Theo Brunner waits for serve (FIVB).
Theo Brunner waits for serve (FIVB).

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 4, 2024) – This is it, the last beach event for Olympic qualifying points and the final chance for Trevor Crabb and Theo Brunner to overtake Miles Evans and Chase Budinger for the second U.S. men’s roster spot. On the women’s side, Betsi Flint and Julia Scoles return to international competitionfor the first time this year in Ostrava.

Elite 16 Ostrava

The final Elite 16 of the Olympic qualifying period will take place June 6-9 in Ostrava, Czech Republic, with qualification on June 5.

The top three U.S. men’s teams are set to compete, and all eyes will be on the pairs of Crabb/Brunner and Evans/Budinger.

Evans/Budinger are ahead of Crabb/Brunner by 540 points in the provisional Olympic rankings heading into the event. The rankings become official on June 10.

No. 6 pair and top U.S. team Andy Benesh and Miles Partain are in the main draw. Both Evans/Budinger and Crabb/Brunner will begin in the qualification phase.

Competing for the women will be Kelly Cheng/Sara Hughes, Julia Scoles/Betsi Flint, Kim Hildreth/Teegan Van Gunst and Terese Cannon/Megan Kraft.

This will be Scoles and Flint’s first international competition together since the 2023 Beach World Championships where they tied for ninth.

Miles Evans serves (FIVB)
Miles Evans serves (FIVB)

Stare Jablonki recap

Evans/Budinger tightened their grip on the lead for the final Olympic position with the results of Challenge Warmia Mazury in Stare Jablonki, Poland, last week.

Evans/Budinger won the round of 16 match vs. Herrera/Gavira (ESP) 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) and fell in the quarterfinals to Boermans/de Groot (NED) 0-2 (21-12, 21-18). They were the highest finishing U.S. men of the weekend with a tie for fifth. Crabb/Brunner tied for 19th.

Futures Spiez Recap

BPT Futures Spiez ran from May 29-June 2 in Switzerland.

Avery Poppinga and Madison Shields were the highest finishing pair, tying for fifth. Poppinga/Shields defeated Bentele/Bossart (SUI) 2-0 (21-19, 21-9) in the round of 12, but were defeated by Piersma/Bekhuis (NED) 2-0 (21-17, 21-17) in the quarterfinals.

Carly Kan and Maddie Anderson tied for ninth.  

Futures Krakow

BPT Futures Krakow runs from June 6-9 in Poland . The U.S. will be represented in the men’s tournament by Alex Ukkelberg and Alex Biz.  

Futures Sveti Vlas

BPT Futures Sveti Vlas also runs congruently with Krakow and Elite 16 Ostrava June 6-9.

Logan Webber and Hagen Smith are the lone U.S. men’s team competing as they look to replicate their results from BPT Futures Battipaglia where they won gold.

Representing the U.S. women are Kennedy Coakley/Brooke Sweat and Carly Kan/Maddie Anderson.

Trevor Crabb (FIVB).
Trevor Crabb (FIVB).

Olympic Rankings

Elite 16 Ostrava will be the deciding competition for the final U.S. men’s position. While Evans/Budinger finished ahead of Crabb/Brunner last week, the results did not shift the numbers from the prior week. This is the final time we will look at the provisional rankings before the pairs become official.

As of June 2, Evans/Budinger are provisionally ranked No. 13 and now have 8,400 points on 23 tournaments played. This puts them just 540 points ahead of Trevor Crabb/Theo Brunner. The latter pair are tied for the No. 14 provisional ranking and have 7.860 points on 21 tournaments played.

Miles Partain/Andy Benesh shuffled back down to No. 6 in the provisional Olympic rankings this week. Partain/Benesh have 9,580 points on 13 tournaments played.

The U.S. women remain unchanged ahead of the finalization of the Paris Olympic pairs.

Taryn Kloth and Kristen Nuss are No. 2 in the provisional Olympic rankings behind only Ana Patricia/Duda (BRA). Nuss/Kloth have 11,960 points on 19 tournaments played. Espinho was expected to be the final international tournament before the Paris games for the top-ranked U.S. women.

Kelly Cheng and Sara Hughes remain No. 3 in the provisional Olympic rankings with 10,800 points on 16 tournaments played. Hughes/Cheng have the W designation for a quota place obtained for winning the 2023 Beach World Championships.

Cheng and Hughes will compete at Ostrava this week. They are coming off a gold medal at Queen & King of the Court in Hamburg where they defeated Ana Patricia/Duda.

Current World Rankings – Men

Current World Rankings – Women

Provisional Olympic Ranking – Men 

Provisional Olympic Ranking – Women

How to Qualify for the Olympics


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