CURLING: Mom's spectacular shot impresses daughter and her friends at U.S. Club Nationals

March 05, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 5, 2008 Mom's spectacular shot impresses daughter and her friends at U.S. Club Nationals (STEVENS POINT, Wis.)-Sometimes a parent gets a chance to, like, really impress her teenage daughter and her friends. Such was the case for Joy Pahl, who skips the Wisconsin women's team at the U.S. Club Nationals in Mankato, Minn. Pahl's team includes Erin Wallace (15), Kimberly Rhyme (16) and her daughter, Chloe, 13 (all members of the Green Bay Curling Club). To set the scene, Wisconsin and Illinois, tied for second place in round robin play, have a tight game that goes to an extra end. As Joy prepared to take her hammer shot, Illinois looked like a winner with count rock well guarded in the four foot. No problem. Pahl made a spectacular hit and roll off a side rock to count one and win."I hope I wasn't too emotional after that shot!"Pahl said after the game. Team Illinois, of the Exmoor Curling Club in Highland Park, Ill., also applauded the great shot that capped a great game. Team members are Tracy Lawless, Amy Brown, Leslie Earls and Deborah Moulton. North Dakota 2 raced to a 9-3 lead, weathered a comeback as Texas came within 9-7, then scored five in the ninth end to close out the game 14-7 against Judy Willingham's Dallas/Fort Worth crew. Texas second Kathleen Harlow felt the newer curlers were gaining valuable experience in this event."We're better than (we were) last year! We're impressed with the level of competition. We love the way the Mankato people have made us feel welcome."Curlers who play on rented arena ice have less chance to train between competitions than curlers who play in curling-only facilities. Many of the newer clubs in the U.S. have been established in multi-sports arenas. Most of the older clubs own their own ice facility. There appear to be a relative abundance of MIT grads who curl. So says skip Joyance Meechai of New York's Ardsley Curling Club. Meechai, Operations Manager of a Financial Software firm, is an MIT math graduate who can name a half dozen other MIT alum curlers. Maybe it's the strategy' New York has had a good week and are still in the hunt at 3-3, although they lost 11-6 today front-runner Minnesota. Meechai loves the game."This week is a learning experience for me. Having good form and shooting well is important, but more, I'm learning about the mental toughness part. At this level, precise rock placement is critical."Minnesota's Pam Cavers and her team (Duluth Curling Club) are veterans at this event and unbeaten this week."The newer teams are improving. They learn plenty by being here, you can see some of their games getting stronger as the week progresses. As for us, we're playing strongly and have always had excellent team chemistry. And yes, the ice is quick and pretty much true!"In other games, Maryland broke a close game wide open with a steal of five points in the ninth end to defeat Ohio, 15-9. Maryland, the Potomac Curling Club entry, is now tied for third place in round robin play. Ohio, of the Mayfield Curling Club, slipped to 1-5. Also at 3-3, North Dakota 1, skipped by Beth Bohlman of Grand Forks, beat Karen Tait's Coyotes Curling Club Team Arizona, 11-3 in 7 ends. Round robin action continues Thursday through 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) 6-0 Wisconsin (Pahl) 5-1 Illinois (Lawless) 4-2 Maryland (Drummie) 4-2 New York (Meechai) 3-3 North Dakota 1 (Bohlman)3-3 North Dakota 2 (Jaster) 2-4 Arizona (Tait) 1-5 Ohio (Festersen) 1-5 Texas (Willingham) 1-5 Men: Illinois (Wright) 5-1 Minnesota (Harris) 5-1 Wisconsin 1 (Brown) 5-1 North Dakota (Tangedal) 4-2 Maryland (Edie) 3-3 Oregon (Schaak) 3-3 Ohio (Cohen) 2-4 Washington (Rasmussen) 2-4 Wisconsin 2 (Journeaux) 1-5 Colorado (Gleeson) 0-6 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).