USA Curling has announced the men's and women's teams that will compete at the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling, taking place Nov. 11-18 in Omaha, Nebraska.
The field will be comprised of four men's teams and three women's teams. One of each gender qualified by virtue of its placement at the 2017 World Curling Championships, while the rest of the teams were selected by the USA Curling Olympic Team Selection Committee.
Qualifying automatically into the women's field was the Nina Roth rink, which placed fifth at the World Women's Curling Championship. Roth and teammates Tabitha Peterson, Aileen Geving and Becca Hamilton helped Team USA earn its women's curling quota with that placement as well, locking down enough qualifying points to guarantee the U.S. women a spot at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
Joining the Roth rink will be the Sinclair rink, comprised of Jamie Sinclair, Alex Carlson, Vicky Persinger and Monica Walker. The foursome won the 2017 USA Curling National Championships and finished the season ranked No. 21 on the World Curling Tour Order of Merit Standings behind Roth's rink, ranked No. 18. Rounding out the field at trials is the Christensen rink, skipped by Cory Christensen and comprised of Sarah Anderson, Taylor Anderson and Jenna Haag. This foursome ranked No. 37 in the world after its first full season on the women's tour.
John Shuster qualified automatically into the men's field with his team of Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner and Joe Polo. The U.S. men's representative at worlds for three consecutive years, the squad finished fourth in 2017 to earn its trials berth. In 2016 they earned bronze for the first U.S. medal at the event since 2007; these two strong finishes qualified the U.S. men's quota spot in PyeongChang. Shuster's rink finished the world tour with a No. 20 ranking.
The McCormick rink of Heath McCormick, Chris Plys, Korey Dropkin and Tom Howell finished the tour ranked No. 19 and will join Shuster's team at trials. Skip Craig Brown and teammates Kroy Nernberger, Jason Smith, Sean Beighton and Quinn Evenson were the third squad to earn their trials spot, finishing the season ranked No. 29. The 2016 national champion Clark rink, comprised of Brady Clark, Greg Persinger, Colin Hufman and Phil Tilker, ranked No. 37 and finished third at the 2017 nationals to earn its selection into the field.
The field features five athletes vying for their second Olympic team -- John Landsteiner (2014), Craig Brown (2014), Chris Plys (2010), Jason Smith (2010) and Joe Polo (2010) -- while John Shuster looks to earn a berth to his fourth Games. There are also four Youth Olympians in the mix: Sarah Anderson, Taylor Anderson, Tom Howell and Korey Dropkin were on the mixed 2012 squad that placed fifth in Innsbruck. Dropkin also competed in mixed doubles, earning bronze with Russia's Marina Verenich.
The men's and women's teams that win trials will be named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Team. Trials to determine the mixed doubles team that will represent Team USA will take place in December.