FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2017
Field set for 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – A field of three women’s and four men’s teams will compete in this fall’s 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling.
The Nina Roth and John Shuster rinks qualified for the Olympic Team Trials by placing in the Top 5 at the 2017 World Curling Championships. The USA Curling Olympic Team Selection Committee has selected two additional women’s and three additional men’s team to fill the field – the Cory Christensen, Jamie Sinclair, Craig Brown, Brady Clark, and Heath McCormick rinks.
The Trials will take place Nov. 11-18 at Baxter Arena, a 7,800-seat multi-purpose facility on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus. USA Curling will host the event with UNO’s Baxter Arena and the Omaha Sports Commission, in partnership with the Aksarben Curling Club and the United States Olympic Committee.
The men’s and women’s teams that win the Trials will be named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team, pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee. The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 will take place Feb. 9-25 in South Korea, where the U.S. will be among a field of 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams competing for Olympic gold.
Team Shuster advanced to the bronze-medal game at the 2017 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Edmonton last month while Roth’s rink finished fifth at the 2017 World Women’s Championship in Beijing in March to secure enough Olympic qualification points for the U.S. in both disciplines as well as direct berths to the Trials for their teams.
Sinclair’s team won the 2017 National Championships and finished the year ranked No. 21 on the World Curling Tour Order of Merit Standings for the 2016-17 season. Roth’s squad concluded a successful season at No. 18. Christensen’s young rink completed its first full season on the women’s tour ranked No. 37 in the world.
Team McCormick was the top performing U.S. men’s team on the Tour this year with a final ranking of 19, followed by Shuster’s rink at No. 20. Brown’s team had a solid season as well, completing the season as No. 29 in the world. Clark’s rink, which won the national title in 2016, finished third at this year’s Nationals and had a final world ranking of 37 to earn its selection to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.
The Trials field will feature six Olympians – John Shuster (2014, 2010, 2006), John Landsteiner (2014), Craig Brown (2014), Chris Plys (2010), Jason Smith (2010), and Joe Polo (2006). Here is a look at the teams qualified to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials:
Team Christensen: Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.), Sarah Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Taylor Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.)
Team Roth: Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.), Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minn.), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.)
Team Sinclair: Jamie Sinclair (St. Paul, Minn.), Alex Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.)
Team Brown: Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Jason Smith (St. Paul, Minn.), Sean Beighton (Seattle), Quinn Evenson (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Team Clark: Brady Clark (Seattle), Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Colin Hufman (St. Paul, Minn.), Phil Tilker (Seattle)
Team McCormick: Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Korey Dropkin (Duluth, Minn.), Tom Howell (Milwaukee, Wis.)
Team Shuster: John Shuster (Superior, Wis.), Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.)
The USA Curling Olympic Team Selection Committee is comprised of Derek Brown, Director of High Performance; Rick Patzke, Chief Executive Officer; Phill Drobnick, men’s national team coach; Ann Swisshelm, women’s national team coach; Leland Rich, World Curling Federation representative; and Dean Gemmell, USOC Athletes’ Advisory Council; and Bill Stopera, USCA Athletes’ Advisory Council.
For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).