 Olympian Julia Clukey in Lake Placid. “I learned to slide there, but Emily (Sweeney) is good there. That’s where she won the junior world championship last year. But I’m really excited to go back.”
Webcast: 11 a.m. ET Sunday, usaluge.org
U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Australia, Oct. 20, San Antonio, Texas
The U.S. Women’s National Team will play Australia in an international friendly Sunday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The match will be the first time that U.S. coach Tom Sermanni faces his former team since becoming U.S. coach.
The game will be the first of three in 10 days for the United States. Those expected to play for the United States include two-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan, four-time Olympic medalist Christie Rampone and three-time Olympic gold medalist Heather O’Reilly. The U.S. squad will hold a practice open to the public at 11 a.m. CT Saturday at the Alamodome.
TV: 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC
FINA World Cup, Oct. 17-18, Dubai, UAE
Tom Shields and Anthony Ervin, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist and 2012 Olympian, are competing in this week’s FINA World Cup meet in Dubai. The competition concludes Friday.
TV: 8 p.m. ET Friday, Universal Sports
Elite Men’s World Championship, Oct. 14-26, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Three American boxers will box in second-round action in the Elite Men’s World Championship Friday at the Boluan Sholak Cultural & Sports Palace in Kazakhstan. Heavyweight Michel Hilton will take the ring for the first time in Kazakhstan, facing off with Juan Noguiera of Brazil. Flyweight Malik Jackson will open the day’s action in a bout with reigning world champion and top seed Andrew Selby of Wales in his second world championships contest. Light welterweight Jose Alday will compete in his second bout of the tournament on Friday as well, battling Carlos Adame of the Dominican Republic in the afternoon session.
Quarterfinal competition will take place Oct. 23 followed by a rest day for all of the competitors Oct. 24. Semifinal round action will be contested Oct. 25 and the event will conclude with championship round bouts in all 10 weight divisions Oct. 26.
More than 450 athletes from 100 nations are competing.
Also in boxing:
SportAccord World Combat Games, Oct. 18-26, St. Petersburg, Russia
IWF World Championships, Oct. 16-27, Wroclaw, Poland
Two-time American record-holder Jenny Arthur, a 2013 junior world silver medalist, is among 15 U.S. athletes competing in the IWF World Championships in Poland. Arthur competes at 69 kilograms. The competition continues through Oct. 27.
The U.S. team also includes national champions Morghan King, women’s 48 kg.; Cortney Batchelor, women’s 58.kg.; Geralee Vega, women’s 63.kg.; Caleb Williams, men’s 69.kg.; Jared Fleming, men’s 94.kg.; and Caine Wilkes, men’s 105 kg.-plus.
UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, Oct. 20, Valkenburg, Netherlands
The UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup opener will be held Sunday in Valkenburg, Netherlands. It is the first of seven world cup races to be held between now and late January. All of the events will be held in Europe.
Also in cycling:
USA Cycling Pro CX, Full Moon Vista Cyclocross, Oct. 19-20, Rochester, N.Y.
World Archery Youth Championships, Oct. 13-20, Wuxi, China
The final rounds in compound will be held Saturday and the final rounds in recurve will be held Sunday at the World Archery Youth Championships in Wuxi, China. The U.S. junior men’s compound squad was well positioned for the medal round after setting a world record with a team qualification score of 2,111. Alex Wifler was the No. 1 individual with a score of 708. The U.S. junior women’s compound squad also qualified first as a team.
In the cadet division, Sonia Mayu Taniguchi placed third in qualifying in compound. Chris Bee was No. 3 on the men’s side.
Head of the Charles Regatta, Oct. 19-20, Boston.
The world championship U.S. women’s eight crew will seek more gold this weekend at the 49th annual Head of the Charles Regatta on the Charles River in Boston. Among the more than 2,000 crews from 20 nations are two-time Olympic gold medalist Eleanor Logan, London 2012 Olympians Charlie Cole and Gevvie Stone, and Beijing 2008 Olympian Lindsay Meyer.
Members of the U.S. women’s eight boat are Caroline Lind, Vicky Opitz, Meghan Musnicki, Grace Luczak, Lauren Schmetterling, Emily Regan, Kerry Simmonds, Amanda Polk and coxswain Katelin Snyder. Logan will be on a competing eight boat consisting of some of the best scullers in the world.
U.S. national team and Olympic athletes will be on site and signing autographs from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Sunday at the USRowing and Boathouse Sports booths.
IRB Americas Rugby Championship, Oct. 11-19, Langford, B.C., Canada
The USA Eagles Select XV squad will play Uruguay for second place Saturday in the IRB Americas Rugby Championship. The United States defeated Canada 30-10 on Tuesday. Argentina, which defeated the United States last week, has clinched the championship.
USEF National Three-Star and Two-Star National Championships, Oct. 17-20, Elkton, Md.
A field of 38 rider-and-horse combinations are competing in the Dutta Corp/USEF Three-Star Eventing National Championship and 57 combinations are entered in the Two-Star National Championship.
Competition will be held at the CCI2* and CCI3* levels. The CCI3* begins Friday with dressage. Two of the riders are 2012 Olympians: Will Coleman will ride Conair and Phillip Dutton will be aboard separate entries Fernhill Fugitive and William Penn. Dutton is a five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Also in equestrian:
USEF National One-Star Eventing Championships, Oct. 17-20, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Ky.
AVP Tour Championships, Oct. 17-20, Huntington Beach, Calif.
Play in the main draw begins Friday in the AVP Tour Championships in Huntington Beach, Calif. Among the winners on the tour have been the new team of Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, who won an AVP Tour event in September in Santa Barbara, Calif. They also won last week’s FIVB Grand Slam event in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Walsh Jennings is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and Ross won silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The men’s field includes 2008 Olympic gold medalists Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers.
TRACK & FIELD
World Masters Championships, Oct. 16-27, Porto Alegre, Brazil
More than 240 USA masters track & field athletes, including 22 defending world champions, are competing in the 2013 World Masters World Championships through Oct. 27 in Brazil. Among the U.S. athletes are defending 200- and 400-meter champion Bob Lida and 2012 USATF Master Athlete of the Year Jeanne Daprano, the women’s 75 defending champion in the 800 and 1,500.
Also in track and field:
USA Masters 5km Cross Country Championships, Oct. 20, Flemington, N.J.
U.S. Masters Synchronized Swimming National Championships, Oct. 16-20, Albuquerque, N.M.
More than 200 swimmers from the United States, Canada and Japan are competing in the U.S. Masters Synchronized Swimming National Championships. The event continues through Sunday at the West Mesa Aquatic Center in Albuquerque, N.M. National titles will be determined in solo, duet, trio, team, combo and figures.