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Team USA Weekend Preview: April 17, 2014

By Paul D. Bowker | April 17, 2014, 6:59 p.m. (ET)
Team USA's J.D. Bergman (L) and Hamed Tatari of Iran (R) wrestle during the Rumble on the Rails on May 15, 2013 at Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

U.S. athletes are suiting up for competition this weekend in wrestling, equestrian, cycling, water skiing, the Boston Marathon and more. The Team USA Weekend Preview has all of the details.

WRESTLING

ASICS/Las Vegas Open Wrestling Championships, April 16-19, Las Vegas

Olympic gold medalists Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner are among the freestyle wrestlers who will go after national titles in the ASICS/Las Vegas Open Wrestling Championships.

The semifinal-round matches in men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman will be held Friday, and the championship matches Saturday. The tournament is being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and also includes competition at the junior, cadet and veteran levels.

Burroughs is seeded No. 1 at 74 kilograms (163 pounds), just ahead of two-time Hodge Trophy winner David Taylor. Burroughs defeated Taylor in the 2013 U.S. Open finals. Varner is seeded No. 2 behind 2013 U.S. World Team Trials champion J.D. Bergman at 97kg. Coleman Scott, an Olympic bronze medalist, is seeded No. 3 at 61kg.

Among the champions on the first day of competition Wednesday was Jeff Zastrow of the U.S. Air Force, who won a veterans title at 97kg in preparation for the Greco-Roman competition in the open division Friday.

Champions in the junior freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions will earn No. 1 spots for the 2014 ASICS U.S. Junior World Team Trials in May in Madison, Wis.

TV: 10 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, Universal Sports

MARATHON

Boston Marathon, April 21, Boston, Mass.

The Boston Marathon has registered 36,000 official entrants for this year’s race, which begins late Monday morning in Hopkinton, Mass. It finishes in downtown Boston. Race officials are expecting thousands more spectators than last year, when two bomb explosions went off near the finish line. Race registration is up 9,000.

Tatyana McFadden, an 11-time Paralympic medalist who has medaled in both the summer and winter Paralympic Games, will defend her Boston title in the wheelchair division. She won the London Marathon wheelchair race last week in a record time of 1:45.12.

TV: 8:30 a.m. ET Monday, universalsports.com

EQUESTRIAN

Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final and Dressage Final, April 17-21, Lyon, France

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden will defend her world championship this weekend at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Lyon, France. Madden will ride Abigail Wexner’s Simon, a 1999 Dutch Warmblood gelding she teamed with to win the 2013 championship.

Madden is one of 11 U.S. riders, a group that also includes two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward, who will ride Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild and Double H Farm’s HH Carlos Z, and Leslie Burr Howard, a two-time Olympic medalist.

The United States is seeking its third consecutive championship in the event, which begins Friday and goes through Monday.

“We are in a similar position as we were last year, when we sent 11 riders to do battle against the rest of the world,” said Robert Ridland, U.S. Chef d’Equipe. “The United States has produced more world cup winners than any other country, and with the talented group of riders we have here in Lyon, we look to extend that record.”

Two U.S. riders will compete in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, which begins Saturday: Tina Konyot, a 2012 Olympian, and Cesar Parra.

Also in equestrian:

Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Endurance Team Selection Trial CEI2*, April 17-20, Broxton Bridge, S.C.

CYCLING

UCI Supercross World Cup, April 18-19, Manchester, England

London 2012 Olympians Alise Post and Connor Fields are expected to be among the U.S. riders in the season-opening UCI Supercross World Cup event Saturday and Sunday in Manchester, England. Fields won the elite men’s race and Post won the elite women’s race in March in the UCI North American Continental BMX Championships.

Post has won four consecutive elite women’s national titles.

Also in cycling:

Winston-Salem Classic Criterium, USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, April 19, Winston-Salem, N.C.

NW Cup, Pro Mountain Bike Gravity Tour, April 19-20, Port Angeles, Wash.

Rumble at 18 Road, American Mountain Bike Challenge, April 19, Fruita, Colo.

WATER SKIING

Pan American Water Ski Championships, April 14-19, Bogota, Colombia

Six U.S. teams are competing in this week’s Pan American Water Ski Championships at Club Los Lagartos in Bogota, Colombia. Among them are elite team members Caroline Hensley, Regina Jaquess, Erika Lang, Adam Pickos, Nate Smith and Zack Worden. The elite team won the 2013 world championship.

The other five teams are representing the United States in under-13, junior (under-17), 17-20, 35-44 and over-45 age groups.

BOXING

Youth World Championships and Youth Olympic Games Qualifier, April 14-24, Sofia, Bulgaria

Jajaira Gonzalez, a 2013 junior world champion, began her title defense Wednesday with a second-round stop of Vietnam’s Trang le Thi in the women’s 112-pound division. She was to face Poland’s Justyna Walas on Friday.

Gonzalez is among 12 U.S. athletes seeking to qualify for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games at the Youth World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria. The top five finishers in each men’s weight class and the top four in three women’s weight classes will qualify for the Youth Olympic Games.

The women’s championship bouts will be held Tuesday, followed by the men’s championship round Thursday, April 24.

Sharif Rahman, a light heavyweight boxer, will face Paul Aradoaie of Romania on Saturday in his first bout of the tournament. He is one of four U.S. boxers who’ll see their first action in the tournament this weekend. The others are Nico Hernandez in a light flyweight bout Saturday, Javier Estrada in a welterweight bout Saturday and Darmani Rock in the super heavyweight class Sunday.

RUGBY

USA Rugby Women’s Eagles vs. Canada, Can-Am Series, April 19, Langford, B.C., Canada

The U.S. Women’s Eagles will face Canada in the final match of the Can-Am Series on Saturday at Westhills Stadium in Langford, B.C. Canada won the first match of the Can-Am 51-7 on Tuesday. It was the most lopsided loss to Canada in U.S. Women’s Eagles history.

Also in rugby:

USA Rugby AIC Men’s Junior All-Americans vs. Uruguay, IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy third-place match, April 19, Hong Kong

SHOOTING

National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships, April 10-26, U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colo.

The women’s rifle competition is taking place this week in the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. Smallbore qualifying will be held Friday and Saturday, leading up to the final round Saturday. Men’s rifle competition begins Tuesday.

Winners will be named to the USA Shooting National Junior Team.

SOCCER

Dallas Cup, April 13-20, Dallas, Texas

The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team will face Fluminense Football Club of Brazil on Friday in the semifinals of the Gordon Jago Super Group at the Dallas Cup. A victory would put the United States in Sunday’s championship game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

The United States won all three of its preliminary-round games.

KARATE

USA Open and Junior International Cup, April 18-20, Las Vegas

Competition begins Friday in the USA Open and Junior International Cup at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Bouts in the USA Open elite divisions will be held Saturday and Sunday; the finals are scheduled for Sunday night.

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

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