2019 Junior Nationals kick off Sunday in Two Harbors

By Terry L. Davis | Jan. 10, 2019, 2:39 p.m. (ET)


Jan. 10, 2019

2019 Junior National Championships begin Sunday in Two Harbors

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – The battle to become Team USA begins Sunday when teams hit the ice at the 2019 USA Curling Junior National Championships in Two Harbors, Minn.

The 2019 Junior Nationals will kick off with team practices on Sunday followed by the opening ceremony at 8 p.m. CT. The round robin will begin Monday morning at 8 a.m. Live scores and a live webstream will be linked at www.usacurl.org.

The 16 teams – eight men’s and eight women’s – will compete in a preliminary round robin to determine the playoff teams. The championship finals will take place on Saturday, Jan. 19. The winning teams will represent the U.S. at the 2019 World Junior Championships Feb. 16-24 in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Members of the defending champion squads return this year looking to add another win to their resumes. Annmarie Dubberstein (Portage, Wis.), as vice skip for Madison Bear, and Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.) finished fifth and fourth, respectively, at last year’s World Junior Championships. Dubberstein, a student at the University of Minnesota, and her team of Cora Farrell (Fairbanks, Alaska), Jenna Burchesky (Walpole, Mass.), and Allison Howell (Solon, Ohio) won the St. Paul Cashspiel earlier this season and also are qualified to compete in the upcoming Women’s National Championship. Stopera, a student at Northwestern, is teamed up with Luc Violette (Lake Stevens, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Issaquah, Wash.), Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), and Riley Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.). The team has had a successful season so far with a big World Curling Tour win at the St. Paul Cashspiel back in October.

In last year’s final, Stopera’s team defeated Trevor Marquardt’s rink. Marquardt is now vice skip for Chase Sinnett’s team. Dubberstein’s squad got past the Abbey Kitchens rink in the gold-medal game. Kitchens returns with hopes of reaching the top of the podium in 2019.


After the round robin concludes, a modified Page playoff will take place. If there is a clear winner of the round robin – at least one win ahead of any other team – that team will advance directly to the championship final. If two or three teams are tied for first place after the round robin, then the team the top two seeds squaring off in a game with the winner advancing to the championship final. The losing side will then take on the No. 3 playoff seed in a single semifinal match to determine the other finalist. If four teams end up tied for first place after the round robin concludes, all four will advance to the playoffs and be seeded for traditional semifinal games with the winners of those games moving on to the gold-medal match. In the rare scenario where more than four teams are tied for first place, tiebreaker games would be played to reduce the playoff field to four teams.

There is a double loss provision in place so if an undefeated team advances to the final, the first championship game will be played at 9 a.m. with a second final played at 1 p.m. if the undefeated team loses that first game.


At the conclusion of the event the Curtis Cup for Sportsmanship Awards will be presented to a female and male team. In addition, the Katie Beck Memorial Award will be presented to an outstanding player competing in the second position. New this year is the Bev Schroeder Memorial Junior Curling Awards, which will be presented to two outstanding Junior Nationals rookies (one female, one male). The award honors the late Bev Schroeder, who coached the women’s team to the Junior Nationals gold medal the past two seasons and coached many other junior teams over three decades. A scholarship fund – separate from the Junior Nationals awards – was created in December. More details about how to apply for the college scholarships will be available soon at www.usacurl.org.

Social media:



Competing teams:


Team Cousins: Elizabeth Cousins (Medfield, Mass.), Katherine Gourianova (Potomac, Md.), Elizabeth Janiak (Nashua, N.H.), Sydney Mullaney (Concord, Mass.)

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

Team Flannery: Cait Flannery (Mankato, Minn.), Leah Yavarow (Bemidji, Minn.), Lexi Lanigan (Duluth, Minn.), Rebecca Miles (Duluth, Minn.)

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

Team Kitchens: Abbey Kitchens (Devils Lake, N.D.), Sydney Steffen (Devils Lake, N.D.), Mairin Barrett (Woodbury, Minn.), Sara Hodek (Fairdale, N.D.), Delaney Strouse (Midland, Mich.)

Team Page: Anya Normandeau (Burnsville, Minn.), Mackenzie Page (Mankato, Minn.), Abigail Page (Mankato, Minn.), Celeste Taylor (Wausau, Wis.), Damaris Berg (Bemidji, Minn.)

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

Team Viau: Suzanna Viau (Plover, Wis.), Anna Netteberg (Roseville, Minn.), Anne O’Hara (Fairbanks, Alaska), Emma Rau (Columbus, Ohio)


Team Hipke: Tyler Hipke (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Danny Casper (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Connor Hipke (Wauwatosa, Wis.), Matthew Rosenbloom (Scarsdale, N.Y.)

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

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

Team Slusar: Skyler Slusar (Hallock, Minn.), Nick Steinhaus (Mapleton, Minn.), Ethan Sampson (Edmore, N.D.), Mitch Wilson (Delafield, Wis.)

Team Stopera: Andrew Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Luc Violette (Lake Stevens, Wash.), Ben Richardson (Issaquah, Wash.), Graem Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Riley Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.)

Team Thompson: Charlie Thompson (Eau Claire, Wis.), Coleman Thurston (Poynette, Wis.), Nicholas Soto (Midland, Mich.), Jake Thurston (Poynette, Wis.), Hans Nielsen (Stevens Point, Wis.)

Team Tuma: Kevin Tuma (St. Paul, Minn.), Sam Clasen (Roseville, Minn.), Michael Mattson (Woodbury, Minn.), Austin Bengtson (Spicer, Minn.), Sidney Harris (St. Paul, Minn.)

Team Wendling: Wes Wendling (Wausau, Wis.), John Wilkerson (Kronenwetter, Wis.), Mitch Armstrong (Appleton, Wis.), Jackson Armstrong (Appleton, Wis.)

More information on the 2019 Junior Nationals can be found at https://go.teamusa.org/2yeW6t0 and http://twoharborscurling.com/2019-junior-nationals/.

USA Curling is sponsored by AtomOS, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, CryoMAX 8-Hour Cold Pack, Sitrin, The RAM Restaurant & Brewery, 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.


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