STEVENS POINT, Wis. - Eight wheelchair curling athletes are still in the hunt for five spots on Team USA for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
The first of three tryouts concluded Nov. 16 in Utica, N.Y. The field was narrowed to the following eight athletes:
* James Pierce, 45, North Syracuse, N.Y. Pierce competed at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games as well as three world wheelchair championships (2008, bronze; 2007 and 2005)
* Julia Dorsett, 40, West Chester, Penn.
* Jacqueline Kapinowski, 45, Point Pleasant, N.J. In her first year of curling, Kapinowski made Team USA and won bronze at the 2008 World Wheelchair Championship.
* Tammy Delano, 35, Rome, N.Y.
* Augusto Perez, 36, East Syracuse, N.Y. USA Curling's 2008 Male Athlete of the Year, Perez competed at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games as well as the two world wheelchair championships (2008, bronze, and 2007)
* Roy Heathcoat, 43, Franklin, Wis.
* James Joseph, 46, New Hartford, N.Y. Joseph competed at the 2006 Paralympic Winter Games as well as three world wheelchair championships (2008, bronze; 2007 and 2005)
* Patrick McDonald, 42, Orangevale, Calif.
Two additional tryouts will take place in the next two weeks. The athletes will compete at the Fourth Annual Cathy Kerr Memorial Bonspiel on Nov. 29 in Ottawa and the Second Annual U.S. Open International Bonspiel, Dec. 5-7, in Utica. The team selection will be announced Dec. 7 or 8.
The selected five-person team, in accordance with World Curling Federation rules, must be composed of both genders. Four athletes form the on-ice team with a fifth athlete selected as the alternate. They will compete at the 2009 World Wheelchair Championship, Feb. 21-28, in Vancouver, British Columbia, and be nominated to Team USA for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games, March 12-21, 2010, also in Vancouver.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).