Wausau set to host National Wheelchair Team Selection this weekend

By Terry L. Davis | Oct. 30, 2018, 1:47 p.m. (ET)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Oct. 30, 2018

National wheelchair team to be determined this weekend

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – USA Curling’s national wheelchair team for the upcoming season will be selected this weekend as the Wausau Curling Club hosts the National Wheelchair Team Selection Trials.

The national team will consist of eight athletes with five being selected to represent the U.S. at the 2019 World Wheelchair Championship this winter. With the retirement of three athletes (Paralympians Penny Greely, Jimmy Joseph and Justin Marshall), and Paralympian Kirk Black out for the season due to medical reasons, the national team will have new faces for the start of the next Paralympic quad.

In June, four athletes earned invites to this weekend’s event after results from a camp in Denver. Those athletes include Caroline Knox (East Falmouth, Mass.), David Samsa (Suamico, Wis.), Oyuna Batoyun (Burnsville, Minn.), and Ken White (Sutton, Mass.). Four current national team members also will be considered, including Steve Emt (Hebron, Conn.), Meghan Lino (East Falmouth, Mass.), Matthew Thums (Wausau, Wis.) and Pam Wilson (Westminster, Colo.). Four additional athletes were selected to compete – Theresa Verline (South Setauket, N.Y.), Jesi Stracham (Charlotte, N.C.), Shawn Sadowski (Portage, Wis.), and George Eldridge (Shelton, Conn.) – to bring the full field to 12 athletes.

The Trials will be contested Friday through Sunday in Wausau, Wis., with individual skill shots, game play, and personal interviews taking place to assist the Player Selection Committee determine Team USA. Throughout the Trials, participants will be assessed based upon subjective and objective evaluation by a panel of judges regarding their demonstrated curling abilities as well as other qualities including, but not limited to, on- and off-ice behavior, demonstrated team dynamics, fitness level, endurance, and their match to specific team needs. The Player Selection Committee includes Rusty Schieber (national team coach), Marc DePerno (national team leader), Justin Marshall (2018 national team member), and Ann Swisshelm (national team technical director).

The 2019 World Wheelchair Championship will take place March 3-10 in Stirling, Scotland. The national team will compete in additional events and camps in the lead up to the world championship.

Here is a look at the schedule for this weekend’s selection event in Wausau, Wis.:

Friday:

8:30-8:45 a.m. – athlete meeting

9 a.m.-12 p.m. – skills competition, round 1

1-3 p.m. – skills competition, round 2

Saturday:

9 a.m.-12 p.m. – skills competition, round 3

1-4:30 p.m. – skills competition, round 4

5 p.m. – meeting and uniform fitting

Sunday:

8-10:30 a.m. – skills competition, round 5

11 a.m. – national team selection announcement

More information regarding the Wheelchair Curling National Program can be found at https://go.teamusa.org/2MqOgaf

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, Carhartt, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, Thorne, BalancePlus, ISS (Ice, Sports & Solar), and Twin Cities Orthopedics, and is partnered with Carhartt, Brakebush, Laurie Artiss Ltd. – The Pin People, United Airlines, 12th End Sports Network, IHG, and CurlingZone.

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For more information: Terry Davis, Director of Communications, terry.davis@usacurl.org, 608-338-9900 (mobile).