Spring break is often a time for college students to relax and unwind.
For the Syracuse University club curling team, spring break was a time to put their skills to the test, traveling to Fargo, North Dakota to compete in the Collegiate Curling National Championship, held March 11-13.
The team earned a spot in the national championship thanks to significant success and plenty of hard work and practice throughout the season. The team participated in four qualifying bonspiels (tournaments), winning two of those competitions to enter the national championships ranked third overall.
“Combining the experience from our experienced curlers, the willingness to learn from the lesser experienced ones, and the drive to win a national title has propelled this team into great success this year,” says Paul Mokotoff, ’21, G’22, skip of the curling club and an aerospace engineering student in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
The team embraced the experience of belonging to a club sports team. Every Sunday, alongside their club advisor, Becky Schewe, the team travels to the Utica Curling Club for practices. During these practice sessions, the team received invaluable coaching advice, expertise and strategy from other college curling coordinators.
“It’s been really fun to work with the team as an advisor. I love curling and it’s great to see them work so hard and be so successful as a young team, ”says Schewe.
The national championship was canceled the past two seasons because of COVID-19. Despite missing one full season of competitive play due to the pandemic, the University’s club team was able to practice and improve their craft thanks to a consistent practice schedule.
According to curling club president and vice skip Christopher Lorenz ’22, a supply chain management and finance major in the Whitman School of Management, the team’s achievements are a result of their weekly practices and their drive to compete.
“By being in the finals of three bonspiels this year, we have put ourselves in some really good pressure scenarios. This has also allowed us to bolster our communication and team dynamics, which is essential for any high-performing team, ”says Lorenz.
As the season comes to a close, the team reflected on their successful season and goals for the future.
“My expectations were exceeded and I’m really proud of the front end of the team – they’ve put in tons of work improving their delivery and shot-making abilities this year,” says Lorenz.
About Sport Clubs at the Barnes Center at The Arch
The Barnes Center at The Arch supports more than 50 sport clubs throughout the year. Clubs are student-led groups that engage in recreation, competition and / or instructional sport-related activities. To learn more, visit the Barnes Center website or the Wellness Portal.
Story by Isabella Podgorski ’22, communications intern in the student experience