USA Curling High Performance Program Combine on tap next month

By Terry Kolesar | July 24, 2014, 12 a.m. (ET)

7/24/2014: Forty-eight athletes took part in curling's inaugural athlete combine this week in Blaine, Minn. Athletes invited into the High Performance Program for the 2014-15 season will be notified by the end of July and we will formally announce it shortly thereafter. (TK)

Updated on 7/14/2014 to remove Jessica Schultz (work commitments) and add in Anna Bauman

Updated on 7/8/14 to remove Courtney George (work commitments) and add in Kendall Behm

Updated on 6/30/14 to add in the final participant to bring the field to 48

June 25, 2014

USA Curling High Performance Program Combine on tap next month

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - USA Curling's first High Performance Program Combine will be held July 19-23 at the Four Seasons Curling Club in Blaine, Minn., with 48 invited athletes participating and being assessed on technical, tactical, physical and mental skills both on and off the ice.  

The combine is part of the evaluation process being used to select up to 30 athletes for the 2014-15 USA Curling High Performance Program (HPP). Beginning this season, athletes are being selected for and invited into the program on an individual basis, a change from years past when full and mostly self-formed teams made up the program. 

The athletes invited into the program will be selected by the USA Curling High Performance Director, Derek Brown, in consultation with other HPP coaches, athletes and staff. In all, 155 athletes applied for the program this year. The selection group narrowing the applicants down to the 47 who will be participating in the Combine included Brown, HPP coaches John Benton and Phill Drobnick, and recently retired Olympians Pete Fenson and Ann Swisshelm. Rick Patzke, USA Curling's interim chief executive officer, also was involved in overseeing the process.

USA Curling's 2014-15 HPP calls for up to six teams of five persons each to be formed from the individuals invited in: a women's "A" and "B" team and junior team (age 21 and under), and a men's "A" and "B" team and a junior squad. Brown anticipates that that selection process will conclude by July 30, and all athletes accepted into the program for the coming season will attend a mandatory training camp Aug. 23-29 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Here is a look at the athletes participating in the upcoming Combine*:


Anna Bauman (Duluth, Minn.)
Kendall Behm (Seattle)
Sophie Brorson (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Becca Funk (McFarland, Wis.)
Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.)
Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.)
Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska)
Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.)
Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.)
Stephanie Sambor (White Bear Lake, Minn.)
Nina Spatola (McFarland, Wis.) 
Jamie Sinclair (Manotick, Ontario)
Aileen Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.) 
Monica Walker (Brighton, Mass.)

Junior women:
Sarah Anderson (Broomall, Pa.) 
Taylor Anderson (Broomall, Pa.)
Libby Brundage (Killingworth, Conn.)
Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.)
Leilani Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.)
Brittany Falk (Poynette, Wis.)
Grace Gabower (Milton, Wis.)
Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.)
Mackenzie Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.)
Tina Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska)


Sean Beighton (Seattle, Wash) 
Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.) 
Ryan Brunt (Portage, Wis.)
Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.)
Colin Hufman (Seattle, Wash)
John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.)
Alex Leichter (Wayland, Mass.)
Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario)
Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.) 
Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska)*
Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.) 
Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.) 
John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.)
Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.)
Junior men:
Korey Dropkin (Southborough, Mass.) 
Mark Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.) 
Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.)
Tom Howell (Brick, N.J.)
Ethan Meyers (Duluth, Minn.)
William Pryor (Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y.)
Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.)
Kent Suslavich (Woodbury, Conn.)
Steven Szemple (Edison, N.J.)
Luc Violette (Granite Falls, Wash.)

*additional athlete added from the waiting list to bring the final field to 48

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, and BalancePlus, and is partnered with Hilton HHonors, United Airlines, RJM Licensing Inc., and CurlingZone.


For more information: Terry Kolesar, Director of Communications,, 715-344-1199 (office) or 608-338-9900 (mobile).