Team USA Weekend Wrap-Up: Jan. 6, 2013
Elana Meyers and Lolo Jones recovered from a mistake at the start of their first run to climb three spots in the standings on the second run and claim a women’s bobsled silver medal at the IBSF World Cup in Winterberg, Germany.
Fellow Americans Jamie Greubel and Aja Evans held the lead following the first run but ultimately missed a medal by four-hundredths of a second, finishing fourth.
|Noelle Pikus-Pace celebrates after her second run of the women's
skeleton competition during the FIBT Bobsled & Skeleton World
Cup on Jan. 4, 2014 in Winterberg, Germany.
On the men’s side, Cory Butner and Chuck Berkeley raced to a bronze medal in two-man bobsled Friday. However, Steven Holcomb, who had been 7-for-7 on the season in two-man and four-man races, had two seventh-place finishes and one crash.
Holcomb teamed with Steve Langton in the two-man race on Friday before joining Langton, Curt Tomasevicz and Chris Fogt in the four-man sled on Sunday, finishing seventh in both races.
Two out of three four-man teams wiped out Saturday, including Holcomb’s, which finished in 20th place.
The Americans had better luck in skeleton, where Noelle Pikus-Pace earned a silver medal in the women’s competition. Matt Antoine missed the podium by five-hundredths of a second, finishing fourth in the men’s skeleton Friday, while John Daly was fifth.
SHORT TRACK SPEEDSKATING
J.R. Celski and Jessica Smith spread wins across all three distances — 500, 1,000 and 1,500 meters — to lead the way at the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Short Track Speedskating, which took place Friday through Sunday in Kearns, Utah.
Celski and Smith lead the group of five men and three women who were nominated to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team, pending approval from the United States Olympic Committee.
Eduardo “Eddy” Alvarez, Chris Creveling, Jordan Malone and Kyle Carr joined Celski on the list of men’s nominees while Emily Scott and Alyson Dudek joined Smith as the women’s nominees.
Alvarez and Scott joined Celski and Smith in qualifying for the team at all three distances before the rest of the squad was selected Sunday, following the conclusion of the trials.
“I’m very excited to be going with these guys to Sochi,” said Celski, who earned two bronze medals at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Malone and Dudek also skated at the 2010 Winter Games. The other skaters qualified for the first time.
“I’ve been using the races this week to help prepare me for Sochi,” said Smith, who joined Celski in qualifying for the team early when they followed up Thursday’s time trial victories by winning the 1,500 meters Friday.
The United States finished fifth on Sunday in the team relay, an event which will make its debut at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, to wrap up the world cup stop in Konigssee, Germany.
Erin Hamlin, Chris Mazdzer and the doubles combination of Matt Mortensen and Preston Griffall formed the relay team.
Summer Britcher was sixth in women’s singles for the next-best U.S. finish of the weekend. Hamlin was in the top 10 in women’s singles until problems with the 360-degree circle turn on her second run dropped her to a 13th-place finish.
Tim Burke finished ninth in Sunday’s 15-kilometer mass start despite a fall in the final lap at the IBU World Cup event in Oberhof, Germany. Susan Dunklee was 25th to lead U.S. women Saturday in the 10-kilometer pursuit.
Elsewhere, Hannah Dreissigacker had the top U.S. finish Sunday at the IBU Cup in Ridnaun-Val Ridanna, Italy, placing 15th in the opening 7.5-kilometer sprint.
The U.S. Paralympics Nordic Skiing National Championship got underway Thursday and continues through Jan. 10 in Soldier Hollow, Utah. Elsewhere, the United States compiled 10 titles and 30 podium finishes in the International Paralympic Committee Alpine Skiing NorAm Cup, a three-day competition that concluded Friday in Winter Park, Colo. Larry Martin and his guide, Cole Steven, won two gold medals and a silver medal in the visually impaired division. Melanie Schwartz won two women’s standing slalom titles.
The Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships got underway on Sunday in Boston, but the senior-level competitions do not begin until Thursday. That is when the pairs and women’s short programs are scheduled. By the end of the competition, the 2014 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team will be nominated for Sochi. The United States can send three women, two men, two pairs teams and three ice dancing teams.
Mikaela Shiffrin maintained the FIS World Cup women’s slalom season points lead with a win Sunday in Bormio, Italy. Shiffrin had a .03-second lead after the first run and stretched the lead in her second and final run on the way to her sixth career world cup slalom victory. Among American women, now only Tamara McKinney has more world cup slalom victories with nine.
