CURLING: Six men's teams qualify for National Championships

Jan. 07, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 7, 2008 Six men's teams qualify for National Championships (STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - After the completion of the qualifying round, five veteran teams and one rookie team qualified for the 2008 U.S. National Championships next month in Hibbing, Minn. Qualified to the 2008 National Championships so far are teams skipped by defending champion Todd Birr (Mankato, Minn.), 2006 Olympian Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), last year's Nationals runner-up Craig Disher (Langdon, N.D.), 2000 national champion Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), 2004 national champion Jason Larway (Lynnwood, Wash.) and rookie skip 21-year-old Willie Wilberg (Green Bay, Wis.). The final four berths for the Men's Nationals will be determined at the Challenge Round Jan. 24-27 at the four-sheet Eau Claire Curling Club in Eau Claire, Wis. Birr and Fenson won berths at the Waupaca, Wis., qualifier after winning their pools. Advancing to the Challenge Round from this qualifier were teams skipped by Jeremy Roe (Rio, Wis.) and Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.). Disher won the Bismarck qualifier going undefeated in round robin play. Teams skipped by Eric Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) and Greg Romaniuk (Snohomish, Wash.) moved on to the Challenge Round. Larway's team won a tiebreaker at the Fairbanks qualifier to move on. The Ken Persinger team of the hometown club was the runner-up. Out at the East qualifier, Brown and Wilberg both won tiebreakers to earn the Nationals berths. This will be Wilberg's first appearance at the Men's Nationals after playing at the junior level. Scott Edie (Middletown, Md.), Bryan Wight (Canandaigua, N.Y.) and Kent Beadle (Hudson, Wis.) will head to the Challenge Round. The 2008 U.S. National Championships will take place Feb. 16-23 at the Hibbing Curling Club in Hibbing, Minn. The women's field for Nationals will now be just seven teams as the Alexandra Carlson team has withdrawn from the event after advancing to the 2008 U.S. Junior Nationals. Here is a look at the rosters so far for the 2008 U.S. National Championships: MEN'S FIELD: Team Birr: Todd Birr (Mankato, Minn.), Bill Todhunter (Appleton, Wis.), Greg Johnson (Appleton, Wis.), Kevin Birr (St. Peter, Minn.), Paul Pustovar (Hibbing, Minn.) Team Brown: Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), John Dunlop (Milwaukee, Wis.), Pete Annis (Owatonna, Minn.) Team Disher: Craig Disher (Rolla, N.D.), Kevin Kakela (Rolla, N.D.), Zach Jacobson (Langdon, N.D.), Carey Kakela (St. John, N.D.), Kurt Disher (Hansboro, N.D.), Coach Joel Jacobson (Langdon, N.D.) Team Fenson: Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.), Joe Polo (Bemidji, Minn.), Tom O'Connor (Golden Valley, Minn.), Coach Bob Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) Team Larway: Jason Larway (Lynnwood, Wash.), Colin Hufman (Seattle), Greg Persinger (Anchorage, Alaska), Joel Larway (Lynnwood, Wash.), Steven Demlow (Bothell, Wash.) Team Wilberg: Willie Wilberg (Green Bay, Wis.), Charles Taggart (Green Bay, Wis.), Alex Leichter (Wayland, Mass.), Andrew Quigley (Green Bay, Wis.), Coach Bill Wilberg (Green Bay, Wis.) WOMEN'S FIELD: Team Gervais: Gillian Gervais (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Stephanie Roland (East Grand Forks, Minn.), Stephanie Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.), Sarah Felchle (Bismarck, N.D.), Coach Dave Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.) Team Lank: Patti Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.), Caitlin Maroldo (Rochester, N.Y.), Chrissy Haase (Schenectady, N.Y.), Ann Swisshelm Silver (Chicago), Erika Brown (Oakville, Ontario), Coach Steve Brown (Madison, Wis.) Team Lin: Charrissa Lin (New Haven, Conn.), Janice Langanke (Middletown, N.J.), Nicole Arseneault (Brick, N.J.), Rachel Sethi (Falls Church, Va.), Coach Sandra McMakin (Potomac, Md.) Team McCormick: Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.), Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.), Coach Wally Henry (Beaver Dam, Wis.) Team Potter: Cassie (Johnson) Potter (Minneapolis), Jamie Haskell (Bemidji, Minn.), Jessica Schultz (Duluth, Minn.), Maureen Brunt (Minneapolis.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.), Coach Jim Dexter (St. Paul) Team Sormunen: Aileen Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.), Courtney George (Duluth, Minn.), Molly Bonner (Virginia, Minn.), Jordan Moulton (Highland Park, Ill.), Coach Bob Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) Team Stuhlman: Anne Stuhlman (New Hartford, N.Y.), Diane Higgins (Richfield Springs, N.Y.), Lisa Mitchell (Lancaster, Mass.), Karen Rogowski (New York Mills, N.Y.) USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T, General Motors, The Home Depot, and Bank of America through a joint marketing program with the U.S. Olympic Committee. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).