Team USA Weekend Preview: March 28, 2014

By Paul D. Bowker | March 28, 2014, 11:27 a.m. (ET)
Madison Chock and Evan Bates compete in the short dance during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena on March 28, 2014 in Saitama, Japan. 

FIGURE SKATING

ISU World Figure Skating Championships, March 26-30, Saitama, Japan

Gracie Gold competes in the ladies short program during the ISU World Figure Skating Championships at Saitama Super Arena on March 27, 2014 in Saitama, Japan.

Olympians Gracie Gold, Ashley Wagner and Polina Edmunds are competing in the women’s free skate Saturday at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Japan. Wagner, a two-time U.S. champion, finished among the top five at the last two world championships.

All finished among the top 10 at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, led by Gold’s fourth place.

In the ice dance competition, Madison Chock and Evan Bates currently sit in fourth heading into Saturday’s free dance. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani are sixth after the short dance.

Meryl Davis and Charlie White, two-time world champions who became the first American team to win an Olympic gold medal in ice dancing during the Winter Games in Sochi, chose not to compete at the world championships while they perform on the TV show “Dancing With the Stars.” They were replaced by Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton, who qualified for the free dance with 18th place.

Max Aaron and Jeremy Abbott secured the U.S. men three spots at the 2015 World Championships by finishing a combined 13th place. Abbott was fifth at what was slated to be the last competition of his career, while Aaron was eighth.

Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, the 2013 and 2014 national champions who were ninth in Sochi, placed 11th in the pairs competition at worlds; Felicia Zhang and Nathan Bartholomay, the U.S. silver medalists who were 12th in Sochi, placed 14th at worlds.

TV: 1 p.m. ET Friday and Saturday, Universal Sports

Webcast: 11:30 p.m. ET Friday and 4:15 a.m. Saturday, icenetwork.com

Also in figure skating:

Gardena Spring Trophy, March 28-30, Selva Val Gardena, Italy

CURLING

World Men’s Curling Championship, March 29-April 6, Beijing

Eight-time national champion Pete Fenson, a bronze medalist at the Torino 2006 Olympic Winter Games, is skip of the U.S. team that will begin play in the World Men’s Curling Championship Saturday in Beijing.

The United States will face Czech Republic and Sweden Saturday, and Russia Sunday. The opening weekend kicks off 11 round-robin matches for the United States. The playoffs begin April 4, followed two days later by the medal round.

Joining Fenson on the U.S. squad are 2006 Olympic bronze medalists Shawn Rojeski and Joe Polo, and 2011 national champion Ryan Brunt. Jared Zezel, a 2014 Olympian, is an alternate.

The world championships begin the qualification period for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

PARALYMPIC SWIMMING

U.S. Paralympics Spring Swimming National Championships/Spring CanAm, March 27-29, Miami

World champions Jessica Long, Cortney Jordan, Roy Perkins, Rebecca Meyers, Ian Silverman and Brad Snyder are among more than 200 athletes who are competing in the U.S. Paralympic Spring Swimming National Championships and Spring CanAm. The event is a U.S. team qualifier for the Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championships.

GYMNASTICS

IGF World Cup, Doha Challenge Cup, March 26-28, Doha, Qatar

Marvin Kimble, Paul Ruggeri and Donnell Whittenburg are competing this week in the men’s portion of the Doha Challenge Cup.

Paul Ruggeri earned the silver medal on the floor exercise Thursday. The finals for the three-day event, which is part of the International Gymnastics Federation's World Cup series, conclude Friday. In the finals, Ruggeri will compete on the vault and high bar, and Donnell Whittenburg will perform on the parallel bars.

Junior Pan American Gymnastics Championships, March 28-30, Aracaju, Brazil

Davis Grooms, Marty Strech, Matthew Wenske and Alec Yoder will compete in the Junior Pan American Gymnastics Championships in Brazil.

A berth in the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games will be at stake for the United States in the men’s competition. Only one Youth Olympic Games berth is allowed per nation, and the berths will be based on all-around rankings.

ROWING

World Cup, March 28-30, Penrith, Australia

Kara Kohler, a bronze medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and Sam Stitt, a 2008 Olympian, are among six U.S. rowers who’ll compete in the season’s first world cup in Penrith, Australia. More than 100 crews from 21 nations are entered in the event.

Kohler will team up with Agatha Nowinski in women’s double sculls, along with Kendall Chase and Rosemary Popa in USA 2. Stitt and William Cowles will be in men’s double sculls.

The world cup is being held in conjunction with the Sydney International Rowing Regatta.

SHOOTING

ISSF World Cup, March 28-April 3, Fort Benning, Ga.

Nick Mowrer, a 2012 Olympian, will compete in both pistol and rifle events at the season-opening ISSF World Cup USA in Fort Benning, Ga. Mowrer is the first American shooter to compete in different disciplines in an international competition.

The event begins Friday with the men’s air rifle and women’s air pistol. The men’s air pistol and women’s air rifle will be Saturday, followed by men’s three-position rifle and women’s sport pistol Sunday.

Olympians Jason Turner and Brian Beaman will join 2013 World Cup gold medalist Will Brown in the men’s air pistol. Other U.S. athletes among the more than 400 competitors are three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons in three-position rifle. five-time Olympian Emil Milev in rapid fire pistol, and 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft and USA Shooting National Team members Teresa Meyer Chambers and Lydia Paterson in women’s air pistol.

