USA Curling

2002 Olympian McCormick clinches No. 1 play-off seed at 2010 Olympic Trials

Feb. 26, 2009, 10:33 a.m. (ET)
BROOMFIELD, Colo. - Debbie McCormick secured the No. 1 playoff seed after finishing the round robin with an 8-1 record Wednesday night at the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team Trials on Tuesday night at the Broomfield Event Center.

The two-time Olympian and 2003 world champion McCormick (Rio, Wis.) led her team of Allison Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Nicole Joraanstad (Madison, Wis.) and Natalie Nicholson (Bemidji, Minn.) to battle 2006 Olympian Cassie Potter (Bemidji, Minn.), who was eliminated from playoff contention earlier today. The game was tight up until the seventh end when McCormick was able to drop three points on the scoreboard. They'd set up a steal of three in the ninth to punch their tickets to tomorrow night's page playoff 1-2 game.

Who their opponent will be is still up in the air. Both Amy Wright (Duluth, Minn.) and Patti Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.) finished with identical 7-2 records meaning they'll play a tiebreaker at noon tomorrow to determine the No. 2 seed. Erika Brown (Oakville, Ontario/Madison, Wis.) is the No. 4 seeded team after losing tonight to Aileen Sormunen (Duluth, Minn.), 10-6.

The page playoffs are set for 8 p.m. Thursday. The No. 1 seed plays the No. 2 seed with the winner advancing straight to the championship final. The losing team plays in the semifinal at 4 p.m. Friday against the winner of the game between the No. 3 and No. 4 seeded teams.

Wright and teammates Courtney George (Duluth), Jordan Moulton (Highland Park, Ill.) and Patti Luke (Duluth) dispatched North Dakota's Gillian Gervais rink, 7-4. Friends for many years, this is the first season the team has formally played together.

"Everything has been going really well for us this season," Moulton said. "We want to peak this week at the right time so we can be there in the final on Saturday. Right now we need to take the games as they come and concentrate on that game in front of us."

Lank and teammates Caitlin Maroldo (Rochester, N.Y.), 2002 Olympian Ann Swisshelm (Chicago) and Chrissy Haase (Schenectady, N.Y.) used a lot of offense to cool off Cristin Clark (Lynnwood, Wash.) en route to a 9-3 victory. Lank's team finished second at last year's national championship to McCormick's rink, which has won the past three titles.

In a game with no playoff implications, Norma O'Leary's team leaves the competition on a winning note as she led her team past Charrissa Lin, 7-4.

Live scoring from the event is available at www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks in the scoreboard.

Scores: O'Leary 7, Lin 4; Sormunen 10, Brown 6; McCormick 10, Potter 4; Lank 9, Clark 3; Wright 7, Gervais 4

STANDINGS

Women
*McCormick 8-1
*Lank 7-2
*Wright 7-2
*Brown 6-3
Potter 4-5
O'Leary 4-5
Sormunen 5-4
Clark 2-7
Gervais 2-7
Lin 0-9
*clinched playoff berth

Men
*George 7-1
Birr 5-3
Shuster 5-3
Brown 4-4
Farbelow 4-4
Johnson 4-4
Romaniuk 4-4
Disher 3-5
Deeren 2-6
Plys 2-6
**clinched No. 1 playoff seed

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