STEVENS POINT, Wis. (March 14, 2009) -
Minnesota's Norma O'Leary defended her title by defeating Matina Heisler of Massachusetts 10-9 in the women's final at the 2009 U.S. Club National Championships this afternoon at the Utica Curling Club in Whitesboro, N.Y.
On the men's side, Wisconsin's Mike Fraboni defeated Jeff Wright 8-6 to capture the men's title.
O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.) and teammates Pam Cavers (Duluth, Minn.), Mary Johnson (Duluth), Patti Luke (Duluth) and alternate Lucy DeVore (Superior, Wis.) had to overcome an early deficit when Heisler (Falmouth, Mass.) and teammates Elizabeth Abeltin (Falmouth), Marinna Martini (Falmouth) and Wendy Scholes (North Falmouth, Mass.) scored five points in the fourth end to take a 6-4 lead. The Duluth Curling Club team would take control right back with four points in the sixth end and held the Cape Cod Curling Club team to just a single in the 10th end to secure the win.
For Wisconsin's Fraboni rink, it was a familiar foe in Wright (Libertyville, Ill.) and teammates Nils Johansson (Highland Park, Ill.), Russ Brown (Lake Forest, Ill.) and Ken Brown (Deerfield, Ill.). Fraboni and Brian Kopp (Sun Prairie, Wis.), Joel Dietz (Madison, Wis.) and Donnie Henry (Cottage Grove, Wis.) trailed after four ends but scored big with the last rock the rest of the way. They would force Wright's team to singles late in the game to earn their first national club title. Fraboni also has won the men's national title back in 2002 and represented the USA at the 2002 Men's Worlds, finishing fourth. He also won bronze last year at the 2008 World Senior Championships.
In the bronze-medal matches, Washington's Gabrielle Coleman rink defeated Wisconsin's Shelly Kosal, 10-7, while North Dakota II's Rick Tangedal handed Minnesota's Mark Willmert a 7-1 loss.
Women's gold medal game:
Minnesota I* 301 004 002 0 10
Massachusetts 010 500 110 1 9 Men's gold medal game:
Wisconsin 100 030 202 0 8
Illinois* 001 102 010 1 6 Women's bronze:
Washington 010 102 040 2 10
Wisconsin* 101 020 102 0 7 Men's bronze:
North Dakota II* 130 12x xxx x 7
Minnesota 001 00x xxx x 1
*last rock in first end Gold Medalists Wisconsin:
Mike Fraboni (McFarland, Wis.), Brian Kopp (Sun Prairie, Wis.), Joel Dietz (Madison, Wis.), Donnie Henry (Cottage Grove, Wis.) Minnesota I:
Norma O'Leary (Silver Bay, Minn.), Pam Cavers (Duluth, Minn.), Mary Johnson (Duluth), Patti Luke (Duluth), Lucy DeVore (Superior, Wis.) Silver Medalists Massachusetts:
Matina Heisler (Falmouth, Mass.), Elizabeth Abeltin (Falmouth), Marinna Martini (Falmouth), Wendy Scholes (North Falmouth, Mass.) Illinois:
Jeff Wright (Libertyville, Ill.), Nils Johansson (Highland Park, Ill.), Russ Brown (Lake Forest, Ill.), Ken Brown (Deerfield, Ill.) Bronze Medalists North Dakota 2:
Rick Tangedal (Williston, N.D.), Rory Wolter (White Earth, N.D.), Brent Overland (Williston), Karl Merk (Williston), Brian Helstad (Williston) Washington:
Gabrielle Coleman (Mountain View, Calif.), Elizabeth Coffin (Mountlake Terrace, Wash.), Cynthia Eng-Dinsel (Bothell, Wash.), Sara Skulec (Bothell, Wash.)
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 towards future national championships.
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