Local Wes Johnson Rink To Play In National Curling Championships
As the calendar moves to March and the 2010 Olympics come to a halt, teams from Seattle's Granite Curling Club (www.curlingseattle.org) look to continue a successful run at championships. Following a disappointing 2-7 record in the Vancouver Olympics, John Shuster's Team USA men's curling team decided to drop out of the upcoming 2010 US National Curling Championships in Kalamazoo, Michigan, due to fatigue. Seattle's Wes Johnson rink (Wes Johnson, Leon Romaniuk, Paul Lyttle, Richard Maskel) will take Shuster's place in the tournament, which begins March 6th at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Johnson (Everett, WA) and teammates Romaniuk (Kirkland, WA) Lyttle (Bothell, WA) and Maskel (Green Bay, WI) will be one of ten men's teams competing for a chance to represent the United States at the Capital One 2010 World Men's Curling Championship, April 3- 11 in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy. http://www.worldcurling.org/capital-one-world-mens-curling-championship

They will be joined in Kalamazoo by another Seattle team, which will be playing in the women's US Nationals. The Lysa Hambley rink ( Lysa Hambley, Em Good, Elle LeBeau, Cindy Eng-Dinsel and Sara Skulec) will be one of ten women's teams competing in the US Women's National Championship, March 6- 13th. Hambley (Lynnwood, WA) and teammates Good (Seattle) LeBeau (Redmond, WA) Eng-Dinsel (Bothell, WA) and Skulec (Bothell, WA) will be playing in their first national championship as a team. The winner of the women's national championship will move on to represent the United States at the 2010 Ford World Women's Championship March 20-28 in Swift Current, Canada. Their progress can be followed during the tournament at: http://www.worldcurling.org/ford-world-womens-curling-championship

Another Granite Curling Club team achieved success on a national level this past weekend.

The Philip Tilker rink (Tilker, Darren Lehto, Liam Barksdale, Bill Rugen) took home the silver medal at the 2010 U.S. Curling Club National Championships in Madison, WI. Tilker's team reached Saturday's finals with a win over North Dakota, but fell just short of a championship with an 8-6 loss on Saturday night to Todd Birr's Minnesota team. Details are available at www.2010clubnationals.com

Sean Beighton ( Edmonds, WA) and teammates Derrick McLean (Bothell, WA) Sam Galey (Seattle, WA) Joe Purvis (Kenmore, WA) will be leaving on Tuesday morning as Team USA to participate in the 2010 World Junior Curling Championship in Flims, Switzerland, March 5-14. During the event, scores, updated stats and standings will be available at http://www.wjcc2010.com/

Across the United States, curling clubs saw a huge increase in interest and participation during the Olympics and Seattle's Granite Curling Club was no different. At learn-to-curl open house events over the past two weekends, over 1,200 people showed up at the club to try their hand at the Olympic sport, with a peak of 450 new curlers on Saturday, February 27th. Because of the increased interest, the Granite Curling Club, which is located at 1440 N. 128th Street in North Seattle, will be adding a spring league for the first time in their fifty-year history. The leagues will begin in April and run through June. Details can be found on the Granite Curling Club website at www.curlingseattle.org.

The Granite Curling Club is the only dedicated curling facility on the west coast of the U.S., and has been operating in its present facility since 1961. The Granite Curling Club has been the home to more national championship teams (37) than any other U.S. curling club. The most recent champions are the Sean Beighton rink, the 2010 Men's Junior National champions and the Sharon Vukich rink, the 2010 Senior Women's National champions.

For more information on the Olympic sport of curling, please visit www.curlingseattle.org or www.usacurl.org. For questions concerning this release, or for specific interview or footage requests, please contact Tom FitzGerald at 206-550-2080, or tomfitzgerald@verizon.net