WWUG Trials

By Terry Kolesar | May 29, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

The Cory Christensen and Chris Plys rinks will represent the U.S. at the 2013 Winter World University Games (WWUG) after winning the WWUG Trials on May 2-4 at the Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, Minn.

Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Becca Funk (McFarland, Wis.), Anna Bauman (Duluth, Minn.), Sonja Bauman (Duluth, Minn.), and Mackenzie Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.) defeated the Becca Hamilton rink, 9-4, in the tiebreaker to determine the champion. The Christensen rink now joins the Chris Plys team, which clinched its berth the day prior, as Team USA for the 2013 WWUG on Dec. 11-21 in Trentino, Italy.

2010 Olympian Plys (Duluth, Minn.) and teammates Stephen Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), and Korey Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.) finished the WWUG Trials with a perfect 6-0 record after defeating reigning men’s national champion Sean Beighton (Seattle), 8-5. The Dropkin brothers and Zezel are no strangers to wearing USA on their backs either. All three have won the U.S. junior championship and competed at World Junior Championships. In addition, the younger Dropkin was a member of Team USA at the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games. Plys won gold at the 2007 WWUG, was a member of Team USA at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, and won the U.S. junior title four times. In addition, Plys won gold at the 2008 World Juniors. 

The 2013 Winter World University Games will feature curling for the fifth time. The U.S. men won gold in 2007, which was the only time to date the U.S. curling team won a medal at this event. That 2007 team featured Plys. The Universiade is hosted by the International University Sports Federation (FISU)

and is one of the biggest international multi-sport and cultural festivals in the world. The event is held every two years. The event consists of six compulsory sports: skiing – Alpine skiing and Nordic skiing (ski jumping, cross country and Nordic combined); biathlon; ice hockey (men’s and women’s); short-track speedskating; figure skating (individual, pairs and dancing) and synchronized skating; snowboarding; curling; and up to three optional sports also chosen by the host country. The event features around 2,500 participants from 50 countries.