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Five For Friday: Curling

By Paul D. Bowker | Nov. 10, 2017, 12:01 a.m. (ET)

John Shuster looks on during a round robin match at the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 on Feb. 16, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

 

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The competition to determine the U.S. men’s and women’s teams for the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 begins Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska.

Five men’s teams and three women’s teams are in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling. The winning teams in the weeklong tournament will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team. Quota spots in the Winter Games have already been locked down in both the women’s and men’s tournaments.

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John Shuster, whose team also consists of Tyler George, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner and Joe Polo, is seeking his fourth appearance in the Olympic Games. The team finished fourth at the 2017 world championships to earn its spot in the Olympic trials. The fourth-place finish in 2017 and third-place finish in the 2016 worlds clinched a quota spot for Team USA.

The other men’s teams are led by Heath McCormick, Craig Brown, Todd Birr and Brady Clark. Team McCormick finished the 2017 World Tour with a No. 19 ranking, one spot ahead of Team Shuster. Team Clark won the U.S. championship in 2016.

The Nina Roth rink, which placed fifth at the world championships, helped lock down the women’s Olympic quota spot for the U.S. Joining her in the trials are Tabitha Peterson, Aileen Geving and Becca Hamilton. Other teams in the trials are skipped by Jamie Sinclair and Cory Christensen.

The field includes four Youth Olympians: Sarah Anderson, Taylor Anderson, Tom Howell and Korey Dropkin. Dropkin won a bronze medal at the Winter Youth Olympic Games Innsbruck 2012 in mixed doubles, teaming up with Russia’s Marina Verenich.

Webcast: 2 and 7 p.m. ET Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m. Sunday, NBCSports.com and NBC Sports App.

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.