Jeff Plush, a 25-year sport and live entertainment industry veteran, is the new CEO of USA Curling. As a highly visible senior executive for multiple organizations, Plush served as the first Commissioner of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). Previously, Plush was the Managing Director of the Colorado Rapids Soccer Club and the Director of Corporate Development for a company that represented many Olympic athletes.
“Jeff Plush brings a wealth of experience and talent that will be instrumental in the ongoing growth we see at USA Curling,” said interim CEO Rich Lepping. “We are very much looking forward to working with Jeff as he helps move the sport and the business forward, while honoring our traditions, and most importantly, our athletes.” “I am thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to lead USA Curling as we chart a course for dynamic change. The chance to work closely with Courtney, the Board and our tremendous athletes is one that I simply could not pass up. And the privilege of returning to the Olympic movement is something that I am particularly excited about." “The United States Curling Association Board of Directors is thrilled to have Jeff onboard as we embrace the opportunities that are before us both at the grassroots and high-performance levels,” said Courtney Schmidt, USCA Board Chair. “I am looking forward to introducing Jeff to the world of curling at our National Championships in Spokane.”
Fred Maxie, Em Good, Mac Guy, and Fran Walsh took the State Mixed title by defeating Alexander Couckuyt, Mari Torii-Karch, Lennox Weiner, and Meghan Taylor in a best of three championship. Maxie et al. go to the National Championship in Chaska, Minnesota March 28 - April 4. They won the national title in 2016.
The State Fair themed Junior Spiel was a fantastic success, exceeding all expectations! This was the largest junior spiel ever at GCC, consisting of 14 teams with 3 teams from Denver and 5 from Portland.
The Piglettes, Connor Kauffman, Alex Couckuyt and Andrew Bell, Coach Chris Sherry, took the advanced Division: Animals at the State Fair
Ayrshire, Caiden Rose, Avery Wilson, Genessa Capra, Tate Reeder-Holman Coach: Nancy Maule, took the Intermediate Division: Cattle Breeds at the State Fair
And huge thanks to all of the FANTASTIC Volunteers!
• Ice Crew : Don, John, Tim, Dave, Severin and Laila
• Kitchen Crew : led by the amazing Brandon & Teresa Lee, KT Kauffman, Sue Lorvick, Alison Buchanan, Jeff Bell, Marcy Couckuyt, Sharon Chan, Suzanne McLaughlin, and Grillmaster Phil Shyrock
• Carnies: Eric and Rachel Lin
• Set up: Jeff Pearson, Lori Markham, Arianna Rauliuk, and Klare Frank
• Clean up: Jami Odell, Connor Kauffman, Andrew Bell, and Alex Couckuyt
• Bartender: Anna Muzzy
• And the Celebrity Judges: U18 Coaches Chris Sherry, Fran Walsh, and James Cramer
Congratulations to all of the 5 and Under Curlers who participated in this year’s spiel. This event is one of our favorite and signature events of the year, as we very much enjoy seeing all of our newer curlers learning more about this great sport! We admire how spirited, passionate and motivated everyone was, and appreciate everyone for bringing their A game with regard to costumes. Everyone really “rocked” the music festival theme!
Special thanks to all of the volunteers who helped put the event together this past weekend including the organizing committee, kitchen crew, and everyone who pitched in during the spiel including Chris Sherry, Phil Shryock, Greg Schatzman, Ashley Price, Kelsey Rhodes, Lori Markham, Lisa Rugen,. The entire ice crew was on-point as always with amazing ice and the bartenders did a heck of a job – thank you everyone!
Thanks to all of the coaches for taking time out of their weekend to come out and help everyone learn and better understand curling.
Congratulations to the winning teams for the three brackets:
- #1: Slide and the Family Stone: Eric Sanders, Bryan Reich, Ian McQuistion, Morgan Steinert Riley, Coach Tim Eng
- #2: Hammer Time: Bowen Zheng, Brent Burton, Deborah Sharpe, Heidi Kiliany, Coach Shelby Sweet
- #3: Four Non-Blondespielers: Melanie Zahn, Sam O’Mullane, Rick Mathis, Suzanne Sowinska, Coach Adam Seymour
The Costume Contest was extremely close with Runback DMC winning by one vote: Mike Williams, Matt McLaughlin, Chris Riley, Kelley Chow, Coach Bill Rugen
Thank you so much for another successful 5 and Under Spiel!
In the Washington Club Championships, Joel Larway, Doug Kauffman, Darren Lehto, and Peter Sommer cruised to the Men's title while Miyo Konno, Aryn Grause, Berit Tomten, and Ashley Duranleau took the Women's. Larway et al. decisively won four straight games while Konno et al. did it the hard way where it all came down to the last shot in the last possible game. The last four of the five games were tied after eight ends - and the last two were tied after ten and required an extra end. The winners advance to Club National Championships at Potomac CC in Laurel, Maryland March 7-14.
Second place for the women (and oh, so close) was Gina Triolo, Cori Tomlinson, Gena Tadych, and Kerri Sidebottom. For men, second place was John Shoesmith, Andrew Ernst, Edward Strachan, and John Harrison.
Thanks to Dominic Arico, Joel Russ, June Fox, and Cindy and Ken Vasey for officiating; Scott McLean and Suzanne McLaughlin for handling the bar; and to Dave, Severin, and Don for making the ice.
February 8-15, the 2020 USA Curling Nationals are on the campus of Eastern Washington University in Cheney, about 20 minutes from Spokane. The Nationals need lots of help putting on this event where men and women curlers vie for spots to the world championships. This is their call for volunteers
- Signup for Curling ambassadors, ceremony helpers, ice helpers (learn what it takes to be an ice tech), volunteer/athlete check in, on-ice camera operators (will train)
- Signup for Officials
Accommodations: The holiday Inn Express is $129 per room. Ask for the USA Curling Nationals rate: (509) 235-1100 or use code "USC" at the website: www.hiexpress.com/cheneywa.
For any questions about volunteering, please contact Doug Potter.
After dropping the first game, Connor Kauffman, Alexander Couckuyt, Andrew Bell, and Arjun Thomas came back with three straight to win the U-18 Boys' spot in the U-18/Senior State Championships. The girls' spot was uncontested and went to Arianna Rauliuk, Allison R Tan, Abigail Lin, Mari Torii-Karch, and Faye Alesse. Both go on to the National Championships March 17 - 22, 2020 in Wausau, Wisconsin
Sharon Vukich, Jaynie Pleasants, June Fox, and Betty Kozai took the senior women's. Charles Smith, Dave Debois, Ethan Bradford, and Barry VanWieringen took the men's.
Thanks to Brent Campbell for providing dinners on Friday and Saturday, Joe Roberts and Joel Russ for officiating, and Cindy and Ken Vasey for timing the U-18 games.