Blake Morton of McFarland and his curling rink head to a qualifying tournament this weekend with their sights set on the Winter World University Games.
Morton will join forces with fellow University of Wisconsin students Marcus Fonger and Calvin Weber as well as Tommy Juszczyk of Madison Area Technical College in a four-team playdown competition that starts Friday in Fargo, N.D.
All hail from McFarland except for Fonger, who is from Cottage Grove.
The winner advances to the Winter World University Games, which begins Jan. 27 in Erzurum, Turkey.
To be eligible to compete, team members must be full-time college students or no less than a year removed from graduation, at least 17 years old and no older than 27 through Jan. 1.
The World Winter University Games are held every two years and encompass curling, hockey, speed skating, figure skating, snowboard, several ski disciplines and ski jumping.
Morton’s team captured bronze in 2009 in its first appearance at the U.S. junior nationals.
The favorite in the play-down tournament is led by three-time U.S. junior champ Aanders Brorson of Duluth, Minn., who won gold at the 2008 World Junior Championships.
USA Curling intends to provide live scoring for all the matches.