2019 National Championships begin Saturday in Kalamazoo

Feb. 05, 2019, 4:11 p.m. (ET)


Feb. 5, 2019

2019 National Championships begin Saturday in Kalamazoo

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – The city of Kalamazoo, Mich., is set to host the top curling teams in the nation as the 2019 USA Curling National Championships sweep into town this weekend.

Wings Event Center will host 18 teams in the weeklong competition that kicks off on Saturday night. Ten men’s and eight women’s teams are set to vie for national titles and the chance to represent the United States at the upcoming World Curling Championships. USA Curling is partnered with Wings, the Kalamazoo Curling Club and Discover Kalamazoo in hosting the event. This is the third time that the city has hosted the National Championships (2019, 2015, 2010).

Jamie Sinclair and Rich Ruohonen are back to defend the national titles they won last March in Fargo, N.D. Sinclair is looking for a three-peat, which hasn’t been done since Debbie McCormick led her team to four straight titles from 2006 through 2009. Sinclair is teamed this year with fellow 2018 and 2017 national champion Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.) and the Anderson sisters – Sarah Anderson at vice skip and Taylor Anderson playing in the second position. Ruohonen is back skipping for Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), who throws last stones, as well as Colin Hufman (St. Paul, Minn.) and Phil Tilker (Seattle). Joining the team as alternate is Jared Allen, the retired Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl athlete. The field also features 2018 Olympians John Shuster, Matt Hamilton, John Landsteiner, Nina Roth, Tabitha Peterson, Becca Hamilton and Cory Christensen.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place at 5 p.m. ET Saturday followed by the first session of the men’s round robin at 7 p.m. The women’s round robin will begin at 12 p.m. Sunday. After the round robin concludes on Thursday, the top four men’s and three women’s teams will advance to the Page playoffs on Friday afternoon. The semifinal games are slated to take place at 7 p.m. Friday with the championship finals on Saturday at 11 a.m. (women) and 3 p.m. (men).

The 2019 World Women’s Championship is March 16-24 in Silkeborg, Denmark, while the Men’s World Championship will take place March 30-April 7 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Based on requirements set forth at the start of the season, five of the women’s teams and four of the competing men’s teams have met the threshold to represent the U.S. at the upcoming world championships should they win their respective national titles on Feb. 16. Those teams include: Nina Roth, Jamie Sinclair, Cory Christensen, Stephanie Senneker, Annmarie Dubberstein, John Shuster, Rich Ruohonen, Mark Fenner and Scott Dunnam.

The youngest skips in the field include 18-year-old Sam Strouse (Midland, Mich.) and 19-year-old Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska), who both finished third at last month’s Junior National Championships.

How to watch: Live action from each draw will be featured at https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Curling/webstream in partnership with the 12th End Sports Network and the United States Olympic Committee.

Live scores & social media: Live scores will be posted at www.usacurl.org in partnership with CurlingZone. The official event hashtag is #2019Nats.

Who is competing:

Team Birklid: Steve Birklid, Sam Galey, Matt Birklid, Nick Connolly (all of Seattle), Dan Plys (Duluth, Minn.)

Team Birr: Todd Birr (Ham Lake, Minn.), Greg Johnson (Appleton, Wis.), Hunter Clawson (Blaine, Minn.), Tom O’Connor (Robbinsdale, Minn.), Michael Roos (Nashville, Tenn.)

Team Brundidge: Jed Brundidge (West St. Paul, Minn.), Jordan Brown (Elk River, Minn.), Evan Workin (Fargo, N.D.), Cameron Rittenour (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Parker Shook (Oakdale, Minn.)

Team Corbett: Brandon Corbett (Hamilton, Ontario), Derek Corbett (Durham, N.C.), Aaron Carlson (Okemos, Mich.), Kent Suslavich (Woodbury, Conn.)

Team Dunnam: Scott Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.), Cody Clouser (Berwyn, Pa.), Andy Dunnam (Dresher, Pa.), Daniel Dudt (Malvern, Pa.)

Team Fenner: Mark Fenner (St. Anthony, Minn.), Tom Howell (Milwaukee, Wis.), Korey Dropkin (Duluth, Minn.), Alex Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.)

Team Ruohonen: Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), Greg Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Colin Hufman (Minneapolis, Minn.), Phil Tilker (Seattle), Jared Allen (Nashville, Tenn.)

Team Shuster: John Shuster (Superior, Wis.), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Matt Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.)

Team Sinnett: Chase Sinnett (Medfield, Mass.), Trevor Marquardt (Poynette, Wis.), Jon Harstad (Duluth, Minn.), Eli Clawson (Clarksville, Md.)

Team Strouse: Sam Strouse (Midland, Mich.), JP Munich (Oconomowoc, Wis.), Andrew McDonald (Hudson, Ohio), Ryan Elwing (Brookfield, Wis.), Ethan Sampson (Edmore, N.D.)

Women’s field:

Team Christensen: Cory Christensen (Duluth, Minn.), Vicky Persinger (Fairbanks, Alaska), Jenna Martin (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Madison Bear (Pardeeville, Wis.), Linda Christensen (Duluth, Minn.)

Team Dubberstein: Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), Cora Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska), Jenna Burchesky (Walpole, Mass.), Allison Howell (Solon, Ohio)

Team Podoll: Ann Podoll (Fargo, N.D.), Carissa Thomas (Moorhead, Minn.), Rachel Workin (Fargo, N.D.), Christina Lammers (Fargo, N.D.)

Team Rhyme: Kim Rhyme (Minneapolis, Minn.), Katie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), Katie Rhyme (Milwaukee, Wis.), Amy Harnden (Blaine, Minn.)

Team Roth: Nina Roth (McFarland, Wis.), Tabitha Peterson (St. Paul, Minn.), Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.)

Team Senneker: Stephanie Senneker (Port Huron, Mich.), Rebecca Andrew (West Henrietta, N.Y.), Emilia Juocys (Lathrup Village, Mich.), Maya Willertz (Midland, Mich.), Elizabeth Demers (Plymouth, Mich.)

Team Sinclair: Jamie Sinclair (Manotick, Ontario), Sarah Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Taylor Anderson (Minneapolis, Minn.), Monica Walker (St. Paul, Minn.)

Team Traxler: Ariel Traxler (Fairbanks, Alaska), Emily Quello (Bemidji, Minn.), Susan Dudt (Malvern, Pa.), Rebecca Rodgers (Leyden, Mass.), Sydney Mullaney (Concord, Mass.)

Past national champions in the field:


John Shuster (2017, 2015, 2009, 2006, 2005, 2003)

Phil Tilker (2018, 2016, 2013)

Rich Ruohonen (2018, 2008)

Greg Persinger (2018, 2016)

Colin Hufman (2018, 2016)

Matt Hamilton (2017, 2015)

John Landsteiner (2017, 2015)

Todd Birr (2007)

Greg Johnson (2007)


Jamie Sinclair (2018, 2017)

Vicky Persinger (2018, 2017)

Monica Walker (2018, 2017)

Nina Roth (2014, 2010)

Becca Hamilton (2014)

Tara Peterson (2014)

Tabitha Peterson (2012)

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


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