Teams off to solid start on World Curling Tour

Sept. 05, 2017, 11:19 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept. 5, 2017

U.S. teams performing well early in the season on World Curling Tour

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Two weeks of competition on the World Curling Tour (WCT) are already in the books and U.S. teams have been turning in strong performances so far.

In the season opener in Winnipeg, Canada, reigning U.S. national champion John Shuster (Superior, Wis.) led his team to the semifinals of the Spider Performance Icebreaker at The Granite, Aug. 25-27. Shuster and teammates Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.), and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) lost the event final to Canada’s Braden Calvert rink, 8-4, to finish with a 3-1 record to start the season. Fellow U.S. High Performance Program teammate Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.) took his team to the semifinals before also losing to Calvert’s Canadian rink.

The second week of the WCT featured Heath McCormick’s team turning in a semifinal finish at the Stu Sells Tankard in Oakville, Ontario. McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario) and teammates Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Korey Dropkin (Duluth, Minn.), and Tom Howell (Milwaukee, Wis.) defeated China’s top men’s team in the quarterfinals before falling to South Korea’s Chang-Min Kim rink, 8-5, to finish with a 5-3 record. Cory Christensen’s team was 1-3 in the women’s division.

Mixed doubles took center stage in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada, over the past weekend with two U.S. squads reaching the playoffs of the Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Championship. Reigning mixed doubles national champions Becca Hamilton and Matt Hamilton (both of McFarland, Wis.) advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual champions Chelsea Carey and Colin Hodgson of Canada. The U.S. duo finished with a 7-3 overall record. The U.S. team of Monica Walker and Jason Smith (both of St. Paul, Minn.) had a strong showing as well as they reached the quarterfinals and had a 6-3 record. Three other U.S. teams finished with .500 records, including Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.) and Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska) and Jared Zezel (Duluth, Minn.), and Tabitha Peterson (St. Paul, Minn.) and Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.).

A big weekend awaits the U.S. teams this week as five rinks will compete in the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge in Regina, Saskatchewan. Shuster and McCormick will compete in Tier 1 of the men’s event while Craig Brown, Jamie Sinclair and Nina Roth will compete in Tier 2 of the highly competitive event. Christensen’s team will head to Oakville Fall Classic in Oakville, Ontario. Results are posted on the WCT website at www.worldcurl.com.

The four U.S. Junior High Performance Program teams will make their season debuts at the U21 Royal Slam in Kitchener, Ontario. Teams skipped by Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Nick Connolly (Seattle), Cora Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska), and Madison Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.) will compete this weekend against top junior teams from Canada. Results can be found at http://juniorslamseries.com/events/51/.

Results for U.S. HPP teams will be posted each week at http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/For-Athletes/High-Performance-Program/Team-Results-201718-Season.

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Thorne, BalancePlus, and Brakebush, and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, and CurlingZone.

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).