Friday, August 31, 2007
Durante, 27, of Garwood, N.J., won the all-around title in his last competition, the Visa Championships earlier this month. He's captain of a six-person men's squad that includes Denver's Guillermo Alvarez and Morrison's Alexander Artemev.
An expert on the parallel bars, Durante moved to the OTC in 2004, two years after he graduated from Stanford with a bachelor's degree in human biology. Since then, he has won three all-around national championships, including back-to-back crowns at the Winter Cup Challenge.
The world championships - a two-hour, tape-delay broadcast will air at 2 p.m. Oct. 7 on NBC - is the only qualifier for the 2008 Beijing Games in artistic gymnastics, with the top 12 men's and women's teams advancing. The Rhythmic World Championships (Sept. 19-23 in Patras, Greece) and Trampoline & Tumbling World Championships (Nov. 2-4 in Quebec City, Canada) also are Olympic qualifiers.
OTC residents heading to judo worlds
Two OTC residents will compete Sept. 13-16 at the World Judo Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Kirk Hoffmann (220-plus pounds) and Ryan Reser (160) are part of a 16-person team participating in the largest world championships in recent history. The event is expected to draw 776 judo players from 129 countries.
The world championships is a qualifier for Beijing. The top six athletes in 14 weight classes earn Olympic quota spots.
In other judo action, eight Colorado Springs residents are among the 200-plus athletes competing Saturday at the Fall Classic National Championships in Coral Springs, Fla. The tournament is a domestic qualifier for the U.S. Olympic team trials, which will be held June 13-14, 2008, in Las Vegas.
Josh O'Neil will fight in the men's 132-pound division, fresh off a fifth-place finish at the International German Championships. Taylor Takata, the No. 2 seed in the men's 145-pound division, was the gold medalist at the 2006 Senior National Championships and the runner-up at this year's nationals. Micah Bellamy is a contender in the men's 220-pound division.
The top seed in the women's 97-pound division is Alexa Liddie, a silver medalist at the 2007 Pan American Championships. Anna Palmer is the top seed in the women's 114-pound division, riding high after a third-place finish at nationals. Pauline Macias is not seeded in the women's 125-pound division after skipping nationals. D'Anya Bierra, a 1991 world team member, is coming off a third-place finish at the Golden State Open in the women's 138-pound division, which includes Christal Ransom.
Team USA into semifinals
The U.S. men's basketball senior national team, which features Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, will face Puerto Rico in Saturday's semifinals of the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas. Argentina will play Brazil in the other semifinal. The semifinal winners receive Olympic berths.
A look at the TV schedule:
Saturday, Argentina vs. Brazil, 2 p.m., ESPN360.com; U.S. vs. Puerto Rico, 5 p.m., ESPN Classic
Sunday, bronze medal game, 2 p.m., FSN; gold medal game, 5 p.m., FSN
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Josh O'Neil, Anna Palmer and Taylor Takata will fight Saturday in Coral Springs, Fla. The men's and women's winners in seven Olympic weight classes are almost guaranteed spots at the trials.
O'Neil placed fifth in the men's 132-pound division this month at the International German Championships. Palmer was the bronze medalist in the women's 114-pound division at the Senior National Championships in April. Takata took fifth in the men's 145-pound division at the 2006 Pan American Championships.
The trials will be held June 13-14, 2008, in Las Vegas. The top eight athletes in each Olympic weight class after the Senior National Championships (April 11-12, 2008, in Virginia Beach, Va.) are eligible to participate.
Women's soccer on the tube
The U.S. women's national soccer team, which is No. 1 in the FIFA world rankings, will compete next month at the Women's World Cup in China. A top-three finish qualifies the U.S. for the 2008 Beijing Games.
A look at the TV schedule:
Sept. 11, vs. North Korea, 2:55 a.m., ESPN2
Sept. 14, vs. Sweden, 2:55 a.m., ESPN
Sept. 18, vs. Nigeria, 5:55 a.m., ESPN
Sept. 22, Quarterfinals*, TBD, ESPN2
Sept. 26-27, Semifinals*, 6 a.m., ESPN2
Sept. 30, Championship game*, 6 a.m., ESPN2
Monday, August 27, 2007
Two Olympic Training Center residents placed first Sunday at the Golden State Open, a senior-level judo tournament in Pomona, Calif.
