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Team USA Weekend Preview: Oct. 19, 2012

By Paul D. Bowker | Oct. 19, 2012, 12 p.m. (ET)

Jeremy Abbott skatesJeremy Abbott performs during Day 6 of the ISU World Figure Skating Championships on March 31, 2012 in Nice, France

Team USA on TV

Figure Skating
4-6 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC; 8-10 p.m. Sunday, Universal Sports

6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Fox Soccer

Olympians and Olympic hopefuls are competing around the world this weekend, with some high-profile events taking place at home in the United States. Near Seattle, some of the world’ best figure skaters will be taking part in Skate America. Meanwhile, the U.S. women’s soccer team continues its Fan Tribute Tour outside Chicago and the top U.S. triathletes are in New Zealand for the world championships. Check out the Team USA Weekend Preview for all of the details.


Hilton HHonors Skate America, Oct. 19-21, Kent, Wash.

The first ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series event of the season won’t be lacking for drama when the competition begins Friday at ShoWare Center in Kent, Wash.

Ashley Wagner, the reigning U.S. champion in women’s figure skating, and Jeremy Abbott, a three-time men’s U.S. champion, will each make their Skate America debuts. Abbott is a 2010 Olympian and has won seven medals in the ISU Grand Prix Series. Wagner placed third last year at Skate Canada, then won the U.S. championship.

“This is going to be one of my hardest seasons yet,” Wagner, 21, told TeamUSA.org earlier this week. “Last year was so successful for me and I want to keep on that upward slope. I’m kind of approaching this season as I really do need to prove myself. I haven’t really proven anything. All I’ve proven is that I’ve had one good season.”

Wagner and Abbott are among 18 U.S. skaters competing at Hilton HHonors Skate America. Four-time national champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White have won nine consecutive Grand Prix events in ice dancing. Caydee Denney and John Coughlin, competing in pairs, won silver at the Nebelhorn Trophy last month.

The United States has three entries in each of four disciplines. Joining Wagner in the women’s competition are Christina Gao and Rachael Flatt. Armin Mahbanoozadeh (a replacement for injured 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek) and Douglas Razzano will join Abbott in the men’s competition. Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, and Gretchen Donlan and Andrew Speroff will skate in pairs. The teams of Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus, and Lynn Kriengkrairut and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt will join Davis and White in ice dancing.

TV: 4-6 p.m. ET Sunday, NBC; 8-10 p.m. Sunday, Universal Sports

Webcast: icenetwork.com

Also in figure skating:

Central Pacific Regional Figure Skating Championships, Oct. 19-23, Murray, Utah

South Atlantic Regional Figure Skating Championships, Oct. 19-23, Wake Forest, N.C.

Southwestern Regional Figure Skating Championships, Oct. 19-23, Centennial, Colo.


U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Germany, Oct. 20, Bridgeview, Ill.

Saturday’s international friendly between the U.S. Women’s National Team and Germany is so much more than just the next game on the Olympic team’s Fan Tribute Tour. It’s also a matchup of the top two women’s soccer teams in the world at Toyota Stadium, home of the MLS Chicago Fire in suburban Bridgeview, Ill.

The United States is No. 1 following its gold-medal-winning performance at the London 2012 Olympic Games — it was the first team, men or women, to win a fourth Olympic championship. Germany is ranked No. 2 in FIFA.

The teams will also play Tuesday at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.

Jill Ellis, U.S. Women’s National Team Development Director, will be interim head coach for both games. Former head coach Pia Sundhage completed her successful run following a 6-2 win over Australia on Sept. 19. The team’s roster includes two-time Olympians Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd, high-scoring forward Alex Morgan and three-time Olympic goalkeeper Hope Solo. Morgan (24 goals) and Wambach (21 goals) are the first duo in U.S. history to score more than 20 goals each in one year.

TV: 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday, Fox Soccer

Also in soccer:

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team vs. Uruguay, Oct. 21, Buenos Aires, Argentina

U.S. U-15 and U-14 Girls National Team training camp, Oct. 20-28, Cary, N.C.


ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, Oct. 20-21, Auckland, New Zealand

Sarah Groff and Gwen Jorgensen, both 2012 Olympians, will battle the best in the world Saturday at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Auckland, New Zealand. Groff is ranked ninth in the ITU World Triathlon Series and Jorgensen is 16th. Groff placed fourth at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Jarrod Shoemaker will compete Sunday in the men’s event. He is ranked No. 24 in the World Triathlon Series. Shoemaker won the USA Triathlon Elite National Championship and placed fourth at the Cancun ITU Triathlon World Cup.

Saturday, Marissa Ferrante and Kaitlin Shiver will represent the United States in the Under-23 World Championships, and Greg Billington and Eric Lagerstrom will compete in the men’s division. Six U.S. athletes, including 2011 world bronze medalist Tony Smoragiewicz, will compete in Sunday’s Junior World Championships.

On Monday, the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships take place in Auckland. Eleven U.S. athletes are set to compete, including Paralympian Melissa Stockwell. TeamUSA.org caught up with competitors Erica Davis and Mark Barr.


Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, Oct. 18-21, various sites

The Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions will perform in three different states in three nights over the weekend. The tour will perform Friday at Chaifetz Arena at St. Louis University, followed by performances Saturday at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., and Sunday at the Cajundome in Lafayette, La. The tour also performed Thursday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. 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.


Head of the Charles, Oct. 20-21, Boston, Mass.

Three-time Olympians Mary Whipple and Caryn Davies, two-time Olympic gold medalist Susan Francia and three gold medalists from the London 2012 Olympic Games are among the elite field of rowers who’ll compete in the annual Head of the Charles regatta on the Charles River in Boston, Mass. Whipple, Davis and Francia all won gold medals on the U.S. women’s eight boat in London.

