Field set for 2010 U.S. Junior Nationals
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Ten men's teams and 10 women's teams will vie for 2010 USA Curling Junior National Championships titles beginning Jan. 23 at the six-sheet Bemidji Curling Club in Bemidji, Minn.
With the defending men's champions aged out of junior competition, for the first time in four years a new junior men's champion will represent the U.S. at the 2010 World Junior Championships March 5-14 in Flims, Switzerland. Alexandra Carlson's squad from Minnesota will look to defend their title won last year in Devils Lake, N.D., in Carlson's last year of junior eligibility. The 21-year-old skip, a student at Milwaukee's Marquette University, led her team to a fifth place finish at the 2009 World Juniors in Vancouver at the 2010 Olympic curling venue. The U.S. junior men, led by 2010 Olympian Chris Plys, captured the bronze in 2009 after winning gold in 2008.
Action at the 2010 U.S. Juniors gets underway at 7 p.m. Jan.23 following the opening ceremony. Many junior nationals veterans return this year along with a few rookies. Men's 2009 runner-up Aaron Wald (Chisholm, Minn.) looks to move up a step on the ladder this season. 2009 playoff teams skipped by Sean Beighton (Edmonds, Wash.) and Blake Morton (McFarland, Wis.) also look to improve their results from a year ago. Morton, the 2010 Wisconsin junior champion, also qualified for the 2010 USA Curling Men's National Championship. However, if he should win the 2010 junior title, he'll have to make a decision on whether to compete at World Juniors or play in Kalamazoo, Mich., at the Men's Nationals as they take place at the same time. Brandon Corbett's 2008 runner-up team should be in the hunt as well.
On the women's side, in addition to Carlson's defending champions, 2008 U.S. junior bronze medalist Miranda Solem (Cohasset, Minn.) and Wisconsin's Becca Hamilton rink, with three members from the 2008 junior nationals gold-medal team, could make a run at the title.
Here is a look at the qualified teams for the 2010 U.S. Junior Nationals:
Alaska: Matt Birklid, Atticus Wallace, Ryan Flippo, Oliver Halvarson (all of Fairbanks, Alaska)
Illinois: Matthew Brown (Deerfield, Ill.), Spencer Tuskowski (Chicago), Daniel Journeaux (Plover, Wis.), Maximilian Armstrong (Wildwood, Ill.)
Massachusetts: Stephen Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), Korey Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), Thomas Howell (Brick, N.J.), Ryan McMakin (Potomac, Md.), Cameron Ross (Princeton Junction, N.J.)
Minnesota 1: Trevor Andrews, Aaron Tasa, Jarl Wagner, Mark Fenner (all of Bemidji, Minn.), Benjamin Wilson (Hibbing, Minn.)
Minnesota 2: Aaron Wald (Chisholm, Minn.), Joshua Bahr (Bemidji, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), John Muller (Hibbing, Minn.)
New York: Brandon Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.), Derek Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.), Chris Bond (Henrietta, N.Y.), Kell Orlando (Seneca Falls, N.Y.)
North Dakota: Erik Jensen (Bismarck, N.D.), Marcus Tucker (St. Thomas, N.D.), Ryan Tucker (St. Thomas, N.D.), Kyle Kakela (Rolla, N.D.), Paul Hopkins (Bismarck, N.D.)
Washington: Sean Beighton (Edmonds, Wash.), Derrick McLean (Bothell, Wash.), Sam Galey (Seattle), Joseph Purvis (Kenmore, Wash.)
Wisconsin 1: Blake Morton (McFarland, Wis.), Marcus Fonger (Cottage Grove, Wis.), Tommy Juszczyk (McFarland, Wis.), Calvin Weber (McFarland, Wis.)
Wisconsin 2: Tom Gabower (Janesville, Wis.), Daniel Brown (Winona, Minn.), Marcus Oldenburg (McFarland, Wis.), Mikey Juszczyk (McFarland, Wis.), Mark Brown (Winona, Minn.)
Alaska: Vicky Persinger, Jennifer Taylor, Tina Persinger, Meredith Hazen, Christa Czajka (all of Fairbanks, Alaska)
Massachusetts 1: Jillian Walker (Sudbury, Mass.), Nikki Rossetti (Framingham, Mass.), Nicole Arsenault (Brick, N.J.), Abigail Morrison (Falmouth, Mass.)
Massachusetts 2: Laura Murphy (Falmouth, Mass.), Emily Walker (Sudbury, Mass.), Kathryn Annand (Hollis, N.H.), Laura Bernier (Upton, Mass.)
Minnesota 1: Alex Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.), Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.)
Minnesota 2: Miranda Solem (Cohasset, Minn.), Alex Schieber (Portage, Wis.), Julie Lilla (Trempealeau, Wis.), Chelsea Solem (Cohasset, Minn.)
New York: Katlyn Beebe (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Lauren Bond (Alden, N.Y.), Julie Greenebaum (Peapack, N.J.), Kayla Martin (Utica, N.Y.)
North Dakota 1: Amanda Tucker (St. Thomas, N.D.), Jesa Legacie (Edmore, N.D.), Rachel Tharalson (Hoople, N.D.), Anna Hopkins (Bismarck, N.D.)
North Dakota 2: Ann Podoll (Fargo, N.D.), Christina Lammers (Relies Acres, N.D.), Casey Hatlevoll (Fargo, N.D.), Vanessa Manlove (Fargo, N.D.), Beth Podoll (Fargo, N.D.)
Wisconsin 1: Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Karlie Koenig (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.), Grace Gabower (Janesville, Wis.)
Wisconsin 2: Kimberly Rhyme (Green Bay, Wis.), Erin Wallace (Green Bay, Wis.), Chloe Pahl (Green Bay, Wis.), Susan Kawleski (Stevens Point, Wis.)
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