Katie Zaferes will have a long grind ahead of her when the women's triathlon begins this morning, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
"I look at other events and I think, 'Oh, my god, I would never want to be a gymnast,' " the North Carroll alumna and former Hampstead resident told USA Triathlon this week. "You get one chance and you're done. I get two hours to make up for mistakes. So it's been cool to see the challenges that others are facing and see them succeed in those and blow people's minds."
Zaferes, 27, received a confidence boost when she earned her first World Triathlon Series win last month in Hamburg, Germany.
"The beginning of the season wasn't what I wanted. I was really disappointed in myself. With everything going well physically and in training, when it would come to the race I wasn't executing like I knew," she said. "To go to Hamburg, knowing I had all the tools with skills and physical capabilities and just being able to execute that and not really think about it, just go — I'm so much more calm going into Rio."
Today's race, which begins at 10 a.m., is a 1,650-yard swim (1,500 meters), 24.9-mile bike ride (40 kilometers) and 6.2-mile run (10 kilometers).
The most challenging part of the course, Zaferes said, will be the downhill bike ride.
"I worked with Oscar Saiz — he's been working with me on the downhill and he works with downhill mountain bikers and some of the tour riders," she said. "That's helped a lot."
Regardless of how the race goes, Zaferes is just glad to be taking part in the games.
"To me, that part just fills my heart to the top of the brim and it makes me happy," she said. "I'm representing the U.S., I'm representing my family, I'm representing so many different things, and that's what I take the most pride in."
Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (Mount Saint Joseph) underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday, a cleanup procedure to address an injury that had hampered him throughout the summer and into training camp. Coach John Fox announced the procedure after the Bears' 23-22 loss to the New England Patriots late Thursday night. Fox isn't setting a timetable for Fuller's return. And the setback could keep the young defensive back on the shelf for the team's Sept. 11 regular-season opener in Houston and potentially beyond. Internally, the Bears are optimistic the cornerback's recovery won't drag out and that he should be in line to return to practice within a few weeks. Still, the front office and coaching staff had concluded that Fuller's discomfort was hindering his play and impeding his development. "Injuries get in the way of progress," Fox said. "It was kind of getting worse and worse. Something [with his knee] didn't get better. And I'm not a big fan of doing the same stuff. It was bothering him and we wanted to see and get it fixed."
Navy's women's soccer team received a goal from a freshman in her first game, a postgame standing ovation from the huge crowd in attendance, and a congratulatory few words from athletic director Chet Gladchuk a few minutes later. Everything but a victory over the No. 5 team in the nation.
No. 5 Stanford controlled play throughout, and after a scoreless first half built a two-goal lead before hanging on for a 2-1 victory over Navy in the women's soccer season opener for both teams Friday night before an announced 2,004 at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility, the fourth-largest crowd since the field opened in 2001.
Alana Cook scored off a corner kick in the 53rd minute for the first goal, then Michelle Xiao made it 2-0 with a goal in the 76th minute before the Mids' Cadie Higginson converted a cross in the box less than a minute later. The Cardinal finished with an 18-3 advantage in shots.
—David Broughton, Baltimore Sun Media Group
More women's soccer:Julianna Cabrera scored in the sixth minute and Maddie Hart in the 11th to propel visiting Loyola Maryland to a 3-1 win over Mount St. Mary's in the season opener for both teams. Cabrera Julianna Cabrera scored in the 51st minute to make it 3-0.
Midfielder Joe Walters was the only member fo the Chesapeake Bayhawks named to the All-Major League Lacrosse Team that was announced on Friday.
Major League Lacrosse: Midfielder Joe Walters (Maryland) was the only member of the Chesapeake Bayhawks named to the All-MLL team announced Friday. The roster is voted on by MLL head coaches and general managers. Walters, a 10-year veteran, finished the season with a career-high 50 points on 23 goals and 27 assists in the 12 games he played in. The first team also included New York Lizards midfielder Paul Rabil (Johns Hopkins), Florida Launch defenseman Tucker Durkin (Johns Hopkins) and Lizards defenseman Joe Fletcher (Loyola Maryland). Ohio Machine midfielder Tom Schreiber was named Most Valuable Player. He received 38 points in the voting, followed by Rabil (30) and Walters (27). Denver Outlaws midfielder Drew Snider (Maryland) finished tied for fourth with 16.
NASCAR: Dover International Speedway is adding more than 500 feet of SAFER barriers in time for the Sprint Cup race in October. Track officials said Friday that they are adding the safety barriers along the outside walls in turns 2 and 4 and under a walkover bridge. The barriers help absorb impact in a crash. The track is also increasing space for haulers in the Sprint Cup garage.
Christine Nairn scored twice to give the Washington Spirit a 2-1 win over the Houston Dash and sole possession of first place in the National Women's Soccer League.
National Women's Soccer League: Christine Nairn(Archbishop Spalding) scored in the 30th minute on a penalty kick and in the 63rd minute for her first two goals of the season to give the visiting Washington Spirit (10-3-2) a 2-1 win over the Houston Dash (3-8-3) on Thursday night and sole possession of first place. Kealia Ohai, the Dash's top scorer this season, converted in the 90th minute.