Other Olympians in the competition include Gevvie Stone, the defending Charles champion in women’s single sculls; Sarah Trowbridge, women’s double sculls; Kristin Hedstrom, lightweight women’s double sculls; Glenn Ochal and Henrik Rummel, bronze medalists in the men’s four at the London 2012 Olympic Games. London Olympians Zach Vlahos, Steve Kasprzyk, and brothers Grant and Ross James will be among those on the U.S. men’s eight boat.

Overall, more than 9,000 athletes from 28 countries will compete in the Head of the Charles. Team USA will conduct a meet-and-greet session with U.S. 2012 Olympians from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the USRowing/Boathouse Sports booth.

TeamUSA.org caught up with Olympic hopeful Hans Struzyna, who is racing this weekend and also partnering with social enterprise Luum to help raise awareness for social issues, such as clean water and sustainable food.


U.S. Bobsled/Skeleton Selection Races, Oct. 20-26, Lake Placid, N.Y.

Spots on the U.S. National Team will be at stake when the U.S. Bobsled Selection Races begin Saturday on the Mt. Van Hoevenberg course in Lake Placid, N.Y. The competition begins with women’s bobsled and two-man bobsled Saturday, followed by women’s and men’s skeleton Tuesday.

“I’m anxious, curious, excited and always a little nervous,” said Katie Uhlaender, the defending world champion in women’s skeleton. “You can never take the sport for granted. If the ice is slow, it is usually less stressful, but it’s still taxing on the body. If the ice is fast, I don’t talk much and sit quietly until the first run is out of the way.”

The United States has qualified three sleds in men’s and women’s bobsled, three sleds in men’s skeleton and two sleds in women’s skeleton for the upcoming World Cup season.

The bobsled national team will be announced following competition Oct. 26 in Lake Placid. The skeleton national team will be announced Nov. 1, following two days of additional selection races in Park City, Utah.


FINA World Cup, Oct. 20-21, Berlin, Germany

Following two days of FINA World Cup competition on Wednesday and Thursday in Moscow, during which U.S. swimmers won 13 medals, Team USA will compete Saturday and Sunday at the next World Cup event in Berlin, Germany.

Jessica Hardy led the women in Moscow, winning the 50-meter breaststroke, and placing second in the 50 free and 100 free. Leah Smith led a 1-2 American charge in the women’s 800 free, and also placed second in the 400 free. Becca Mann placed second in the 800 free, and third in the 200 fly and 400 IM. In the men’s competition, Sean Mahoney won the 200 breaststroke, and Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin placed second in the 100 free and 50 free.


Samsung ISU Short Track World Cup, Oct. 19-21, Calgary, Canada

Competition begins Friday in the first Samsung ISU Short Track World Cup event of the season. Calgary, Alberta, is host to the first World Cup. JR Celski and Jessica Smith, overall men’s and women’s winners at the U.S. Single Distance Short Track Championships, will lead a 10-member US Speedskating squad. Celski was a bronze medalist at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.


Dansko Fair Hill International CCI, Oct. 18-21, Elkton, Md.

Three members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team will be among 62 horse-and-rider combinations competing in the USEF National Two-Star Eventing Championship at the Dansko Fair Hill International CCI. Five-time Olympian (two with the United States and three with Australia) Phillip Dutton will ride Fernhill Fugitive. Other 2012 Olympians include Boyd Martin and Will Coleman. Susan Beebee, riding her 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Wolf, led the first day of competition among 29 riders, scoring 40.8 in the dressage test. The rest of the field will compete Friday.

The competition in Elkton, Md., also includes the USEF National Three-Star Eventing Championship. Among the CCI3* field are Hannah Sue Burnett and Buck Davidson, who won gold with the U.S. squad at the 2011 Pan American Games.

Also in equestrian:

USEF National One-Star Eventing Championships, Oct. 18-21, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Ky.


UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup, Oct. 21, Tabor, Czech Republic

Katherine Compton will chase after a podium finish Sunday as the eight-city UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup season opens in Tabor, Czech Republic. In the men’s U-23 division, Zach McDonald is a medal contender for the United States.

Also in cycling:

USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships, Oct. 19-21, Angel Fire, N.M.


Veteran World Championships, Oct. 16-21, Krems, Austria

Anne-Marie Walters won a silver medal on the opening day of the Veteran World Championships in Krems, Austria, getting the U.S. team off to a good start. Walters, competing in the women’s 50-59 foil division, won a Veterans World medal for the fourth consecutive time.

Walters is one of 61 athletes competing for the United States. The competition continues through Sunday in six men’s and women’s disciplines. Jane Eyre will seek her sixth world medal in women’s 50-59 saber. Elizabeth Kocab, who in 2011 became the first U.S. woman to win a gold medal in epee at the Veteran Worlds, won bronze in 60-69 epee.

Also in fencing:

Regional Open Circuit, Oct. 20-21, Maplewood, N.J.

Regional Youth Circuit, Oct. 20-21, San Antonio, Texas


U.S. Wheelchair Trials, Oct. 20-23, Madison, Wis.

Patrick McDonald, who moved to Madison, Wis., in order to train for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, will be among 16 athletes competing this weekend in the U.S. Wheelchair Trials being hosted by the Madison Curling Club. The top eight athletes will qualify to play for the United States in a pair of international tournaments in November, and the top five after that will be named to the national team. The United States is attempting to compile enough points to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games in wheelchair curling.


USA 50 Mile Championships, Oct. 21, Boalsburg, Pa.

Michael Wardian is defending race champion in the USA 50 Mile Championships, which will be held Sunday in Boalsburg, Pa. The course begins and ends at the Tussey Mountain Ski and Family Fun Center, which is located just south of Boalsburg. Connie Gardner is the defending women’s open champion.

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.