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Team USA Weekend Preview: Nov. 9, 2012

By Paul D. Bowker | Nov. 09, 2012, 5 p.m. (ET)

Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte in LondonOlympic gold medalists Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin kick off the USA Swimming Grand Prix Series in Minneapolis, Minnesota Friday.

It’s a busy weekend for Team USA athletes as some of the top swimmers, boxers and fencers from the London 2012 Olympic Games will be in action in domestic events. Meanwhile, winter athletes are competing in bobsled, skeleton, skiing, figure skating and more. Check out the Team USA Weekend Preview for all the details.


Grand Prix, Nov. 9-11, Minneapolis

The 2012-13 USA Swimming Grand Prix Series will kick off Friday in Minneapolis with a strong Olympic presence. Missy Franklin, a high school senior who was one of the stars at the London 2012 Olympic Games with four gold medals, is the top seed in four events, and 11-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte is entered in 10 events.

The three-day swimming meet will be held at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center and includes 600 swimmers, many of them 2012 Olympians.

Friday’s events, with preliminary heats during the day and the finals at night, include the 100-yard butterfly and breaststroke, 200 freestyle, and 400 free relay and individual medley. The 50 freestyle and 100 backstroke highlight Saturday’s events, and the 100 freestyle and 200 backstroke, along with several distance races, will be held Sunday.

Lochte will battle fellow Olympian Conor Dwyer in several events, including the 200 and 500 freestyle, and 200 and 400 IM. A couple of other swimmers who may make a big splash this weekend: David Plummer, who placed third in the 100 backstroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and Becca Mann, a 14-year-old from Florida who is the No. 1 seed in the women’s 400 IM.

Franklin posted the fastest time in the 200 free with a 1:44.83 and will enter the finals tonight swimming the center lane. Lochte was three-tenths of a second off the fastest 200 free morning swim. Fellow National Teamers Ashley Wanland and Mike Alexandrov took the top seeds in the 100 breast with times of 1:01.93 and 54.0, respectively.


FIBT World Cup, Nov. 8-10, Lake Placid, N.Y.

The 2012-13 World Cup season debut of the USA-1 BMW Night Train sled will occur Saturday, when two-time Olympian Steven Holcomb pilots the four-man bobsled crew in Lake Placid, N.Y. Steve Langton, Justin Olsen and Curt Tomasevicz are on the Night Train push crew.

The World Cup event began Thursday, when 2010 Olympian John Daly led four U.S. athletes into the final round of the skeleton competition in the World Cup’s new three-heat format. Daly was in medal contention in the men’s competition following a fourth-place finish after two runs Thursday earned him a combined time of 1:48.73. Kyle Tress was seventh and Matt Antoine was ninth, allowing them to also qualify for the final round.

“Having all three of us in the top 10 is such an advantage for the draw. … We couldn’t have started the season off better than that,” Daly said.

Defending world champion Katie Uhlaender was the only U.S. woman to qualify for the final round. Despite crashing into a wall in her first run, Uhlaender recovered for a sixth-place finish after two heats. Kimber Gabryszak finished 13th, 22-hundredths of a second from the 10th and final qualifying spot.

“I’m really happy that there’s a third heat coming,” Uhlaender said. “The field is competitive, though, and it’s Lake Placid — anything can happen.”

The women’s and two-man bobsled competition begins Friday, followed by the four-man bobsled Saturday. Holcomb and Langton will team together in the two-man. Elana Meyers will pilot the women’s USA-1 sled, joined by Olympic gold-medal-winning sprinter Tianna Madison. Jamie Greubel will pilot USA-2 with Aja Evans pushing. Jazmine Fenlator will push USA-3 with Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones pushing.

Also in bobsled/skeleton:

North American Cup, Nov. 7-10, Park City, Utah


FIS World Cup, women’s and men’s slalom, Nov. 10-11, Levi, Finland

Ted Ligety, who won gold in the giant slalom in his season-opening World Cup victory two weeks ago, will be back on the slopes Sunday attempting another podium finish in the World Cup slalom in Levi, Finland.

“Levi is a pretty tame hill with a lot of rolls, some flats and a short steep into a flat finish,” Ligety said. “But it is in the Arctic Circle, so it can be super icy and wet in some spots, plus you have a lot of variability with light since the sun sets so early.”

Mikaela Shiffrin will be among the starters on the women’s team Saturday. Lindsey Vonn, the 2011-12 World Cup champion, and Julia Mancuso will not compete because they are back in the United States preparing for the Nov. 24-25 Nature Valley Aspen Winternational. Other U.S. starters include Will Brandenburg, Nolan Kasper, David Chodunsky and Hailey Duke.

TV: 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports

Also in skiing:

Snowboarding, World Cup, men’s big air, Nov. 11, Antwerp, Belgium


Rostelecom Cup, Nov. 9-11, Moscow

Gracie Gold is in the lead after the short program at the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow. The event is the fourth stop of the ISU Grand Prix Series.

