USA Curling Features U18 National Champio...

U18 National Championships begin Thursday in Bemidji

By Terry L. Davis | Feb. 17, 2018, 5:54 a.m. (ET)


Feb. 18, 2018

2018 U18 National Championships begin Thursday in Bemidji

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – The 2018 USA Curling U18 National Championships will get underway Thursday from the six-sheet Bemidji Curling Club in Bemidji, Minn.

Twenty-four teams will compete in a preliminary round robin through Saturday night. The playoffs will take place on Sunday with the winning teams representing the U.S. at the 2018 U18 Player’s Championship April 14-16 in Guelph, Ontario.

The U18 National Championships began last season with teams skipped by Minnesota’s Cait Flannery and Wisconsin’s Michael Elwing winning the inaugural event in Milwaukee, Wis. Teams qualify to the national event via a regional system. The Garland Legacie Spirit of Curling Sportsmanship Award will be handed out at the conclusion of the championship. Three of the men’s champions from last season are back with their sights set on repeating, including Trevor Marquardt (Poynette, Wis.), Ryan Elwing (Brookfield, Wis.) and Connor Hipke (Wauwatosa, Wis.), and Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.) won last year and moves up to the skip position this year.

The 12 girls and 12 boys teams will be split into two pools per gender. The top teams in each division advance to traditional semifinals. The first draw will take place at 12 p.m. CT Thursday. A live webstream and live scores will be posted at

Here is a look at the full competing field for the 2018 U18 National Championships:

Girls teams, Pool A:

Team Gourianova (Grand National Region): Katherine Gourianova (Potomac, Md.), Diana Black (Burtonsville, Md.), Abigail Schulken (Falls Church, Va.), Stephanie Yu (Dover, Mass.), Odessa Howera (Columbia, Md.)

Team Holler (Minnesota Region): Emily Holler, Alesa Bjerke, Tessa Wagner, Elaina Hoover (all of Bemidji, Minn.)

Team Jones (Wisconsin Region): Samantha Jones (Endeavor, Wis.), Abigail Marquardt (Poynette, Wis.), Elizabeth Vorpahl (Portage, Wis.), Anna Armstrong (Appleton, Wis.), Halie Maier (Endeavor, Wis.)

Team Kitchens (Dakota Territory Region): Abbey Kitchens (Devils Lake, N.D.), Sydney Steffen (Devils Lake, N.D.), Sara Hodek (Fairdale, N.D.), Brandi Niemann (Grafton, N.D.)

Team Willertz (Great Lakes Region): Maya Willertz, Rachel Weldy, Lauren Thill, Maitea Cox (all of Midland, Mich.)

Team Yavarow (Minnesota Region): *Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Mairin Barrett (Woodbury, Minn.), Abigail Page (Mankato, Minn.), Damaris Berg (Bemidji, Minn.)

Girls teams, Pool B:

Team Blaske (Great Lakes Region): Claire Blaske (Grand Ledge, Mich.), Kaya Ray (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Kaitlin Murphy (Fairview Park, Ohio), Amy Verway-Cohen (Columbus, Ohio), Emma Rau (Columbus, Ohio)

Team Dudt (Grand National Region): Susan Dudt (Malvern, Pa.), Rebecca Rodgers (Leyden, Mass.), Anna Cenzalli (East Falmouth, Mass.), Sydney Mullaney (Concord, Mass.)

Team Horten (Mountain Pacific Region): Maya Horten, Clara Mays, Elsa Naimo, Kyzen Pemberton (all of Portland, Ore.)

Team Martin (Dakota Territory Region): Emily Martin (West Fargo, N.D.), Saige Thurlow (Fargo, N.D.), Miranda Scheel (Fargo, N.D.), Eva Sobak (Fairdale, N.D.)

Team Olson (Minnesota Region): Sara Olson, Maggie Payette, Kristianna Yecoshenko, Jessica Olson (all of Duluth, Minn.)

Team Viau (Wisconsin Region): Suzanna Viau (Plover, Wis.), Rachel Kawleski (Stevens Point, Wis.), Ashton Osterhaus (Pardeeville, Wis.), Elizabeth Rubenzer (Plover, Wis.)

Boys teams: Pool A:

Team Clawson (Grand National Region): Eli Clawson (Clarksville, Md.), Daniel Casper (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Marius Kleinas (Marstons Mills, Mass.), Christopher Pingitore (Dayton, Md.)

Team Gaasvig (Minnesota Region): Jonathon Gaasvig, Aaron Sawa, Shawn Quello, Seth Solo (all of Bemidji, Minn.)

Team Koepke (Wisconsin Region): Gabriel Koepke, Connor Krupp, Adam Strassburg, Brody Olsen, Dillon Krupp (all of Green Bay, Wis.)

Team Marquardt (Wisconsin Region): *Trevor Marquardt (Poynette, Wis.), *Ryan Elwing (Brookfield, Wis.), *Connor Hipke (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Coleman Thurston (Poynette, Wis.)

Team Sampson (Dakota Territory Region): Ethan Sampson (Edmore, N.D.), Bryce Bushee (Emerado, N.D.), Tristin Kayl (Grand Forks, N.D.), Alexander Prichard (Grand Forks, N.D.)

Team Tuma (Minnesota Region): Kevin Tuma (St. Paul, Minn.), Austin Bengtson (Spicer, Minn.), Michael Mattson (Gilbert, Minn.), Sidney Harris (St. Paul, Minn.)

Boys teams, Pool B:

Team Fenson (Minnesota Region): Riley Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Charlie Thompson (Eau Claire, Wis.), Carson Liapis (Bemidji, Minn.)

Team Gartner (Grand National Region): Caleb Gartner (Falmouth, Mass.), William Gerlach (West Falmouth, Mass.), Nicholas Cenzalli (East Falmouth, Mass.), Danie Laufer (Richboro, Pa.)

Team Hebert (Grand National Region): Ethan Hebert (Lowell, Mass.), Benjamin Grady (Media, Pa.), Yunsik Lee (Chestnut Hill, Mass.), Shaheen Bassiri (Radnor, Pa.)

Team Hill (Mountain Pacific Region): Marty Hill (Portland, Ore.), Nelson Rogers (Portland, Ore.), Jimmy Williams (Oakland, Calif.), Jason Altus (Campbell, Calif.)

Team McDonald (Great Lakes Region): Andrew McDonald (Hudson, Ohio), Samuel Strouse (Midland, Mich.), John Burnett (Freeland, Mich.), Oliver Sah (Broadview Heights, Ohio), Adam Bau (Kalamazoo, Mich.)

Team Murphy (Dakota Territory Region): Connal Murphy (Bismarck, N.D.), Cayden Kraft (Bismarck, N.D.), Logan Lies (Bismarck, N.D.), Grant Myers (Mandan, N.D.)

*past champion

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications,, 608-338-9900 (mobile) or 715-344-1199, Ext. 202 (office).

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