USA Curling

Washington women still on top at 2009 US Club National Championships

March 12, 2009, 11:02 a.m. (ET)
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (March 11, 2009) - Washington's Gabrielle Coleman just played in her first Olympic Trials last month and now has her team in playoff contention at the 2009 U.S. Club National Championships at the Utica Curling Club in Whitesboro, N.Y.

Coleman (Mountain View, Calif.) and teammates Elizabeth Coffin (Mountlake Terrace, Wash.), Cynthia Eng-Dinsel (Bothell, Wash.) and Sara Skulec (Bothell, Wash.) are relatively new to curling with each team member having about five years of experience. They're off to a great start in their first appearance at this event with a 5-1 record with three games left in the round robin. They won their match tonight by stealing a single in the extra end to turn back North Dakota's Natalie Melland, 13-12, in a high-scoring affair that featured Coleman's team scoring a five-ender in the early going.

Matina Heisler's team from Massachusetts is tied with Washington with the 5-1 record. Not far behind are three teams tied at 4-2 led by Norma O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.), Kimberly Wapola (Mahtomedi, Minn.) and Shelly Kosal (Edgerton, Wis.).

On the men's side, Illinois and Wisconsin are still the teams to beat. Wisconsin's Mike Fraboni rink only needed to play four ends tonight to dispatch North Dakota II's Rick Tangedal team, 8-0. Jeff Wright's Illinois team had a tougher time staying in the top spot with a 7-5 win over Jeff Hannon's team from Connecticut. They stole the last three ends just to post the win. Tangedal's team falls to 5-2 in the standings while Minnesota's Mark Willmert rink is in fourth place at 4-3.

The round robin continues Thursday with games at 8 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Line scores are posted here after each draw: http://www.uticacurlingclub.org/club-nationals.htm.

This is the fifth year that the Club National Championships are being played. This event does not lead to a world championship but is used as a stepping stone to help develop athletes toward future national championships.

Standings:

Women
Washington (Coleman) 5-1
Massachusetts (Heisler) 5-1
Minnesota I (O'Leary) 4-2
Wisconsin (Kosal) 4-2
Minnesota II (Wapola) 4-2
Illinois (Lawless) 3-3
California (Messier) 2-4
Pennsylvania (Anderson) 1-5
Michigan (Roberts) 1-5
North Dakota (Melland) 1-5

Men
Illinois (Wright) 6-1
Wisconsin (Fraboni) 6-1
North Dakota II (Tangedal) 5-2
Minnesota (Willmert) 4-3
Maryland (Faircloth) 3-4
North Dakota I (Grzadzieleski) 3-4
Washington (Kauffman) 3-4
Arizona (Gallagher) 2-5
Michigan (Jorgensen) 2-5
Connecticut (Hannon) 1-6

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