Five For Friday: July 25, 2014

By Paul D. Bowker | July 24, 2014, 7:01 p.m. (ET)

Kerri Walsh Jennings (L) and April Ross celebrate during the women's final at the Fuzhou Open on April 27, 2014 in Fuzhou, China.

World championship events take U.S. athletes to Italy, Netherlands and Eugene, Oregon, this weekend. Five 2012 Olympians, including two-time world champ Connor Fields, are chasing after medals at the UCI BMX World Championships. Nearly 60 U.S. athletes are in the water in Varese, Italy, for the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. Historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon is hosting the IAAF World Junior Championships. Meanwhile, three-time Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and partner April Ross will be seeking a victory on U.S. soil at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam.

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

1) Volleyball

The FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will have a definite Olympic feel to it.

The women’s beach volleyball team of April Ross and Kerri Walsh Jennings, and the men’s team of Phil Dalhausser and Sean Rosenthal are the top seeds in this week’s Long Beach, California, stop on the World Series of Beach Volleyball tour.

All four are Olympians. Walsh Jennings is a three-time Olympic gold medalist and Ross earned silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Dalhausser and Rosenthal are both two-time Olympians.

Including three teams that advanced to the main draw through the qualification round, 12 U.S. squads are in the tournament. The tournament is the seventh Grand Slam event of 2014. The medal round is Sunday.

Four U.S. men’s teams are among the top 12 seeds, including No. 7 Nick Lucena and Ryan Doherty, No. 11 John Hyden and Tri Bourne, and No. 12 Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson. Emily Day and Summer Ross are the No. 12 seeds in the women’s tournament.

Walsh Jennings will not be the only one from her family competing in Long Beach. Her husband, Casey Jennings, will compete with Avery Drost.

TV: 8 p.m. ET Friday, 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Universal Sports

2) Cycling

All five 2012 U.S. Olympians, including two-time world men’s time trial champion Connor Fields, head up 21 U.S. elite and junior cyclists competing at the UCI BMX World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Fields, who won the BMX national title in March and is No. 2 in the UCI BMX rankings, will go after his third world title in the elite men’s time trials Saturday. The elite men’s and women’s championship races will be held Sunday. Among those in the elite women’s race is 2013 world junior champion Felicia Stancil.

U.S. Olympians in the elite races include Fields, David Herman and Nic Long in the men’s race, and Brooke Crain and Alise Post in the women’s race. Crain is No. 5 in the world rankings.

Carly Dyar won the first medal of the week for the United States, finishing second to grab the silver medal for the second consecutive year in the women’s over-17 race.

Webcast: 8:15 a.m. ET Sunday,

3) Triathlon

Top-seeded Jarrod Shoemaker will chase after a podium finish in the Jiayuguan ITU Triathlon World Cup in China. He finished fifth in a world cup race earlier this season in Chengdu, China.

Joe Maloy, Jason Pedersen and Eric Lagerstrom will join Shoemaker in the elite men’s race. Jessica Broderick is the only U.S. entrant in the women’s race. Both races will be held Saturday.

4) Rowing

Erin Reelick, Molly Bruggeman, Erin Boxberger and Kendall Chase are racing after medals in both the women’s four and women’s eight at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Varese, Italy. They are among 59 U.S. athletes and more than 800 rowers from 51 nations competing in 21 events.

The U.S. women’s four and women’s pair (Jessica Eiffert and Agatha Nowinski) crews advanced to the finals after impressive performances in the qualifying heats Wednesday. Other U.S. rowers include Corinne “Coco” Schoeller, a 2013 gold medalist in the women’s eight boat, and Andrew Campbell, the defending gold medalist in men’s single sculls.

Finals will be held Saturday and Sunday.

5) Track & Field

Kendal Williams and world junior record-holder Trayvon Bromell completed a 1-2 sweep in the men’s 100-meter dash Wednesday, getting the U.S. world junior track team off to a blazing start at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Williams posted a personal-best time of 10.21 seconds.

Four NCAA champions and eight 2013 world junior medalists are among the 89 U.S. athletes in the meet, including NCAA 100-meter champion Bromell of Baylor.

The competition runs through Sunday at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon.

Mary Cain, who finished 10th in the women’s 1,500-meter at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, will compete in the women’s 3,000. Her mile time of 4:24.11 is the fastest of any female runner in 2014.

This is the first time the junior world meet has been held in the United States. An estimated 1,600 athletes representing 170 countries are entered in the meet.

TV: 9 p.m.-midnight ET Friday, 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday, Universal Sports

Webcast: 8:45 p.m. Friday, 5:20 p.m. Saturday, 5:50 p.m. Sunday,

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