In February, the five curling clubs of Columbia County Wisconsin (Arlington, Lodi, Pardeeville, Portage, and Poynette) hosted the 37th National Senior Men’s Curling Championships, sponsored by the U.S. Senior Men’s Curling Association (USSMCA). Seventy-two teams came from as far away as Washington, Arizona, North Carolina, and Maryland to compete in three divisions: Masters (68+), Super Seniors (63+), and Seniors (55+).
The event kicked off on Wednesday evening with a welcome gathering at Portage Curling Club that featured the “music” of Laverne Griffin and his Hogliners. The guest speaker at the banquet, attended by about 350 people, was Columbia County’s own Debbie McCormick, fresh from the national championships in Green Bay and gearing up for her trip to Latvia.
The championships featured a four-game guarantee, and the draw sheet was designed so that teams would play in at least three, usually four, and sometimes all five clubs. The three teams that successfully made all the adjustments and never lost a game were the Schneider rink from Detroit (Masters Division), the Liapis rink from Bemidji (Super Seniors Division), and the Berling rink from Madison (Seniors Division).
The championships provided a great opportunity for the senior curlers to see old friends, make new ones, and tell (embellish?) good curling stories. Everyone is looking forward to next year’s event, hosted by Wausau in their brand new facilities, February 13-16, 2014.
Schneider rink from Detroit (Masters Division)
Liapis rink from Bemidji (Super Seniors Division)
Berling rink from Madison (Seniors Division)
For other photos from the USSMCA 2013 National Championships, visit our Flickr group.