First four teams qualify to 2014 Nationals

By Terry Kolesar | Nov. 26, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

First 2014 Men’s and Women’s Nationals teams announced

Four men’s and four women’s teams receive direct berths to the USA Curling Men’s and Women’s National Championships, two each through Order of Merit point standings as of mid-December, and two each from within the High Performance Program (HPP). The HPP staff and Advisory Group have made the decision to award the HPP berths for the 2014 Nationals in Aston, Penn., March 1-8, to the following two men’s and women’s teams:

For the men, teams skipped by John Shuster and Pete Fenson, which finished first and second, respectively, in the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

For the women, teams skipped by Allison Pottinger and Cassie Potter, which finished second and third, respectively, in the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. (Trials winner Erika Brown’s team has elected not to compete in the 2014 Nationals.)

In all, 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams will compete in the 2014 USA Curling Nationals at IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston. Six men’s teams will be determined at the Men’s Challenge Jan. 8-12, in Blaine, Minn., and the six women’s teams will advance from the Women’s Challenge Jan. 8-12 in Grafton, N.D.