“It’s always good to keep success going,” Shiffrin said after her third straight world cup podium finish.
The event was moved from Zagreb, Croatia, due to poor conditions. The men’s event also moved, with the slalom race now scheduled for Monday in Bormio.
Hannah Kearney was second among the women and Patrick Deneen third among the men in the moguls at the FIS World Cup event in Calgary, Alberta. Kearney became the first U.S. freestyle skier to achieve the two top-three finishes required for qualification to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. She is the defending Olympic champion. Deneen’s podium was his first of the season.
Sho Kashima was fifth on the same course where he suffered a knee injury last year.
Heather McPhie was sixth among women.
Taylor Fletcher posted the fastest cross-country skiing time of the day both Saturday and Sunday while placing sixth overall on both days at the FIS World Cup event in Chaikovsky, Russia.
Fletcher was 49th after the jump Saturday, then skied the Gundersen 10-kilometer race 38 seconds faster than any other competitor to move up to sixth.
It was more of the same Sunday when Fletcher started 43rd after the jump and then skied the 10-kilometer course 26 seconds faster than anyone else to again climb through the ranks.
“These results are great for my mental level,” Fletcher said. “I know that I can compete with the best again. I look forward to more chances and better jumps as well.”
Liz Stephen wrapped up the Tour de Ski in seventh place on Sunday to secure the best U.S. overall finish in the history of the event.
Stephen was third over nine kilometers Sunday in the rain, sleet and snow in Val di Fiemme, Italy. She went into the seventh and final stage of the tour in 14th in the standings.
“I’m really proud to be part of the crew that is making history in the Nordic world for our country,” Stephen said.
Jessie Diggins placed 13th after climbing into the top 10 Saturday. Noah Hoffman’s 25th-place finish was the best by a U.S. man.
Elsewhere, Torin Koos and Jennie Bender repeated as freestyle sprint champions Sunday at the U.S. Cross Country Championships in Soldier Hollow, Utah. Erik Bjornsen and Becca Rorabaugh won the 15-kilometer and 10-kilometer classic races. Bjornsen defended his 15-kilometer title.
Katie Compton clinched the overall elite women’s world cup title with her fifth straight UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup victory Sunday in Rome, Italy. Compton, who also won last year’s overall points title, finished in 36:45 Sunday for a 24-second victory. Peter Goguen finished 18th in the junior men’s race.
Elsewhere, Henry Kramer (men’s 55-59) and Lori Cooke (women’s 50+) won titles at the UCI Masters Cyclo-cross World Championships in Gossau, Switzerland. Karen Brems was third and Lillian Pfluke fourth behind Cooke.
Zach McDonald and Allison Arensman won the elite titles Sunday at the Kingsport Cyclo-cross Cup in Tennessee.
Luke Kirwan scored two goals, including the game winner, Saturday when the U.S. Men’s National Under-17 Team won the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Sydney, Nova Scotia, with a 4-0 victory over Canada’s Team Pacific. Jeremy Bracco had three assists and Michael Lackey made 12 saves.
Christian Fischer and Colin White scored the other goals for Team USA, which fired 52 shots on goal.
The United States outscored opponents, 47-6, while going 6-0 in the tournament. It reached the final with Friday’s 9-1 win over Team Quebec when White and Matt Tkachuk scored two goals each. The U.S. National Under-17 Team is part of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, which is based in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Sage Palmedo won the women’s saber Saturday and Axel Kiefer won the men’s foil gold medal Sunday at the junior world cup in Udine, Italy. Michael Woo added a bronze medal in the men’s foil. Palmedo, ranked in the top 10 in the world among junior saber fencers, has two junior world cup wins this season. She was among seven U.S. women in the final 32.
Elsewhere, Amanda Sirico claimed a bronze medal at the women’s epée junior world cup event on Sunday in Dijon, France.
The U.S. women finished 0-2-2 at the Leipzig Messestadt Cup, an indoor tournament held Friday through Sunday in Leipzig, Germany.
USA Boxing moved the schedule of the Junior and Youth Open in Reno, Nev. back one day because of weather and travel concerns. Athletes are required to report by Monday evening for Tuesday morning weigh-ins and the beginning of competition later that day. The tournament, which has divisions for ages 17-18 and 15-16, is scheduled to run through Jan. 11.
Marshall Kent and Kimberly Yioulos are the leaders after six games (two rounds) of qualifying at the Team USA Trials in Las Vegas. Marshall has a 1453-1422 lead over Matthew Farber. Yioulos leads Ashley Bright, 1304-1285. The trials conclude on Wednesday.