CYCLING

USA Cycling Elite BMX National Championships and UCI North American Continental Championships, March 29-30, Chula Vista, Calif.

The nation’s top BMX racers will race for stars-and-stripes jerseys Saturday in the USA Cycling BMX National Championships in Chula Vista, Calif. The event will be held on the supercross track at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Sunday, The UCI North American Continental BMX Championships will be held on the same track.

Continental Mountain Bike Championships, March 27-30, Barbacena, Brazil

Stephen Ettinger, Spencer Paxson and Michael Broderick will compete in the elite men’s cross country class at the Continental Mountain Bike Championships in Brazil. They are among 16 U.S. cyclists who will compete in elite, U23 and junior divisions.

Ettinger is the top-ranked American in the UCI standings. Mary McConneloug, the second-ranked American woman in the UCI standings, will compete in the elite women’s race along with Erin Huck.

The elite downhill men’s entries are Max Morgan, Ray Syron, Ethan Quehl and Cody Johnson.

RUGBY

IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier, U.S. Eagles vs. Uruguay, March 29, Kennesaw, Ga.

The U.S. Eagles team will face Uruguay in the second leg of their IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier Saturday at Kennesaw State University’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium in suburban Atlanta. The teams tied, 27-27, last week in Uruguay.

A victory would put the Eagles in World Cup 2015. If Uruguay wins, the United States will have to go through the repechage playoff to earn a spot in the IRB Rugby World Cup in 2015.

TV: 3 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

IRB HSBC Sevens World Series, March 28-30, Hong Kong

The U.S. Eagles Sevens will face Samoa and Scotland Friday, and New Zealand Saturday in the Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens. The team reached its first plate final of the season last week in Tokyo, losing 17-12 to Australia.

Webcast: 10 p.m. ET Saturday, universalsports.com

ICE HOCKEY

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

Three straight wins in the preliminary round advanced the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team into Saturday’s semifinal round of the IIHF Women’s U18 World Championship in Budapest, Hungary. Team USA clinched first place in its group with a 7-0 victory Wednesday over Sweden.

A win Saturday would send the United States into the gold-medal game Sunday.

Taylar Cianfarano scored three times against Sweden and Lexie Laing scored twice. Defenseman Jincy Dunne, a 16-year-old who was one of the last cuts from the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Team, is one of the U.S. players.

SKIING/SNOWBOARDING

FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Junior World Championships, March 26-April 6, Valmalenco, Italy

U.S. ski team athlete Ali Kariotis led a podium sweep for the women in dual moguls at the FIS Freestyle Junior World Championships Thursday in Valmalenco, Italy. Morgan Schild took a silver medal and Keaton McCargo earned the bronze medal. McCargo also took home the gold medal Wednesday in the moguls competition while Schild earned a silver medal. The worlds continue through April 6.

U.S. Freestyle Championships, March 28-30, Deer Valley, Utah

U.S. championships in aerials, moguls and dual moguls will be held Friday through Sunday at the Deer Valley Resort in Utah. The competition begins Friday with women’s and men’s moguls.

JUDO

Samsun Grand Prix, March 28-30, Samsun, Turkey

Hannah Martin and Alisha Galles will compete in the women’s tournament at the IJF Samsun Grand Prix, and Travis Stevens will be in the men’s competition. Stevens fights at 81 kilograms. Martin is in the 63-kilogram weight class and Galles is at 57 kilograms.

BOXING

USA Boxing women’s team vs. Canada, March 29, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza, 2012 Olympian Queen Underwood and 2012 world champion Tiara Brown are among 10 U.S. women boxers who will compete in a dual match against Canada Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. The international friendly finishes up a joint training camp which began Tuesday.

Other U.S. athletes in the training camp are world bronze medalist Christina Cruz, six-time national champion Franchon Crews, two-time national champ Alex Love, Danyelle Wolf, Dara Shen, Destiny Chearino and Krystal Dixon.

Also in boxing:

World Series of Boxing, United States vs. Cuba, March 28, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood, Fla.

CANOE/KAYAK

USA Canoe/Kayak National Team Trials, March 28-30, Charlotte, N.C.

Roster spots on the USA Canoe/Kayak National Team will be at stake in five disciplines at the National Team Trials on Friday through Sunday at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The disciplines are women’s and men’s single canoe, women’s and men’s single kayak, and men’s double canoe.

The competition will determine the athletes who will represent the United States at the 2014 World Championships and other international events.

TRACK & FIELD

USATF National Race Walk World Cup Trials, March 30, Whiting, N.J.

Harry Wright Lake in Whiting, N.J., will be the venue for Sunday’s USA Track & Field National Race Walk World Cup Trials. The event will be used to determine roster spots for the U.S. team.

Also in track & field:

World Half Marathon Championships, March 29, Copenhagen, Denmark

Webcast: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday, universalsports.com

World Masters Athletics Indoor Championships, March 25-30, Budapest

LUGE

USA Luge Junior Seeding and National Races, March 29-30, Lake Placid, N.Y.

The final luge event of the season, the USA Luge Junior Seeding and National Races, will take place Saturday and Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Webcast: usaluge.org

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

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