University sophomore, Susan Dudt, to compete in U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Jaxon White, News Section Co-Editor

Mechanical Engineering student Susan Dudt ’24 will be competing in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for curling in Omaha, Nebraska this weekend. 

Dudt, a Malvern, Pa. resident and graduate of Great Valley High School, began her curling career when she was only five years old. On Saturday, she and her team, Team Strouse, will begin a double round robin, best-of-three trials competition at 9 a.m. 

“We’re really excited. It’s definitely going to be more of a learning opportunity because there are some really established teams that will be there, but we’re hopeful,” Dudt said in a press release sent by Mike Ferlazzo, director of Media Relations for the University. “We’ve beaten a lot of these top teams before in practice because you get to play them over and over again — particularly this past year when there weren’t other competitions,” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Team Strouse also won the Junior National Championship competition last year. This win secured them a spot on the USA Junior National Team, which will compete at the World Junior-B Championships in Lohja, Finland, sometime between Jan. 3 and 12. 

Considering the University does not have a curling team, Dudt must practice independently. She follows her coach’s weekday schedule, but also travels to the Philadelphia Curling Club for practices on the weekend. She also trains at the USA Curling facilities in Eagan, Minnesota. 

Primarily used as a sweeper, Dudt’s responsibility is to rub the sheet of ice with a broom to melt the surface, lessening the friction, while her teammates throw a 38- to 44-pound stone across the ice. Dudt is also responsible for throwing the stone, since each player on the team must throw two of them.

“We’ve gotten to play as a team for a few years in a row, which is kind of unique in curling. Usually, you’re switching teams every year because people are aging out. But we’ve worked really hard and this was one of our goals in this upcoming season. We’re excited to play our best when we get there,” Dudt said.

Competing in curling runs in Dudt’s family. 

Not only did her grandfather help found the Philadelphia Curling club back in 1957, but her brother, Daniel Dudt, also qualified for the men’s U.S. Olympic Trials this year. Daniel is a Mechanical Engineering graduate of the University from the class of 2017 and is currently coached by University graduate Bruce Clouser ’80, P’13.

If Team Strouse qualifies for the Team USA, Dudt will travel to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in February. 

To watch Dudt compete, NBCOlympics.com, the NBC Sports App and the NBC Sports Network will be broadcasting the trials.

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