2006 Olympic bronze medalist begins Challenge Round with win

Jan. 28, 2009, 3:35 p.m. (ET)

(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) - One Olympic bronze medalist shined while the other fizzled in opening action today of the Challenge Round to determine the final four berths to the 2010 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Curling next month in Colorado.

Playing at the Capital Curling Club in Bismarck, N.D., 2006 Olympian John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.) led his team to a 7-4 win over 2004 U.S. national champion Jason Larway (Lynnwood, Wash.). His former teammate Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.) didn't fare as well suffering a 10-7 loss to Greg Romaniuk (Snohomish, Wash.). Romaniuk and teammates Doug Pottinger (Eden Prairie, Minn.), Leon Romaniuk (Kirkland, Wash.) and Troy Schroeder (Plymouth, Minn.) fell behind 7-5 after seven ends but scored points in the final three to earn the win.

Reigning national champion Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.) led his team to an 8-5 win over Bryan Wight (Canandaigua, N.Y.). Brown (Madison, Wis.) and teammates Rich Ruohonen (Brooklyn Park, Minn.), John Dunlop (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Pete Annis (Owatonna, Minn.) started out strong scoring four points and never trailed in the match.

Former national champion Craig Disher (Rolla, N.D.), who has finished second at the past three National Championships, also got started on the right foot besting Dan Lilla's Wisconsin team, 7-4. They started slow, however, and finally took the lead with three points in the sixth end en route to the victory.

The teams return to the ice at 3 p.m. CT. The Matt Hames and Brandon Corbett rinks were idle in the opening draw. They'll see their first action this afternoon.

The USA-Brazil Challenge for the berth in the 2009 World Men's Championship also will take place during the Challenge Round featuring USA's Todd Birr rink, which qualified for the Olympic Trials already. Brazil issued the first-ever challenge from a South American nation this summer against the United States. They'll play a best-of-five competition beginning Friday night. The women's Challenge Round from the Green Bay (Wis.) Curling Club begins Thursday night.

Live scoring of the Challenge Round and the Brazil-USA Challenge can be found at www.usacurl.org/curlingrocks.

Craig Brown 1-0
Craig Disher 1-0
Greg Romaniuk 1-0
John Shuster 1-0
Brandon Corbett 0-0
Matt Hames 0-0
Pete Fenson 0-1
Jason Larway 0-1
Dan Lilla 0-1
Bryan Wight 0-1

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