Anna Palmer, a bronze medalist at the Senior National Championships in April, won the women's 114-pound division. Pauline Macias defeated San Jose State's Corinne Geier to win the women's 125-pound division in her first point event since the spring.
Three other OTC residents competed: Shane Simerly took third in the men's 160-pound division; Christal Ransom was the runner-up in the women's 138-pound division; and Pan American Games team member Grace Ohashi finished fifth at 138 pounds.
The World Judo Championships, a qualifier for the 2008 Beijing Games, will be held Sept. 13-16 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The U.S. Olympic team trials are June 13-14, 2008, in Las Vegas.
Team USA starts second round
The U.S. men's basketball senior national team, led by Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, will begin second-round play today at the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas. A top-two finish qualifies the U.S. for Beijing.
A look at the TV schedule:
Today, vs. Mexico, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Tuesday, vs. Puerto Rico, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Wednesday, vs. Uruguay, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Thursday, vs. Argentina, 10 p.m., ESPN2
Saturday, first semifinal, 2 p.m., ESPN360.com; second semifinal, 5 p.m., ESPN Classic
Sunday, bronze medal game, 2 p.m., FSN; gold medal game, 5 p.m., FSN
Saturday, August 25, 2007
The Fort Carson boxer defeated 2006 National Golden Gloves champion Yathomas Riley 21-11 to win the light-heavyweight division of the U.S. Olympic team trials today in Houston.
Downs, a 32-year-old member of the World Class Athlete Program who has served in Iraq, led 5-1 after the first round. He was ahead 12-2 following the second round and took an 11-point lead into the fourth round.
To qualify for the 2008 Beijing Games, Downs must finish in the top eight at the World Amateur Boxing Championships, which are Oct. 23 to Nov. 3 in Chicago. He also has chances to qualify at two continental events next year in the Americas.
“It’s always a good win for the oldest guy in USA Boxing,” said Downs, who can become the oldest known American boxer to compete in the Olympics. “I need to thank all my teammates for pushing me. It was an extremely tough bracket, and all eight competitors earned their way here.”
Other trials winners were Luis Yanez in light-flyweight; Rau’shee Warren in flyweight; Sadam Ali in lightweight; Javier Molina in light-welterweight; Demetrius Andrade in welterweight; Shawn Estrada in middleweight; Deontay Wilder in heavyweight; and Michael Hunter in super-heavyweight. Championship fights in bantamweight and featherweight will be held Sunday.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Melson dropped a 24-14 decision against Charles Hatley in the welterweight division. He was outscored 4-0 in the fourth round.
“I knew he was a smart boxer,” Hatley said. “I kept him on the outside and used my reach. I beat him to a lot of punches.”
Shepherd suffered a 22-7 loss against two-time national champion Mike Wilson in the super-heavyweight division. He trailed 5-0 after the first round and 17-5 after three rounds.
“You have to have a good first round. You have to be winning or be even because you can’t dig yourself out of a hole,” Wilson said. “He was a big, strong guy, and I wanted to let him come at me. He was pretty tired, but I felt good.”
Fort Carson’s only remaining boxer, Christopher Downs, will face the winner of a light-heavyweight bout between Yathomas Riley and Angel Concepcion in Saturday’s first round of championship fights.
Downs topped Riley and Concepcion earlier this week at the trials. Since he’s undefeated, he has two chances to beat the challenger’s bracket winner. If necessary, the second round of championship fights will be held Sunday.
Olympic Training Center gets new director
Glen Werner Roseboom, a former assistant women's basketball coach at Colorado College, was promoted to director of the Olympic Training Center.
Roseboom received the appointment on the same day Tracy Lamb was named director of the OTC in Chula Vista, Calif. Both had previously served as OTC associate directors - Roseboom in Colorado Springs and Lamb in Lake Placid, N.Y.
"We are elevating two outstanding individuals," said Jim Scherr, chief executive officer of the U.S. Olympic Committee. "Both have proven their abilities to manage the needs of the athletes at our training centers and will be leaders as directors."
In 1997, Roseboom began working at the OTC as a resident life coordinator. She became central scheduling coordinator in 1998 and operations manager in 1999. She has supervised a 66-person staff since 2005, when she was appointed associate director.
