Six teams named to Project 2018 for 2013-14 season

By Terry Kolesar | July 02, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)
July 2, 2013

Six teams selected to USA Curling's Project 2018 Program

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - USA Curling, in partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee, has selected six teams to be part of the Project 2018 Program for the 2013-14 season. The Project 2018 Program is part of the 2013-14 High Performance Program aimed at identifying and developing the USA's best young talent for future competitive success and is under the direction of Derek Brown, USA Curling's Director of High Performance. John Benton (women) and Phill Drobnick (men) will once again lead the 2018 Program as National Program Coaches.  

The Project 2018 tier includes four junior teams skipped by Korey Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), Jake Vukich (Seattle), Sarah Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), and Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.), as well as the winning teams from the recent playdown to select Team USA for the upcoming Winter World University Games (WWUG). Those teams are skipped by 2012 U.S. junior champion Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.) and 2010 Olympian and 2008 world junior champion Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.). 

Athletes and teams can be invited to become part of the USCA High Performance Project 2018 Program based on performances and results at international and national events during the preceding two-year period. For the avoidance of doubt for season 2013-14, performances and results from seasons 2011-12 and 2012-13 were considered, with the most recent season prioritized. Performances and results from the following may be used to assess prospective athletes and teams - Olympic Games, World Championships, World University Games, World Junior Championships, World Curling Tour, U.S. National Championships and U.S. Junior National Championships.

The Dropkin rink won the 2013 USA Curling Junior National Championships and went on to finish seventh at the 2013 World Junior Championships. The Vukich rink was runner-up to Dropkin's team at Junior Nationals. Haag led her team to a third-place finish at the 2013 Junior Nationals while Anderson's team was fourth at the 2013 Juniors Nationals and ninth at the 2013 U.S. Women's National Championship. Sarah Anderson, 18, also served as alternate for Team USA at the 2013 World Women's Championship in Latvia in March. All of the selected Project 2018 teams have put together very competitive schedules for the upcoming year including events on the World Curling Tour, Ontario Junior Curling Tour and Great Lakes Curling Tour, among others.

Complete rosters of 2013-14 Program 2018 High Performance Program teams/individuals include:

Project 2018 WWUG teams:
* Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.), Becca Funk (McFarland, Wis.), Anna Bauman (Duluth, Minn.), Sonja Bauman (Duluth, Minn.), Mackenzie Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.), Coach Linda Christensen (Duluth, Minn.)
* Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Stephen Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), Korey Dropkin (Southborough, Mass)

Project 2018 junior teams:
* Sarah Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), Katie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), Taylor Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), Leilani Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), Coach Wayne Anderson (Broomall, Pa.)
* Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.), Erin Wallace (Green Bay, Wis.), Grace Gabower (Milton, Wis.), Brittany Falk (Poynette, Wis.), Coach Wally Henry (Beaver Dam, Wis.)
* Korey Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.), Thomas Howell (Brick, N.J.), Mark Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.), Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) , Coach Keith Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.)
* Jake Vukich (Seattle), Evan McAuley (Sammamish, Wash.), Luc Violette (Granite Falls, Wash.), Kyle Lorvick (Lake Forest Park, Wash.), Coach Tom Violette (Granite Falls, Wash.)

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