Four more Nationals spots earned

Jan. 08, 2012, 9:57 a.m. (ET)
Two-time Olympian John Shuster will make another appearance at the USA Curling National Championships after winning the A bracket at the Grand Forks qualifier as the Men's National Qualifying Round continued at four sites this weekend. Three more teams earned spots tonight as well.

Read the full press release below.

 USA Curling

 Terry Kolesar

Jan. 7, 2012
Four teams clinch spots to 2012 Men’s Nationals
(STEVENS POINT, Wis.) – Two-time Olympian John Shuster will make another appearance at the 
USA Curling National Championships after winning the A bracket at the Grand Forks qualifier as 
the Men’s National Qualifying Round continued at four sites this weekend.
Shuster and teammates Zach Jacobson (Langdon, N.D.), Jared Zezel (Duluth, Minn.) and John 
Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.) defeated 2007 national champion Todd Birr (Mankato, Minn.), 10-5, 
this afternooon to earn the berth. The 2012 Nationals will take place Feb. 11-18 at IceWorks 
Skating Complex in Aston, Pa. One more spot is up for grabs at the Grand Forks event with 
teams skipped by Owen Sampson (Edmore, N.D.) and Birr squaring off in the B bracket final at 9 
a.m. tomorrow. The losing team drops to the C bracket, where teams are fighting for the four 
spots to the Challenge Round later this month that awards the final three spots to Nationals. 
Follow the Grand Forks curling action here:
In the East Qualifier, Heath McCormick’s team earned a 7-5 win over Derek Surka (New Haven, 
Conn.) to improve to 7-0, which earns them the Nationals spot. One round robin game remains 
tomorrow but the other teams below them cannot catch McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario) and his 
team of Bill Stopera (Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Martin Sather (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.) and Dean 
Gemmell (Short Hills, N.J.). The remaining teams are fighting for the lone available berth from 
this qualifier to the Challenge Round. Follow the action from the Potomac Curling Club here:
At the Midwest South Qualifier in Green Bay, Wis., two tiebreaker rounds took place today to 
determine which team made it to Philadelphia for Nationals and which two teams head to the 
Challenge Round. In the first round this afternoon, John Benton’s team defeated Paul Pustovar’s 
rink, 8-2, while the young Blake Morton rink from Wisconsin defeated Mike Farbelow, 7-5. With 
the chance to play at Nationals on the line, it was the Morton rink that outlasted 2010 Olympian 
Benton and his team, 7-3, to win the Midwest Qualifier tonight. Benton heads to the Challenge 
Round along with Farbelow’s team after they defeated Pustovar, 8-4. (Pustovar’s team may also 
have a Challenge Round berth based on Order of Merit points, which will be evaluated.) Final 
results can be found here:
At the West Qualifier in Seattle, Wes Johnson’s team had to defeat Sean Beighton twice to earn 
a spot at the Nationals. The two teams met in the final match-up of the five-team round robin 
with undefeated records. The veteran Johnson rink narrowly defeated the young Beighton, 7-6. 
With a two-loss provision in place, that meant the teams would meet again in a tiebreaker 
match tonight. Johnson’s team held onto the hammer late into the game and used the last rock 
to score two points for a 6-5 victory. Beighton’s team now will have to work through the 
Challenge Round to get to Philadelphia next month. Final results are here:
Teams pre-qualified to the 2012 Nationals:
Team Brown: Craig Brown (Madison, Wis.), Kroy Nernberger (Madison, Wis.), Matt Hamilton 
(McFarland, Wis.), Derrick Casper (De Pere, Wis.)
Team George: Tyler George (Proctor, Minn.), Chris Plys (Duluth, Minn.), Rich Ruohonen 
(Minneapolis, Minn.), Colin Hufman (Seattle), Coach Phil Drobnick (Eveleth, Minn.) 
Team Fenson: Pete Fenson (Bemidji, Minn.), Shawn Rojeski (Chisholm, Minn.), Joe Polo (Duluth, 
Minn.), Ryan Brunt (Bemidji, Minn.)
Midwest North qualifier: Team Shuster: John Shuster (Duluth, Minn.), Zach Jacobson (Langdon, 
N.D.), Jared Zezel (Duluth, Minn.), John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.)
East qualifier winner: Team McCormick: Heath McCormick (Sarnia, Ontario), Bill Stopera 
(Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.), Martin Sather (Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.), Dean Gemmell (Short Hills, 
Midwest South winner: Team Morton: Blake Morton (McFarland, Wis.), Marcus Fonger (Cottage 
Grove, Wis.), Tommy Juszczyk (Madison, Wis.), Calvin Weber (McFarland, Wis.), Mark Hartman 
(Sun Prairie, Wis.)
West qualifier winner: Team Johnson: Wes Johnson (Snohomish, Wash.), Brady Clark 
(Lynnwood, Wash.), Darren Lehto (Seattle), Steve Lundeen (Seattle), Leon Romaniuk (Seattle)
Remaining teams: Midwest North B bracket winner (tomorrow, 9 a.m. CT); and three teams 
from the Challenge Round, which will take place Jan. 19-22 in Eau Claire, Wis. 
Teams pre-qualified to the 2012 Nationals:
Team Brown: Erika Brown (Oakville, Ontario), Debbie McCormick (Rio, Wis.), Jessica Schultz 
(Minneapolis, Minn.), Ann Swisshelm (Chicago), Coach Bill Todhunter (Menasha, Wis.)
Team Carlson: Alexandra Carlson (Wayzata, Minn.), Monica Walker (Brighton, Mass.), Kendall 
Moulton (Minneapolis), Jordan Moulton (Minneapolis)
Team Hamilton: Becca Hamilton (McFarland, Wis.), Tara Peterson (Eagan, Minn.), Karlie Koenig 
(Oconomowoc, Wis.), Sophie Brorson (Duluth, Minn.)
Team Lank: Patti Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.), Nina Spatola (McFarland, Wis.), Caitlin Maroldo 
(Rochester, N.Y.), Mackenzie Lank (Lewiston, N.Y.), Molly Bonner (St. Paul, Minn.)
Six additional women’s teams will qualify to Nationals from the Challenge Round, which will take 
place Jan. 19-22 in Marshfield, Wis.USA Curling is sponsored by AtomAmpd, Nike, Brooms Up Curling Supplies, and The RAM 
Restaurant & Brewery. 
Visit the USA Curling website at and connect with USA Curling on Facebook, 
Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare.
For more information: Terry Kolesar, USA Curling,, 715-344-1199, Ext. 
202, or 608-338-9900 (cell).