USA Hockey adds 2 more players to Olympic women’s pool

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USA Hockey added two more players to its pool of potential Olympic women’s team members in a move reminiscent of Herb Brooks in 1980.

Forward Haley Skarupa and defenseman Sidney Morin joined the national team, making 26 players (23 skaters, three goalies). The 23-player Olympic roster will be named New Year’s Day (20 skaters, three goalies).

The original 23-player national team was named in May, but it was not the Olympic team. USA Hockey always had the option of adding players to the pool in the run up to the Winter Games.

Cayla Barnes, a freshman defenseman at Boston College, was added in October.

Now enter Skarupa, a member of the last three world championship teams, and Morin, who has no Olympic or senior world championships experience.

Skarupa, 23, was the only one of 12 skaters who made all three world championships teams in this Olympic cycle who didn’t make the original cut for the national team in May. Forty-two players tried out for the original 23 spots.

Morin, 22, has never played for the senior national team but was one of 12 defenseman who tried out last spring. Ultimately, seven were chosen, with an eighth added in Barnes.

Morin completed her career at the University of Minnesota-Duluth last season and now plays professionally in Sweden. She is the only player on the national team coming over from a European club.

The additions conjure memories of the 1980 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team.

A month before the Lake Placid Winter Games, Coach Herb Brooks famously added two forwards — Minnesota freshmen Aaron Broten and Timmy Harrer — but the original player pool that had been together for six months convinced Brooks to send them home.

The U.S. women have two more pre-Olympic exhibitions versus rival Canada on Sunday (NBCSN, 4 p.m. ET) and Dec. 15 ahead of the Olympic roster announcement.

The Americans won three of their four meetings so far this fall, including in the Four Nations Cup final Nov. 12.

Two-time Olympians and twins Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando did not play in any of the four games at the Four Nations Cup, reportedly as healthy scratches.

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U.S. Women’s National Team
Goalies
Nicole Hensley
Alex Rigsby
Maddie Rooney

Defensemen
Cayla Barnes — Added in October
Kacey Bellamy — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Megan Bozek — Olympian (2014)
Kali Flanagan
Megan Keller
Monique Lamoureux-Morando — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Gigi Marvin — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Sidney Morin — Added in November
Emily Pfalzer
Lee Stecklein — Olympian (2014)

Forwards
Hannah Brandt
Dani Cameranesi
Alex Carpenter — Olympian (2014)
Kendall Coyne — Olympian (2014)
Brianna Decker — Olympian (2014)
Meghan Duggan — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Amanda Kessel — Olympian (2014)
Hilary Knight — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson — Olympian (2010, 2014)
Sidney Morin — Added in November
Annie Pankowski
Kelly Pannek
Amanda Pelkey

Valencia Marathon produces historic times in men’s, women’s races

2022 Valencia Marathon
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Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum and Ethiopian Amane Beriso won the Valencia Marathon and became the third-fastest man and woman in history, respectively.

Kiptum, a 23-year-old in his marathon debut, won the men’s race in 2 hours, 1 minute, 53 seconds. The only men to ever run faster over 26.2 miles are legends: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09 world record, plus a 2:01:39) and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele (2:01:41).

Kipchoge made his marathon debut at age 28, and Bekele at 31.

Beriso, a 31-year-old whose personal best was 2:20:48 from January 2016, stunned the women’s field Sunday by running 2:14:58. The only women to have run faster: Kenyans Brigid Kosgei (2:14:04) and Ruth Chepngetich (2:14:18).

Ethiopian Letesenbet Gidey finished second in 2:16:49, the fastest-ever time for a woman in her marathon debut. Gidey is the world record holder at 5000m and 10,000m.

Valencia is arguably the top annual marathon outside of the six World Marathon Majors. The next major marathon is Tokyo on March 5.

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Aleksander Aamodt Kilde wins Beaver Creek downhill

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BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Norway’s Aleksander Aamodt Kilde won his second straight World Cup downhill race to start the season, despite feeling under the weather.

Although dealing with an illness all week in training, Kilde powered through the challenging Birds of Prey course Saturday in a time of 1 minute, 42.09 seconds. It was enough to hold off Marco Odermatt of Switzerland by 0.06 seconds. James Crawford of Canada was third to earn his second career World Cup podium finish.

Kilde also won the opening downhill last weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.

“It’s been a tough week,” Kilde said after the race. “I caught the flu in Lake Louise after a very, very nice weekend. It really hit me hard. Then I got a couple of days to rest and take it easy. … I felt OK. Still feeling it a little bit in my system.”

The Beaver Creek crew members had the course in solid shape a day after a downhill race was canceled due to high wind and snowfall.

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Kilde reached speeds around 75 mph in picking up his eighth World Cup downhill victory. That tied him with Kjetil Jansrud for the third-most downhill wins in the World Cup discipline among Norwegian men. The total trails only Aksel Lund Svindal (14) and Lasse Kjus (10).

“I found a really, really good set-up with my equipment and also with my skiing,” Kilde explained. “I believe in myself. I trust in myself. I have a good game plan. When I stand on the start, I don’t dwell on anything. I know that this plan is what I do and when I do that it’s going to be fast.”

Odermatt has been on the podium in all four World Cup races this season as he tries to defend his overall World Cup title. The 25-year-old finished third in the opening downhill of the season last weekend. He’s also won a giant slalom race and a super-G.

Ryan Cochran-Siegle wound up in seventh place for the top American finish. He was ninth in the downhill in Lake Louise.

“It’s been solid,” Cochran-Siegle said of his strides in the discipline. “A couple of little things here and there that pushed me off that top three. You have to ski with a lot of intensity and ski without abandon, in a sense. Today was a good step.”

Switzerland’s Beat Feuz, who won the Olympic downhill gold medal at the Beijing Games last February, tied for ninth.

The Beaver Creek stop on the circuit comes to a close Sunday with a super-G race. Odermatt will be the favorite after holding off Kilde in the opening super-G last weekend.

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