Hagenbuch sisters qualify for Curling Junior National Championship
TRIUMPH – Two local sisters, Bella and Mae Hagenbuch, and their teammates battled in Fargo, N.D., recently for a bid to USA Curling’s U21 Junior National Championship at Broomstones Curling Club near Boston, Mass., in April 2023. The Hagenbuch sisters (Waltham Curling Club, Triumph) paired up with their teammates, Rilee Kraft (Capital Curling Club, Bismarck, N.D.) and Lauren Hein (Pardeeville Curling Club, Pardeeville, Wis.) to qualify for the national event. Additionally, the team won the bronze medal for the qualifier with an overall record of 4-1. The girls are coached by Jed Brundidge (St. Paul, Minn.).
USA Curling opened qualifying events to eight women’s and eight men's teams in the U21 Junior National Championship bracket. The Hagenbuch team is currently ranked fourth in the US for women’s U21 teams. The winning teams at the 2023 USA Curling Junior National Championships advance to represent the United States at the 2024 World Junior Curling Championships.
The Hagenbuch team also qualified as the Midwest Women’s representative for USA Curling’s U18 Nationals, which were held Jan. 12-15 at Rock Creek Curling Club in LaFayette, Colo.
The Hagenbuch girls attribute their success to having nearby accessibility to curling. Bella stated, “While we have to travel for competitions, having practice ice only a short 10-minute drive away offers me many opportunities to improve my skills.”
Mae Hagenbuch also sees the importance of history and heritage. “I’m a fourth-generation curler from Waltham Curling Club. It’s really neat to be able to curl in the same place my great grandfather did so many years ago.”
Waltham Curling Club is the oldest curling club in Illinois and is situated in Triumph, just a short drive from Ottawa, LaSalle-Peru, and Mendota. Waltham Curling Club offers a variety of levels of curling from leagues and open houses to bonspiels (curling tournaments) and private events. Waltham Curling Club information can be found online at www.walthamcurling.org or on Facebook at Waltham Curling Club.