Find Out More About Team McCormick

By Amy Nielsen | Nov. 07, 2017, 9:38 a.m. (ET)

Team McCormick (l-r) Heath McCormick, Chris Plys, Korey Dropkin, Tom Howell, Rich Ruohonen

Check out Team McCormick!

This week we get to know Team McCormick, an Olympic Trials-bound team currently ranked No. 28 on the World Curling Tour OOM. Skip Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario) leads the team to its first U.S. Olympic Team Trials (as a unit) this month.

Skip Heath McCormick, 41, Sarnia, Ontario, began curling 25 years ago in Canada. Growing up, McCormick made five Ontario Junior appearances and was named Ontario Junior Champion in 1996. Recently, McCormick made seven consecutive appearances at the U.S. National Championships, winning the title in 2012. Learn more about McCormick here.

Vice skip Chris Plys, 30, Duluth, Minn., first teamed up with McCormick in 2014. Plys curls out of the Duluth Curling Club. This year marks his third U.S. Olympic Trials appearance. Plys began curling in 1998 and won four consecutive U.S. Junior National Championships from 2006 to 2009 and was the alternate on the 2010 Olympic Curling Team. Read more about Plys here.

Second Korey Dropkin, 22, Duluth, Minn., joined McCormick’s team in 2016. Dropkin curls out of Duluth Curling Club and attends University of Minnesota-Duluth.  This year marks his first U.S. Olympic Team Trials, but he participated in the 2012 Winter Youth Olympic Games, winning a bronze in mixed doubles. Dropkin was also named USA Curling Male Athlete of the Year in 2016 and 2012. Click here for Dropkin’s bio. 

Lead Tom Howell, 23, Bentleyville, Ohio, began curling at 6 years old. As an accomplished junior curler, Howell won three U.S. Junior Championships and placed second in two others. Howell is currently a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. This year marks Howell’s first appearance at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Find out more about Howell here. 

Alternate Rich Ruohonen, 46, Brooklyn Park, Minn., makes his fourth appearance at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, having also participated in 2006, 2010 and 2014. Ruohonen began curling in 5th grade after moving near the St. Paul Curling Club in Wis. Ruohonen appeared in 14 U.S. National Championships, winning in 2008. Read about Ruohonen here.

The team is coached by Phill Drobnick. 

Did you know:

  • Heath McCormick was born in Lansing, Mich. and now lives with his wife and two daughters in Sarnia, Ontario
  • Chris Plys is a five-time U.S. junior champion and was on the 2008 USA Curling Team of the Year
  • Korey Dropkin, originally from Boston, Mass., says Tom Brady was one of his favorite athletes growing up.
  • Tom Howell says the best advice he’s received is to “play like you are number 1, but train like you are number 2”
  • Rich Ruohonen’s nickname is Dr. Double. 

About the author: Amy Nielsen is one of several University of Nebraska-Omaha students assisting USA Curling's Terry Davis in the lead-up and during the Olympic Team Trials in Omaha.