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

March 20, 2008, 1 a.m. (ET)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 20, 2008 Defending champions ousted from playoff race at 2008 U.S. Mixed Championship (DETROIT) - For the first time in six years, Washington's Brady Clark rink will not play in the championship final as the team was eliminated from the playoff race Thursday afternoon at the 2008 U.S. Mixed National Championship at the Detroit Curling Club. Minnesota's Peter Stolt rink knocked off the defending champions, 8-6, in an extra end as they try to earn the team's first semifinal berth. Stolt (Plymouth, Minn.) and teammates Maureen Stolt (Plymouth, Minn.), Tim Jeanetta (Elk River, Minn.) and Margeaux Ackerman (Minneapolis) held a 4-1 lead until Clark's team tied the game with three points in the fifth. The teams exchanged singles over the next four ends with Stolt grabbing a deuce for the win in the extra end. North Dakota 2's Duane Symons team is the first team to clinch a playoff spot after defeating Michigan's David Loan team, 5-3, to finish the round robin at 7-2. Arizona, Connecticut and Wisconsin are all tied at 6-2 while Minnesota is a game back at 5-3 with one game remaining tonight in the round robin. The top four teams advance to the playoffs with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 4 seed and No. 2 against No. 3. Symons (Langdon, N.D.) and teammates Val Nash (Devils Lake, N.D.), Chad Carlson (Fisher, Minn.) and Christine Mikulich (Eveleth, Minn.) played a relatively conservative game against Michigan with four out of 10 ends blanked. Michigan tied the game 3-3 after eight ends but North Dakota held the last-rock advantage for the 10th end and scored two to win. Wisconsin's Ryan Lemke team eliminated North Dakota 1's Jerod Roland team from the playoffs with a lopsided 10-2 defeat. Lemke (Medford, Wis.) and teammates Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.), Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.) and Megan O'Connell (Medford, Wis.) scored six points in the first two ends and two deuces to force North Dakota 1 to concede in the seventh end. The round robin concludes tonight. 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: North Dakota II 5, Michigan 3; Minnesota 8, Washington 6; Wisconsin 10, North Dakota I 2 Standings: *North Dakota 2 7-2 Connecticut 6-2 Arizona 6-2 Wisconsin 6-2 Minnesota 5-3 North Dakota 1 3-5 Washington 3-5 Alaska 2-6 Illinois 2-6 Michigan 1-8 *semifinalist 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).