ECC Wheelchair Curlers Compete at U.S. Pre-Trials

Evergreen CC curlers Bill Gray, Steven Roberts and Stephen Hart competed at the Team USA pre-trials event in Janesville, WI on March 15-18, 2012.   Of the three, Bill Gray won the right to move on to Team USA’s World Selection Trials in Madison, WI in October, 2012.   There, Gray will compete with ECC curler Cathy Cummins and ten other U.S. athletes to decide who will represent USA at the 2013 World Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia.  

“Evergreen CC and the curlers in Portland, OR should be proud of the interest and participation they have developed in wheelchair curling,” said Steve Brown, head coach of the U.S. wheelchair curling program.

The Pre Trials were held over four days, with practice ice on Thursday, and the competition Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Five athletes competed in a grueling series of skills tests designed to measure their shot-making abilities and consistency.
Final Results:
Jimmy Kenner of Green Bay, WI:                                411 points
Bill Gray of  Evergreen CC (Portland, OR):                     386 points
Steve Roberts of  Evergreen CC (Portland, OR):            322 points
Stephen Hart of  Evergreen CC (Portland, OR):             319 points
Brian Fontanarosa  of Columbus, OH:                            253 points

Each athlete competed in five separate skill competitions and delivered a total of 248 stones.  The skill shots were equally divided between draw shots and take outs, and also equally divided between In turns (clockwise rotation) and out turns (counter-clockwise rotation).  Each test represented a shot that the athlete would encounter  in competition.

Twelve athletes (eight men, four women) will compete at the Team USA World Selection trials in October 2012, and a team of five will be chosen to represent Team USA at the 2013 World Wheelchair Curling Championship, February 16-23, 2013, in Sochi, Russia.   The World Team must include at least one man and one woman.  Three additional athletes will be designated as Team USA alternates.

Cathy Cummins from Evergreen CC will be one of four females competing at the World Selection Trials.   Probably, the World Team will consist of at least two members of each gender pending approval from the U.S. Curling Association (USCA) and the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).

“International rules require that at least one member of each gender be on the ice at all times, so it is very dangerous to travel with just one female as we did this past season, ” said Brown.