USA Curling announced its Team and Athletes of the Year awards for 2016 ©USA Curling

USA Curling has named its 2016 team and athletes of the year.

The John Shuster rink was crowned as the 2016 USA Curling team of the year, following their bronze-medal at the 2016 World Men's Curling Championships and an impressive year on the World Curling Tour in which they finished 14th in the Order of Merit standings.

“Building off our strong first season together, our team set some pretty lofty goals for this past season," said three-time Winter Olympian Schuster. 

"We achieved nearly all of them, which was pretty remarkable. 

"It was amazing being a part of such a great season.

“Collectively, we are honoured to be named Team of the Year. 

"Because curling is the ultimate team sport, it’s great to be recognised together."

The John Shuster rink was awarded the Team of the Year prize © Getty Images
The John Shuster rink was awarded the Team of the Year prize © Getty Images

The Athletes of the Year awards were handed to Cory Christensen of Duluth, Minnesota and Korey Dropkin of Southborough, Massachusetts, who both lead their teams to junior national titles and silver medals at the 2016 World Junior Championships. 

Christensen, 21, led her team of Sarah Anderson, Taylor Anderson, Madison Bear and Christine McMakin to a perfect 11-0 record en-route to winning the 2016 Junior Women’s National Championship title in January.

Later that month, the team progressed from the round robin stages of the 2016 World Junior Championships in Denmark with a record of seven wins and two defeats. 

After advancing to the gold-medal game, the US team ended up taking home silver medals after losing to Canada.

“I feel very honoured to have been chosen for this award,” said Christensen, who has won the junior national title four times. 

“Thank you to the committee, my coaches, all of our supporters, and especially my team-mates. 

"I feel very lucky to compete at such a high level with some of my best friends."

Dropkin, 21, captured the 2016 USA Curling Junior National Men’s Championship title with team-mates Tom Howell, Mark Fenner, Alex Fenson and Quinn Evenson. 

At the 2016 World Juniors, after advancing to the gold-medal game with a semi-final win over Switzerland, the US had to settle for silver after a 6-4 loss to Scotland in the final.

“Looking back on the year, the season definitely delivered some tough losses, but also some great finishes with both teams," said Dropkin.

There’s still lots to learn, but I can’t thank my teammates enough for the incredible year we experienced. 

"It is no doubt one I will cherish."