CURLING: Men's and Women's semi-finals set at curling's Club Nationals

March 07, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 7, 2008 Men's and Women's semi-finals set at curling's Club Nationals (STEVENS POINT, Wis.) Semi-final pairings have been set following the last round robin games today at the Men's U.S. Club Nationals in Mankato, Minn. Semi-finals are 10 a.m. Saturday, March 8 (Finals at 2 p.m.) Women's pairings: Wisconsin (Pahl) v. Maryland (Drummie) Minnesota (O'Leary) v. Illinois (Lawless) Men's pairings: Wisconsin (Brown) v. North Dakota (Tangedal) Minnesota (Harris) v. Illinois (Wright) In men's action Friday: Wisconsin 2 15, Colorado 0 Minnesota 7, North Dakota 3 Wisconsin 1 8, Maryland 5 (Wisconsin scores three in 10th to win) Oregon 9, Illinois 6 (Oregon wins four of its last six games) Washington 8, Ohio 4 (Washington wins five of its last six games) In women's action Friday: Ohio 11, Texas 4 North Dakota 1 11, New York 4 Wisconsin 11, Minnesota 7 Illinois 10, Arizona 5 North Dakota 2 7, Maryland 5 (ND 2 wins four of its last five games) Quotables: Stu Cohen (Columbus, Ohio, Curling Club) and Doug Schaak (Evergreen, Oregon, Curling Club):"We're gonna build dedicated curling ice as soon as possible!"Both play on rented arena ice, and both feel that a club's long term success depends on a transition, within five years or so, to curling-only ice. Schaak feels that, in the long run, rented ice drains club leaders' energy and enthusiasm. Schaak, who learned to curl at the old Rolette Club in North Dakota, founded the Evergreen Club in Portland, Oregon. Cohen is an associate of well-known curling bon vivant and Columbus club founder"Prince"Hal McGrady."Ditch the peer seeding for the round robin at Club Nationals and go to random draw seeding."This from several male and female competitors (from both arena and traditional clubs), who agree that arena curlers, who have little practice opportunity prior to the nationals, often play the top seeds in the first two rounds, when the arena teams are at their worst. The event itself is one long practice week and the arena teams tend to get much better as the week goes along. Many players feel a random round robin draw would be fairer to all. These players' opinion is that the rationale used for peer seeding at events leading to world and Olympic play, namely to help ensure the best team represents the USA, is not relevant at Club Nationals. Beth Bohlman, North Dakota 1:"We have lots of new members at the Grand Forks Curling Club, and some of them don't yet know why the veterans are so excited about hosting the World Men's Championship. They only know it's a lot of work. They'll find out in April why we are so excited. As for Mankato, it's a lot of fun! It's my fourth Club Nationals. I think this year's is the most even field we've had." See you in Grand Forks' Ann Drummie, Maryland:"The Potomac Curling club has done so well since we completed the facility just as I moved to the D.C. area! Mankato has been a fantastic experience, my first Club Nationals, and we have definitely met our expectations! Our team is very happy that this event exists and we are proud to represent our club."Scott Edie, Maryland skip:"They (Team Maryland) called me to sub when their skip was called suddenly to Jamaica just before this event."Edie reported that the Jamaica thing was job-related, not caused by an assessment of curling versus sunny beaches. Kudos before the playoffs: Mankato Curling Club, for warmth, and for Con and Todd's great ice. News item: Commodore Barry Braun conducted boat races Thursday evening, with a Texas/Colorado match featured. Con and Todd Birr have made great championship ice."Thanks!"to Chief Umpire Norm Reinhart and Assistant Chief Ken McPartlin. The U.S. Club Nationals, now in its fourth year, does not lead to the World Championships, rather rewards the top same-club 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. Final round robin standings: (Q = semi-finals qualifier, 1 v.4, 2 v.3) Women: Wisconsin (Pahl) 7-2Q1 Illinois (Lawless) 7-2Q2 Minnesota (O'Leary) 7-2Q3 Maryland (Drummie) 6-3Q4 North Dakota 2 (Jaster) 5-4 New York (Meechai) 3-6 North Dakota 1 (Bohlman)4-5 Arizona (Tait) 2-7 Texas (Willingham) 2-7 Ohio (Festersen) 2-7 Men: Wisconsin 1 (Brown) 8-1Q1 Minnesota (Harris) 7-2Q2 Illinois (Wright) 6-3Q3 North Dakota (Tangedal) 6-3Q4 Washington (Rasmussen) 5-4 Maryland (Edie) 4-5 Oregon (Schaak) 4-5 Ohio (Cohen) 3-6 Wisconsin 2 (Journeaux) 2-7 Colorado (Gleeson) 0-9 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).