Field set for 2009 US Junior Nationals

Jan. 28, 2009, 5:20 p.m. (ET)

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - The Lake Region Curling Club in Devils Lake, N.D., is set to host the 2009 USA Curling Junior National Championships on Feb. 7-14.

The winning teams will represent the U.S. at the 2009 World Junior Championships on March 5-15 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Ten men's and 10 women's teams from across the U.S. will compete in the weeklong competition at the four-sheet curling club in North Dakota. Action gets underway at noon on Feb. 7 following the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Teams will play in a round robin format followed by the Page Playoffs beginning on Feb. 13.

Both defending champions are back for another run at their respective titles. On the men's side, Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Aanders Brorson (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Perushek (Eveleth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.) and Coach Phill Drobnick (Duluth, Minn.) completed a dream season in 2008 after capturing gold at the World Junior Championships. Plys has won four junior national titles (2008, 2007, 2006, 2003) and helped his team qualify for next month's 2010 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling as well. Last year's bronze medalist Brad Caldwell (Mapleton, Minn.) is back again with his Wisconsin teammates for another run at the title.

On the women's side, defending champion Nina Spatola (McFarland, Wis.) will go for her third junior title after finishing eighth at the 2008 World Juniors. Joining Spatola are 2008 junior champions Anna Plys (Duluth, Minn.), sister of Chris Plys; and Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), sister of Matt Hamilton. New to the team this year is former junior champion Molly Bonner (Virginia, Minn.). 2008 runner-up Alexandra Carlson is back for the third time while Alaska's Kaye Hufman is making her sixth straight appearance. Miranda Solem's 2008 bronze medalist-winning team will make their second appearance at junior nationals as well.

Here's a look at the competing field and the states/regions represented for the 2009 USA Curling Junior National Championships:


Alaska: Matt Birklid, Atticus Wallace, Oliver Halvarson, Ryan Flippo, Chad Persinger, Coach Ron Birklid, Coach David Flippo (all of Fairbanks, Alaska)

Massachusetts: Alex Leichter (Wayland, Mass.), Jeffrey Wadsworth (Wayland, Mass.), Ryan Hallisey (Medfield, Mass.), Jared Wydysh (Holland Patent, N.Y.), Coach Matt Mielke (Somerville, Mass.)

Minnesota 1: Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Aanders Brorson (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Perushek (Eveleth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Coach Phill Drobnick (Duluth, Minn.)

Minnesota 2: Aaron Wald (Chisholm, Minn.), Josh Bahr (Bemidji, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), John Muller (Hibbing, Minn.), Coach Timothy Muller (Hibbing, Minn.)

New Hampshire: Nate Clark (Nashua, N.H.), Benjamin Clark (Worcester, Mass.), Alex Colacchio (East Falmouth, Mass.), Will Cousins (Medfield, Mass.), Matt Soares (East Falmouth, Mass.), Coach Grayland Cousins (Medfield, Mass.)

North Dakota 1: Jerod Roland (Petersburg, N.D.), Ben Wilson (Hibbing, Minn.), Stephen Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), Cooper Smith (Bismarck, N.D.), Coach Robert Walstad (Minot, N.D.)

North Dakota 2: Evan Workin, Jared Daul, Parker Shook, Weston Porchardt (all of Fargo, N.D.), Adam Kitchens (Devils Lake, N.D.), Coach Paul Workin (Fargo, N.D.), Coach Jerry Daul (Fargo, N.D.)

Washington: Sean Beighton (Edmonds, Wash.), Derrick McLean (Bothell, Wash.), Sam Galey (Seattle), Joe Purvis (Kenmore, Wash.), Coach Murray Beighton (Edmonds, Wash.)

Wisconsin 1: Brad Caldwell (Mapleton, Minn.), Matthew Collom (Galesville, Wis.), Tyler Vietanen (Trempealeau, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Mapleton, Minn.), Coach Lynita Delaney (Trempealeau, Wis.)

Wisconsin 2: Blake Morton (McFarland, Wis.), Marcus Fonger (Cottage Grove, Wis.), Tommy Juszczyk (McFarland, Wis.), Tom Gabower (Janesville, Wis.), Coach Ed Sheffield (Madison, Wis.)


Alaska: Kaye Hufman, Vicky Persinger, Tina Persinger, Tressa Shuttleworth, Coach Leland Rich (all of Fairbanks, Alaska)

Illinois: Hannah Elko (Cambria, Wis.), Kendall Moulton (Lake Forest, Ill.), Taylor Lawless (Hawthorn Woods, Ill.), Kaitie Kovach (Milwaukee, Wis.), Coach Bill Swisshelm (Northbrook, Ill.)

Massachusetts: Amanda Tucker (St. Thomas, N.D.), Nikki Rossetti (Framingham, Mass.), Mackenzie Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.), Madisson Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.), Coach Bennet Tucker (St. Thomas, N.D.)

Minnesota 1: Alexandra Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.), Coach Kent Brorson (Duluth, Minn.), Coach Howard Restall (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Minnesota 2: Miranda Solem (Cohasset, Minn.), Alexandra Schieber (Portage, Wis.), Julie Lilla (Centerville, Wis.), Chelsea Solem (Cohasset, Minn.), Coach Mike Solem (Cohasset, Minn.)

New York: Katlyn Beebe (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Nicole Arsenault (Brick, N.J.), Rebecaca Andrew (Towson, Md.), Abigail Morrison (Falmouth, Mass.), Coach Ted Beebe (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.)

North Dakota 1: Lauren Kirkeby (Grafton, N.D.), Rachel Tharalson (Hoople, N.D.), Jesa Legacie (Edmore, N.D.), Anna Hopkins (Bismarck, N.D.), Abigayle Lindgren, Coach James Aasand (Grafton, N.D.)

North Dakota 2: Ann Podoll (Fargo, N.D.), Christina Lammers (Reiles Acres, N.D.), Casey Hatlevoll (Fargo, N.D.), Vanessa Manlove (Fargo, N.D.), Coach Ruth Podoll (Fargo, N.D.), Coach Frank Podoll (Fargo, N.D.)

Wisconsin 1: Nina Spatola (McFarland, Wis.), Molly Bonner (Virginia, Minn.), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Anna Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Coach Lisa Schoeneberg (Monona, Wis.)

Wisconsin 2: Miranda Schieber (Portage, Wis.), Karlie Koenig (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Leila Smith (Andover, Mass.), Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.), Coach Rusty Schieber (Portage, Wis.)