Team USA Weekend Preview: March 21, 2014

By Paul D. Bowker | March 21, 2014, 1:08 p.m. (ET)
Ted Ligety competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals men's slalom on March 16, 2014 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

The winter sports season is winding down but is not over yet as there are the U.S. alpine skiing championships in California and the World Allround Speedskating Championships in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, summer-sport competition is on the upswing with gymnastics, triathlon, diving, rugby and more. Catch all of the details in this week’s edition of the Team USA Weekend Preview.


Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships, March 19-23, Squaw Valley, Calif.

Ted Ligety, the 2014 Olympic gold medalist in giant slalom, is expected to compete in the same event Friday in the Nature Valley U.S. Alpine Championships in Squaw Valley, Calif. Friday’s events will also include an Olympic Homecoming Celebration.

The men’s and women’s championship slalom will be held Saturday, followed by an FIS women’s giant slalom event Sunday.

Other Olympic medalists who are expected to compete are women’s slalom gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, women’s super combined bronze medalist Julia Mancuso and men’s super-G silver medalist Andrew Weibrecht. NorAm champions Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Bryce Bennett, Colby Granstrom, Katie Ryan, Lila Lapanja and Abby Ghent also are entered.

Olympian Tim Jitloff began the event by winning in the giant slalom Wednesday. The race was a precursor to Friday’s U.S. championships race. He defeated runner-up Mark Engel by nearly three seconds. Shiffrin won the women’s giant slalom, an event she has yet to win on the international stage, by 1.88 seconds on Thursday.

TV: Noon-1 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC; 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, NBC Sports Network

FIS World Cup Finals, Freestyle, women’s and men’s dual moguls and ski cross, March 21-23, La Plagne, France

John Teller, a 2014 Olympian, will seek a top-10 finish in men’s ski cross Sunday at the FIS World Cup Finals in La Plagne, France. Teller enters the season’s final race in 12th place in the points standings, just 13 points out of 10th place.

Webcast: 8 a.m. ET Sunday,

Also in skiing:

FIS World Cup, Freeskiing, women’s and men’s slopestyle, March 21-22, Silvaplana, Switzerland

Webcast: 8 a.m. ET Saturday,

FIS World Cup, Men’s Ski Jumping, March 20-23, Planica, Slovenia

Webcast: 5:30 a.m. ET Sunday,

FIS World Cup, Women’s Ski Jumping, March 22, Planica, Slovenia

Webcast: 4 a.m. ET Saturday,


E.ON IBU World Cup, March 20-23, Oslo, Norway

The men’s and women’s pursuits will be held Saturday in the E.ON IBU World Cup in the Oslo neighborhood of Holmenkollen, followed by the mass start races Sunday. It is the final world cup event of the season.

Sochi 2014 Olympian Susan Dunklee earned bronze in the 7.5-kilometer sprint Thursday, marking her first world cup medal and the first by a U.S. woman in 20 years.


World Allround Speedskating Championships, March 21-23, Heerenveen, Netherlands

Races at the World Allround Speedskating Championships will include the women’s and men’s 500-meter Saturday, and women’s and men’s 1,500-meter Sunday. The long distance races of women’s 5,000 and men’s 10,000 will also be held Sunday.

Webcast: 7 a.m. ET Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday,


IIHF Women’s U18 World Championship, March 23-30, Budapest

The U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team will begin play against Russia Sunday in the IIHF Women’s U18 World Championship in Budapest, Hungary. The United States will then play Hungary Monday and Sweden Wednesday in group play.


USA Luge Youth Seeding and National Races, March 22-23, Lake Placid, N.Y.

The annual USA Luge Youth Seeding and National Races will be held Saturday and Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.


City of Jesolo Trophy, March 22-23, Jesolo, Italy

Kyla Ross, a gold medalist on Team USA at the London 2012 Olympic Games, leads a 14-member U.S. women’s team that will compete Saturday and Sunday at the City of Jesolo (Italy) Trophy. Others on the senior team are Alyssa Baumann, Madison Desch, Peyton Ernst, Rachel Gowey, Madison Kocian, Maggie Nichols and Mykayla Skinner.

Bailie Key, the 2013 U.S. junior all-around champion, heads a six-member junior team.

“This competition is a great training ground for the upcoming Pacific Alliance Championships and world championships,” said Martha Karolyi, the U.S. national team coordinator.

Also in gymnastics:

USA Gymnastics Collegiate National Championships, March 21-22, Annapolis, Md.


ITU Triathlon World Cup, March 23, New Plymouth, New Zealand

Katie Hursey, who finished runner-up to Gwen Jorgensen in last week’s season-opening ITU Triathlon World Cup, will be among four U.S. women competing Sunday in the second leg of the world cup in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Also on the start list are Chelsea Burns, Michelle Mehnert and Sarah Groff, who is making her 2014 debut.

Jarrod Shoemaker, Kaleb VanOrt, William Huffman, Ben Kanute, Jason Pedersen and Tommy Zaferes will be in the men’s race. VanOrt finished fifth last week, tying his best career world cup finish.

