The first round of competition of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling gets underway at 1 p.m. CT Sunday at Scheels Arena.
2013 national champion Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) will lead his team against 2006 Olympic bronze medallist and seven-time national champion Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.). In the other men's game, 2012 national champion Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario) faces 2010 national champion Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.).
The opening ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. following the first round of action. In the 7 p.m. draw, defending U.S. Olympic Team Trials champion John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) plays Team Clark while Fenson and George square off in the battle of the Minnesota skips. The women's competition, featuring four teams, gets underway on Monday evening.
USA Curling will webstream the round robin action live leading up to the playoffs at www.usacurl.org. NBC Sports Network is slated to air up to 15 hours of live playoff action from the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling in Fargo in November. 2010 Olympian John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.) will be a member of the on-air talent for the NBCSN broadcast.
The women's berth for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games has been secured, whereas the men's berth will need to be earned in December at the final Olympic Qualification Event, Dec. 10-15, in Füssen, Germany. The winner of the men's side of the Olympic Trials will represent the U.S. at the Olympic qualifier.
A complete game schedule and media accreditation form can be downloaded at www.usacurl.org (click on the Olympic Trials logo).
Here is a look at the teams competing in the 2014 U.S. Olympic Trials for Curling:
Team Clark: Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Sean Beighton (Seattle), Philip Tilker (Seattle), Darren Lehto (Seattle), Greg Persinger (Anchorage, Alaska)
Team Fenson: Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.), Ryan Brunt (Portage, Wis.)
Team George: Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Rich Ruohonen (Minneapolis, Minn.), Colin Hufman (Seattle), Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.)
Team McCormick: Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), Bill Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Dean Gemmell (Short Hills, N.J.), Martin Sather (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.)
Team Shuster: John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Duluth, Minn.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.)
Team Brown: Erika Brown (Oakville, Ontario), Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz (Minneapolis, Minn.), Ann Swisshelm (Chicago)
Team George: Courtney George (St. Paul, Minn.), Aileen Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.), Amanda McLean (St. Paul, Minn.), Monica Walker (Brighton, Mass.), Jordan Moulton (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Team Potter: Cassie Potter (St. Paul, Minn.), Jamie Haskell (Bemidji, Minn.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.), Stephanie Sambor (St. Paul, Minn.)
Team Pottinger: Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Verona, Wis.), Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.), Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.)
Winning teams will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee.
Visit the USA Curling website at www.usacurl.org and connect with USA Curling on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell)