Five For Friday: May 30, 2014

By Paul D. Bowker | May 30, 2014, 9:56 a.m. (ET)

Jordan Burroughs wrestles Varuzhan Kajoyan of Armenia during the 2014 FILA Freestyle Wrestling World Cup at The Forum on Mar. 15, 2014 in Inglewood, Calif.

U.S. athletes will take aim at a world stage this weekend, including the third leg of track & field’s Diamond League series in Eugene, Oregon, and USA Wrestling’s World Team Trials in Madison, Wisconsin. The U.S. men’s soccer team continues it World Cup Send-Off Series  Sunday in New Jersey. Plus, triathletes and paratriathletes will chase after titles in London and Dallas.

As we ready for the weekend, here’s a look at five events to follow:

1) Wrestling

Jordan Burroughs has already won two world championships and an Olympic gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He is determined to fight for another world title this year.

After defeating two-time Hodge Trophy winner David Taylor by a single point at the U.S. Open final at 74 kilograms in April, Burroughs has clinched a spot in the final round at this weekend’s U.S. World Team Trials in Madison, Wisconsin. He is among the nation’s top men’s and women’s freestyle wrestlers who are trying to clinch spots on the world team.

The winners of each men’s and women’s weight class will represent the United States at the FILA World Championships in September in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Burroughs and Taylor could meet again in the final round of the trials Sunday.

Other top U.S. wrestlers at the world team trials include 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner at 97 kilograms, 2012 Olympian Tervel Dlagnev in men’s heavyweight, 2012 world champion and 2012 Olympian Elena Pirozhkova in the women’s 63-kilogram class and three-time world medalist Adeline Gray in the women’s 75-kilogram class.

Competition will be held Saturday and Sunday at Alliant Energy Center in Madison, and as a part of the event the 1979 U.S. Freestyle World Team will be honored. The 1979 squad featured seven Olympians and some of the top freestyle wrestlers in U.S. history. Lee Kemp won a world championship in 1979, and Bobby Weaver, Jim Haines, John Peterson and Russ Hellickson earned silver medals. Joe Corso and Andre Metzger earned bronze medals. Peterson won a 1972 Olympic gold medal, and Weaver won an Olympic gold medal in 1984.

Retired University of Iowa coach Dan Gable, who was coach of the 1979 U.S. team, is expected to attend Saturday’s celebration, along with at least seven members of the team.

In addition, the FILA Junior World Team Trials will be held Friday in both freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines.


2) Track & Field

Two-time Olympian Galen Rupp is ready to let it rip over 10,000 meters Friday night in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon.

The Prefontaine Classic is the third leg of the IAAF Diamond League and Rupp, a native of Portland, Oregon, will be at home on a track where he has won at the high school, college and professional levels. Rupp has already set two national records this year and his mark of 26 minutes, 48.00 seconds could be topped at Hayward Field on the University of Oregon campus.

Rupp, a silver medalist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will be part of a strong field that also includes Kenya’s Paul Tanui, a bronze medalist at the 2013 World Championships.

Also competing on Friday will be 2012 Olympic gold medalist Brittney Reese in the long jump and a stacked U.S. group in men’s shot put: Reese Hoffa, Ryan Whiting, Joe Kovacs and Christian Cantwell.

The meet continues with a longer program on Saturday. Second-day competition includes a who’s who of U.S. track stars. Among them are four-time Olympic medalist Justin Gatlin in the men’s 100, three-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix in the women’s 200 and Will Leer in the Bowerman Mile.

Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton will run the 110-meter hurdles alongside Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson, the 2012 Olympic gold and silver medalists, respectively. LaShawn Merritt, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the 400, will race 2012 Olympic gold medalist Kirani James of Granada. Two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat leads the U.S. group in the 5,000.

On the women’s side, 2012 Olympic silver medalist Brigetta Barrett, a first-year pro, will compete in the high jump while another 2012 Olympian and first-year pro, Emma Coburn, will race the steeplechase. Other noteworthy competitors include 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson in the 1,500. Also entered is Mary Cain, who turned 18 on May 3. She became the youngest runner to compete in the 1,500 at the world championships when she competed in the event in 2013, and will race that event and the 800 in Eugene.

TV: 4:30 p.m.-6 p.m. ET Saturday, NBC

3) Soccer

The World Cup send-off will continue Sunday for the U.S. Men’s National Team at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. The United States will face Turkey in the second of its three-game Send-Off Series.

Goalkeeper Tim Howard tied Kasey Keller’s record of 53 career wins in a 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan Tuesday at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Howard had two saves in posting his 35th career shutout. Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson scored the U.S. goals.

The U.S. men will finish their send-off tour June 7 against Nigeria at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. Their World Cup opener in Brazil is June 16 against Ghana.

TV: 2 p.m. ET Sunday, ESPN2, Univision

4) Weightlifting

Allie Henry and Jenny Arthur, both 2013 world team members, will compete Saturday in the Pan American Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. They are among 15 U.S. athletes in the competition.

D’Angelo Osorio, a junior American record holder at 94 kilograms, also will compete Saturday. Ian Wilson, a 2014 Pan Am junior snatch gold medalist will compete Sunday, along with Andrew Davis, Chioma Amaechi and Caine Wilkes.

5) Triathlon

London 2012 Olympians Gwen Jorgensen and Sarah Groff are among seven U.S. athletes who are back in London this weekend for the fourth stop of the 2014 ITU World Triathlon Series. Jorgensen is coming off an impressive victory at the last World Triathlon Series stop earlier this month in Yokohama, Japan. Both Americans are ranked among the top 10 in the standings.

The event, which consists of 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike race and 5-kilometer run, is being held at the same Hyde Park venue that was used during the 2012 Games. Both the elite men’s and women’s races will be held Saturday.

Joining Jorgensen and Groff in the women’s race are Kaitlin Donner, Katie Hursey and Chelsea Burns. Kevin McDowell and Kaleb VanOrt will make their World Triathlon Series debuts in the men’s race.

While the nation’s best elite athletes will be in London, more than 50 U.S. athletes will be in Dallas for the PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships. Five medalists from the 2013 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships will compete in Sunday’s paratriathlon events: Krige Schabort, PT1; Mark Barr, PT2; Hailey Danisewicz, PT2; Melissa Stockwell, PT2; Aaron Scheidies, PT5. The paratriathlon races will be contested in a non-drafting format on a sprint course.

William Huffman and Ben Kanute are among the U.S. title contenders in the elite men’s race. Erin Jones, a runner-up finisher in the elite women’s race in 2013, tops the U.S. women.

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