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The Portage area will be well represented when the 2019 United State Curling National Championships begin today at the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Among the athletes who make up the 18 teams battling for national championships are Portage sisters Annmarie and Katie Dubberstein, along with Portage’s Madison Bear. On the men’s side, Poynette’s Trevor Marquardt will also be playing for a national championship.

Annmarie Dubberstein will be playing skip for a team that recently finished in second place at the United States Junior Championships held last month, while Katie Dubberstein will be playing third for a team skipped by Kim Rhyme of Minneapolis. Bear is a member of the Cory Christensen rink, while Marquardt is playing third for the Chase Sinnett rink.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place today at 5 p.m., followed by the first session of the men’s round robin at 6 p.m. The women’s round robin will begin Sunday at 11 a.m. After the round robin concludes on Thursday, the top four men’s and three women’s teams will advance to the Page playoffs on Friday afternoon. The semifinal games are slated to take place on Friday night with the championship finals next Saturday.

The 2019 World Women’s Championship begins March 16 in Silkeborg, Denmark, while the Men’s World Championship will take begin March 30 in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

Based on requirements set forth at the start of the season, five of the women’s teams and four of the competing men’s teams have met the threshold to represent the U.S. at the upcoming world championships should they win their respective national titles on Feb. 16. Those teams include Nina Roth, Jamie Sinclair, Cory Christensen, Stephanie Senneker, Annmarie Dubberstein, John Shuster, Rich Ruohonen, Mark Fenner and Scott Dunnam.