The 2012 U.S. junior champion is competing in her second Grand Prix event, following her seventh-place finish two weeks ago at Skate Canada. Her American teammate, Agnes Zawadzki, the 2012 U.S. bronze medalist in women’s skating is in third and Caroline Zhang is 10th.

In the men’s competition, skating in his first Grand Prix event since competing in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Johnny Weir finds himself in 10th place. Two-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada is in the lead and American Richard Dornbush is in seventh place.

Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, who earned a bronze medal at Skate America, marking the first medal won at a Grand Prix event by a U.S. pairs team in two years are in third place. Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin are seventh.

In ice dance, the 2011 world bronze medalists Maia and Alex Shibutani are in fourth place following the short dance.

TV: 4 p.m.-6 p.m. and 7 p.m.-8 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal Sports; 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, NBC; 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, Universal Sports

Also in figure skating:

Ice Challenge, Nov. 5-10, Graz, Austria

U.S. Figure Skating Eastern Sectional Championships, Nov. 8-12, Hyannis, Mass.

U.S. Figure Skating Midwestern Sectional Championships, Nov. 9-13, Strongsville, Ohio

U.S. Figure Skating Pacific Coast Sectional Championships, Nov. 9-13, Provo, Utah

Webcast: 9:25 a.m.-11:15 p.m. ET Sunday, icenetwork.com


Women’s Four Nations Cup, Nov. 5-10, Kerava, Finland

The U.S. Women’s National Team, which includes 12 Olympians, will play Finland on Friday in its final preliminary round game of the Women’s Four Nations Cup in Kerava, Finland. The United States split its first two games of the tournament, defeating Sweden, 4-0, and losing to rival Canada, 3-1.

The United States needs a victory Friday to advance to Saturday’s championship game. Hilary Knight scored the only U.S. goal in the Canada game and was named Team USA’s Player of the Game.

Under-18 Four Nations Tournament, Nov. 6-10, Ann Arbor, Mich.

The U.S. Under-18 National Team will play Sweden on Friday in the U-18 Men’s Four Nations Tournament, which is being held at the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Ice Cube, home of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. The United States, four-time defending champion of the tournament, defeated Finland and lost to Switzerland. The medal-round games are Saturday.

Under-17 Four Nations Tournament, Nov. 7-11, Monthey, Switzerland

The U.S. Under-17 National Team, which began play Wednesday in the U-17 Men’s Four Nations Tournament with a 2-0 win over host Switzerland, will play Slovakia on Friday and Russia on Saturday.

Also in hockey:

U.S. Junior Select Team at World Junior A Challenge, Nov. 3-11, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

USA Hockey Sled Classic, Nov. 9-11, Williamsville, N.Y.


Night of the Olympians, Nov. 9, Indio, Calif.

Rau’shee Warren, a three-time Olympian, and 2012 Olympic heavyweight Dominic Breazeale will be among five top American amateur fighters who will make their professional debuts Friday night in the “Night of the Olympians” boxing show at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif.

“It feels good to be fighting on the same card as some of my Olympic teammates,” Warren said. “We’ve got a bond that no one can take away. We motivate each other, push each other.”

Gary Russell Jr., a 2008 Olympian who is unbeaten in the professional ranks as a featherweight, will face Roberto Castaneda in the card’s main event. Other 2012 Olympians making their professional debut will be Marcus Browne, a three-time New York Golden Gloves champion, against Codale Ford at cruiserweight; Terrell Gausha, a two-time national amateur champion, against Dustin Caplinger at super middleweight; and Errol Spence, a junior middleweight who won three national championships, against Jonathan Garcia at junior middleweight. Warren, 25, will compete in the bantamweight division against Luis Rivera. Breazeale will face Curtis Tate.

TV: 11 p.m. ET Friday, Showtime cable


Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, Nov. 9-11, various sites

The Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions moves to the East Coast this weekend. The tour stops tonight at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, followed by performances Saturday at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and Sunday at TD Garden in Boston. Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman’s hometown is Needham, a Boston suburb. The Kellogg’s Tour includes performances by a number of U.S. Olympians, including members of the “Fierce Five” U.S. Olympic women’s gold-medal-winning team.

Also in gymnastics:

Future Stars National Championships, Nov. 9, Colorado Springs


ISF World Fastpitch Championship, Nov. 2-10, Parana, Argentina

An 8-5 loss to host Argentina in front of 7,000 Thursday sent the USA Softball Junior Men’s Softball Team to an elimination game Friday against Canada in the ISF World Fastpitch Championship. After beginning the tournament with five consecutive wins, the United States has lost two straight.

If the United States defeats Canada, it would face Australia or New Zealand on Friday night for a chance to advance to Saturday’s medal round.

USA pitcher Jerlin Rutt has struck out 17 batters in two games.


New York Athletic Club International, Nov. 9-10, New York City

Competition will be held Friday in Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle in the New York Athletic Club International. Matches were pushed back two hours as wrestlers battled bad weather and plane delays in their attempt to reach New York. All sessions in men’s freestyle will be held Saturday.