Also in triathlon:

PATCO Triathlon Pan American Cup, March 22, La Paz, Mexico


FINA Diving World Series, March 20-22, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Olympic gold medalist David Boudia, who finished sixth in the men’s 10-meter event last week, will be among six U.S. divers in the second leg of the FINA Diving World Series this week in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Boudia combined with four-time Olympian Troy Dumais for a fifth-place finish in the synchronized 3-meter last week in Beijing, and they’ll dive together again in Dubai.

Amanda Burke will dive with Deidre Freeman in the women’s synchro 3-meter, and Anna James will team up with Gracia Leydon Mahoney in the women’s synchro 10-meter. Leydon Mahoney was recently nominated to the 2014 U.S. Youth Olympic Team.


Grand Prix, men’s epee, March 22, Vancouver

The U.S. men’s epée team will compete Saturday in a grand prix tournament in Vancouver.

Also in fencing:

World Cup, women’s foil, March 21, Turin, Italy

World Cup, men’s sabre, March 21, Moscow, Russia

Grand Prix, women’s sabre, March 21, Moscow, Russia


IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier, U.S. Eagles vs. Uruguay, March 22, Montevideo, Uruguay

The U.S. Eagles Sevens team will face Uruguay Saturday in the first leg of its IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier. Hayden Smith, who joined the NFL’s New York Jets in 2012, was named to the Eagles for the match, along with veteran players Todd Clever, Scott LaValla, Mike Petri, Louis Stanfill and Chris Wyles.

The second leg of the qualifier will be played March 29 at Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

IRB HSBC Sevens World Series, March 21-22, Tokyo

The U.S. Eagles will face Samoa on Friday, and Fiji and France on Saturday in the Toyko Sevens. The tournament is the sixth leg of the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series.

TV: 9 p.m. ET Friday, Universal Sports


USA Shooting Spring Selection Match, March 13-23, Kerrville, Texas

Double trap competition will be held Saturday and Sunday, and four days of skeet shooting will finish Sunday in the USA Shooting Spring Selection Match. The competition will determine roster spots for ISF World Cup matches and the 2014 World Championships. The competition is being held at Hill Country Shooting Sports Center in Kerrville, Texas.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock, 2012 Olympian Frank Thompson and Fall Selection champion Luis “Taz” Gloria headline the men’s skeet event.

Five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode won the Women’s Skeet Fall Selection title, missing just eight targets over three days. She is hoping to defend her selection title over Qatar Open champion Amber English, and national team members Morgan Craft, Brandy Drozd and Haley Dunn.

Double trap contenders include Glenn Eller, a gold medalist at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games; Jeff Holguin and Josh Richmond.


Pan American Open, March 22, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Nick Delpopolo and Angelica Delgado are among 23 U.S. athletes who will compete Saturday in the Pan American Open in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Delgado won a bronze medal at last week’s Pan American Open in Uruguay.

Grand Prix, March 21-23, Tbilisi, Georgia

Travis Stevens (81kg) and Hannah Martin (63kg) will compete in the Tbilisi Grand Prix through Sunday in Georgia.


Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games qualifier, March 20-21, Taipei City, Chinese Taipei

Six U.S. athletes are seeking spots in the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games at a qualifying tournament that ends Friday in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei. The top three U.S. finishers who qualify will earn spots in the Youth Olympic Games.

U.S. athletes are Michelle Gonciarz, women’s 44-49 kilograms; Mandy McCutcheon, women’s 49-55kg; Kendall Yount, women’s 63kg; Julio Quintanilla, men’s 48kg; Nelson Morales, men’s 48-55kg; and Zachery Budde, men’s 55-63kg.

Yount and Quintanilla are also part of a 20-member U.S. team that will compete in the World Junior Championships, beginning Sunday in Taipei City.


US Cup Pro Series, March 22, Fontana, Calif.

Todd Wells is in third place in the men’s points standings and Georgia Gould is fifth in the women’s standings entering this week’s USA Cycling US Cup Pro Series racing in Fontana, Calif. The US Cup is a part of the USA Cycling Pro Mountain Bike Cross Country Tour (Pro XCT).

Also in cycling:

Chickasaw Trace Classic, American Mountain Bike Challenge, March 23, Columbia, Tenn.


U.S. National Squad members Anita Alvarez and Sandra Ortellado will compete in the free duet this week at the Make Up For Ever French Open in Montreuil,Paris.

Teammate Karensa Tjoa also will take part in an exhibition at the championships, to be held March 20-22.

Alvarez and Ortellado are competing for the first time together and will be among the youngest competitors at the event, as most of the other 25 duets are comprised of senior national team members.

The preliminaries for the free duet were Thursday, with the finals set for Friday.


USEF National Four-in-Hand Championship, March 19-23, Ocala, Fla.

Chester Weber seeks his 11th USEF National Four-in-Hand championship this weekend at Live Oak International in Ocala, Fla.  Other entries are Misdee Wrigley-Miller and Casey Zubek.

The competition includes dressage, marathon and cones phases.


USA Boxing OTC Selection Event, March 23, Colorado Springs, Colo.

A selection event for youth boxers hoping to make the U.S. teams for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games and AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships will be held Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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