(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - Sixteen teams of two will compete at the second national event in the mixed doubles division. The Two Harbors Curling Club in Two Harbors, Minn., will host the 2009 USA Curling Mixed Doubles Championship, Dec. 4-7.
The winning team will represent the U.S. at the 2009 World Mixed Doubles Championship, April 17-25, in Cortina, Italy. The U.S. team of Jamie and Nate Haskell (White Bear Lake, Minn.) won the inaugural event and finished 15th at the 2008 world competition. They're back to defend their title but will face stiff competition. Jamie (Johnson) Haskell's three teammates on her women's team are in the field with sister and fellow 2006 Olympian Cassie (Johnson) Potter teaming up with husband, Corrie. Former junior champions Laura (Delaney) Roessler (Trempealeau, Wis.) and Jackie Lemke (Medford, Wis.) hope to make some noise as well. Last year's semifinalists Brady and Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) are hoping to add mixed doubles champions to their curling resumes, which also include five U.S. mixed titles.
Mixed doubles features two players per team as opposed to the traditional four-person curling teams. Each game consists of eight ends with variations from the regular game. Each team delivers five stones per end with one player delivering the first and fifth stones and the other team member throwing the stones in between. Prior to the start of each end, one team shall instruct the game umpire to place their team's stationary stone and the opposing team's stationary stone either as a guard outside the house bisecting the center line or on the back half of the button. The positioned stones cannot be removed until the fourth stone. Sweeping is allowed but with just two players that means either the thrower will sweep their own stone or the other team member will leave the house to sweep.
After peer-seeding, teams were placed into two pools. Teams will play a round robin with the top two teams from each pool advancing to Sunday's semifinals. The first draw gets underway at 11 a.m. on Dec. 4.
Jamie & Nate Haskell (White Bear Lake, Minn.)
Jaclyn & Ryan Lemke (Medford, Wis.)
Nathan Gebert (Milwaukee, Wis.) & Laura Roessler (Trempealeau, Wis.)
Steve Pickle (Fargo, N.D.) & Madonna Fitzgerald (West Fargo, N.D.)
David Cornfield (Seattle) & Gabrielle Coleman (Mountain View, Calif.)
Rachel & Alex Ryan (East Syracuse, N.Y.)
Bart & Abigail Read (Appleton, Maine)
John Hoffoss (Minneapolis) & Senja Lopac (Champlin, Minn.)
Cassie & Corrie Potter (Minneapolis)
Brady & Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.)
Carmen Delaney (Fargo, N.D.) & Scott Abrahamson (Moorhead, Minn.)
Miyo Konno (Monroe, Wash.) & Steve Lundeen (Seattle)
Justin Haworth (Eau Claire, Wis.) & Melissa Gilbertson (Wausau, Wis.)
Tom Hemenway (Scottsdale, Ariz.) & Margie Nelson (Duluth, Minn.)
Gary & Katharine Gibeau (Cohasset, Minn.)
Michelle Summer (Maple Grove, Minn.) & Gary Mazzotta (Minneapolis)