3 January 2019

Youthful United States ready for last-leg battle

© WCF / Richard Gray

The Hamiltons join Team Fenner and Team Christensen in Jonkoping.

USA Curling has announced its line-ups for leg three of the Curling World Cup in Jonkoping, Sweden, as the race for a spot in the inaugural Grand Final in Beijing next May heats up.

On the men’s side of the draw, Team Mark Fenner have been selected to fly the flag for United States and the rink has had a successful 2018-2019 season so far – reaching four finals.

The Curling World Cup will welcome back a familiar face on the ice in Korey Dropkin, who reached the mixed doubles final in Suzhou and is the rink’s fourth.

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Did someone say the band is back together??? 😃

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Tom Howell will play third and Alex Fenson - whose father, Pete, won a bronze medal in the 2006 Olympics - is the lead.

While they are yet to capture that maiden title this season, Team Fenner have a terrific record with 28 wins and just the 12 defeats and are the third-ranked United States team.

“We are really excited to be travelling to Sweden at the end of January to play in the third leg of the Curling World Cup!” said Dropkin.

On their group-stage opponents Sweden, he added: “Playing Edin on their home turf sounds like fun to be honest. They are a talented team, and it will be challenging, but our team is ready for this opportunity. When we step on the ice it’s going to come down to whoever makes the most shots out there.”

For Dropkin it’s a return to Sweden after previous visits with Howell for the World Junior Championships in Ostersund in 2012 and for the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in April.

“This is our first year back together as a squad and with a different dynamic on the ice,” added Dropkin. “I would say our season has been very successful so far, as we are learning and improving every week.”

Team Cory Christensen will be representing the Stars and Stripes in the women's event, which is the last chance to qualify for the Grand Final by winning a stage.

Vicky Persinger – whose brother, Greg, competed in Suzhou - is the team’s vice-skip. Second Jenna Martin and lead Madison Bear complete the rink.

The team have yet to win a tournament this season but did beat Team Kerri Einarson and Team Tracy Fleury on the way to reaching the semi-finals at the Goldline Icebreaker at The Granite in August.

Brother and sister duo, Matt and Becca Hamilton, will represent United States in the mixed doubles discipline between 30 January to 3 Feburary, 2019 at the Jonkoping Curling Club.

The Curling World Cup experience is not unfamiliar to either sibling. Matt, 29, was part of the successful Team John Shuster rink at leg two in Omaha, while Becca competed in Suzhou alongside Team Nina Roth.

The pair - born and raised in Wisconsin - also represented United States at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, when the format was making its Games debut.

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