It’s a big weekend for swimming and track and field. On the track, top U.S. athletes will be competing at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, two of the biggest meets each season. Meanwhile, many of the top swimmers in the country, including Michael Phelps, are in Arizona. Other big events this weekend are in canoe/kayak, beach volleyball, triathlon and diving. Check out this edition of the Team USA Weekend Preview for all the details.
TRACK & FIELD
USA vs. The World, Penn Relays, April 26, Philadelphia
Some of the best runners in the United States will take on an international field Saturday at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.
Five-time Olympic medalist Justin Gatlin, two-time Olympic medalist Walter Dix and three-time Olympic medalist DeeDee Trotter will be among the U.S. athletes running in the USA vs. The World portion of the Penn Relays.
Gatlin, Dix, Olympic silver medalist Trell Kimmons, Calesio Newman, Mookie Salaam and Charles Silmon are in the men’s 4x100-meter pool. Kyle Clemons and David Verburg, members of the 2014 world indoor 4x400 championship team, will compete in the 4x400.
Trotter will compete in the women’s 4x400. Also in the pool for that relay race are two-time world gold medalist Francena McCorory, Jessica Beard, Monica Hargrove, Keshia Baker-Kirtz and Moushaumi Robinson.
International athletes will include Kerron Stewart and Natalya Goule of Jamaica, Dominque Duncan of Nigeria, Chris Brown of Bahamas, Ryan Gregson of Australia and Michelle-Lee Ahye of Trinidad & Tobago.
TV: 12:30 p.m.-3 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC Sports Network
Also in track & field:
Drake Relays, April 23-26, Des Moines, Iowa
TV: 9:30-11 p.m. Friday, Universal Sports; 3-5 p.m. Saturday, NBC Sports Network
USA Masters 10-kilometer Championships, April 27, Dedham, Mass.
Arena Grand Prix, April 24-26, Mesa, Ariz.
Olympic gold medalists Ryan Lochte, Allison Schmitt and Katie Ledecky are among 27 Olympic medalists and nearly 50 members of the USA Swimming National Team competing at the Arena Grand Prix in Mesa, Ariz.
But the biggest buzz at the Skyline Aquatic Center and a sellout crowd is over the return of 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps to competitive swimming. Phelps’ first final since London 2012 came in the 100-meter butterfly Thursday, where he finished second to Lochte. Phelps will also swim the 50 free Friday.
Other top swimmers include Olympians Natalie Coughlin, Matt Grevers, Elizabeth Beisel, Conor Dwyer, Nathan Adrian and Kevin Cordes of the University of Arizona, a two-time winner at the NCAA Championships this year. Beisel is the top seed in the women’s 400 IM and 200 breaststroke, Cordes is the No. 1 seed in the men’s 200 breaststroke and Grevers is the top seed in the men‘s 100 backstroke.
The Mesa three-day meet is the fourth stop in the Arena Grand Prix Series. Megan Romano is the leader in the women’s points standings and France’s Yannick Agnel is the men’s leader.
TV: 8 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, Universal Sports
ICF Junior & U23 World Championships, April 23-27, Penrith, Australia
Michal Smolen, a finalist in kayak at the 2013 World Championships, is among the U.S. athletes competing this week at the ICF Junior & U23 World Championships at the 2000 Olympic Games venue in Penrith, Australia. Smolen will race in both U23 men’s kayak (K1) and canoe (C1). He placed second in the qualifying round for kayak Wednesday with a time of 88.98 seconds.
Others on the U.S. U23 team include Zach “Bug” Lokken, a ninth-place finisher in canoe last year, and Tyler Hinton in canoe, and Simon Ranagan in kayak. Junior competitors include Tyler Smith, Teegan Johnson, Jordan Sherman, Tyler Westfall, Evelyn VanHorn, William Coggan and Gabe Machado. Smith, Westfall and Sherman qualified for the semifinals in kayak with impressive runs Wednesday.
More than 300 athletes from 31 countries are competing.
Fuzhou Open, FIVB World Tour, April 22-27, Fuzhou, China
Three U.S. women’s teams and two men’s teams are in the main draw of the Fuzhou Open, an FIVB World Tour stop in China. Among them is the No. 2-seeded men’s team of Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal, who defeated China’s Cong Yang and Jian Bao in the opening round of the main draw Wednesday.
Three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and 2012 Olympic silver medalist April Ross are teamed together in this tournament with eyes on a podium finish. Other U.S. teams are Jennifer Fopma and Whitney Pavlik, and Lane Carico and Brittany Hochevar.
Webcast: 1:30 a.m. ET Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday, universalsports.com
ITU World Triathlon Cape Town, April 26-27, Cape Town, South Africa
Sarah Groff, who is ranked No. 5 in the world, is among six elite U.S. triathletes who will compete Saturday and Sunday in the ITU World Triathlon Series races in Cape Town, South Africa.
Groff finished fifth in the season-opening race two weeks ago in New Zealand. Joining her in the elite women’s race Saturday will be Gwen Jorgensen, Katie Hursey and Lindsey Jerdonek. Lukas Verzbicas and Eric Lagerstrom will compete in the elite men’s race Sunday.
The events consist of a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike race and 10-kilometer run.
FINA Diving World Series, April 25-27, London
Olympic champion David Boudia is among seven U.S. athletes who will compete this weekend in the FINA Diving World Series in London. Boudia earned a bronze medal in 10-meter at the March World Series event in Dubai.
Joining Boudia in London are four-time Olympian Troy Dumais, who will compete with Boudia in men’s 10-meter synchro; Tori Lamp, women’s 10-meter individual; Amanda Burke and Samantha Pickens, women’s 3-meter synchro; and Cheyenne Cousineau and Jessica Parratto, women’s 10-meter synchro.
