Athlete Combine invites being sent out

April 21, 2015, 12 a.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2015

Twenty-six athletes invited to USA Curling High Performance Program Combine

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Twenty-six athletes are currently being invited to take part in this year's Athlete Combine, which will take place May 16-18 at USA Curling's National Training Center at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, Minn. The invitations to individual athletes are being sent out this week.

This is the second Athlete Combine, which last year featured 47 invited athletes. Twenty-six of the 2014-15 High Performance Program's 28 athletes re-applied to be a part of the Program for the 2015-16 season. Those athletes are not required to take part in the Combine, but will be evaluated along with the Combine participants as a whole to determine the athletes selected for next season's Program. 

"I am looking forward to USA Curling's second Combine. We have some excellent talent attending and there will be strong competition for places on next season's High Performance Program teams," said Derek Brown, USA Curling's Director of High Performance. 

The Athlete Combine is part of the evaluation process being used to select up to 30 athletes for the 2015-16 USA Curling High Performance Program (HPP). Athletes are being selected for and invited into the program on an individual basis once again. The athletes invited into the program will be selected by Brown, and HPP coaches, who currently include Scott Baird (Bemidji, Minn.), John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.), Phill Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.), Ann Swisshelm (Chicago), and Wally Henry (Beaver Dam, Wis.). Rick Patzke, USA Curling's interim chief executive officer, also will be involved in overseeing the process.

In all, 93 athletes applied to be a part of the High Performance Program this year. USA Curling's 2015-16 HPP plan calls for six teams to be formed from the individuals invited in: two women's teams and a junior women's team (age 21 and under), and two men's teams and a junior men's team. Brown anticipates that the selection process will conclude by no later than May 30. 

USA Curling achieved five of seven annual milestones as set by the United States Olympic Committee for the 2014-15 HPP, including the fifth-place finish at the 2015 World Men's Championship.

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

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