(BROOMFIELD, Colo.) - After two rounds of men's action Sunday afternoon, eight teams are tied at 1-1 at the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the Broomfield Event Center.
2007 champion Todd Birr (Mankato, Minn.) is 2-0 on top of the leader board after beating Kevin Deeren's team on the last rock, 8-6. Deeren (Chicago) needed to convert a takeout and stay in the four foot but rolled out too far giving Birr the victory instead.
Fresh off of winning the junior national title last weekend, Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.) led his team to an upset win over Craig Disher, 8-7. With Disher's team threatening to steal the final end for the win, Team Plys vice skip Aanders Brorson converted a double peel and a takeout of the shot stone buried in the four foot to seal the win.
"It's easier to play your style of game when everyone's making all their shots," said Brorson, who along with the rest of Team Plys will represent the U.S. at the 2009 World Junior Championships next week in Vancouver. "We're still getting used to the ice and getting rid of some of the jitters." This is the first appearance for the team at the National Championships/Olympic Trials.
Mike Farbelow's Minnesota-based team got in the win column with a 9-2 upset win over the defending champions led by Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), who fall to 0-2. Farbelow (Minneapolis) and teammates Nick Myers (Dallas, Texas), Joe Polo (Duluth, Minn.) and Tim Solin (Mahtomedi, Minn.) opened up with a deuce and stole two more in the second end to build an early 4-0 lead. In the third end, Farbelow chipped out Brown's shot rock with his final stone to lie four, forcing Brown to just a single point. With the last rock advantage in his pocket again, Farbelow made the most of it scoring five points to prompt the handshake from Brown's team.
"This was a big confidence booster for us," said Myers, who grew up in Minnesota before moving to Texas after college. "We struggled with our draw weight a bit last night but seemed to deal better with it today. We might have been a little nervous, too, last night. We weren't expecting the crowd, and it was the first game."
Tyler George (Duluth, Minn.) led his team to a 9-2 win over John Shuster's team to even their record to 1-1. George and teammates Kris Perkovich (Chisholm, Minn.), Mark Haluptzok (Bemidji, Minn.) and Kevin Johnson (Winebago, Minn.) got off to an impressive start in today's match scoring five points right out of the chute.
"We put a lot of rocks in the play, and the guys did a great job," George said.
Shuster would score just a single and fall behind 7-1 when George made another shot to score two points. After scoring just another single in the fifth end, Team George extended its lead with a deuce, which prompted Shuster to concede the match.
"It was really important for us to come out strong in this second game," George said. "This really sets the tone for us for the rest of the week."
Greg Romaniuk won his first match on the last rock as well defeating Mark Johnson, 8-6, in a battle of the Seattle-based teams.
Action continues with draws today at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Live scoring from the event will be available at www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks in the scoreboard.
Photos can be found at: http://www.curlingrocks.net/photo-gallery.php
Scores: Romaniuk 8, Johnson 6; Plys 8, Disher 7; Birr 8, Deeren 6; George 9, Shuster 2; Farbelow 9, Brown 2
USA Curling is sponsored by Kodiak Technology Group, AIT Worldwide Logistics and Nike.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling, 715-344-1199, Ext. 202, email@example.com