CURLING: Semifinal berths still up for grabs at 2008 U.S. Mixed

March 20, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 19, 2008 Playoff berths still up for grabs at 2008 U.S. Mixed Championship (DETROIT) - With two draws remaining in the round robin, the semifinal berths are still up for grabs at the 2008 U.S. Mixed National Championship at the Detroit Curling Club. Teams skipped by Fred Maxie of Arizona, Derek Surka of Connecticut and Duane Symons of North Dakota II are tied for first place at 6-2. Just a half game back is Wisconsin's Ryan Lemke rink at 5-2. Still on the outside looking in is Minnesota's Peter Stolt at 4-3 while Washington and North Dakota 1 are on the bubble in true March Madness fashion at 3-4. Lemke (Medford, Wis.) and teammates Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.), Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Becca Wood (Wausau, Wis.) and Megan O'Connell (Medford, Wis.) defeated Connecticut, 9-3, with big steals and solid defense. Maxie's Arizona team knocked off Doug Boyd's Illinois rink, 8-6, to keep pace with the top group. Maxie (Phoenix) and teammates Cindy Kortebein (Knoxville, Tenn.), Richard Maskel (Green Bay, Wis.) and Jan Legacie (Edmore, N.D.) also used multiple steals to hold off the late rally by Illinois. North Dakota 2 scored a single in the 10th end to defeat Alaska's Dennis Thies rink, 8-7. Symons (Langdon, N.D.) and teammates Val Nash (Devils Lake, N.D.), Chad Carlson (Fisher, Minn.) and Christine Mikulich (Eveleth, Minn.) trailed throughout the match until stealing three points in the seventh end. They held Alaska to just one point in the eighth end and blanked the ninth to keep the last-rock advantage in the final end for the win. The defending champions from Washington led by Brady Clark know they have to keep winning to have a chance to make the playoffs. Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) and teammates Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.), Darren Lehto (Snohomish, Wash.) and Bev Walter (Seattle) defeated Jerod Roland's North Dakota 1 squad, 7-5, to keep their hopes alive of a fourth straight mixed title. The round robin continues through Thursday. The semifinals for the event are set for 4 p.m. Friday followed by the gold-medal and bronze-medal games next Saturday afternoon. Live scoring from the event can be found at http://www.mixed08detroit. Game scores: Washington 7, North Dakota I 5; Arizona 8, Illinois 6; Wisconsin 9, Connecticut 3; North Dakota II 8, Alaska 7 Standings: Connecticut 6-2 Arizona 6-2 North Dakota 2 6-2 Wisconsin 5-2 Minnesota 4-3 North Dakota 1 3-4 Washington 3-4 Alaska 2-6 Illinois 2-6 Michigan 1-7 USA Curling is sponsored by AIT Worldwide Logistics, AmerAust Technologies and Nike. (30) For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).