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Four local curlers will be battling it out for a national championship starting today, when they take the ice at the USA Curling U18 National Championships in Chaska, Minnesota.

Skipping Team Wisconsin at the event will be Sam Jones of Endeavor. Also on the team is Portage’s Ellie Vorpahl and Endeavor’s Halie Maier, along with Poynette’s Abby Marquardt and Anna Armstrong of Appleton. Jones, Vorpahl and Maier are all members of the Portage High School girls curling team that won the high school state championship last month.

The team qualified for the U18 National Championships by winning the Wisconsin U18 Playdowns, held in Wausau in late December.

Twenty-four teams — 12 boys teams and 12 girls teams — will be competing at the event, which begins today. Each team is put into a six-team pool and will play a round-robin schedule against the other teams in the pool. The top two teams in each pool will advance to the playoffs, which will be held on Sunday.

The winning boys and girls teams will represent the United States at the upcoming U18 Players Championship, which will be held March 29-31 in Ontario, Canada.

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