Field set for 2017 National Championships in Everett

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 25, 2017, 12:16 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 25, 2017

Field set for 2017 USA Curling National Championships in Everett

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – The field of 18 teams is now set for the upcoming 2017 USA Curling National Championships at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wash.

Ten men’s and eight women’s teams will take to the ice Feb. 11-18 to compete for their respective 2017 national titles and a chance to represent the U.S. at the upcoming World Championships and 2017 Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Five men’s teams qualified to Nationals in December by virtue of Order of Merit Standings, including Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), John Shuster (Superior, Wis.), and Todd Birr (Blaine, Minn.). Four teams then qualified earlier this month at the Men’s Challenge Round in Blaine, Minn. Those teams are skipped by Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Hunter Clawson (Clarksville, Md.), Stephen Dropkin (Minneapolis, Minn.), and Darryl Sobering (Broomfield, Colo.). The final team came via discretionary selection of the High Performance Program Selection Committee with the berth being awarded to Alex Leichter (Boston) as the next highest ranked OOM team that competed in the Challenge Round.

In the women’s division, four women’s teams – skipped by Jamie Sinclair (St. Paul, Minn.), Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.), Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.), and Jessica Schultz (Richfield, Minn.) – qualified on points similar to the first five men’s teams. Three women’s teams qualified via the Women’s Challenge Round – Madison Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.), Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) and Cassie Potter (St. Paul, Minn.). Becca Wood’s team will fill the eighth spot via discretionary selection to fill the field to eight teams (Team Lysa Johnson was offered a berth but declined).

Bear, who qualified to compete in the World Junior Championships Feb. 16-26 as the alternate for Team USA will head to that event instead of Everett, with Cora Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska) taking over skipping duties for the team at Nationals.

Teams will compete in a full round robin with the top four men’s teams advancing to the Page playoffs and the top three women’s teams competing in a modified Page playoff. A complete competition schedule will be released soon at www.usacurl.org.

Beginning this year, any team ranked in the Top 25 of the year-to-date World Curling Tour Order of Merit (OOM) on Jan. 23, 2017, is eligible to represent the U.S. in the men’s or women’s 2017 World Curling Championships by winning the U.S. men’s or women’s 2017 National Championships, regardless of whether or not that team has the highest OOM points total among the top three finishers in the Nationals. Two teams have reached that ranking – the Heath McCormick and Nina Roth rinks. The 2017 Nationals will award teams OOM points as follows: First – 110 points; second – 85 points; and third – 65 points. To view the most current OOM points, http://go.teamusa.org/2il3Y50.

More information about the 2017 Nationals can be found at www.usacurl.orghttp://www.usacurlingnationals2017.com/ or on the event Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/usacurlingnationals2017/. A live webstream of the competition will be broadcast live via www.usacurl.org in partnership with the United States Olympic Committee and produced by the 12th End Sports Network and USA Curling. Live scores and standings will be available at www.usacurl.org as well, in partnership with CurlingZone.

Social media for the event: @usacurl and @curlingseattle on Twitter; @2017curlingnationals on Instagram. Hashtag: #CurlingNationals

Here is a look at the competing teams and their hometowns:

Women:

Team Bear: Cora Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska), Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.), Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.), Madison Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.), Coach Bill Rhyme (Green Bay, Wis.)

Team Christensen: Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.), Sarah Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Taylor Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Jenna Haag (Milton, Wis.), Coach Ann Swisshelm (Grosse Pointe, Mich.)

Team Clark: Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Emily Anderson (Broomall, Pa.), Katie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), Sherri Schummer (St. Paul Minn.)

Team Potter: Cassie Potter (St. Paul, Minn.), Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.), Sophie Bader (St. Louis Park, Minn.), Stephanie Bohan (White Bear Lake, Minn.)

Team Roth: Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.), Tabitha Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Aileen Geving (Duluth, Minn.), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Coach Ann Swisshelm (Grosse Pointe, Mich.)

Team Schultz: Jessica Schultz (Richfield, Minn.), Courtney George (Minnetonka, Minn.), Stephanie Senneker (Perry, Mich.), Jordan Moulton (St. Louis Park, Minn.), Coach Doug Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.)