The freestyle dual scheduled for Sunday between Olympic and world-class wrestlers between the United States and Russia was canceled due to conditions still existing from last week’s Hurricane Sandy and the travel difficulties facing the Russian team.


North American  Cup, Nov. 9-12, Virginia Beach, Va.

Lee Kiefer, Tim Morehouse and Alex Massialas will among 13 London Olympians competing this weekend in the North American Cup at the Virginia Beach (Va.) Convention Center. Kiefer, 18, the top-ranked women’s foil fencer in the United States and a fifth-place finisher at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is seeking her seventh straight title at a domestic tournament.

The tournament is a qualifier for the 2013 Senior World Championships, and also a qualifier for the 2013 Cadet and Junior World Championships.

Kiefer, a freshman at Notre Dame, will compete Friday. Highlights also include individual epee competition Saturday, men’s epée and women’s saber Sunday, and men’s foil Monday. Team competition will be held all four days.


World University Championships, Nov. 5-10, Eilat, Israel

Suzanna Sanchez earned two silver medals and one bronze in the 48-kilograms weight class at the World University Championships in Eilat, Israel. She set a University American record of 81kg on her third attempt in the clean & jerk. Her silver medals came in the overall scores and in the clean & jerk.

The competition, which features nine U.S. lifters among 145 from 27 countries, continues through Saturday. Kyle Ernst and Jared Fleming will compete Friday in the 94kg weight class. Heather Smith will compete on Saturday in the 75kg-plus category. Samantha Zimmerman, a three-time World University team member, placed fifth Thursday at 75kg.


CSIO-W Buenos Aires, Nov. 6-11, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Charlie Jacobs, Quentin Judge, Catherine Pasmore and Alison Robitaille are riding for the United States this week in the final Nations Cup event for jumpers in 2012, the CSIO-W Buenos Aires. The Nations Cup competition will take place Friday.

Jacobs won the Ericsson Grand Prix at this event last year. He’ll ride Leap of Joy and Flaming Star at the competition. Judge, who was long-listed for the London 2012 Olympic Games, is making his Nations Cup debut aboard HH Carotino.

AQHA World Championship Show, CRI3*, Nov. 9-10, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Craig Schmersal, an individual silver and team gold medalist at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, headlines 13 horse-and-rider combinations competing in the final American CRI event of the season. The competition is also the first qualifying event for U.S. reiners seeking to qualify for the selection trials for the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.


USA Eagles vs. Russia, Nov. 9, Conwy County, Wales

The USA Rugby Eagles men’s national team was scheduled to face Russia on Friday in Conwy County, Wales, a match that is a part of the Eagles’ three-week tour in North Wales and Romania. The Eagles will also play Tonga on Nov. 17 and Romania on Nov. 24. The team consists of 23 players.

TV: 8 p.m.-10 p.m. ET Friday, Universal Sports


Cable Wakeboard World Championships, Nov. 6-11, Pampanga, Philippines

Austin Hair of Tega Cay, S.C., and Diego Shaw of Boca Raton, Fla., are representing USA Water Ski at the 2012 Cable Wakeboard World Championships in the Philippines.


USGP of Cyclocross-Derby City Cup, Nov. 10-11, Louisville, Ky.

Jeremy Powers (Team Rapha-FOCUS) leads the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross (Pro CX) standings and Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) trails England’s Helen Wyman entering this weekend’s Pro CX event in Louisville, Ky. Compton won a UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup race two weeks ago in Plzen, Czech Republic. The event is serving as a test run for the UCI Elite Cyclo-cross World Championships, which will be held in February 2013 on the same Louisville course.


IHF Trophy Mexico, Nov. 7-10, Mexico City

The United States is one of four nations competing through Saturday at the IHF Trophy junior tournament in Mexico City. Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico are also participating in the tournament. The winners move on to the continental phase in spring 2013. The United States has junior men’s and women’s teams in the tournament. Julio Sainz is the women’s coach and Mika Maunula is men’s coach.


Grand Masters World Championships, Nov. 8-11, Miami

Bo Svenson, an actor who played the role of Sheriff Buford Pusser in the “Walking Tall” films, is among more than 800 athletes competing in this week’s USA Judo Grand Masters World Championships at the Doral Resort & Spa in Miami, Fla. The tournament features fighters 30 and older.

“I can’t stay away from judo,” said Svenson, now a 71-year-old, fourth-degree black belt fighter.


USA Masters and Juniors 20km Race Walk Championships, Nov. 11, Coconut Creek, Fla.

The USA 20-kilometer Race Walk Championships for masters and juniors will be held Sunday in Coconut Creek, Fla. The event takes place at Tradewinds Park in south Florida’s Broward County.

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc. Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor for TeamUSA.org. Material from various news services and press releases from National Governing Bodies was used to compile this report. This story was not subject to the approval of any National Governing Bodies.