2014 Nationals presented by Labatt begin Saturday in Philadelphia

By Terry Kolesar | Feb. 26, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 25, 2014

2014 USA Curling National Championships begin Saturday in Philadelphia

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Philadelphia is set to host the top U.S. curling teams in the nation as the 2014 USA Curling National Championships presented by Labatt begin Saturday at IceWorks Skating Complex.

Ten men's and 10 women's teams take the ice for the first draw of competition at 4:30 p.m. ET Saturday at the arena that hosted a sold-out championship final back in 2012. The men's defending champion - the Brady Clark rink of Washington - is back in the field looking for a repeat. Standing in their way are several former national champions, including seven-time champion Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), five-time champion Paul Pustovar (Hibbing, Minn.), four-time national champ and three-time Olympian John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), and two-time champ Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.). The men's field also features 2012 champion Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), 2010 champion Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.) and 2003 champ Eric Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) as well as teams led by Peter Stolt (Plymouth, Minn.) and Alex Leichter (Southborough, Mass.).

On the women's side, the defending champions opted not to compete in this year's Nationals post-Olympic Winter Games as the Erika Brown rink waived this opportunity. The field of 10 women's teams features several past champions including 10-time champ and two-time Olympian Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), 2005 champion and 2006 Olympian Cassie Potter (St. Paul, Minn.), 2010 champ Nina Spatola (McFarland, Wis.), and 2011 winner Caitlin Maroldo (Rochester, N.Y.). The women's field also features skips looking to win their first women's national title, including last year's runner-up and 2006 Olympian Courtney George (St. Paul, Minn.), two-time junior champion Alex Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.), Gabrielle Coleman (Mountain View, Calif.), Amy Lou Anderson (Plymouth, Minn.), 18-year-old Sarah Anderson (Broomall, Pa.) and Nationals rookie 20-year-old Abigayle Lindgren (Grand Forks, N.D.).

The round robin will take place Saturday through March 6 with the Page playoffs getting underway that evening. 

Along with declaring the new national champions for USA Curling, this event will also determine who will represent USA in the 2014 World Curling Championships. In contrast to years past, the World teams will be not automatically be the winners of the Nationals. A points-based Order of Merit system has been implemented based on major event results throughout the season, which will include the 2014 Nationals. The 2014 World representatives will be the men's and women's teams that finish with the most points and in the top three in the Nationals. To view the current Order of Merit Standings, click here.

The 2014 Ford Women's World Championship will take place March 15-23 in St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, while the 2014 World Men's Championship will be staged March 29-April 6 in Beijing, China, marking the first time Asia will host the men's world event.

Live webstream will be featured throughout the championship courtesy of USA Curling's partnership with the 12th End Sports Network. All the action from Sheet C/3 will be streamed live. A complete game schedule is available here. In addition, live scores, stats and standings from USA Curling partner CurlingZone. 

The official Twitter hashtags for the event will be #2014Nats or #curling. USA Curling will post updates and photos to its Facebook page here

Media credentials can be picked up at the main entrance at IceWorks. If you have not requested a credential yet, click here

Here is a look at the competing field of 20 teams and their hometowns:

Women:
Team A. Anderson: Amy Lou Anderson (Plymouth, Minn.), Megan Delaney (Minneapolis, Minn.), Theresa Hoffoss (Minneapolis, Minn.), Julie Smith (St. Paul, Minn.), Shelly Kinney (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Team S. Anderson: Sarah Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), Courtney Slata (Aston, Pa.), Taylor Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), Emily Anderson (Broomall, Pa.)

Team Carlson: Alex Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.), Jamie Sinclair (Manotick, Ontario), Emilia Juocys (Rochester, Mich.), Sherri Schummer (St. Paul, Minn.)

Team George: Courtney George (St. Paul, Minn.), Aileen Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.), Amanda McLean (St. Paul, Minn.), Monica Walker (Brighton, Mass.)

Team Coleman: Gabrielle Coleman (Mountain View, Calif.), Elle LeBeau (Lynnwood, Wash.), Maureen Stolt (Plymouth, Minn.), Cynthia Eng-Dinsel (Kirkland, Wash.), Em Good (Seattle)

Team Lindgren: Abigayle Lindgren (Grand Forks, N.D.), Katie Sigurdson (Grand Forks, N.D.), Emily Lindgren (Grand Forks, N.D.), Kelsey Colwell (Fargo, N.D.), Madeline Shaft (Grand Forks, N.D.)

Team Maroldo: Caitlin Maroldo (Rochester, N.Y.), Rebecca Andrew (West Henrietta, N.Y.), Abigail Morrison (Falmouth, Mass.), Emily Walker (Sudbury, Mass.)

Team Potter: Cassie Potter (St. Paul, Minn.), Jamie Haskell (Bemidji, Minn.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.), Stephanie Sambor (White Bear Lake, Minn.)

Team Pottinger: Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Verona, Wis.), Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.), Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.)

Team Spatola: Nina Spatola (McFarland, Wis.), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Sophie Brorson (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Men:
Team Pustovar: Paul Pustovar (Hibbing, Minn.), Joey Bonfoey (Duluth, Minn.), Paul Lyttle (Bothell, Wash.), Harold Rutan (Olympia, Wash.), Ted Trolson (Superior, Wis.)

Team Brown: Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Jon Brunt (Portage, Wis.)

Team Clark: Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Sean Beighton (Seattle), Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Philip Tilker (Seattle)

Team E. Fenson: Eric Fenson, Josh Bahr, Jon Chandler, Mark Haluptzok, Riley Fenson (all of Bemidji, Minn.)

Team P. Fenson: Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.), Ryan Brunt (Portage, Wis.)

Team George: Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Bill Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Dean Gemmell (Short Hills, N.J.), Martin Sather (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.)

Team Leichter: Alex Leichter (Wayland, Mass.), Brandon Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.), Derek Corbett (Rochester, N.Y.), Jeff Pulli (Rochester, N.Y.)

Team McCormick: Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Rich Ruohonen (Minneapolis, Minn.), Colin Hufman (Seattle)

Team Shuster: John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), Jeff Isaacson (Gilbert, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.)

Team Stolt: Peter Stolt (Plymouth, Minn.), Brad Caldwell (Andover, Minn.), Erik Ordway (Minneapolis, Minn.), Clayton Orvik (Minneapolis, Minn.), Stephen Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.)

The 2014 Nationals field also is rich in family ties, including:

Sisters: The Sarah Anderson rink features four sisters; Cassie Potter & Jamie Haskell; Tabitha Peterson and Tara Peterson; Abigayle Lindgren and Emily Lindgren; Monica Walker and Emily Walker

Brothers: Pete Fenson and Eric Fenson; Brandon Corbett and Derek Corbett

Siblings: Tyler George and Courtney George; Matt Hamilton and Becca Hamilton

Cousins: Jeff Isaacson and Shawn Rojeski; Jon Brunt and Ryan Brunt

Husband/wife: Pete Stolt and Maureen Stolt

Father/son: Eric Fenson and Riley Fenson

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, and The RAM Restaurant & Brewery and is partnered with Hilton, United Airlines, Ludus Tours, CurlingZone, and RJM Licensing, Inc. 

Follow us on Facebook (search for USA Curling) and Twitter (@terry_usacurl). Be sure to visit the new USA Curling website at www.usacurl.org. 

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For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, terry.kolesar@usacurl.org, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).

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