By Derrick Hunt
Flannery Allison is a third-year photojournalism student from St. Louis and the president of the RIT Curling Club. The Tigers are currently ranked second in the nation and first in their region by College Curling USA. Their next competition is the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Bonspiel, which takes place the weekend of Dec. 5 in Schenectady, N.Y.
Question: What brought you to RIT?
Answer: RIT has one of the top photography programs in the country, so I figured if I was going to go to school for photography, I should pick one of the best schools for it.
Q: Why did you choose to major in photojournalism?
A: I’ve always loved photography. I took my first photo class freshman year of high school and learned how to shoot film. I enjoy the way that photography combines my artsy and technical sides.
Q: How did you get into competitive curling?
A: I started curling back in high school when the St. Louis Curling Club was established in 2010. My dad had watched curling his whole life because he is from New Hampshire, so we joined the club. When I came to RIT, I knew I wanted to continue with the sport and I joined the club at the freshman club fair.
Q: What position do you play?
A: It depends on the tournament, but I normally skip (the team captain and strategist). This year I have also been throwing lead (a thrower and sweeper).
Q: How did the team do at the curling tournament last weekend?
A: RIT hosted the annual Rochester Curling Club College Bonspiel (a curling tournament) last weekend. Sixteen teams competed from nine schools to earn points for nationals. Colgate won and Villanova took second. We chose to spread out our talent to help our beginners, so we did not place very high. However, we gained experience as a team and we had a few really close games.
Q: When do nationals take place?
A: The national tournament is happening right here in Rochester the weekend of March 13! Teams qualify by competing in various bonspiels throughout the year. We have a very strong chance of qualifying.
Q: What is the curling team currently ranked?
A: The team is currently in second place nationally and we are first in our region. We’ve played in three tournaments so far this year: one in Fort Wayne, Ind., one in Boston, and the one last weekend here in Rochester.
Q: Why do you love curling?
A: I love curling because it is a mix of athletic ability and technical thinking. It’s been nicknamed “chess on ice” for a reason. You always have to think a few throws ahead.
Q: What are you looking forward to most this school year?
A: I’m looking forward to traveling with the team and becoming more organized as a club. I am also traveling to Switzerland soon to photograph the European Curling Championships with the media trainee program of the World Curling Federation.
Q: What have been some of your best memories from RIT?
A: I would have to say spending time with my friends exploring. We’ve traveled to Toronto and Niagara Falls, and we’ve also gone skiing and whitewater rafting. As for the curling club, my favorite memories have come from traveling and bonding with the team.
Derrick Hunt compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact him firstname.lastname@example.org with suggestions.