World Cup, April 22-27, Shanghai
The U.S. mixed teams in both recurve and compound advanced to the finals Sunday in the archery world cup being held this week in Shanghai. Two-time Olympian Brady Ellison combined with Mackenzie Brown to defeat Great Britain in the recurve semifinals, and Erika Jones and Bridger Deaton made it to the compound final.
Jones was also the leader in compound individual qualifying. The compound finals will be held Saturday, followed by the recurve finals Sunday.
Also in archery:
Easton Foundations Gator Cup, USAT Qualifier, April 25-27, Newberry, Fla.
IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship, April 14-27, Lappeenranta, Finland
The semifinals in the IIHF Men’s Under-18 World Championship will be held Saturday in Lappeenranta, Finland, followed by the medal round Sunday.
The U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Team captured the top seed in its preliminary round group by winning three of four games. Kyle Connor scored in each game. The United States has medaled in 10 consecutive U-18 world championships.
World Senior and World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships, April 24-30, Dumfries, Scotland
Three-time senior national champion Margie Smith is captain of the U.S. women’s team and 2014 national champ Jeff Wright is captain of the men’s team that will go after world titles in the World Senior Curling Championships in Scotland.
The U.S. men will face New Zealand and Russia Friday, Finland Saturday and England Sunday. The women will face Austria and New Zealand Friday, Japan Saturday and Sweden Sunday. Round-robin play continues through Tuesday.
Joining Smith on the women’s team are Norma O’Leary, Debbie Dexter and Shelly Kosal. Russ Armstrong, Russ Brown, Jim Wilson and Nils Johansson join Wright in his worlds debut.
The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship also got underway Thursday at the Dumfries Ice Bowl. The U.S. mixed doubles team of Joyance Meechai and Steve Gebauer will face Norway Friday, France and China Saturday, Ireland and New Zealand Sunday, and Spain Monday.
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, April 24-27, Cairns, Australia
The second leg of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series is this weekend in Cairns, Australia. Races will be held in cross-country, downhill and eliminator.
Aaron Gwin of Wildomar, Calif., won a gold medal in the men’s elite downhill race at the season-opening world cup event last week in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Also in cycling:
Joe Martin Stage Race, USA Cycling National Race Calendar (NRC), April 24-27, Fayetteville, Ark.
Grand Prix, women’s foil, April 26, Seoul
Olympians Lee Kiefer, Nzingha Prescod and Nicole Ross are expected to compete in a grand prix women’s foil tournament Saturday in Seoul, South Korea. Prescod has already finished among the top eight in two world cup tournaments this year and Kiefer won two gold medals at the junior world championships along with a second consecutive NCAA title.
A men’s foil world cup tournament will be held Friday in Seoul. Gerek Meinhardt, who was ranked No. 1 in the world earlier this season, is expected to compete, along with London 2012 Olympic teammates Alex Massialas, Race Imboden and Miles Chamley-Watson.
Also in fencing:
World Cup, men’s sabre, April 25, Athens
Grand Prix, women’s epée, April 26, Xuzhou, China
Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event Presented by Land Rover, April 24-26, Lexington, Ky.
Five-time Olympian Phillip Dutton and Buck Davidson, both three-time Rolex/USEF National CCI4* champions, are among 60 riders from seven nations competing in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Land Rover. The event began Thursday with competition in dressage.
The event, which is being held at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, is also the 2014 Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Championship. It is a selection event for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team.
Dutton has three horses at the event: Bruce Duchossois’ Mighty Nice, Mr. Medicott Syndicate’s Mr. Medicott and Trading Aces LLC’s Trading Aces. Davidson will ride Cassandra Segal’s Ballynoe Castle RM, Carolina and Sherrie Martin’s Petite Flower, and Carl and Cassandra Segal’s Park Trader. Kim Severson, also a three-time national champion, will ride her own Fernhill Fearless.
In addition to the individual events, the Dubarry of Ireland Nations Team Challenge will be scored from the top three finishers of each nation.
TV: 2 p.m.-3 p.m. ET May 4, NBC
Webcast: 10 a.m. Saturday and 1:15 p.m. Sunday, usefnetwork.com
National Selection Regatta, April 24-26, West Windsor, N.J.
Two-time Olympic women’s eight gold medalist Eleanor Logan is among more than 100 athletes competing in the USRowing National Selection Regatta #1 at Mercer Lake in New Jersey. The competition is the first selection event that will determine roster spots for the 2014 U.S. National Team.
Selection races will be held in men’s and women’s single sculls, men’s and women’s pair, men’s and women’s lightweight single, and men’s lightweight pair.
Logan is among four Olympians and 31 rowers overall in women’s single sculls. The other Olympians are London 2012 single sculler Gevvie Stone, and Beijing 2008 Olympians Lindsay Meyer and Ellen Tomek.
The field of 33 in men’s single sculls includes 2012 Olympian Peter Graves, and 2008 Olympians Ken Jurkowski and Sam Stitt.
Limes Cup, April 24-26, Aalen, Germany
U.S. mixed pairs acrobatic champions Kiley Boynton and Ryan Ward are going after another podium finish in the Limes Cup in Aalen Germany. The competition is a FIG World Cup event.
Boynton and Ward are the leaders in the World Cup Series standings with two events left.
Qualification sessions finish up Friday with the finals scheduled for Saturday.
Champions Challenge, April 27-May 4, Glasgow, Scotland
The U.S. Women’s National Team, which is ranked No. 10 in the world, will begin play Sunday in the Champions Challenge in Glasgow, Scotland. It is the team’s final preparation tournament prior to the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup.
National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships, April 10-26, Colorado Springs, Colo.
The National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships will finish up Friday and Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo. The second day of men’s smallbore qualifying will be held Friday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, followed by the finals Saturday.