The U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team lost a 29-27, 23, 25-18 match to host Japan on Nov. 18, at Yoyogi National Stadium to three 2, 26 points) achieved its primary goal of 2012 Olympic to-back bronze finishes in 2003 and 2007.
EASY AS 1-3-2
Competition came to an end in Guadalajara on Nov. 20, at the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, where American athletes had a strong showing during the eight days of competition. Team USA won a total of 132 medals and finished third overall in total medals won. The U.S. collected 51 gold, 47 silver and 34 bronze.
BOBSLED & SKELETON
A young U.S. team claimed eight medals in the second stop of the America's Cup tour held on the 1988 Olympic track in Calgary, Alberta, from Nov. 17-20. On the junior side, the U.S. youth team claimed two gold, two silver and three bronze medals in the final series of Youth Olympic Games qualification races.
The USA-1 four-man bobsled "Night Train," crewed by Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.), Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) claimed gold in the Igls Europa Cup finale in Igls, Austria, on Nov. 20. Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) finished second in the women's final, adding a to their bronze won on Nov. 17.
Tyler Runing's (Mankato, Minn.) team continues to dominate the 2012 Youth Olympic Games playdown by picking up two more wins in round robin action at the Grafton Curling Club. Runing and teammates Kathleen Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), Keith Dewar (Mankato, Minn.) and Brittany Falk (Poynette, Wis.) picked two wins over the weekend to improve to 6-0.
GYMNASTICS - TRAMPOLINE & TUMBLING
The U.S. women's trampoline team placed fourth in the Nov. 18 team final at the 2011 World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships in Birmingham, England. Meanwhile, the U.S. men's and women's double-mini teams won the bronze medals in team finals on Nov. 19.
U.S. junior luge team racers Emily Sweeney (Suffield, Conn.) and Kate Hansen (La Canada, Calif.) picked up where their younger teammates left off, and earned gold and silver medals, respectively, in women's singles as Junior World Cup racing resumed on Nov. 20, in Park City, Utah.
Margaux Isaksen (Fayetteville, Ark.) finished 10th on Nov. 19, during the women's individual final at the Modern Pentathlon Junior World Championships in Buenos Aries, Argentina.
Michael Cooper (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) earned the first U.S. medal of the 2011 World Figure Championships in Brasilia, Brazil, and a podium placement after winning bronze in the men's figure event. Collin Moore (Richmond, Va.) finished close behind in the fourth place. On the women's side, Emma Trent (Auxvasse, Mo.) placed fourth and Kayla Rodriguez (Voorhees, N.J.) finished seventh.
The U.S. Women's National Team came from behind to earn a 1-1 tie with Sweden in front of a record crowd of 18,482 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Nov. 19. The largest crowd to ever watch a Women's National Team game in Arizona saw the USA dominate Sweden in possession and shots, but the 2011 World Cup Group C rematch ended in a tie following Tobin Heath's (Basking Ridge, N.J.) second half goal from a rebound of an Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar, Calif.) shot.
Team USA closed the first World Cup competition of the 2011-12 season in Chelyabinsk, Russia, with a podium performance in the Nov. 20, team pursuit. The U.S. won silver with a time of 3:44.52. Jonathan Kuck (Champaign, IL) also led Team USA to a fourth-place finish in the 5000m on Nov. 19.
The U.S. Taekwondo Team secured its maximum number of four spots for the 2012 Olympic Games on Nov. 20, when Steven Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) and Paige McPherson (Sturgis, S.D.) both reached the finals in their respective divisions at the Pan American Olympic Qualification Tournament in Queretaro, Mexico. Terrence Jennings (Alexandria, Va.) and Diana Lopez (Sugar Land, Texas) also qualified their respective weight divisions.
Team USA started the 11-match, 15-day FIVB World Cup in Kagoshima, Japan, with a sweep of China on Nov. 20 and a four-set, 25-17, 25-18, 16-25, 25-16, loss to Brazil on Nov 21. The three teams reaching the World Cup medal podium on Dec. 4 will earn berths into the 2012 Olympic Games.
Four members of the U.S. Olympic Education Center program from Northern Michigan University won gold medals from Nov. 19-20, at the Kolbatn Junior Cup. Claiming titles in the U-18 age division were 58kg Sam Jones (Folsom, La.) and 76 kg Patrick Budd (Harrisburg, Pa.), while 60 kg Joey Denova (Fortson, Ga.) and 120 kg Toby Erickson (East Helena, Mont.) claimed titles in the J-23 age division.
2002 World champion Dremiel Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo.) won silver at 120 kg on the first day of the Vantaa Cup of Greco-Roman on Nov 19, in Vantaa, Finland.
UPCOMING CALENDAR - NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
18-26 Softball Hermosillo, Mexico 2011 Pan American Men's Softball Championship
20-23 Luge Park City, Utah Luge Junior World Cup #1 and #2
20-12/4 Volleyball Tokyo, Japan Men's FIVB World Cup
24-27 Boxing London, England Olympic Test Event
24-28 Boxing Surgut, Russia World Cup of Petroleum Countries
25-27 Figure Skating Moscow, Russia Rostelecom Cup
26-27 Fencing London, England Olympic Test Event
26-27 Luge Igls, Austria Luge World Cup #1