Roseboom spent five seasons on the staffs of Debra Hunter, Julie Soriero and Kelly Mahlum at CC, most recently working the sidelines in 2003. She played in the 1993 Division III Final Four for the College of St. Benedict, a Catholic liberal arts school in St. Joseph, Minn. She holds a bachelor's degree in social work from the College of St. Benedict and a master's degree in sport management from Northern Illinois.
"This is a dream to me," Roseboom said of her new job at the OTC. "But one that I have prepared for, and I'm ready to begin this fascinating experience. Starting out as a coordinator in the OTC resident hall, I've seen this center from the ground up. There is no greater time than now to work for the USOC, especially as we lead into the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. This is challenging, and with the talented staff we have in Colorado Springs, I feel we're up to that challenge."
USABA awarded grant
The Colorado Springs-based U.S. Association of Blind Athletes received a grant between $10,000 and $22,000 from the Olympic Opportunity Fund, which aims to increase diversity and youth participation in Olympic and Paralympic sports.
The recently created fund is part of a USOC objective to make the Olympic movement more relevant in American society through grassroots programs. Ten other sports organizations were awarded grants.
Founded in 1976, USABA has impacted more than 100,000 blind athletes. Its 3,000-plus members compete in nine sports, including cycling, judo and swimming.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Downs beat 2006 National Golden Gloves champion Yathomas Riley 11-9 to move within a win of his first trials title. He led 2-1 after two rounds and 8-5 after the third.
"Today's bout was a chess match," said Downs, a 32-year-old member of the World Class Athlete Program who has served in Iraq. "I didn't know he was going to change his tactics that much. He's usually a pressure boxer, and today he was looking to counter and keep the score low. I think I was a little quicker than him.
"The week has gone well. Some bouts have been a little closer than I'd like. But I'm still here, and I'm going to box in the finals, so I couldn't ask for a better outcome."
Other winners from Fort Carson were Boyd Melson, who scored a 28-27 punch-count victory over Anthony Campbell in the welterweight division, and Andrew Shepherd, who defeated Lenroy Thompson 18-17 in a tiebreaker in the super-heavyweight division.
Three Fort Carson boxers suffered their second loss of the double-elimination trials: Mahlon Kerwick was stopped by Charles Hatley in the fourth round of a welterweight bout; Zacchaeus Hardrick was stopped by Dominic Wade in the third round of a middleweight fight; and Joe Guzman dropped a 23-11 decision to David Carey in the heavyweight division.
Melson and Shepherd will compete Thursday in challenger's bracket fights. Downs will compete Saturday in the first round of championship bouts.
Wariner sets sights on world record
Watch out, Michael Johnson. Jeremy Wariner wants your world record.
Coming off a personal-best time in his last competition, Wariner, the reigning 400-meter Olympic and world champion, believes he can top Johnson's mark at the World Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which begin Friday in Osaka, Japan.
Wariner, 23, of Waco, Texas, ran the sixth-fastest time ever, 43.5 seconds, two weeks ago at a meet in Stockholm, Sweden. It's the fastest time since the retired Johnson, a five-time Olympic gold medalist and nine-time world champion, set the world record of 43.18 seconds at the 1999 world championships in Seville, Spain.
"My workouts have been getting better. I'm stronger. I'm quicker," Wariner said Monday on a conference call. "I'm trying to defend my world title. At the same time, I know I can get the world record."
Wariner will compete Tuesday. Also competing Tuesday will be Air Force graduate Dana Pounds, the only American woman throwing the javelin in Osaka.
A look at the TV schedule for the world championships:
Saturday, 4 p.m., Versus
Sunday, 10:30 a.m., NBC; 4 p.m., Versus
Monday, 5 p.m., Versus
Tuesday, 5 p.m., Versus
Aug. 29, 5 p.m., Versus
Aug. 30, 5 p.m., Versus
Aug. 31, 5 p.m., Versus
Sept. 1, noon, NBC; 7 p.m., Versus
Sept. 2, 11 a.m., NBC; 4 p.m., Versus
Supercross coming to Springs
More than 400 riders are expected Saturday for the Supercross State Championship at the Norris-Penrose Event Center.
The annual race is sanctioned by the Sports Riders Association of Colorado. Quads will compete at 5 p.m. and supercross pro riders will race at 7 p.m. for a $5,000 purse.
