CURLING: Gophers deal Maryland its first loss at U.S. Club Nationals

March 04, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 3, 2008 Gophers deal Maryland its first loss at U.S. Club Nationals (STEVENS POINT, Wis.)-Norma O'Leary's Duluth Curling Club rink kept their record unblemished as Minnesota beat Maryland 15-5 in eight ends at the U.S. Club Nationals in Mankato, Minn. O'Leary (of Silver Bay, Minn.), curling with Pam Cavers, Mary Johnson and Patti Luke (all of Duluth), led 5-3 when they put the game out of reach with four points in the sixth end. A deuce by Maryland in the seventh was quickly answered by six more Minnesota points in the eighth end, and the teams shook hands. Team Maryland, from the Potomac Curling Club (Laurel, Md.) suffered their first loss this week. The foursome includes Ann Drummie (of Washington, D.C.), Joan Twigg (Severna Park, Md.), Rachel Treesh (Silver Spring, Md.) and Rachel Beyerle (Alexandria, Va.). Wisconsin also maintained a 3-0 record with a 12-3, six-end drilling of Texas. Joy Pahl and her Green Bay Curling Club teammates Erin Wallace, Kimberly Rhyme and Chloe Pahl (all of Green Bay) scored twin three ends to take a big early lead. Texas, from the Dallas/Fort Worth Curling Club, came back with two points in the third end and a steal of one in the fourth, but Wisconsin slammed the come back door with two more three ends. Team Texas includes Judy Willingham (of Cleburne), Linda Murphy (Longview), Kathleen Harlow (Fort Worth), Valerie McHugh (Aledo) and Marcie Alsobrooks (of Ypsilanti, Mich.). In a game of big ends, Arizona scored a dramatic four points in the tenth end to edge Ohio, 11-10. Ohio's Mayfield Curling Club team, skipped by Else Festersen, had scored a rare seven points (eight is the maximum potential score in one end) in the seventh end to go ahead 9-6 and looked poised for a win. But after trading one ends, Arizona's Coyotes Curling Club team, skipped by Karen Tait, surged back from three points down to win with the big score of four. The extra-end nail biter of the evening belonged to Team Illinois, from the Exmoor Curling Club of Highland Park, which stole a single in the 11th end for the win. Illinois, skipped by Tracy Lawless, were behind the entire game, finally tying the score with a deuce in the 10th end before stealing in the extra end, handing New York its first loss. The New Yorkers, skipped by Joyance Meechai, represent the Ardsley Curling Club in Ardsley-on-Hudson. In a hard fought intra-state rivalry, North Dakota 2, Mary Jaster's Grafton Curling Club team, beat the Grand Forks Curling Club rink skipped by Beth Bohlman, 11-3. The Grand Forks rink took an early 3-2 lead but were shut out the rest of the way. The action continues Tuesday at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. The round robin concludes Friday afternoon. The top four teams qualify for Saturday morning's semifinals. The men's and women's championship finals are set for 2 p.m. Saturday. The U.S. Club Nationals, now in its fourth year, does not lead to the World Championships, rather rewards the top league-playing team in the U.S. The winners of the recent U.S. National Championships in Hibbing represent the U.S. at the Worlds. Standings: Women: Minnesota (O'Leary) 3-0 Wisconsin (Pahl) 3-0 Illinois (Lawless) 2-1 Maryland (Drummie) 2-1 New York (Meechai) 2-1 Arizona (Tait) 1-2 North Dakota 1 (Bohlman)1-2 North Dakota 2 (Jaster) 1-2 Ohio (Festersen) 0-3 Texas (Willingham) 0-3 Men: Illinois (Wright) 3-0 Maryland (Edie) 3-0 Minnesota (Harris) 3-0 Wisconsin 1 (Brown) 3-0 North Dakota (Tangedal) 2-1 Wisconsin 2 (Journeaux) 1-2 Colorado (Gleeson) 0-3 Ohio (Cohen) 0-3 Oregon (Schaak) 0-3 Washington (Rasmussen) 0-3 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike as well as by AT,T through a joint marketing program with the U.S. Olympic Committee. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).