Curling bonspiel attracts Olympian, top-ranked competition

The Bowling Green Curling Club is hosting the 74th annual U.S. Women’s Curling Association National Bonspiel now through Sunday at the Black Swamp Curling Center, located on U.S. 25.

The bonspiel, which means a curling tournament, will feature 32 teams of women curlers from 11 different states, from Maine to Arizona.

Some of the notable national bonspiel competitors include:

Ann Swisshelm (Detroit Curling Club) is a two-time Olympian (2002, 2014) and former world champion (2003). Swisshelm played on last year’s senior national championship team that advanced to finish second for Team USA at the 2022 Senior World Curling Championship. She has also won five national women’s titles.

Tracy Lawless (Milwaukee Curling Club) is a former senior women’s national champion. Lawless won silver last year at senior nationals. She also won the USWCA National Bonspiel in 2015, 2008, and 2007.

Kim Rudkin (Blackhawk Curling Club) and the rest of her team from Janesville, Wisconsin: Suzanne Lindsay, Jodeen Exner and Deb Richards. Rudkin’s team were last year’s runners-up in the National Bonspiel.

Other former National Bonspiel winners, including Krista Longenecker and Marinna Martini (Cape Cod, Massachusetts), Laura Roessler (Centerville, Wisconsin) and Elizabeth Demers (Detroit), will be there.

Additionally, seven local BGCC members will compete in the field. The BGCC team will consist of Molly Wolf, Martha Mazzarella, Linda Pauken and Lori Christman.

Three other BGCC members will play on a team representing the Central region: Jennifer Williams, Sandy Earl and Amanda Corbin, along with Deb Freedlander from Detroit.

The event begins with the opening ceremony today, with the first “draw” (set of games) immediately following at 6 p.m. The action runs through Sunday afternoon with the finals at 2:15 p.m. No games are scheduled for Thursday evening.

This is open to the public and is free to watch. The 9th End Bar, located on-site, sells craft beers on tap along with mixed drinks and non-alcoholic beverages.

The USWCA is a national organization dedicated to the growth and promotion of women in curling since 1947.

The Bowling Green Curling Club has been in existence since 1968. Today it has over 270 members that play in over a dozen recreational adult and junior leagues. All aspects of the club are run by volunteer members.

The Black Swamp Curling Center has been the site for recreational leagues, competitive events, bonspiels, and “learn to curl” classes for the public since February 2017.