Tickets are $17.50 for adults and $11.50 for children 6-11. Children 5 and under are free. Tickets may be purchased at www.ticketswest.com; by calling 719-576-2626; or in person at the Norris-Penrose box office starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, call John Murray at 719-331-6234.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Downs, a 32-year-old member of the World Class Athlete Program, knocked out Cymone Kearney less than 90 seconds into a light-heavyweight semifinal bout. The win came a day after Downs beat Angel Concepcion 8-7 in a quarterfinal fight.
The only other Fort Carson boxers to post victories were Mahlon Kerwick, who won on walkover against 2005 National Silver Gloves champion Domonique Dolton in the loser's bracket of the welterweight division, and Zacchaeus Hardrick, who beat Angel Santos in the loser's bracket of the middleweight division.
Also representing Fort Carson, flyweight John Franklin, bantamweight Alexis Ramos, lightweight James Villa, welterweight Boyd Melson, light-heavyweight Jeffrey Spencer, heavyweight Joe Guzman and super-heavyweights William Moore and Andrew Shepherd lost bouts. Franklin, Moore, Ramos, Spencer and Villa were sent home with their second loss of the double-elimination trials.
Downs, Guzman, Hardrick, Kerwick, Melson and Shepherd will fight again Wednesday. The trials last through Sunday.
Downing wins gold in Poland
Colorado Springs wrestler Katie Downing, a world team member, defeated Volha Khilko of Belarus last weekend to win a gold medal at 147.5 pounds at the Warsaw Cup in Poland.
Eight other Colorado Springs wrestlers competed in the women's freestyle event: Stephanie Murata finished second at 105.5 pounds; Sally Roberts was the runner-up at 130 pounds; Kristie Marano took second at 158.5 pounds; Marcie Van Dusen placed fifth at 121 pounds; Leigh Jaynes finished fifth at 130 pounds; and Sharon Jacobson (121), Tori Adams (138.75) and Randi Miller (138.75) lost preliminary matches.
The first Olympic qualifier in wrestling is the world championships, which are Sept. 17-23 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Quota spots for the 2008 Beijing Games go to the top eight finishers in men's Greco-Roman, men's freestyle and women's freestyle.
Team USA on the tube
The U.S. men's basketball senior national team, which features Denver Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, will begin play Tuesday at the FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas. A top-two finish will qualify the U.S. for Beijing.
A look at the TV schedule:
Wednesday, vs. Venezuela, 9 p.m., ESPN Classic
Thursday, vs. Virgin Islands, 9 p.m., ESPN Classic
Saturday, vs. Canada, 1 p.m., ESPN2
Sunday, vs. Brazil, 7 p.m., ESPN2
Monday, vs. TBD, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Aug. 28, vs. TBD, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Aug. 29, vs. TBD, 9 p.m., ESPN2
Aug. 30, vs. TBD, 10 p.m., ESPN2
Sept. 1, first semifinal, 2 p.m., ESPN360.com; second semifinal, 5 p.m., ESPN Classic
Sept. 2, bronze medal game, 2 p.m., FSN; gold medal game, 5 p.m., FSN
Monday, August 20, 2007
Downs, a 32-year-old member of the World Class Athlete Program who has served in Iraq, scored an 8-7 decision over Angel Concepcion. If Downs makes the 2008 Beijing Games, he'll become the oldest known American boxer to compete in the Olympics.
"I grade myself a C-minus," Downs said of his trials debut. "My opponent was trying to make me come forward, and I gave up too many points."
Fort Carson's Boyd Melson, a gold medalist at the 2004 World Military Championships, beat WCAP teammate Mahlon Kerwick 19-8 in the welterweight division. In a second bout of Fort Carson soldiers, Andrew Shepherd downed William Moore 17-13 in the super-heavyweight division.
"I hate boxing my teammates," Melson said. "I got over the hump more than last time (against Kerwick). ... I got my rhythm down in the third (round). When I get my rhythm down, it's very difficult to break it."
Three Fort Carson boxers lost their preliminary bouts: Alexis Ramos was stopped by reigning National Golden Gloves champion Ronny Rios in the third round of the bantamweight division; James Villa lost to Mason Menard 34-9 in the lightweight division; and Jeffrey Spencer dropped a 12-10 decision to Cymone Kearney in the light-heavyweight division. Three Fort Carson soldiers - flyweight John Franklin, heavyweight Joe Guzman and middleweight Zacchaeus Hardrick - will box later today in the double-elimination event that lasts through Sunday.