Team Sinclair: Jamie Sinclair (St. Paul, Minn.), Alex Carlson (St. Paul, Minn.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.), Coach Scott Baird (Bemidji, Minn.)

Team Wood: Becca Wood (Parker, Colo.), Auria Moore (Sacramento, Calif.), Porsche Renae Stephenson (Sacramento, Calif.), Jen Nguyen (Sacramento, Calif.), Donna Umali (Burbank, Calif.)

Men:

Team Birr: Todd Birr (Blaine, Minn.), Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), John Benton (St. Michael, Minn.), Tom O’Connor (Brooklyn Center, Minn.)

Team Brown: Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Jason Smith (St. Paul, Minn.), Sean Beighton (Seattle), Quinn Evenson (Duluth, Minn.), Coach Scott Baird (Bemidji, Minn.)

Team Clark: Brady Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Colin Hufman (Seattle), Philip Tilker (Seattle), Coach Ken Trask (Seattle)

Team Clawson: Hunter Clawson (Clarksville, Md.), Cody Clouser (Berwyn, Pa.), Caleb Clawson (Clarksville, Md.), Andrew Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.), Coach Wayne Anderson (Broomall, Pa.)

Team Dropkin: Stephen Dropkin (Minneapolis, Minn.), Ethan Meyers (St. Paul, Minn.), Trevor Host (St. Paul, Minn.), Brandon Myhre (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Team Fenson: Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Jared Zezel (Hibbing, Minn.), Mark Fenner (Bemidji, Minn.), Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.)

Team Leichter: Alex Leichter (Boston), Martin Sather (Yonkers, N.Y.), Nate Clark (Nashua, N.H.), Ryan Hallisey (Medfield, Mass.)

Team McCormick: Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Korey Dropkin (Duluth, Minn.), Tom Howell (Milwaukee, Wis.), Coach Phill Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.)

Team Shuster: John Shuster (Superior, Wis.), Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.), Coach Phill Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.)

Team Sobering: Darryl Sobering (Broomfield, Colo.), Aaron Johnston (Greenwood Village, Colo.), Josh Chetwynd (Denver), Evan Jaffe (Sedalia, Colo.)

2017 World Championships Team Qualification Process:

  • Any men’s and women’s eligible team that wins the 2017 U.S. National Championships and was in the top 25 of the year-to-date World Curling Tour Order of Merit on *Jan. 23, 2017, will be named as USA’s team for the respective 2017 World Curling Championship.
  • If a men’s or women’s team that wins the 2017 USA Curling Nationals was not ranked in the WCT Top 25 on *Jan. 23, 2017, then USA’s World Championship teams will be the men’s and women’s teams with the highest OOM points total at the conclusion of the Nationals that have placed in the top three in their respective National Championship.
  • If there is a tie in points (and a Top 25 team as described above did not win the Nationals), the team placing highest among the top three at the Nationals will qualify as USA’s World Championship team.
  • Teams can count their 6 best Order of Merit (OOM) results going into Nationals; however, a team may only use a maximum of 4 U.S.-based OOM events toward their total of 6 results.
  • All U.S. teams will start the season at zero points.
  • All U.S. teams will be required to register their team with the World Curling Tour to be eligible to score OOM points toward USA Worlds Team Qualification. Teams no longer have to report their point totals to a USCA designee after each event, as we are monitoring the results on the WCT OOM.
  • Teams must have a minimum of 3 eligible, registered players on the ice for all games at any event to earn OOM points toward USA Worlds Team Qualification.
  • Teams can only use U.S. Nationals eligible players of the same gender as a substitute to earn OOM points toward USA Worlds Team Qualification.
  • The U.S. National Championships shall award teams OOM points as follows: First – 110 points, second – 85 points and third 65 points.

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Ki Mobility, BalancePlus, and Brakebush Inc., and is partnered with Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, and CurlingZone.

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For more information:

Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).

Charlie Anthe, Marketing Chairman, 2017 National Championships, 206-300-0332, marketing@usacurlingnationals2017.com