University of Montana To Host 2015 Hurling National Championship - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

University of Montana To Host 2015 Hurling National Championship

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In just it's first year as a program, the University of Montana Hurling team took home the collegiate national title, but that's just the tip of the iceberg for the team, as they look to continue to grow.

What's the next step, how can we help Hurling grow in Montana even further? Then when we got the email, with the criteria they needed for hosting Nationals, we saw it was west of the Mississippi, and it got us thinking why not Missoula?  Why can't we do it here in Montana?" says Griz Hurler Brian Barry.

People are now associating it with Irish culture, that the Hurling club is a part of Missoula and a part of the University, and now people from outside the school are trying to start teams, and last week in Butte we were in the An Ri Ra festival, and there was a lot of interest there as well, so hopefully Missoula will become a hotbed for Hurling," says fellow Griz Hurler Naoise Waldron.

While bigger cities like Chicago were in the mix, Missoula won out, and the players say it's a perfect fit to bring teams from across the nation from major schools, the likes of Cal Berkley, Stanford and UCONN.

"Why not?  It's a huge tradition and history of Irish Culture in the state, and this is just another step in the road in inspiring it further along.  It will be a huge celebration of sport and culture all rolled into one," says Barry.

A great opportunity, and a great chance for the sport to grow, with the national tournament set for memorial day weekend 2015.

"It doesn't really get any bigger, it's a national competition, and we're going to be defending the title at home in Washington Grizzly stadium, running across the Grizzly bear, and out of the tunnel, in front of a couple thousand fans hopefully, and just bring the house down," says Waldron.

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