USA Field Hockey Weekly Report

Jan. 28, 2014, 1:49 p.m. (ET)

USA Field Hockey Weekly Report - Week of January 27, 2014

It’s great to e-meet you! I’m Kait Mitchell the Communications Manager at USA Field Hockey. Steve Locke has so kindly turned his pen over to me for this week’s edition of the Executive Director's Weekly Report for another perspective into our vast and wonderful hockey universe.  

USA Field Hockey is sending the best of luck to our Men’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Qualifying team as they head to Puerto Rico on Thursday! The Men’s Junior Squad will take the pitch in Puerto Rico February 4-8 as they aim to qualify for the YOG in Nanjing, China this summer by earning one of the top two spots at the preliminary tournament. Adding more excitement to the matches in Puerto Rico and Nanjing, Hockey 5’s is the game format of choice.

The squad will be lead under the direction of Rutger Wiese and Ben Maruquin. Wiese, Harvard University’s assistant field hockey coach, is the head coach of the Junior Men's East Coast High Performance Training Center team, a position he has held since 2011. He helped the squad to a national championship in his first year.  Maruquin, the Ventura County High Performance Training Center head coach, is a former field hockey sweeper for the Men’s National Team and competed in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. The performance analyst on staff is Chris Pothier and Dr. Jason Reynolds is the team’s trainer.

Last week was the digital sendoff to our winter family in sport as they departed for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The 230-member team is comprised of 105 women and 125 men – the largest athlete delegation for any nation in the history of the Olympic Winter Games. The United States will be represented in all 15 disciplines across seven sports, and up to 94 of the 98 medal events that will be contested in Sochi. I’m a big fan of random facts and hope you’ll enjoy the interesting tidbits below regarding our Winter Olympic team!

  • Thirty-eight states are represented, including 20 athletes hailing from California, 19 from both Colorado and Minnesota, and 18 from New York.
  • The oldest and youngest Olympians on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team – women’s curler Ann Swishelm, 46, and freestyle skier Maggie Voisin, 15 – are separated by 31 years, while the average age is 26.
  • Men’s ice hockey forward Blake Wheeler is the tallest member of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team at 6 feet, 5 inches, and standing 5 feet tall, figure skater Marissa Castelli and short track speedskater Jessica Smith are the shortest members of Team USA.
  • Team USA features one set of twins in women’s ice hockey players Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux. Other team siblings include cross-country skiers Sadie and Erik Bjornsen, curlers Erika and Craig Brown, Nordic combined athletes Bryan and Taylor Fletcher, snowboarders Arielle and Taylor Gold, ice hockey players Amanda and Phil Kessel, and figure skaters Maia and Alex Shibutani.
  • Twenty-two members of Team USA have children; there are 19 fathers and three mothers.
  • Seven athletes serve in the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program – including men’s bobsled athletes Nick Cunningham, Chris Fogt, Steven Holcomb, Justin Olsen and Dallas Robinson; and luge athletes Preston Griffall and Matt Mortensen.

Want to see a specific field hockey story on USA Field Hockey's website? Feel inclined to nominate a Hockey Hometown Hero? Well, we want to hear from you! Our Communications Department strives to be connected to our community at all levels of play. In an effort to assist with this goal, we’re asking you submit your stories and pictures by completing a simple template and emailing it to Click here for your communications form!

Your tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram images that are tagged with @usafieldhockey keep us inspired, laughing and proud to have such a great community of athletes, umpires, coaches and hockey fanatics. Keep it up! There are so many exciting 2014 contests and campaigns in the works that we can’t wait to share with you.

The Ellen DeGeneres Show:  Where do hipsters not like to swim? In the mainstream.

Stay classy, hockey friends!

Kait Mitchell
USA Field Hockey
Communications Manager